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.’ ”
Israel continually did what much of the church does today (and vice versa): they were influenced more by society and the culture around them instead of influencing the society and culture of the day. Even though the Lord Himself warned them about this through Jeremiah, they said, “We will not walk in the old paths.” Those ways seemed too out of touch with society and were inconsistent with the desires of the children of Israel. This was true even though God had told them judgment was coming on Jerusalem but could be averted if they would get back on the old paths.
The church and many Christians today seem to fall into the same trap. We know judgment is coming on this world; Jesus Himself went to great pains to be sure His people would know that (Matthew 24–25). Yet many of us act as though it will not happen, and we no longer worry about walking in the ways of God. After all, that’s old school, we say. We need to be more culturally sensitive, and we need to make our message more relatable, we insist. We don’t want to offend anyone searching for God, so we certainly don’t talk about such unpopular topics as hell and sin.
Though heaven will be populated by people of every tribe, tongue, and nation (Rev. 5:9) and will include people from every station in life, both rich and poor, slave and free, male and female, there is one common denominator that all in heaven will share. Every one of them will be there because the gospel was preached to them. It may have been the heavens declaring God’s handiwork (Ps. 19:1) or the faithfulness of a follower of God that spoke to them, but each will be there as a recipient of the gospel of grace.
There are many new ways to proclaim the old truth, but the old path is still the only way to heaven. The “good way” is still the good news of Jesus Christ who came to save sinners. There is no other way, and there is no other path. Someone today needs to hear about the old path. Quit worrying about offending people by talking about the gospel. The cross is an offense to those who are perishing (1 Cor. 1:18), but it is also the only means through which a person can be saved. So if you leave out the message of the cross, the name of Jesus, the word sin, and the threat of hell, what motivation is left for anyone to be saved?
The old path is still the only path, and there are no others!
Excerpt from “Body Builders” now available on Amazon.