Jeremiah 6:16 – “Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths…”
We live in a generation that has no appreciation of old things. The idea is that modern is better. Why hang on to old things when it’s worn out, old-fashioned, and no longer in vogue?
New things are not always bad. I like the fact that we have indoor plumbing, airplanes for travel, and new technologies for better staying in touch – I am not saying that all new things are bad. When it comes to things in church, I love the selfish commodities of a padded pew, A/C in the summer and heat for the winter, pianos, and TV screens; for those modern-day conveniences, I say PRAISE THE LORD! God is good. However, do not mess with the old King James Bible, the preaching of the cross, or the altar at the invitation time where we humble ourselves before God.
A.W. Tozer writes, “The new cross encourages a new and entirely different evangelistic approach. The evangelist does not demand abnegation of the old life before a new one can be received. He preaches not contrasts but similarities. He seeks to key into public interests by showing that Christianity makes no unpleasant demands; rather, it offers the same thing the world does, only on a higher level. Whatever the sin-mad world happens to be clamoring after at the moment is cleverly shown to be the very thing the gospel offers; only the religious product is better. The new cross doesn’t slay the sinner; it redirects him.”
This modern new way of thinking takes grace from the cross and replaces it with a fading glory. The cross is where the penalty for my sins was settled. The cross is where Christ paid it all! Please don’t replace it with something shiny and pretty when our sins are ugly. Don’t remove the blood stains of the Son of God that was shed for me. The old, rugged cross is a symbol of condemnation, for on top of that Roman cross would be written the penalty to set an example for any who dared cross Rome. The old, rugged cross is a symbol of execution. It stands for the abrupt, violent end of a human life. The man in Roman times who took up his cross and started down the road had already said goodbye to his friends, his family, and this world. He was not coming back. God carried out HIS wrath against sin upon HIS Son that hung upon that cross for all mankind. But it was also through that cross that HE opened the way for mankind to come to HIM based on God’s amazing grace.
The law of God can only be removed when grace has been applied. Don’t take away the old, rugged cross. Don’t take away the King James Bible, God’s holy Word, and replace it with other translations that cast doubt, calling the words of God into question. Every time you hear people using the same arguments, the devil is at work: “Yea, hath God said…” I will keep my Bible; thank you very much.
All throughout the word of God, you will find verses like these:
Proverbs 22:21 – “That I might make thee know the CERTAINTY of the words of truth; that thou mightest answer the words of truth to them that send unto thee.”
2 Timothy 3:16-17 – “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.”
2 Peter 1:19 – “We have 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.” It is a matter of faith. Jude wrote “contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.”
I will take the old cross, the old book, and the old-fashioned altar. We must be men with the mindset “to come as you please and be unchanged when you go.” Feel-good preaching is preaching that marks the preachers of the latter days. The apostle Paul preached Christ. Paul charged Timothy to “preach the word.”
It is through preaching that people understand their need of salvation and receive Christ as Savior. Preaching is the key to change. There is no sacrifice at the church altar because the church altar is where we make ourselves living sacrifices unto God.
“Thus saith the LORD, stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths.” Before you go looking for the new, I would heed the voice of God and ask for the old paths.
Pastor Henry Funkhouser