Post by Les on Jul 18, 2022 16:24:09 GMT
TRUTH OR THE CONSEQUENCES?
“ Woe unto pastors that destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture! Saith the Lord “ Jeremiah 23:1
Divisions within the body of believers is not a new thing under the sun, spiritual leaders have always been the target of the enemy. However the attributes of their own flesh have always been the element which makes them susceptible to the temptation of abusing the influence they have over the flock of God in their care. As well as immature sheep which also designate personalities over principles. This ungodly mixture then produces confusion, envy, and division.
At the birth of the “ church “ when many Israelis were coming to Christ in groves and the Apostles quickly began to gather them for times of prayer and proclamation; teaching them the words of Christ, the ugliness of persecution began to unify them and the also caused the gospel to extend outside the realm of Judea, to the ends of the known world. However, it wasn’t long before divisions began to take place, one group adhering to Peter, another to Paul, and still another to Apollos. Letting carnality suave them to be loyal to personalities instead of the principles of the gospel. But the love for Christ and the wisdom of the Spirit prevailed and correction was meted out and unity restored. Peter admonished those elders under his leadership:
(1) The elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed:
(2) Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind;
(3) Neither as being lords over God's heritage, but being ensamples to the flock.
(4) And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away. 1 Peter 5:1-4
Pastors are under-shepherds which are held accountable to God. Those who instruct others are expected to hold greater understanding, for the purpose of maturing others in the nurture and admonition of the word of God. Guidelines for them are strict because the responsibility of their position is delicate concerning the souls of those they instruct.
(1) Do not be eager, my brethren, for many among you to become teachers; for you know that we teachers shall undergo severer judgment.
(2) For we often stumble and fall, all of us. If there is any one who never stumbles in speech, that man has reached maturity of character and is able to curb his whole nature. James 3:1-2
We are living in foretold times, a time of rampant apostasy when many false preachers, prophets, and teachers are coming to the forefront bringing with them damnable heresies which lead to destruction. Many of these apostate doctrines were founded hundreds of years ago but are widely accepted today as gospel and there are many new age doctrines which have their roots in ancient mystery religions and the so-called gods of thousands of years ago. Brethren take heed to who you hear, and examine the whole counsel of God before agreeing with a doctrine. Paul admonishes pastors:
(26) Wherefore I take you to record this day, that I am pure from the blood of all men.
(27) For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God.
(28) Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.
(29) For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock.
(30) Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them.
(31) Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears.
(32) And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified. Acts 20:26-32
Brethren, leaders, and laity; keep the faith today by knowing the word of God, study to show yourselves approved to God building up your faith in the purity of the word, praying and seeking God, listen to those whom preach the word of God who have your best interest, because they love the Chief Shepherd and conform to his will, his word, and his ways for your benefit, instructing you in Spirit and Truth. Selah!
Shalom, Agape, & Amen!