A. TIME TO STOP BLAMING CHURCH LEADERS, PREACHERS AND PASTORS
We know, or ought to know, the following:
1. Many of those we call pastors and church leaders in our generation have departed from the truth just like those false prophets in the Old Testament (OT). Many of those false prophets in the OT were once prophets of God. They became false prophets when they continued to say, ‘thus says the LORD’ even though they had lost their relationship with God. Rather than repent of their sins, they continued to prophesy and teach in God’s name. The same is true of the New Testament (NT) church leaders. Many church elders (pastors, general overseers, prophets, teachers, etc) no longer have a relationship with God. Rather than repent, they have continued to dish out human created doctrines and those of demons.
2. The present generation of church leaders have taught the younger generation to sin just like Jeroboam (God’s chosen to lead the 10 tribes of Israel after the death of Solomon) taught Israel to sin. Some of the church elders in this generation simply passed to their followers what the previous generation of church elders taught them.
I will be the first to acknowledge how difficult it is to unlearn what one has been taught from childhood and or when one became an adult and accepted Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. Many of the so-called evident truths being taught in 21st century churches are outright lies being propagated by religious leaders (many sincerely deceived while some others are agents of Satan). You and I have also helped to teach such doctrines of human beings and demons since we believed.
As I started writing this message, I opened my personal Facebook page to get samples of what pastors and elders share with their followers on a daily basis:
• “Before, you Log out, If you can type Amen and share in 3 seconds, God will surprise you with anything you want by tomorrow. I know 98% will ignore this thinking that it is a Joke. God bless you as you Type Amen and Share.”
• “From the time you Type Amen and Share this post, someone is going to favour you in Jesus Name!”
Below the message was a room full of dollar notes. Wow!
Why is it that most of us cannot see that the above posts denature the gospel? In fact, Satan couldn’t have posted more death-giving messages. Should we continue to propagate messages that dishonor Christ’s sacrifice and which make mockery of our faith? Should we allow the ‘Jeroboam’s’ of our generation to continue to lead us astray? Why is it so difficult for many of us to use the Bible to judge whatever anyone, no matter how highly placed or ‘anointed,’ is preaching, posting or teaching?
The reason most of us swallow these false teachings and propagate them is because we like them–they appeal to our fleshly desires.
The time has come when we should stop blaming our fallen Christian leaders for our continued participation in apostasy in our age. Instead of continuing to blame them, let us all accept our own culpability and repent.
Nothing stops us from using God’s word to judge the utterances of the ‘wolves in sheep’s clothing’ in our churches and ministries.
Hear God’s word to this generation of believers:
A horrible and shocking thing has happened in this land–the prophets give false prophecies, and the priests rule with an iron hand. Worse yet, MY PEOPLE LIKE IT THAT WAY! But what will you do when the end comes? (Jer 5:30-31 NLT)
B. MANY WHO SAY THEY ARE BORN AGAIN HAVE NO PERSONAL RELATIONSHIP WITH JESUS
Many who claim to be ‘born again Christians’ have never heard from God before. How could they when they have no personal relationship with His Son?
Their motives for answering that ‘altar call’ were all wrong. Some heard of that anointed man or woman of God whose prayers make sick people well, the poor get rich, the barren have the fruit of the womb, the office worker get double promotions, women get husbands, and etc. Others saw the advertisements on billboards and TVs promising miracles for attendees at crusades and seminars.
When they attended the seminar or crusade, their hearts were on what God would give to them. They went not to meet Jesus, the Giver of Life, but to receive the promises that had been advertised. During testimony time, they were very attentive as they listened to the stories being told by church attendees who have been healed and or had been blessed with riches after being prayed for by the preacher. They hardly listened even to the ‘wealth and health message’ from the preacher. However, as soon as the altar call was made, they rushed out in the hope that the preacher would lay hands on them so that they would receive their own blessings.
Such persons ended up believing that salvation means that God will always answer their prayers for health and wealth. They have no interest in the Christ who died for their sins on the cross because the preacher did not preach about it when they answered the ‘altar call.’ They hardly read the Bible. When they do, it is to seek out those verses they will use to tell God about His promises. They love to read books on how to get rich and those with questionable testimonies. Books on discipleship, repentance, sanctification, holiness and abhorrence for sin are looked on with scorn.
C. CHRIST’S SACRIFICE
Christ did not die so that you and I will fulfill the lusts of our flesh. He died so that those who believe can through the Spirit put to death fleshly desires like lust, greed and worldliness.
So put to death the sinful, earthly things lurking within you. Have nothing to do with sexual immorality, impurity, lust, and evil desires. Don’t be greedy, for a greedy person is an idolater, worshiping the things of this world (Col 3:5 NLT).
One who comes to God must never have a personal agenda. God does not owe you and I anything. He has done for humankind what is incomprehensible to our puny minds–something human beings are incapable of doing–loving those who hate Him by sacrificing His Son in order to give eternal life to those same enemies.
Whoever comes to Christ must have the mindset like those of the 3 Hebrew children (Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego).
They trusted God unconditionally:
Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego replied, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you. If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God whom we serve is able to save us. He will rescue us from your power, Your Majesty. But even if he doesn’t, we want to make it clear to you, Your Majesty, that we will never serve your gods or worship the gold statue you have set up” (Dan 3:16-18 NLT).
Whoever comes to Christ must have the kind of faith we read in Hebrews 11:
Women received their loved ones back again from death. But others were tortured, refusing to turn from God in order to be set free. They placed their hope in a better life after the resurrection. Some were jeered at, and their backs were cut open with whips. Others were chained in prisons. Some died by stoning, some were sawed in half, and others were killed with the sword. Some went about wearing skins of sheep and goats, destitute and oppressed and mistreated. They were too good for this world, wandering over deserts and mountains, hiding in caves and holes in the ground. All these people earned a good reputation because of their faith, yet none of them received all that God had promised (Heb 11:35-39 NLT).
The above is the kind of message you ought to have heard before you answered that ‘altar call.’ But, it is not too late. All you have to do is fall on your knees in your room, confess your sin of having believed the lies spewed out by those ‘wolves in sheep’s clothing,’ and accept Jesus as your LORD and Savior. Please do not hesitate. Our God, the Father of our LORD and Savior, whom I serve, will forgive you and embrace you.
Thereafter, begin a meditative study of the scriptures. Many things will be confusing at first. But as you persevere, you will have that inner witness as the Holy Spirit gives you understanding of His word. The Bible is a Spirit-inspired document and requires Spirit-inspired interpretation. You will be amazed when understanding continues to come as you begin this walk of faith in Him.
Always remember, It is all about Jesus, it is never about our fleshly desires.
D. WHY MOST BELIEVERS NO LONGER HEAR FROM GOD
Some believers wonder why they no longer hear from God. Yet, they used to when they first repented. If you are one of those, hear God’s word on why you no longer have any relationship with Him:
Listen! The LORD’s arm is not too weak to save you, nor is his ear too deaf to hear you call. It’s your sins that have cut you off from God. Because of your sins, he has turned away and will not listen anymore. Your hands are the hands of murderers, and your fingers are filthy with sin. Your lips are full of lies, and your mouth spews corruption (Isa 59:1-3 NLT).
Most believers don’t know this: failure to stand up for Christ no matter the circumstances is a sin. When you are in a church or ministry that propagates false doctrines and you keep quiet, you have sinned. It does not matter if you are an elder or not. Every child of God must contend for the faith once for all delivered to the saints. Why should the Holy Spirit continue speaking into your heart when He knows that you will never use what He has revealed to you to effect change in your church and neighborhood? Hiding the light of God is a sin. Some hide it because of fear. Others fail to speak out because they are hoping to be appointed to one church position or the other.
Paul’s teachings on giving have been subverted by greedy pastors to fleece their flock. The primary purpose of giving in the NT is for the benefit of the poor and not for the enrichment of pastors and general overseers. Many of those who no longer hear from God swallowed the prosperity teachings hook, line and sinker despite God’s warnings in His word. Some of them are enablers who have helped to lead their pastors astray. Most of those giving large offerings know full well that their pastors use part of their contributions to fund their flamboyant lifestyles. Actually, most of such ‘giving’ are not altruistic. The hope of most of the givers is that God will give them a hundredfold of what they have given to their pastors (churches).
Are we not hypocrites? Those Christian martyrs who gave their lives in the Roman coliseums in the early centuries of the church singing even as they were being torn into pieces by wild beasts will have something to say to our generation about giving. They gave their lives to glorify God. In our generation, our giving, no matter the amount can never compare with those who gave their lives for the gospel. Yet, we expect as a matter of right that God must reward us with a hundredfold of what we have given.
But people who long to be rich fall into temptation and are trapped by many foolish and harmful desires that plunge them into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. And some people, craving money, have wandered from the true faith and pierced themselves with many sorrows (1Tim 6:9-10 NLT).
Remember what most of us seem to have forgotten: It is all about Jesus, it is never about our fleshly desires.
Are you touched? Then, REPENT NOW.
Follow Paul’s instruction to Timothy:
But you, Timothy, are a man of God; so run from all these evil things. Pursue righteousness and a godly life, along with faith, love, perseverance, and gentleness. Fight the good fight for the true faith. Hold tightly to the eternal life to which God has called you, which you have confessed so well before many witnesses (1Tim 6:11-12 NLT).
Begin a meditative study of the Scriptures and I have assurance in my spirit that He whom you had known before will yet speak to you again.
My prayer for all who have read this article:
“Oh God, I lift up all who have been touched by this article. Forgive us for having failed you. And for as many as will rededicate their lives once again, may You open their eyes to behold anew Christ crucified for their sins and raised up for their justification. May Your countenance shine on their lives as they begin a new walk of faith in Christ. Father, preserve them from the evil one and keep them that none may be lost. All this I pray in Jesus name.”