One cannot live in the past, and yet, one can regret much of their past. Of my many regrets (and there are many), on a spiritual level, forsaking sound teaching, sound doctrine and exhortation, for the more-pleasing-to-the-flesh Anomian error, is truly one of my biggest.
I had books, quite a few really incredible books, from men of old (1600’s to early 1800’s) that were sound in Theology Proper, Christology, soteriology, hamartiology, and so on. I literally threw them out, choosing instead the easy road of “faith is mere intellectual assent,” “anomianism/antinomianism,” and the like. I often wonder how much better my life would have been, and the lives of those around me, if I stuck with the richer, more edifying material. No sense wondering… I know, since God is in control of all things. Nonetheless, having returned to the old paths, I truly lament my folly, truly hating it, and the many years wasted. It’s not fun, it’s not a fun feeling at all.
And yet, I am thankful in that I at least now see, all the more, the truth found in passages like…
Jeremiah 6:16 “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].”
Jeremiah 18:15-16 “Because my people hath forgotten me, they have burned incense to VANITY, and they have caused them to stumble in their ways [from] THE ANCIENT PATHS, to walk in paths, [in] a way not cast up; 16 To make their land desolate, [and] a perpetual hissing; every one that passeth thereby shall be astonished, and wag his head.” << EXPERIMENTAL TRUTH!
Jeremiah 7:23 “But this thing commanded I them, saying, OBEY MY VOICE, and I will be your God, and ye shall be my people: and WALK YE IN ALL THE WAYS that I have commanded you, that it may be well unto you.”
I do not write this as one who has arrived, as one who obeys as He ought, as one who is some kind of shining example for others. I write this as someone who has had a mighty truth driven home with more power than ever — that their is strength in God, their is might, their is a delighting to mercy and to grant experimental deliverance. I am nothing close to perfect but I don’t have to do what I have been doing. I do not have to carry the baggage of Grace preachers who ask “how’s that working out for you,” when it comes to men and women striving against sin. I write none of these posts and articles as one who has claimed the prize. I write them because so very few Christians are writing such, so very few are encouraging and exhorting in these matters, and even those that do, do so with caveats, disclaimers, excess wording/innuendo that only serves to quench zeal, set forth stumbling blocks, and so on.
It’s a shame how many false idols I embraced (politics, current events, science and technology, the supernatural, etc.). It’s a shame that I have to go back to the 1600’s to 1800’s to find the great preponderance of holistically sound teaching. It’s a shame how I ignored/abandoned the warnings from older men, wiser men, men I knew personally (deeming their views legalistic, unbiblical) — and how I rejected such for fluff and stuff.
I remember the switchover, judging men of old I once esteemed (like Watson, Boston, Owen, Brooks, Charnock, etc.) as no longer desirable when it comes to biblical teaching, no longer edifying. Thank God I see their value once again. (even stronger than ever).. And yet how many would deem them unsaved, works-mongers, legalists, formalists, etc. It’s insanity to me… and yet, I was likewise so insane, and clearly not all that long ago. My biggest experimental fear is returning back to the Anomian cesspool from whence I came; returning back to a “form of godliness without the power thereof,” without the power to live as God declares that ALL OF HIS PEOPLE can and should live, that is, in light of the perfect righteousness and sanctification they ALREADY HAVE in Christ Jesus.
Isaiah 55:6-7 “Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near: 7 Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and LET HIM RETURN unto the LORD, and **HE WILL** have mercy upon him; and to our God, for **HE WILL** abundantly pardon.”