Know Where Your Pastor Is Headed
The Bible tells us to Work out our salvation with fear and trembling. We are told not to Judge others believers. This is good guidance but many (perhaps most) Christians Today need to make one very important exception to this rule. This exception is critically important for all in today’s Pastor Run Churches. The people in a house church, those actually following the gathering command of 1 Cor 14 need not worry. They will be protected by their obedience to God’s plan. The reason all others need worry is spelled out in ths verse.
NLT Luke 6;39 Then Jesus gave the following illustration: “Can one blind person lead another? Won’t they both fall into a ditch? 40 Students are not greater than their teacher. But the student who is fully trained will become like the teacher.
When we rely on one individual teacher, not on the combined efforts of the body of Christ [as described in 1 Cor 14] we set ourselves up for failure. Although this relying on one teacher is strictly forbidden by the gathering command [1 Cor 14;37] virtually all of todays Churches fail to obey. The is fully explained in THE MAIN Believer Gathering Must be a Believer Gathering
We are even warned not to prefer one leader over another.
CEV 1 Cor 4:3 it doesn’t matter to me if I am judged by you or even by a court of law. In fact, I don’t judge myself. 4 I don’t know of anything against me, but that doesn’t prove that I am right. The Lord is my judge. 5 So don’t judge anyone until the Lord returns. He will show what is hidden in the dark and what is in everyone’s heart. Then God will be the one who praises each of us. 6 Friends, I have used Apollos and myself as examples to teach you the meaning of the saying, “Follow the rules.” I want you to stop saying that one of us is better than the other.
This is telling us not to have favorite leaders. We still need to be discerning about their teachings. We need to test each teaching to see if it is true, to see if it agrees with scripture.
Let’s take a look at the verses on Thorns and Thistles. They have a lot to tell us about God’s plan. Here’s a quick preview. The thorns, the ones burned up in the fire, (the ones who don’t make it into heaven) are crowding out the wheat and making things even more difficult for the elect. So who are the thorns, who are the ones planted in the night by the enemy? They are the teachers that distract us from our call, teachers that present worldly substitutes for true service to God. They wear us out on things like paying their salaries and building buildings and distract us from true service to God. They speak the truth with just enough tradition and false teaching to make their worship useless. They produce no good fruit. We need to be discerning because the believers around them can produce good fruit, making it appear that these thistles also produce some good fruit. The word tells us that we can identify them by their actions.
The Tree and Its Fruit
NLT Mat 7;15 “Beware of false prophets who come disguised as harmless sheep but are really vicious wolves. 16 You can identify them by their fruit, that is, by the way they act. Can you pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles ? 17 A good tree produces good fruit, and a bad tree produces bad fruit. 18 A good tree can’t produce bad fruit, and a bad tree can’t produce good fruit. 19 So every tree that does not produce good fruit is chopped down and thrown into the fire. 20 Yes, just as you can identify a tree by its fruit, so you can identify people by their actions.
NLT Mat 13;20 The seed on the rocky soil represents those who hear the message and immediately receive it with joy. 21 But since they don’t have deep roots, they don’t last long. They fall away as soon as they have problems or are persecuted for believing God’s word. 22 The seed that fell among the thorns represents those who hear God’s word, but all too quickly the message is crowded out by the worries of this life and the lure of wealth, so no fruit is produced.
NLT Heb 6;7 When the ground soaks up the falling rain and bears a good crop for the farmer, it has God’s blessing. 8 But if a field bears thorns and thistles, it is useless. The farmer will soon condemn that field and burn it.
Parable of the Wheat and Weeds
NLT Mat 13;24 Here is another story Jesus told: “The Kingdom of Heaven is like a farmer who planted good seed in his field .25 But that night as the workers slept, his enemy came and planted weeds [YLT thistles] among the wheat, then slipped away. 26 When the crop began to grow and produce grain, the weeds also grew. 27 “The farmer’s workers went to him and said, ‘Sir, the field where you planted that good seed is full of weeds! Where did they come from?’ 28 ” ‘An enemy has done this!’ the farmer exclaimed. ” ‘Should we pull out the weeds?’ they asked. 29 ” ‘No,’ he replied, ‘you’ll uproot the wheat if you do. 30 Let both grow together until the harvest. Then I will tell the harvesters to sort out the weeds, tie them into bundles, and burn them, and to put the wheat in the barn.’ “
This is seriously bad news for the thistles, for those who make it more difficult for believers to be fruitful, for those who offer substitutes for true worship, who substitute man-made buildings and processes to grow and perfect God’s flock rather than simply trusting and relying on God’s plan, on the leadership of his Holy Spirit. Based on the degree and the extent of today’s western churches’ rebellion against the Word of God, I must conclude that these are men of little faith, men who have limited ability to hear the voice of the Holy Spirit, especially in the realm of church practices. Some good news for them is the verse that promises a reward ‘even for giving a glass of water in Jesus name’. Perhaps the distinction is simply the ‘in Jesus Name’. If the Pastor’s primary motivation is the desire to serve Jesus, he may be OK. If his motivation is to grow his church, to become more respected, to gain influence, to gain wealth, to gain more followers, then he is not working in Jesus name. Even those souls who eventually accept Christ thru their ministry can not be claimed as their fruit. Their churches can actually save some but they are not the fruit of the Pastor, They are the fruit of the Wheat that manages to survive despite the Pastor.
The Bible tells us to we can identify the bad fruit by observing the way they act:
See above – Mat 7;16
Another related issue is the harsher judgment for teacher/pastors, – Controlling the Tongue NLT James 3:1
1 Dear brothers and sisters, not many of you should become teachers in the church, for we who teach will be judged more strictly. 2 Indeed, we all make many mistakes. For if we could control our tongues, we would be perfect and could also control ourselves in every other way. 3 We can make a large horse go wherever we want by means of a small bit in its mouth. 4 And a small rudder makes a huge ship turn wherever the pilot chooses to go, even though the winds are strong. 5 In the same way, the tongue is a small thing that makes grand speeches. But a tiny spark can set a great forest on fire. 6 And the tongue is a flame of fire. It is a whole world of wickedness, corrupting your entire body. It can set your whole life on fire, for it is set on fire by hell itself. 7 People can tame all kinds of animals, birds, reptiles, and fish, 8 but no one can tame the tongue. It is restless and evil, full of deadly poison. 9 Sometimes it praises our Lord and Father, and sometimes it curses those who have been made in the image of God. 10 And so blessing and cursing come pouring out of the same mouth. Surely, my brothers and sisters, this is not right! 11 Does a spring of water bubble out with both fresh water and bitter water? 12 Does a fig tree produce olives, or a grapevine produce figs? No, and you can’t draw fresh water from a salty spring. True Wisdom Comes from God 13 If you are wise and understand God’s ways, prove it by living an honorable life, doing good works with the humility that comes from wisdom. 14 But if you are bitterly jealous and there is selfish ambition in your heart, don’t cover up the truth with boasting and lying. 15 For jealousy and selfishness are not God’s kind of wisdom. Such things are earthly, unspiritual, and demonic. 16 For wherever there is jealousy and selfish ambition, there you will find disorder and evil of every kind. 17 But the wisdom from above is first of all pure. It is also peace loving, gentle at all times, and willing to yield to others. It is full of mercy and good deeds. It shows no favoritism and is always sincere. 18 And those who are peacemakers will plant seeds of peace and reap a harvest of righteousness.
These verse tell us that what gets these teachers in trouble is jealousy and self ambition causing them to boast and lie. If they curses other believers, and don’t prove they are wise it by living an honorable life and doing good works with the humility that comes from wisdom, these teachers are in trouble. This seems to match my thoughts from above. These folk would not truly be operating in Jesus name.
Lets take a poll of all who have read up to this point. Pls take the time to register what percentage of todays Pastors’ you think are on their way to Heaven? Perhaps if they see this number, they might grasp the seriousness of this!
Before you enter your estimate pls take a look at two other issues;
1. The need to be Following Jesus more righteously than the Old Testament priesthood was. NLT Matt 23;1-12 [below]
2. The need to be let God lead NLT Mat 16;24-26 [below]
Jesus Criticizes the Religious Leaders
NLT Matt 23;1-12 1 Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples, 2 “The teachers of religious law and the Pharisees are the official interpreters of the law of Moses. 3 So practice and obey whatever they tell you, but don’t follow their example. For they don’t practice what they teach. 4 They crush people with impossible religious demands and never lift a finger to ease the burden. 5 “Everything they do is for show. On their arms they wear extra wide prayer boxes with Scripture verses inside, and they wear robes with extra long tassels. 6 And they love to sit at the head table at banquets and in the seats of honor in the synagogues. 7 They love to receive respectful greetings as they walk in the marketplaces, and to be called ‘Rabbi.’ 8 “Don’t let anyone call you ‘Rabbi,’ for you have only one teacher, and all of you are equal as brothers and sisters. 9 And don’t address anyone here on earth as ‘Father,’ for only God in heaven is your spiritual Father. 10 And don’t let anyone call you ‘Teacher,’ for you have only one teacher, the Messiah. 11 The greatest among you must be a servant. 12 But those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.
NLT Mat 16;24-26
24 Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross, and follow me. 25 If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it. 26 And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul? Is anything worth more than your soul?
May God Bless & Guide You;
About this entry
You’re currently reading “Know Where Your Pastor Is Headed,” an entry on The Big Picture Ministry
- March 12, 2009 / 7:34 pm
- Today's Unbiblical Pastors