Temple Baptist Church - 5-16-2010
A. There are many signs of the second coming of Christ that are very evident in our day. I am not preaching on that subject at this time, but I believe that every believer knows what time it is. I want to deal with one sign in particular over the next few weeks. The “falling away” of 2 Thessalonians 2:
2 Thessalonians 2:3 Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;
B. Jeremiah 6:16 speaks of “the old paths.” Not “old path” which is singular but “old paths” which is plural. These are paths that need to be followed.
1. Times are changing!
2. Thinking is changing!
3. The churches are changing!
4. So called Christians are changing!
5. The children are changing!
C. One of my greatest fears is the continuing forsaking of the ways of our spiritual fathers.
1. Were these godly forefathers wrong in what they believed? Churches who once walked in the old paths are compromised.
2. Did they die in vain for the doctrines of truth that have become expendable in our day? Preachers who once walked in the old paths have forsaken them.
3. Is the sin that they preached against now more permissible to the child of God. People will not long endure the preaching of sound doctrine.
D. Each believer must make his or her decision. What kind of church to we really want here at Temple Baptist? I personally want an old fashioned, God loving church that remains both doctrinally correct and separated from the world.
1. I want old fashioned preaching.
2. I want old fashioned singing.
3. I want old fashioned standards.
4. I want old fashioned worship.
5. I want old fashioned everything!
E. I hate the condition of our churches today. They are worldly, compromised, apathetic, and dead! I watch old preachers compromise and young preachers leave their upbringing for worldly entertainment and contemporary services. I do not hate them, but I do hate their ways. They are not God’s ways! God’s ways are unchanging ways because:
1. He is an unchanging God.
2. He has an unchanging Word.
3. That is why they are called “OLD PATHS!” They are not “new paths.”
F. I want to take a look at some of these “old paths” that our forefathers walked in and why they are so important in our day. Our day is the “and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching” of Hebrews 10:25. To stay right will take some things:
1. It Takes Reflection – we need to monitor where we are spiritually.
2. It Takes Recognition – we need to honestly appraise our condition.
3. It Takes Realization – we need to know that God is not pleased.
4. It Takes Resolve – we need to set our hearts and minds to hold the lines.
a) We must receive God’s Word - 1 Thessalonians 2:13 For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe.
b) We must take heed to ourselves and the doctrine - 1 Timothy 4:16 Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee.
c) We must hold fast in faith and love - 2 Timothy 1:13 Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.
d) We must commit to future generations - 2 Timothy 2:2 And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.
e) We must remain assured - 2 Timothy 3:14 But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them;
f) We must patiently run the race that is “set before us” - Hebrews 12:1 Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,
G. I want to look at Jeremiah 6:16 for a few minutes:
1. They Are Paths – well trodden throughout the history of the Bible. These are paths that are well worn by the feet of God’s people. From Adam and Eve to this day, God’s people have walked in the ways of God.
a. Enoch walked in them before the flood - Genesis 5:24 And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him.
b. Noah walked in them before, during, and after the flood - Genesis 6:9 These are the generations of Noah: Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with God.
c. The prophets walked in them during the Law - Jeremiah 7:23 But this thing commanded I them, saying, Obey my voice, and I will be your God, and ye shall be my people: and walk ye in all the ways that I have commanded you, that it may be well unto you.
Isaiah 2:5 O house of Jacob, come ye, and let us walk in the light of the LORD.
d. The apostles and their followers walked in them after Calvary - Colossians 2:6 As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him: (We are not alone in our walk. Though most people choose to walk in a different path, we are a part of the fellowship of the unashamed!)
2. They Are Plain Paths – they are easily discerned through Scripture.
a. In the “Old Paths” we find a Sure Word - 2 Peter 1:19 We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts:
b. In the “Old Paths” we find a Shining Word - Psalms 119:105 Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.
c. In the “Old Paths” we find a Separating Word - John 8:12 Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life. (The Word of God is clear and the paths are well illuminated for us. To stray from these paths is to ignore the Word of God that illuminates them.)
3. They Are Proven Paths – paths that define both direction and safety. The Bible calls them “the good way.” Let’s look at two of my favorite verses:
a. In the “Old Paths” we find Satisfaction - Romans 12:1-2 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. 2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
b. In the “Old Paths” we find Safety - Psalms 37:3 Trust in the LORD, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed.
c. In the “Old Paths” we find Surety - Hebrews 11:13 These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. (We need to be persuaded of the promises of God to those who follow Him! He will do what He says and we will find the blessings of God in the Old Paths.)
4. They Are Proper Paths – they are right ways! They have been trodden through the centuries by God’s people and there will always be a remnant that follows their ways.
Isaiah 35:8 And an highway shall be there, and a way, and it shall be called The way of holiness; the unclean shall not pass over it; but it shall be for those: the wayfaring men, though fools, shall not err therein.
a. In the “Old Paths” we find Righteous Ways “way of holiness”
b. In the “Old Paths” we find Right Ways “Wayfaring men…shall not err therein”
5. They Are Peaceful Paths – they are peaceful ways. Peace of heart and peace of mind. A man once said, “A clear conscience makes for a soft pillow!”
a. In the “Old Paths” we find Peace - Psalms 1:1-2 Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. 2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.
b. In the “Old Paths” we find Prosperity – Psalms 1:3 And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.
c. In the “Old Paths” we find Pleasantness - Proverbs 3:13-18 Happy is the man that findeth wisdom, and the man that getteth understanding. 14 For the merchandise of it is better than the merchandise of silver, and the gain thereof than fine gold. 15 She is more precious than rubies: and all the things thou canst desire are not to be compared unto her. 16 Length of days is in her right hand; and in her left hand riches and honour. 17 Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace. 18 She is a tree of life to them that lay hold upon her: and happy is every one that retaineth her.
I LIKE THE OLD PATHS WHEN:
Moms were at home, Dads were at work, Brothers were in the army, Sisters got married before having children!!
Crime did not pay... Hard work did and people knew the difference.
Moms could cook; Dads would work; Children would be quiet!
Husbands were loving; Wives were submissive, Children were polite!!
Women wore the jewelry; Men wore the pants; Harlots wore the paint and children wore the stripes.
Women looked like ladies; Men looked like gentlemen, and children looked decent.
People loved the truth and hated a lie; they would follow the Pastor and ignore the world; they came to get IN and not to get OUT!
Hymns sounded GODLY; Sermons sounded helpful; Shouting sounded normal and crying sounded often.
Church folk were faithful; Sinners were respectful and everybody had manners.
Cursing was wicked; Drinking was evil; Divorce was unbelievable; the Flag was honored; America was beautiful and God was welcomed.
We READ the Bible in public; Prayed in school and preached on the court house steps!
Going to Church was a blessing; going to school was an education and going to a gas station that sold beer was a disgrace.
GrandMa and GrandPa were wise; Mom and Dad were together and Children were precious.
To be called an American was worth dying for; to be called a Christian was worth living for and to be called a traitor was worth fighting for.
Cowards were shot; Deserters were hung and Criminals were sent to prison and not WASHINGTON!!
Sex was a dirty word; Homo was an unheard word and abortion was an illegal word.
Love was clean; courting was watched; and marriage was till death.
Preachers preached because they had a message; Singers sung because they had a song; Christians shouted because they had the VICTORY and sinners got convicted.
Preachers preached from the BIBLE; Singers sung from the heart; Sinners repented and got SAVED!!
A New Birth meant a NEW LIFE; Salvation meant a CHANGE; Joining the Church means you would attend.
Being a Preacher meant you were CALLED of GOD; Being a deacon meant you would serve the church; being a Christian meant you would live for Jesus
and being a Sinner meant somebody was praying for you!!
Laws were based on the BIBLE; HOMES read the Bible and churches taught the BIBLE!!
You could borrow money on your Church letter; a Man’s word was his bond and a woman’s virtue was priceless.
Preachers were more interested in NEW CONVERTS than new clothes and new cars!!
Churches wanted to reach every creature with the GOSPEL more than new buildings and paved parking lots!!
Prayed and wept over the lost in their community.
God was worshipped. Christ was exalted and the Holy Ghost was followed!!
The Bible was believed and not corrected; Sinners got Saved, Converts were CONVERTED and the Gospel was preached and not SHARED.
THOSE WERE THE DAYS WHEN:
We would go witnessing with tears; prayed a lot and talked little on the phone; spent more time with the Bible than the TV. We would weep about lost souls, enjoy going to CHURCH more than anything. We had testimony and song services. We would really try to do something for God; we would say AMEN to the truth, and got to the ALTAR to repent of sin. We would bring folks to Church, take Pastor home for Sunday dinner; give tithes and offering gladly. We would seek the WILL OF GOD in everything and stand against sin anytime and anywhere!!
THOSE WERE THE OLD PATHS!!!