“Woe to the shepherds who destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture!” declares the Lord. Therefore thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, concerning the shepherds who care for my people: “You have scattered my flock and have driven them away, and you have not attended to them. Behold, I will attend to you for your evil deeds, declares the Lord.” Jer. 23:1-2 ESV
For those of you who have been called to be pastors, teachers, elders, and deacons within the church, you have been given the divine responsibility for the spiritual care, nurturing and protection of the body of Christ, according to the Word of God, and under the authority, guidance and supervision of the Spirit of God.
And, for those of you who are Christian husbands and fathers, your family is your flock over which you are also given the responsibility to spiritually, emotionally and physically care, nurture, and protect in the Lord, according to the Word of God, and under his authority, guidance and supervision.
Some of you are doing exactly what God has called you to do, thank the Lord. But, many of you are not. Many of you are destroying and scattering the sheep of our Lord’s pasture, for you are not giving them the care that God requires and that they need. And, that is largely because so many of you are still living according to your sin nature, living to please your flesh, and you are not walking by faith according to the Spirit of God.
Their course is evil,
and their might is not right.
“Both prophet and priest are ungodly;
even in my house I have found their evil,
declares the Lord.”
“They commit adultery and walk in lies;
they strengthen the hands of evildoers,
so that no one turns from his evil.” Jer. 23:10b-11, 14b ESV
Statistics have it that over 50% of pastors in churches in America are addicted to or regularly engage in the viewing of pornography. A large number of them have had extramarital affairs, some of which have ended their marriages in divorce and have forced them out of the ministry. Some of them, too, have had sex with prostitutes and/or are engaged in child porn or in child molestation, or they are involved in gay relationships, etc.
Because they don’t want to be found out, and they don’t want people to know about their secretive sinful lifestyles, they cover it up with lies and with deception, and/or with false righteousness. And, because of their positions of power and influence over people, some of them take advantage of people in their congregations, and if discovered will not only lie about it, but they will then falsely accuse their accusers, and people believe them.
Thus says the Lord of hosts: “Do not listen to the words of the prophets who prophesy to you, filling you with vain hopes. They speak visions of their own minds, not from the mouth of the Lord. They say continually to those who despise the word of the Lord, ‘It shall be well with you’; and to everyone who stubbornly follows his own heart, they say, ‘No disaster shall come upon you.’” Jer. 23:16-17 ESV
“They count it pleasure to revel in the daytime. They are blots and blemishes, reveling in their deceptions, while they feast with you. They have eyes full of adultery, insatiable for sin. They entice unsteady souls. They have hearts trained in greed. Accursed children! Forsaking the right way, they have gone astray.” 2 Pet. 2:13b-15a ESV
Not only are many of these pastors, elders, deacons, teachers of the Word, and husbands and fathers living a lie, pretending to be one thing while they do another when no one is looking, but they are also leading many of their flock into sinful lifestyles, too. But, how?
They have done this by diluting the gospel message of our salvation to give free license to continue in sinful practices without guilt and without remorse. For many of them are teaching a cheap grace gospel which comes from their own minds, the minds of human flesh, rather than from the mind of God.
They are telling people that they can believe in Jesus and have eternal life with God guaranteed them, but that this “belief” does not require them to repent of their sins or to obey God or to submit to the Lordship of Christ. Those things are either optional, so they believe, or they are even discouraged by calling them “works-based” salvation.
So, if people in their congregations, who claim to be followers of Christ, are also living in sin, vegging out on porn and on sexually-charged TV shows, movies and music videos, they tell them that it will be well with them and that nothing bad will happen to them.
For, they teach that a mere confession of Christ forgives their sins and that it doesn’t matter how they live from this point on, because their sins are no longer charged to their account, so they say. And, so they feel the liberty to sin as much as they want without guilt and while holding on to the false hope of eternal life with God. So, basically they are enticing them to sin.
“But if they had stood in my council,
then they would have proclaimed my words to my people,
and they would have turned them from their evil way,
and from the evil of their deeds.” Jer. 23:22 ESV
So, what is the Lord’s council in these matters? He teaches us that faith in Jesus Christ means we die with Christ to sin and we live with Christ to righteousness. The old self is done away with, and we put on our new lives in Christ Jesus, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.
He says that if we go on sinning after we have come to the knowledge of the truth, i.e. if we make sin our practice, our lifestyle, then we don’t know God and he doesn’t know us, we are not in fellowship with him, and we don’t have eternal life with him but a fearful expectation of judgment and of the fires of hell.
He says that Jesus died that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. He died that we might no longer live for ourselves, but for him who gave his life up for us. He who knew no sin became sin for us that we might become the righteousness of God. And, the righteous requirement of the law is fulfilled in us who walk, not according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.
He says that is anyone of us would come after him, we must deny self, and daily take up our cross (die with him to sin) and follow (obey) Jesus. He said if we hold on to our old lives of living for sin and self that we will lose them for eternity. But, if we lose our lives (die to sin) for his sake, then we have eternal life with God.
He said, too, that God’s grace to us, which brings salvation, instructs us to say “NO!” to ungodliness and worldly passions (fleshly lusts) and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives while we wait for Christ’s return. And, we will reap what we sow. If we sow to the please the flesh, from the flesh we will reap destruction (decay, death). But, if we sow to please the Spirit, from the Spirit we will reap eternal life.
He said if we walk by the flesh (in practice, in lifestyle) that we are going to die in our sins. But, if by the Spirit we are putting to death the deeds of the flesh, then we will have eternal life with God. For those who make sin their practice will not inherit the kingdom of God, no matter what profession of faith they make in Jesus with their lips.
[Lu. 9:23-25; Jn. 6:35-66; Rom. 6:1-23; Rom. 8:1-17; 2 Co. 5:15, 21; Gal. 5:19-21; Gal. 6:7-8; Eph. 4:17-24; Eph. 5:3-6; Col. 1:13-14, 21-23; Tit. 2:11-14; 1 Pet. 1:13-16; 1 Pet. 2:9-10; 1 Pet. 2:24-25; & 1 Jn. 1:5-9]
“Behold, I will attend to you for your evil deeds, declares the Lord. Then I will gather the remnant of my flock out of all the countries where I have driven them, and I will bring them back to their fold, and they shall be fruitful and multiply. I will set shepherds over them who will care for them, and they shall fear no more, nor be dismayed, neither shall any be missing, declares the Lord.” Jer. 23:2b-4 ESV
God has a day of judgment in mind for all who practice evil, and for these shepherds of the people who have deserted their flock and who have scattered them via a false cheap grace gospel which gives them a false hope of eternity with God.
But, in the meanwhile, they will go on sinning and deceiving and enticing God’s people to sin against God via their false teaching and their false hope.
But, when the judgments come, I believe God is going to turn many hearts back to him, for their spiritual eyes will then be opened to the truth, the lies will be exposed, and so they will then follow the Lord in obedience. And, all this will be in preparation for our Lord’s soon return.
Yet, until then, we who are still teaching the truth are coming under fire. We are being persecuted, falsely accused, attacked, and threatened by those who refuse to come into the light because they don’t want their evil deeds exposed.
But, we should not lose hope, and we must not give way to fear. These things must take place before our Lord returns. And, our Lord is with us, and he will give us all that we need to keep sharing the truth until the day in which he takes us home to be with him for eternity. Praise his holy name!
Why Are You Afraid?
An Original Work / December 5, 2013
Based off Various Scriptures
Do not be afraid.
Your Lord is always by your side.
Serve the Lord in righteousness
Before Him all your days.
Those who hate the light
Will not come to the Lord.
They fear their deeds
Might be noticed.
So, they hate the light,
And they embrace the night.
Do not be afraid,
Although your enemy attacks.
Dare to share your testimony
Of God’s saving grace.
Do not fear their threats,
But honor Christ, your Lord.
Be prepared to give an answer
For the hope you have,
With gentleness; respect.
Why are you afraid?
For all that’s hidden will be shown.
What I tell you, speak in daylight.
Let the truth be known.
Do not be afraid
Of those who’ll take your life.
Fear the Lord with understanding.
Trust Him with your life,
And give not up to strife.
Do not be afraid.
Take courage, it is I, your Lord.
Bow before Me; now adore Me.
Oh, why do you doubt?
Listen to the Lord.
Get up, and bear His name!
Run and tell the world He loves them.
Jesus came to save.
Give Him your all today.
Thursday, August 15, 2019