Will You Find Your Pastor In Heaven?
The Bible says “not many of you should become teachers in the church, for we who teach will be judged more strictly” but most of Today’s Pastors blatantly ignore this stern warning. I wish they would at least look at who this warning is addressed to. Lets take a look at the whole Chapter.
NLT Jam 3;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 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.
It seems that seminaries can’t understand this. Selfish ambition is earthly un-spiritual and demonic. It leads to disorder and evil of every kind. These leaders are told to live an honorable life doing good works with the humility that comes from wisdom, but then they go out a build their churches, reserving the place of prominence for themselves. They are not yielding to others, they exalting themselves! There is a passage that explains the differences between a good Sheppard, a good teacher, and a hired hand.
The Good Sheppard vs Hired Hands
NLT John 10;9 Yes, I am the gate. Those who come in through me will be saved. They will come and go freely and will find good pastures. 10 The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life. 11 “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd sacrifices his life for the sheep. 12 A hired hand will run when he sees a wolf coming. He will abandon the sheep because they don’t belong to him and he isn’t their shepherd. And so the wolf attacks them and scatters the flock. 13 The hired hand runs away because he’s working only for the money and doesn’t really care about the sheep. 14 “I am the good shepherd; I know my own sheep, and they know me, 15 just as my Father knows me and I know the Father. So I sacrifice my life for the sheep. 16 I have other sheep, too, that are not in this sheepfold. I must bring them also. They will listen to my voice, and there will be one flock with one shepherd. 17 “The Father loves me because I sacrifice my life so I may take it back again. 18 No one can take my life from me. I sacrifice it voluntarily. For I have the authority to lay it down when I want to and also to take it up again. For this is what my Father has commanded.”
The hired hands are those working for money and caring little for the sheep. This passage asks the question, how long would your pastor stay on serving his flock if his salary were phased out? I’m afraid that we know the answer to that question – not long. He is not willing to sacrifice his life for the sheep. He us unwilling to build on the foundation that Paul established. This reference is disscussed in the next section, but first lets look at another passage that develops this idea.
NLT 1 Peter 5;1 And now, a word to you who are elders in the churches. I, too, am an elder and a witness to the sufferings of Christ. And I, too, will share in his glory when he is revealed to the whole world. As a fellow elder, I appeal to you: 2 Care for the flock that God has entrusted to you. Watch over it willingly, not grudgingly—not for what you will get out of it, but because you are eager to serve God. 3 Don’t lord it over the people assigned to your care, but lead them by your own good example. 4 And when the Great Shepherd appears, you will receive a Shepherd appears, you will receive a crown of never-ending glory and honor. 5 In the same way, you younger men must accept the authority of the elders. And all of you, serve each other in humility, for “God opposes the proud but favors the humble.” 6 So humble yourselves under the mighty power of God, and at the right time he will lift you up in honor. 7 Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.
Church elders are told to watch over the flock willingly, not for what they will get out of it. This interpretation is supported throughout the New Testament, even for preachers. Paul exampled the tent maker preacher, and he pleads with us to build on his foundation, to follow his example as he follows Christ!
Building on the Wrong Foundation.
Christ did not lay the foundation for the Gentile church. Paul did. Peter is not an example for Gentile Preachers to follow, Paul is.
NIV 1 Cor 3;10 By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as an expert builder, and someone else is building on it. But each one should be careful how he builds. 11 For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 If any man builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, 13 his work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each man’s work. 14 If what he has built survives, he will receive his reward. 15 If it is burned up, he will suffer loss; he himself will be saved, but only as one escaping through the flames. 16 Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit lives in you? 17 If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him; for God’s temple is sacred, and you are that temple. 18 Do not deceive yourselves. If any one of you thinks he is wise by the standards of this age, he should become a “fool” so that he may become wise. 19 For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God’s sight. As it is written: “He catches the wise in their craftiness” ; 20 and again, “The Lord knows that the thoughts of the wise are futile.” 21 So then, no more boasting about men! All things are yours, 22 whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas or the world or life or death or the present or the future – all are yours, 23 and you are of Christ, and Christ is of God.
In verse 10 Paul declares “I laid a foundation as an expert builder”… “For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ”. This section is simply telling us that there is no use in trying to build a new foundation, it can not be done! God will not recognize anyone trying to build on the old Levitical priest foundation. He will not recognize anyone developing the ‘seeker friendly church’ foundation, or any other variant. Only the foundation that Paul established, the tent maker humble servant leader.
It is a sad fact that this warning has gone unheeded for many centuries. The vast majority of today’s churches have turned from Paul’s foundation, have ignored his example. They’ve turned from servant leadership, and follow worldly authoritarian models. They’ve abandoned the tent maker preacher, and replaced him with a men deeply entrenched in advanced degrees and worldly wisdom the pride of men. I need to include another clear warning about those that distort Paul’s teaching.
NLT 2 Peter 3;15 And remember, the Lord’s patience gives people time to be saved. This is what our beloved brother Paul also wrote to you with the wisdom God gave him— 16 speaking of these things in all of his letters. Some of his comments are hard to understand, and those who are ignorant and unstable have twisted his letters to mean something quite different, just as they do with other parts of Scripture. And this will result in their destruction.
These men, those not building their Churches on Paul’s foundation [humble servant leaders, tentmaker priests, & the leadership of the Holy Spirit], these men building on the false authoritarian chuch with worldly wisdom and rebelling against the Holy Spirit’s leadership, these men are headed for their destruction. This is developed in The Deadly Error Of Today’s Church
I close with some of the exortations given to follow Paul’s example:
NIV 1 Tim 1;14 The grace of our Lord was poured out on me abundantly , along with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. 15 Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners – of whom I am the worst. 16 But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his unlimited patience as an example for those who would believe on him and receive eternal life.
NLT 1 Cor 9;1 Follow my example , as I follow the example of Christ.
NLT 1 Cor 10;33 I, too, try to please everyone in everything I do. I don’t just do what is best for me; I do what is best for others so that many may be saved. 11:1 And you should imitate me, just as I imitate Christ.
NIV Phil 3;17 Join with others in following my example, brothers, and take note of those who live according to the pattern we gave you(YLT use us as a pattern).
NIV 2 Thess 3;7 For you yourselves know how you ought to follow our example . We were not idle when we were with you 8 nor did we eat anyone’s food without paying for it. On the contrary, we worked night and day, laboring and toiling so that we would not be a burden to any of you. 9 We did this, not because we do not have the right to such help, but in order to make ourselves a model for you to follow. 10 For even when we were with you, we gave you this rule: “If a man will not work, he shall not eat.”
May we turn from our selfish prideful ways, submit to your Holy Spirit in humility and in truth, and return to your foundation, the foundation that Paul established!
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You’re currently reading “Will You Find Your Pastor In Heaven?,” an entry on The Big Picture Ministry
- March 13, 2009 / 6:35 pm
- Today's Unbiblical Pastors