THE CROSSROADS OF LIFE
By: Michael Hobbis
(CW Committee Member)
“Thus saith the Lord, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk therein. Also I set watchmen over you, saying, Hearken to the sound of the trumpet. But they said, we will not hearken.” Jeremiah 6:16-17.
Jeremiah the prophet, by the Holy Ghost, exhorted the professing people of God in his day, who hoped to arrive in Heaven at the end of their earthly lives, to consider the way in which they were travelling. “Stand ye in the ways, and see”; look to the signpost at the crossroads. Find out if you really are in the good way to Heaven, lest you be found at the end in Hell!
When we travel on a journey, we consider it sensible to look for signposts or ask directions. The allegory here shows that our spiritual journey is much the same as an earthly physical one; except that a mistake here is eternally fatal – unless repentance is sought.
Happily, all the directions we need are to be found in the pages of the Bible, the Book of God, which will never lead us astray as we ask the Great Interpreter of it, the Holy Spirit of truth, to lead and guide us.
The wrong path of “New Evangelicalism”
However, it must be said here that today many in the Christian church who would be regarded as Christian Evangelicals are travelling in false paths; who the God of the Bible calls in Jer. 18:15 those who “stumble in their ways from the ancient paths…..in a way not cast up.” Roads are built that men may travel safely, but, as with “Pilgrim” in John Bunyan’s “Pilgrim’s Progress,” many have wandered into “By-path meadow;” ways that God says are ways not cast up (not constructed by God). N.B. The people have been deceived by those who say “Peace, peace; when there is no peace” Jer. 6:14. This is the novel way of New Evangelicalism.
Q. What then is this dangerous new way and how does it contrast with the old way recommended by God?
A. It has – as Paul writes to Timothy in 2 Tim. 3:5-7 – a form of godliness but denies the power of it. “Ever learning” i.e. reading the Bible, but “never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.”
This New Evangelicalism may also be identified by a lack of what the Bible calls “The fear of God” and a true repentance, which is shown by a “broken and a contrite heart” for sin. See Psalm 51:17.
This false way, which looks very much like the right way, is that of the Pharisees of our Lord’s day; for the New Evangelicals speak much of spreading the Gospel and freely speaking of Jesus dying for our sins, even supporting missions and proselytising; but as He spoke of those religious leaders then: so it is with these now. “This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me” Matt. 15:8.
The New Evangelical seeks to live as the world lives and does not lead a separated life as a “Stranger and Pilgrim;” therefore these would “Christianise” worldliness, by putting the name Christian in front of everything that their heart lusts after, viz. Christian rock music; Christian motor rallying; Christian fashions; Christian comedians and much more.
But as the Apostle John wrote to the Church:
“Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him…And the world passeth away and the lust thereof:”
Also Paul “And they that use this world, as not abusing it: for the fashion of this world passeth away” 1 Cor. 7:31.
Perhaps, more seriously, this false route being taken would associate – and even fellowship with – the Ecumenical Movement with its links to Roman Catholicism and even the Greek Orthodox Church and that apostate body, the World Council of Churches. This wicked Movement embraces those who deny the substitutionary work of Christ and speak blasphemously of Christ’s precious blood.
The New Evangelicalism is FLIPPANT; FOOLISH; FEARLESS AND FALSE. It demands novel Hymns; novel Bibles; and novel methods of worship such as Messy Church; and like the world of excessive consumerism, it is always promoting that which is New.
To return to Jeremiah, who under the inspiration of God called the professing Church back to the old paths, telling them that if they did return they would find rest to their souls, we read in Proverbs 3:17 that this good way is a “way of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace.”
Sadly, those people would not listen and take heed of the warning from God; and out of love to their sin they said “We will not walk therein” and “We will not hearken”.
Perhaps you, if you are a New Evangelical, find all this faintly amusing or even foolishness, believing that your way is best. But do take to heart that awesome Scripture which the Holy Ghost repeats twice: “There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death” Proverbs 14:12 and 16:25.
Look well to your direction of travel.