The prophet Jeremiah wrote many powerful words that, even though uttered some 2,600 years ago, have powerful implications for the people of God in the 21st century. Of course, that's the way the Bible is. No matter what the time period or topic of discussion, the Bible's wisdom is timeless and perfect. Among the things this prophet wrote is this advice from God Himself: "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." Unfortunately, the people's reaction to this seemingly simplistic advice was similar to many people today. They simply said, "We will not walk in it" (Jeremiah 6:16). Note some ways in which we should seek the old paths.
Since the beginning of time when God created the family, He had a plan in place. It's quite simple -- one man and one woman for life. Jesus reflected on this when He said, "What God has joined together, let not man separate" (Matthew 19:6). Yet, rather than sticking to the old paths that were paved by God Himself, mankind regularly and routinely violates the law of God by suggesting that divorce for any reason is okay, that multiple, unscriptural marriages are sanctioned by God, and that even same-sex couples should be allowed to wed. As Christians, we are in the minority when we go back to the Bible and seek the old paths, but that's exactly where we need to be!
Consider also the religious world we live in today. Mega churches get a lot of attention. Community based, feel-good churches are growing by leaps and bounds because of their presence of a virtually non-doctrine based social gospel, feel good religion. People show up in droves to hear a "talented" speaker tell stories and tug at the emotional heartstrings of teary eyed men and women. The fact is, a great church and great preaching are not viewed the same by the world as by God. Preaching about the one true church, stressing the importance of scripturally-based baptism, and relying on the scriptures themselves might seem "Old School" but that's THE way to go if we want to stick with the tried, true, and trusted old paths of our Lord.
Finally, we should seek the old paths when it comes to our worship of God. For countless generations, churches have had to withstand the pressures to "modernize" their "out dated" worship and are advised to "get with the times." Whether adding mechanical instrumental music, having women preach and lead public worship, or bringing coffee and doughnuts into the worship service to make it more "appealing," the church has its work cut out to remain focused on the things that really matter -- "righteousness, peace, and joy" (Romans 14:17). The more we focus on these quality things, the more we'll align ourselves with the paths that God wants us to follow. And doing that is a sure way to please our Eternal Father!
By Don Case
When a man or woman is united with Christ, he or she forms one word -- Christian. A Christian is the combination of Christ and you. The sinner receives the Savior, and the Savior receives the sinner. A Christian is a "Christ man" or a "Christ Woman." A Christian is one who has been born again, a spiritual rebirth. It is also someone who has been baptized for the remission of sins. Through repentance the Christian starts a new life in Christ and is added to the church, with their lives guided by the word of God.
What A Christian Is Not...
Today, the word Christian has been seriously corrupted. It has been misused, misapplied, and misunderstood. Many people call themselves Christians who have no right to that claim. The concept of Christianity has become so distorted that millions do not know the difference between true spiritual salvation and mere public belief. When one receives Jesus in faith, he has the right or scriptural authority to be a child of God (John 1:12). When we receive Christ and have faith in Him, we know He is the Son of God. We know that he voluntarily died for our sins so that we might be free from spiritual death and have everlasting life.
Religious people today say they believe in God, Jesus and believe in the Bible but often their lives do not correspond with what they claim to believe. Any faith that does not result in a changed life is not a saving faith, it is a deceiving faith. Often people claim to have become a Christian but if there is no difference, no distinction in their lie, they may still belong to the world.
We pray that each of us will live up to all that the name Christian implies.
And Speaking of the Name, "Christian"
Did you know that there are only three times the word "Christian" is used in the Bible?
It was first introduced in Acts 11:26 as a way of describing some of the early disciples who were meeting in Antioch.
The second time is also in Acts when King Agrippa, in reponse to Paul's preaching, says that he was almost persuaded to become a Christian (Acts 26:28).
Finally, Peter uses the word to instruct early followers of Christ about suffering. Peter communicated the Holy Spirit's message that if a person was going to suffer in this life, it's best he suffer for doing right (being a Christian) than for doing wrong (1 Peter 4:16).