The Ancient Paths in a Digital Age

Text: Jeremiah 6:16

God’s people had departed from His ways and were called to return to the “ancient paths.” Brethren echo this call – return to the word of God and follow His ways. Even with all of the changes/advancements in our society, this is still just as needed. The impact of the internet and social media is undeniable. There are many potential uses for these, but we want to focus here on how we can use it for good and to help lead others to Christ.

What Hasn’t Changed

  • God’s standard – the standard by which we will be judged is His word (John 12:48); this has not and will not change (Psalm 119:89; Jude 3; Galatians 1:6-9)
  • The world’s problem – all have sinned (Romans 3:23); the wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23)
  • Man’s need – salvation from sin (Isaiah 59:2); separated from God, we have no hope (Ephesians 2:12)
  • The solution – eternal life is found in Christ (Romans 6:23); it was His reason for coming to earth (Hebrews 2:14-15)

Our Influence Online

  • Salt of the earth (Matthew 5:13) – encourage what is good (cf. Hebrews 10:24); rejoice in what is true and right, not in unrighteousness (1 Corinthians 13:6)
  • Light of the world (Matthew 5:14-16) – show the right example (1 Peter 2:12); no one should be surprised to learn we are a Christian; we must be different from the world (Romans 12:2)
  • City on a hill (Matthew 5:14) – make the church visible; it sounds out the word (1 Thessalonians 1:8); we want to echo the message and direct people to where they can learn the truth

Comparing the Use of the Internet/Social Media to Venues Used in the Book of Acts

  • The marketplace (Acts 17:16-17) – random gathering, whoever happened to be present; comparable to social media in general; refer to the parable of the sower (Luke 8:5-8, 11-15)
  • Mars Hill (Acts 17:18-21) – curious group, interested in a certain topic; comparable to groups/forums online; show respect and acknowledge what is commendable, but point them to Christ (Acts 17:22-23)
  • The eunuch’s chariot (Acts 8:26-34) – inquisitive individual, already interested in the truth; comparable to private/direct messages; start where they are, then lead them to Christ (Acts 8:35)
  • School of Tyrannus (Acts 19:8-10) – far-reaching influence, affecting people beyond the local area; comparable to websites and social media pages; through consistent effort and teaching that is publicly available
  • The Ephesian theater (Acts 19:26-32) – angry mob, confusion; comparable to comment sections and certain public forums; little can be accomplished among this type of group (v. 30; Acts 20:1; 13:44-51)

Conclusion

  • Think of the parable of the sower (Luke 8:5-8, 11-15) – scatter the seed (God’s word) regardless of the soil (heart)
  • Plant and water (1 Corinthians 3:6) – this is our responsibility; leave the rest in God’s hands
  • We may not see results – they may come later (John 4:35-38); be consistent

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