Disclaimer: This post is not about bashing nor maligning your Church elders but rather knowing the difference between them and God.
All praise to the Lord God who gives elders in the Church to help us in the mission of preaching the Gospel to all nations and making disciples of them. May the Holy Spirit lead and guide them in the grace of God. I ask this in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.
It is better to take refuge in the LORD than to trust in man. (Psalm 118:8)
Never trust your Church elders more than God. Now I do not say disrespect them but rather give due respect to them. However that being said, never make your Church elders a god above the Lord God. This will put you in deep error and eventual darkness if you refuse to repent in this area.
Now the Bible says in Jeremiah 17:5-8 :-
5 Thus says the Lord:
“Cursed is the man who trusts in man
and makes flesh his strength,
whose heart turns away from the Lord.
6 He is like a shrub in the desert,
and shall not see any good come.
He shall dwell in the parched places of the wilderness,
in an uninhabited salt land.
7 “Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord,
whose trust is the Lord.
8 He is like a tree planted by water,
that sends out its roots by the stream,
and does not fear when heat comes,
for its leaves remain green,
and is not anxious in the year of drought,
for it does not cease to bear fruit.”
By the above verses it is very obvious that we as believers in Christ are not to make flesh our strength but rather are to trust in the Lord God. To make it clear, we cannot let any man, even the one’s who are the Church elders tell us not to pray to God. It’s very obvious that any Church elder who hinders you from worshiping Jesus Christ is a manifest heretic claiming to be a Christian!
So what I just said, is this a new teaching? No, not at all but something that needs to be reiterated. The following verses of Jude 1:3-4 confirm this:
3 Beloved, although I was very eager to write to you about our common salvation, I found it necessary to write appealing to you to contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints. 4 For certain people have crept in unnoticed who long ago were designated for this condemnation, ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into sensuality and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.
Each of those who profess the Christian faith are already warned about certain people who for the record; pervert the grace of our God into sensuality and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ. And now such people might not be, each and every person you see in Church but just a few you need to beware of. The basic thing would be to never give heed to any words and philosophies by any one at any level in the Church which contradicts the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.
It’s very rare that anyone in the church might tell you to not worship God, because they know that they will be found out and tackled very soon. However do be on your guard against such people.
There is a higher chance of people who may misdirect all the glory which is due to God to themselves. No matter what healing you receive by anyone praying for you or laying their hands never praise them like how God is to be praised. It’s one thing to be thankful to the Church elders and another thing to give them the kind of respect which God only deserves. So do know the difference and do not put your elders above God, ever!
Let them alone; they are blind guides. And if the blind lead the blind, both will fall into a pit. (Matthew 15:14)
Then there is a subtle trick that the Devil uses to mislead people and most of them fall for it. He simply causes certain gullible Church elders to downplay the message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. So to not offend others, they will avoid preaching against certain sins or all sins. But they are okay with offending God though, by continuing to work their heresies. Some even show the Gospel as a guideline instead of a reality to follow. By making certain things of Gospel such a repentance, good works, prayers etc as optional by falsely assuming that doing the will of God was done away with the Cross, they lead more people to damnation that even the more common vilest of vile sins could. Stay away from their ways and words and you will do a great honor to God.
Just before I close, like I mentioned earlier, not all Church elders are into wrongdoing. In fact their service to God is commendable and their sacrifices for the Kingdom of God are fragrant and undeniable. May God reward them for this. However do be on guard against those who seek more honor for themselves than the Lord God.
Christ be with you!
Would you get surgery done for yourself if the person doing it doesn’t actually practice surgery? Would you like to travel in an aircraft driven by a person who cannot even read the route map? Would you invest your money in a bank which is on the verge on collapsing? If you said no to any of these questions, then why would you learn the Gospel from anyone who doesn’t actually preach it?
I find it very laughable and amusing to see people who flock to preachers who don’t actually preach the Gospel. Yes, these people will come up with various excuses to continue to waste their time on them. They often say ‘we are not to judge’. So going by that logic they wouldn’t mind if their government transfers all of their money to the ‘vacation for ministers’ fund, because they are not to judge if they go bankrupt. They wouldn’t judge if they were given poisoned food by the restaurants. Probably not if they regard for their well being! However these people will keep pushing the ‘do not judge’ Bible verses upon you as if that will turn their precious little preacher into a true preacher of the Word of God.
Some preachers will totally avoid the mention of Jesus in their entire sermons. Perhaps they never heard of him or maybe they are not trying to please him! Either way that is a massive give away to either correct the preacher or leave him. Some people might think that is offensive, I don’t agree to them. Suppose if you wanted your children to swim but the swimming instructor doesn’t teach them to swim but only talks about his or her swimming accomplishments , do you or your children truly get your money’s worth for the swimming lessons. You’d most possibly get the children out of that swimming class and join a better one or complain to the management to change the swimming coach. Maybe the management would go half way and instead of removing the coach simply apologize and get the coach to actually teach swimming. If such logic applies to swimming, wouldn’t you and your family’s spiritual life in Christ deserve a bit more better?
There are some people who don’t care if the preacher is preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ or not because of an odd reason. They simply and plainly don’t care to read the Bible either. And if they do, they totally ignore the preachers’ misgivings and in turn open the doors of their heart wide to heresy and ignorance.
Now there are some preachers who do preach parts of Gospel such as forgiveness, healing, and love but avoid anything to do with repentance, holiness and deliverance. These try to make the Gospel palatable to people in order to get the number of people hearing them to increase. However, these do not preach Gospel in its entirety. As a result the person who hears such a preacher is not warned of the traps and temptations and sufferings that they might encounter with their walk with Christ Jesus. So if the person gives in to sin or remains ignorant of how to receive deliverance from evil, do not be surprised at all.
Do not be the one who refuses to love the truth but rather chooses to live in deception, with deceptive preachers and so share in their eternal judgement!
Bible verses to reflect on:
- Then the disciples came and said to him, “Do you know that the Pharisees were offended when they heard this saying?” He answered, “Every plant that my heavenly Father has not planted will be rooted up. Let them alone; they are blind guides. And if the blind lead the blind, both will fall into a pit.” (Matthew 15:12-14)
- “Woe to you, blind guides, who say, ‘If anyone swears by the temple, it is nothing, but if anyone swears by the gold of the temple, he is bound by his oath.’ (Matthew 23:16)
- For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work. Only he who now restrains it will do so until he is out of the way. And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will kill with the breath of his mouth and bring to nothing by the appearance of his coming. The coming of the lawless one is by the activity of Satan with all power and false signs and wonders, and with all wicked deception for those who are perishing, because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. Therefore God sends them a strong delusion, so that they may believe what is false, in order that all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness. (2 Thessalonians 2:7-12)
All praise to the Lord God who is worthy of all worship, honour and adoration. Thanks be to God for sending his only begotten son Jesus Christ to redeem us from sin and death. May the Spirit of God lead us in all truth.
Examine yourselves to see if your faith is genuine. Test yourselves. Surely you know that Jesus Christ is among you; if not, you have failed the test of genuine faith. (2 Corinthians 13:5)
The personal responsibility to honour the Lord God rests with you alone. No one else can do it for you. There might be others who want to encourage you to love and serve the Lord Jesus. Thank God for such people.
But you yourself have to know if you truly honour God. Because it’s very easy for others to have a wrong opinion if you are truly following the Lord or not. Some vile people can trick even their religious leaders that they are following Jesus. But all this happens when they are actually in deep sin. Some ignorant people think they are in sin though they are leading a holy life. This is because they are fearful that leaders, family and friends might contradict them. Don’t be a hypocrite nor unsure of your faith and salvation. (Being unsure of your faith may allow heresy or legalism). So check your faith and honour towards the Lord God in your own heart, without any bias to yourself.
Bible verses to reflect on:
Tremble, and do not sin; Meditate in your heart upon your bed, and be still. Selah.(Psalm 4:4)
When I kept silent about my sin, my body wasted away Through my groaning all day long. For day and night Your hand was heavy upon me; My vitality was drained away as with the fever heat of summer. Selah. I acknowledged my sin to You, And my iniquity I did not hide; I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the LORD”; And You forgave the guilt of my sin. Selah.(Psalm 32:3-5)
“How many are my iniquities and sins? Make known to me my rebellion and my sin (Job 13:23)
Let a person examine himself, then, and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup. (1 Corinthians 11:28)
- There is nothing colder than a Christian who does not seek to save others.(Saint John Chrysostom)
- For if I preach the gospel, that gives me no ground for boasting. For necessity is laid upon me. Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel! (1 Corinthians 9:16)
- Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:19-20)
- But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified. (1 Corinthians 9:27)
I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. (Romans 12:1)
And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him. (Hebrews 11:6)
For at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light (for the fruit of light is found in all that is good and right and true), and try to discern what is pleasing to the Lord. (Ephesians 5:8-10)
Finally, then, brothers, we ask and urge you in the Lord Jesus, that as you received from us how you ought to walk and to please God, just as you are doing, that you do so more and more. (1 Thessalonians 4:1)
I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: preach the word; be ready in season and out of season;reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching. For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths. As for you,always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry. (2 Timothy 4:1-5)
But you must remember, beloved, the predictions of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ.They said to you, “In the last time there will be scoffers, following their own ungodly passions.” It is these who cause divisions, worldly people,devoid of the Spirit. But you, beloved,building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life. And have mercy on those who doubt; save others bysnatching them out of the fire; to others show mercy with fear, hating even the garment stained by the flesh. (Jude 1:17-23)
“So many people concentrate on knowing who a good preacher or a bad preacher is and so many people concentrate on knowing what the word of God is! The former is good but the latter is noble. The latter is the best answer to the former. The real duty of man is never to know man but to know God through Christ Jesus! Knowing the word of God is the true way to knowing God!” – Ernest Agyemang Yeboah