Wednesday, October 8, 2008

False Pastors

Jer. 23:1, 17 Woe be to the pastors that destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture! saith the Lord... They say still unto them that despise me, The Lord hath said, Ye shall have peace: and they say unto every one that walketh after the imagination of his own heart, No evil shall come upon you.
I mentioned in my last post how amazing it was that the prophet Jeremiah could write something so long ago and so far away, yet it still have such impact today. I have chosen a different portion of Jeremiah this time, but it too is extremely relevant in our culture today. God is speaking through Jeremiah to the religious leaders of Israel and rebuking them for destroying and scattering the children of God; but what I find so disturbing is the way in which they were destroying and scattering the people. God does not rebuke them for being insensitive to the feelings of the people, he did not say that he was displeased by their lack of making people feel good about themselves. God's quarrel with the false pastors is that they were telling those who were haters of God that God would give them peace, they were telling those that were ignoring God and living however they wanted to that God would never really recompense them for their evil deeds. The problem was that the pastors had abandoned truth for feel-good messages. This is a sin that is running rampant in our churches and seminaries today, so called "Bible colleges" teach the future preachers of our country to steer clear of speaking of repentance, because repentance insinuates sin and sin makes people uncomfortable. What they are missing is that the Bible says that repentance is part of the belief that is necessary for salvation. The problem is that most churches would rather have a church with three hundred souls in it that are headed for hell, than to have a church where thirty regenerated people worship. We have given up true spirituality in order to grow numerically and God says he hates it.
Our televisions are full of preachers who have built their entire "ministry" around telling people that they can have their best life now, or that God just wants you to be you, or that God is not mad at you no matter what. Their messages are the same as those in Jeremiah's day and if God does not change, why would we think that he condones now what he cursed then?
For any pastors or preachers that might be reading this I would exhort you to continue to preach the truths of the gospel, that the wages of sin is death and what a man sows that will he also reap. That without faith it is impossible to please God and if in this life only we have hope of Christ we are of all men most miserable, but thank God that we have a hope outside of this life. For the lay readers, let me encourage you not to fall prey to the false prophets that only tell you what you want to hear instead of what we all need to hear. A drowning man would probably rather hear that he is okay, but if I really care for him I will tell him of the danger he is in and provide him with a way of escape. The preachers that tell you that God just wants you to be rich, successful and comfortable, do not really care for your souls. Subject yourself to a man of God that will watch for your soul as the scriptures command him to, instead of conforming to everyone's whims in order to fill his pews. In reality the pastor that makes you feel better about yourself is probably the one that God says is scattering and destroying His church; but if you find a man that will preach on sin even when it makes you uncomfortable so that you will repent and turn back to Christ, that is the true man of God.