Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
November 8, 1951

The Way That Seemeth Right

Chas. L. Heron, Arlington, Texas

In this scripture (Prov. 14:6-12) we have the words of the wise man, Solomon, who is giving the antithesis between wisdom and folly and in giving the effect of both, if we will profit by what he has to say, it will be well with us here and most certainly, hereafter.

In this present age, there are many who object to even a suggestion of the possibility that honest persons may be wrong religiously. This attitude has even possessed some persons who are members of the church of our Lord in spite of the fact that Solomon advises of "a way that seemeth right" and yet leads to disaster. There are several things we want to notice concerning this way:

1. This is the most popular of all ways; that is, all religious people, no doubt, are traveling that way. Surely no sane man would walk in any way intelligently, educationally, economically or politically unless he believed he was right. Of course, no man would follow a way religiously unless it seemed right to him. Often the most popular way leads astray. In Matt. 7:13, Jesus contrasts the broad and popular way with the narrow and difficult and he assures that the most popular leads to destruction while the narrow and unpopular leads to eternal bliss.

2. It is the most deceitful of all ways—it seemeth right. There are a good many things that seemeth right to those who do not know all the truth. For instance the METHODIST DISCIPLINE, in an article states that, "Faith only is a most wholesome doctrine and very full of comfort." That doctrine seems right to many and will continue to until they learn the truth. However, when Paul assures that, "The faith that avails is a faith that works through love," (Gal. 5:6) we are made to know that the doctrine of "faith only" is not a wholesome doctrine though it seems such to a good many. The wrong ways are the ways that must seem right else men would not walk in them.

3. It is a dear way to many. Too many persons say even when brought face to face with the truth, "I don't care what the truth teaches, I'm satisfied." Solomon said, "Correction is grievous unto him that forsaketh the way: and he that hateth reproof shall die." (Prov. 15:10) When Jesus said, "Strive ye to enter at the strait, difficult way," he suggests that some effort is necessary in order to enter that way. Whether the difficulty is overcoming doctrinal error, ceasing the practice of sin or going against the wishes of relatives, the difficulty must be faced even should it cost us our all in this life. We can't afford to travel in a way regardless how dear if in the end thereof, is the way of death.

4. It is a way of sincerity. Paul was sincerely following the wrong way in persecuting Christians. Hear him in Acts 26: 9-10, as he says, "I verily thought with myself, that I ought to do many things contrary to the name of Jesus of Nazareth, which things I also did ... and many of the saints did I shut up in prison, having received authority from the chief priests and when they were put to death, I gave my voice against them..." Jesus prophesies of this attitude when in John 16:1-2, he said, "These things have I spoken unto you, that ye should not be offended. They shall put you out of the synagogues: yea, the time cometh that whosoever killeth you will think he doeth God's service." We learn from this that men often pursue the wrong course even though in all sincerity.

5. It's the moat modern of all ways—the way of denominational error. No reasonable person will question the honesty nor sincerity of any denominationalist. For the most part, they are traveling in their particular way because it seems right to them. It is proper now for people to do that which appears right to them. This attitude however, prompts the Hindu mother to pitch her infant into the mouth of the crocodile. In India, such is a modern way, and is religious, but wrong in spite of its being modern.

Such is the way of the dictates of one's own will. Some, even in the church of our Lord, are failing to render a complete obedience to Christ simply because they elect to follow the dictates of their own self-will rather than the revealed commandments of Christ.

Thus, we see that there are many ways stretched out before the masses of men. God exhorts through Jeremiah, "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." (Jer. 6:16) In view of these many and dangerous ways and the need of man's asking for the right, Jeremiah further states, "It is not in man that walketh to direct his own steps." (Jer. 10:23)

There is a way, however, that's right not because it seems right to man but is right because Almighty God approves it. This is the highway of holiness, the highway to life evermore. In Isaiah 35:8, Isaiah said, "And an highway shall be there, and a way, and it shall be called the highway of holiness ... it shall be for these: the wayfaring men, though fools, shall not err therein." Jesus gives us more information concerning this way when to the disciples he was directing the way to heaven, "I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh to the Father except by me." (John 14:6) To come the way of Jesus is to come the way of faith (John 8:24), to come the way of repentance (Luke 13:3), the way of confession (Matt. 10:32) and the way of baptism (Mark 16:16 and John 3:5). Since this way is the way outlined upon the sacred pages, it stands out clearly as the way that is right among all other ways that only seem right and the end of which is certainly death. Are you walking in the right way?