Summary: Christ is calling His church back to the old paths. This sermon looks at four of those paths.
"Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls" (Jeremiah 6:16).
What are these "old paths"?
1. THE PATH OF TIMELESSNESS
"On thee do I wait all the day" (Psalm 25:5).
In many evangelical churches the clock rules. People complain if the service is longer than an hour. Ministers are obsessed with the length of the service. These things grieve the LORD. If the church is to experience true revival it needs to forget about the clock!
Moses spent 40 days with God on Mount Sinai, Ezra read the scriptures for 3 hours, Christ fed the 4000 after they had spent 3 days with Him. We are faced with a choice. Either we forget about time and have Jehovah-Shammah (’the LORD is there’) written over us or we let the clock continue to dictate and have Ichabod (’the glory is departed’) written over us.
2. THE PATH OF PRAYERFULNESS
"Pray without ceasing" (1 Thessalonians 5:17).
Not so long ago it was the case that when prayer meeting night came round everything came to a standstill as people made their way to the place of prayer.
Obituary – ’Mrs Prayer Meeting died recently at the First Neglected Church on Worldly Avenue. Born many years ago in the midst of great revivals, she was a strong, healthy child, fed largely on testimony and spiritual holiness, soon growing into world-wide prominence. She was one of the most influential members of the famous Church family. But for the past several years, Sister Prayer Meeting has been failing in health, gradually wasting away until rendered helpless by stiffness of knees, until her death was caused through lukewarmness and coldness of heart. Lack of spiritual food, coupled with the lack of faith, shameless desertion of her friends and non-support, were contributing causes of her death. Only a few were present at her funeral, sobbing over memories of her past beauty and power. Carefully selected pallbearers were asked to bear the remains tenderly away, but failed to appear. Her body rests in a beautiful cemetery of bygone memories and glories, awaiting the summer from above’.
Someone has said - "Look at the number in the morning service and you’ll see how popular the church is; look at the evening service and you’ll see how popular the preacher is; but look at the prayer meeting and you’ll see how popular the LORD is!"
3. THE PATH OF WATCHFULNESS
"I have set watchmen upon thy walls, O Jerusalem, which shall never hold their peace day nor night" (Isaiah 62:6).
The church needs to watch against the encroachment of modern versions of the scriptures. As a congregation we believe that the Authorized Version is the most accurate and reliable translation. We stand for "the old sword". We have many reasons for doing so. The NIV omits 64,000 words that are found in the AV. The NIV omits 600 New Testament portions that are found in the AV. Most of these portions speak of the Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, the NIV is a direct attack on the Saviour.
Modern versions are poison.
4. THE PATH OF RIGHTEOUSNESS
"Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people" (Proverbs 14:34).
How do we know what righteousness is? By reading God’s word.
There are two issues I want to address:
a) Sexual depravity. There is much of it around today. Sodomy springs to mind. Iris Robinson MP recently spoke out against it. God bless her for doing so. May we all do likewise.
b) Sabbath desecration. God is calling us back to the fourth commandment. Our forefathers made a difference between the Lord’s Day and the other days of the week. Let us keep Sunday special.
O day of rest and gladness, O day of joy and light,
O balm of care and sadness, most beautiful, most bright:
On Thee, the high and lowly, through ages joined in tune,
Sing holy, holy, holy, to the great God Triune.