Old Paths

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Ask For The Old Paths

Michael Pickford

Jeremiah 6:16 says, “Thus says the Lord: Stand in the ways and see, and ask for the old paths, where the good way is, and walk in it; then you will find rest for your souls. But they said, ‘We will not walk in it.’” When Jeremiah gave this word to Israel, they were entrenched in deep spiritual wickedness. This was part of God’s urgent call for repentance to a people who were on the threshold of punishment. In fact, they were carried off into captivity just a few short years later. Notice three things from this verse:

A Requirement

God told them to ask for the old paths. This wasn’t a request, it was a requirement. He meant for them to come away from their spiritual adultery. They were to come away from the pollutions of idolatry. They were to come away from doctrinal error. People seem to always want the newest things. The same is true in religion today. Religious folks have clamored for the new fangled teachings of the “religious elite.” God’s word says to sing in worship to Him (Eph. 5:18,19; Col. 3:16), but most today use the mechanical instruments of music in worship. Most religious teachers today are telling folks to say something called a “sinners prayer” in order to get saved. The sinners prayer came into wide spread use only about 55 years ago! In contrast, the old path, Christ’s doctrine, still says to believe, repent, confess and be baptized for the remission of sins (Mk. 16:16; Acts 2:38; Rom. 10:9, 10). Many today are now denying the reality of eternal hell (punishment). Hell is as eternal (everlasting) as heaven is (Matt. 25:46). The old path still says that those who obey not the Gospel will be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord (2 Thess. 1:6-9). Beloved, God requires that we get back to the old paths!

A Reward

If Israel asked for the old paths and walked in them, they would “find rest for your souls” (Jer. 6:16). It is only by coming to Christ and sticking to his doctrine that one today will find rest for his soul (Mat. 11:28-30). Those who transgress the doctrine of Christ by believing, teaching, and/or practicing anything not found on it’s pages will not receive the reward of fellowship with God neither here nor in the hereafter (2 John 9). Galatians 1:6-9 places a strong curse on any who would “pervert” the Gospel of Christ by mingling in with it any other system of teaching. The Gospel and the Gospel only is God’s power unto salvation! (Romans 1:16). If you’ll ask for the old paths, the Gospel of Christ only, Obey it and remain faithful to it until death; you’ll find rest for your souls here and rest in heaven for eternity.

A Refusal

In our passage in Jeremiah 6:16, when God commanded them to ask for the old paths, they flatly refused! “But they said, ‘We will not walk in it.’” Most of the time when we strive to teach those in denominationalism to reject the teaching of their “church” and “pastor” and accept only the pure Gospel of Christ, they get mad and refuse. How sad! They will not reject the instrument of music in worship. They will not submit themselves in baptism for the remission of sins (Acts 22:16). As a result of rejecting the old paths, the Israelites were rejected by the Lord (Jere. 6:30). As a result of rejecting the old paths today (Christ’s Gospel), people will be rejected by the Lord on the last day (Matt. 7:21-23). How tragic. My plea is for folks to come away from the vain doctrines of men (Matt. 15:8,9) and ask for the old paths, where the good way is, and walk in them!

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