One sun-drenched afternoon last autumn, my family and I stopped at a large farmers market. Workers sold fresh fruits and vegetables inside the main building. Families listened to a live band. Young children chased each other over a hay-bale obstacle course. At the rear of the property, some tried out an extensive corn maze. If you have ever done such a maze, you know it can be a real challenge! There are many paths you can take through those tall stalks of corn. They all look similar. They all seem to be leading somewhere. But only one actually does.
Modern Christianity is like a vast maze. Many different options look good, but the people inside are confused and heading into dead ends.
This is exactly the way Jesus Christ said it would be.
In Matthew 24, Christ’s disciples asked Him for the sign of His coming and of the end of this age of civilization. He gave them several things to watch for: wars, rumors of wars, natural disasters, famine and disease. But first He drew their attention to the danger of being deceived.
“And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many” (verses 4-5).
Christ warned about religious deception, specifically false Christianity. And so it is that modern Christianity offers many different paths that all seem to lead to Jesus Christ. But only one actually does.
So which path does a true Christian take? How should you live? How can you know? You do not have to guess. God reveals in His Word the way a Christian must walk. If you will use the Bible as your guidebook, it will lead you on the right path.
God instructs us to follow the same path Jesus Christ followed. “He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked” (1 John 2:6). The only way for a true Christian to walk is to follow Christ’s example. 1 Peter 2:21 shows that we should follow Jesus’s steps. He always did those things which pleased His Father, putting His Father’s will above His own (Luke 22:42).
Christ lived a perfect, sinless life (1 Peter 2:22). And there are others who also walked with God. The Bible records that Enoch walked with God (Genesis 5:22). Hebrews 11:5 shows that Enoch pleased God. Hebrews 11 lists many others who faithfully followed God.
How did these people walk with God?
In Leviticus 26, God showed the ancient Israelites two ways to walk. One would lead to curses and unhappiness. The other would please God and lead to blessings. And what was that way? “If ye walk in my statutes, and keep my commandments, and do them” (Leviticus 26:3). This chapter details all the blessings that would result from walking in His statutes and keeping His commandments. In verse 12, God said that if the Israelites would obey Him, He would walk among them.
“But if ye will not hearken unto me, and will not do all these commandments,” God states in verse 14, curses would result.
In verse 21, God says that disobeying His laws would mean Israel was walking contrary to Him. Notice the results in verse 24: “Then will I also walk contrary unto you, and will punish you yet seven times for your sins.”
Clearly, walking with God means keeping His commandments.
In Revelation 18:4, amid a prophecy of the calamities that will befall human civilization before the Second Coming, is this: “And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.” God instructs true Christians to live differently than people in the world—even those of other religions, including those who believe they are Christians but are walking a path different from the one Christ walked.
This is the same type of warning God gave in Leviticus 26:14-41. There are curses for walking contrary to God in disobedience. But there are great blessings for walking with God in obedience!
A true Christian walks with God by keeping His laws. Living this way sets a marvelous example for this world (Matthew 5:14-16).
It is a challenging path, and walking it requires the power of the Spirit of God (see Matthew 7:13-14; Romans 8:9-10).
Here is how walking with God is summed up in our correspondence course: “A Christian has sincerely repented of his sins and is striving, with the help of God’s Holy Spirit, to live by his Savior’s teachings. He is seeking to do God’s will in every aspect of his life as it is revealed in the Bible. And he is becoming a recipient of the happiness and blessings that come from being obedient to God!”
It is possible to find the right path and to walk with God, and He will bless you for it! Start by learning how to use His guidebook. Use the information on the back cover of this magazine to enroll in our free Herbert W. Armstrong College Bible Correspondence Course.