Sunday, January 18, 2015

Divine warning: Leaders will be held accountable!

    That funny amber icon on your dashboard you've been ignoring is a warning: "Check Engine Soon". You don't smell anything strange; you don't hear anything, you don't feel anything. So you keep driving.You drive right past that DEER CROSSING sign you've passed a million times without ever seeing any deer. You don't even bother to scan the woods for movement.We tend to block out warnings when we see no danger.
   In the Scriptures, Jesus gives  His folllowers a number of warnings of things to come, and we would do well to heed them. When Christ appeared to John on the Isle of Patmos, He directed him to send messages to the Seven Churches of Asia Minor. As He reviews each church's character and performance, Jesus commends their  successes and exposes their faults.
   The congregations are reproved for their apathy and self-conceit, but really it's the leadership Jesus takes to task. Christ judges them, not just for what they do pro-actively, but also for what they allow to go on!
To wit:
"But I have a few things against thee because thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam..."
"So hast thou also them that hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which thing I hate..."
"Notwithstanding, I have a few things against thee because thou sufferest that woman Jezebel, which calleth herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants..."
   He speaks of the deeds of the Nicolaitans (Re 2:6) the doctrine of Balaam, and the prophesy of Jezebel. I see three hotzones in the church which pastors and elders must watch over. The deeds, or what people are actually doing, physically. Doctrine is what is being taught, whether officially or casually: what the church believes or thinks. Prophesy refers to the spirituality of the church; not necessarily someone standing up & declaring, "Thus saith the Lord", but the spirit by which anyone ministering in the church speaks, or sings, or prays. That is, pastors, what are your people doing in their bodies, understanding in their minds, and following in their hearts?
   Note that Jesus even threatens to remove leaders who allow ungodliness to continue! What bothers this blogger is that church leaders fall all over themselves, bending over backwards to make the changes the world calls us to make, yet treat Jesus like a pesky little check engine light! When have you ever heard denominational leaders standing up & declaring a new policy forbidding the deeds of the Nicolaitans, the doctrine of Balaam, or the seduction of Jezebel? I wish!!!!!
   Paul warned the leaders of the church of Ephesus, "Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers..." (Acts 20:28) John the Baptist prophesied, "And  now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: therefore every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire..."  (Matthew 3:10)
   Pastors & elders can't control everything that people do, but they need to set the standards in the church and hold them up, correcting those who drift outside the lines. If you won't, and instead allow the world to shape your church, you will be removed!  Hebrews 13:17 tells us church leaders must give an account for what goes on in their churches. Remember, it's not just what you do, but what you allow.

Fight the good fight. God save the faithful.


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