Bless the Lord, O my soul,   
And all that is within me,   
bless His holy name.   
Bless the Lord, O my soul,   
And forget none of His benefits.   
- Psalms 103:1-2   
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New Religion

We began this month's study on authority with the great examples that God recorded for us in Hebrews 11. We carefully noted why these examples were so great. It was because they obeyed God's will regardless of human reasoning and without altering His instruction. In other words, they respected his authority. They created nothing new, but only committed themselves to the strict obedience to what God had already instructed. This is something we all can be great at in our own lives as well. We are told by marketing experts that "New" sells. Society is starved for "new" and drunk on the feeling it gives of exploring, discovery and charting new paths. It seems everyone wants to be known for discovering something "new." "New," to those seeking religion, draws man in huge followings. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; (2 Tim. 4:3). New for the sake of new, in religion, is not a good thing. We know it is not in man to direct his own steps (Jer. 10:23). Yet man is busy creating new and improved ways to stimulate religion and feel that it is his (man's) personal contribution to God's plan to save the world. It seems some feel they are salvaging God's failing plan while they exalt themselves. Stamping their own names on what they preach and their religious movements. They create their own spin on religion that will reach out to so many more people and expand what they consider to be, the saved. God never asked man for help in stimulating or convincing man to come to Him in obedience; much less, change or alter religion in order to attract more people. God actually warns man against such "new" things. But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed (Gal. 1:8). Man must come to God on God's terms for salvation; not God to man on man's terms. God gives advice that we, as men, should desire the old ways. 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 (Jer. 6:16). Man creates new options to God's ways for those who desire another way, but eternal rest only comes at the end of God's path. That which has been is what will be, That which is done is what will be done, And there is nothing new under the sun (Ecc. 1:9). The instruction God revealed to man is as applicable today as it was when it was revealed by the Holy Spirit. However, much of the instruction and many of the commands God gives us are dismissed today by man based on human reasoning. He reasons that God's word is bound by time constraints or cultural patterns of long ago and are no longer applicable to us today. Instead, we should desire to be like the great examples of old and seek to follow the old paths in obedience. Remember, Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Heb. 13:8). God's divine ways of old are tested and proven; so, desire the old paths respecting the divine authority of the one that created all things and sustains all things. Because the one thing that can't be changed is the fact that we will all be judged by God's word and the old paths, not the “new.” - Marc Hopkins