The Old Paths

Posted on: February 19th, 2023

The time Jeremiah the prophet lived upon the earth was a time of apostasy from God; a time when those who pretended to be God’s people had followed after strange gods and false worship. Their lives were full of hypocrisy and their hearts full of evil thoughts. But let the ancient prophet himself describe the conditions which he met as he attempted to uphold the word of God’s truth.

“Their transgressions are many and their backslidings have increased. How shall I pardon thee for this? Thy children have forsaken me, and sworn by them that are no gods: when I had fed them to the full, they then committed adultery, and assembled themselves by troops in harlots’ houses.” (Jer. 5:6-8)

People of today have forgotten God and all that pertains to godliness. We should strive to walk in the old paths as Jeremiah asked Israel to do. (Jer. 6:16) The churches of today have compromised with the world. They have turned their precincts into a place of mushy book reviews, little pink teas, and gambling of various kinds.

We must return to God and follow the “old paths”. The church of Christ endeavors to do this by seeking a restoration of New Testament Christianity.

My dad was going through some “OLD” bulletins and articles, and came across some that he had authored. The preceding article was one of those and it was written when he preached for the Westside congregation in Phoenix, Arizona. It was dated September 23, 1956, which means he penned these words about ten months before my birth and adoption by him and mom (Lois Starling). My family is very blessed to still have dad around, he is ninety-seven years old and still does pretty well for his age.

I chose the one about “Old Paths” because it demonstrates a consistent problem between God and man. While God, the Creator, has the absolute right to govern man, man routinely turns his back on God. Apostasy, false worship, and hypocrisy creep into man’s service due to a rebellious spirit. People who should know better often backslid and forsake the Almighty LORD.

The very points my father made some 67 years ago, were based on the “Old Paths” mentioned by Jeremiah, and the prophet was encouraging the people of his day to go back to the “Old Paths” of an earlier Israel, a time when the people were more faithful to God.

We need to be teaching the same message today. People are still forsaking the “Old Paths”, but now it is the teaching of the New Testament. Warnings upon warnings were given by Christ and the inspired teachers of the Lord’s Family. Specific dangers and details were revealed, and yet Christians left the “Old Paths” of respecting Divine authority. (Rev. 22:18-19) The early church had its own problems, with some endanger of loosing their relationship with Christ. (Rev. 2 &3)

If we have forsaken the “Old Paths” of the gospel message, we need to return. It is the true gospel message that saves those who submit. (Rom. 1:16-17). It is not too late, but some day it will be. Just as time ran out on Judah during Jeremiah’s day, so it will someday for us.