This tract is written for all concerned Christians who desire to be more than just members of a church.This tract is written for those who realize that God is keeping an accurate record of every deed, every word, and every thought in our lives.We will give account of our Christian conduct at the Judgment Seat of Christ (II Cor. ; Rom. ; I Cor. -15), so now is the time to set our lives in order and maintain a good and honorable relationship with the leaders whom God has placed over us.
If someone said, “A child shouldhonor and obey his parents,” then most Christians would say, “Amen.”If someone said, “An employee should honor and obey is employer,” thenmost Christians would say, “Amen.”If someone said, “A citizen is to honor and obey the powers that be,” thenmost Christians would say, “Amen.”Yet, if someone were to say, “Church members should honor and obey their pastor,” thenmost Christians would think that someone is out of their mind.Why?Is God the Author of such thought?Why is there such a spirit of rebellion in our churches?Why are God’s people so opposed to obeying their leader?Why even call him a leader if he isn’t to be honored and obeyed?
Now the Scriptures are very clear about church members obeying their spiritual leaders.The Bible says in Hebrews 13:7 to “Remember them which have the rule over you, who have spoken unto you the word of God: whose faith follow, considering the end of their conversation.”Verse 17 says, “Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.”It is “unprofitable” for you to disobey and refuse to submit to your pastor!
We read further instruction in I Thessalonians 5:12-13:“And we beseech you, brethren, to know them which labour among you, and are over you in the Lord, and admonish you;And to esteem them very highly in love for their work's sake. And be at peace among yourselves.” Then I Timothy says, “Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honour, especially they who labour in the word and doctrine.”
The Bible is very clear.God has placed spiritual leaders over churches and these leaders are RULERS who are to be HONORED and OBEYED and LOVED by Christians.
This doesn’t mean the pastor is always right.He’s human just like you, so he will make mistakes.However, your pastor is a GIFT whom God has given to you (Eph. ) for your own good.God expects you to show your love and appreciation to Him by willingly submitting to your pastor and trying to be a blessing to him, rather than a burden.In doing so, you will be helping yourself by becoming more favorable in the sight of God.
“But,” you might say, “I don’t always agreewith my pastor!”You don’t always agree with your employer either, but you certainly labor to obey him and maintain a good relationship with him.Why should your relationship with your pastor be less important?Is your paycheck more valuable to you than God?God told you to honor and obey your pastor.He is God’s ordained leader and by honoring him you are honoring God.
Friend, you can be a burden to your pastor by being a church rebel, or you can be a blessing to your pastor by submitting to his authority like God told you to do.If you want to be a blessing, here are some helpful tips:
Pray for the Preacher
Considering how many Christians make it a regular habit to criticize their pastor, don’t you know it must truly please God to see a Christian praying for their pastor?
Praying Christians were instrumental in getting Peter loosed from prison (Acts 12:5-11).Paul said that he had been helped by the prayers of God’s people (II Cor. ; Philip. ).Then the Bible commands us in Philippians 4:6 to pray about “every thing.”Christian, your pastor prays for you, so why not return the favor by praying for him?
Go to Him with Your Problems
Ephesians lists three reasons for God giving us spiritual leaders: “For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ.”The pastor is not just there to preach.He is a spiritual leader whom God has given for your benefit.
If God thought you could handle everything yourself, He would not have given you a pastor.When problems arise, inform the pastor of them and ask for his counsel and prayers.You’ll probably receive good counsel and hopefully an answer to prayer.He will receive the peace of knowing that you value his advice and you respect him as a leader.
Even when the problem involves the pastor, you should take it to him.Perhaps you disagree with something he is doing in the ministry.If you love and honor him the way God told you to, then you will speak to him about such problems instead of speaking to everyone except him.Much trouble could be avoided in our churches if Christians would just speak to the preacher about problems instead of taking matters into their own hands.
Learn to Get Along Well with Other Members
Ephesians 4:1-3 says, “I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called,With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.”
Any leader in any situation desires to see his people unified.A father is pleased to see his children laughing and playing together.A coach is pleased to see his team members striving together for victory.An employer is well pleased when he can trust his workers to carry on their duties without his immediate supervision all the time.A leader delights in seeing unity among his people, so a pastor is well pleased when his members can worship and labor together in the ministry without quarrels and bitterness.If you want to be a blessing to your pastor, then strive to get along well with other members.Anyone can be part of a problem; you can be part of the solution.
Labor to Stay Clean, Close to God, and Willing to Serve
“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”(Rom. 12:1-2)
Show your pastor that you aren’t content with just being a church member.Show him that you realize that your life belongs to God and you intend to serve Him.Show your pastor that you aren’t seeing how little you can do for God, but rather how much you can do.
The Bible says in I Corinthians 15:58, “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.”Always abounding, not just on Sundays and Wednesdays.Read your Bible and pray daily, and get deeply involved in the ministries of the church.
Be “On Time” for AllChurch Services and Events
If you were late for work as often as you are late for church, would you still have a job?Why are Christians so careful to be on time for work, yet so careless about being on time for church services and church functions?It makes sense that the world would respect an employer more than a preacher, but why would a child of God do so?
The fact is that most people in the workplace show up a few minutes early to chat with other workers before the work day begins.Yet God’s people want to arrive at church as late as possible and leave as early as possible!
Friend, when you are late for church services, you are telling your pastor and the rest of the church that you don’t care.Your careless actions say that your time is more important than their time and God’s time.You are being very selfish, disrespectful and slothful (Rom. ).
There is coming a day when you will stand before the Judgment Seat of Christ, and you will give account for your selfish and disrespectful conduct.You’ve often grieved your pastor and church.One day you will be grieved as you suffer great loss of reward due to your slothfulness.Why not repent now and be a blessing to God’s people and to God Himself?Be there, and be on time.Your pastor will greatly appreciate it.
Let Your Pastor Know When You Must Miss a Service or Event
Would you miss a day of work without calling your boss?If you did, would you come to work the next day and act as though nothing happened?Of course you wouldn’t.Such conduct wouldn’t be tolerated, and you know it.Yet, God’s people skip church services regularly without ever notifying the pastor.It seems as though they think “it’s none of his business.”
The Bible says that the pastor is your spiritual leader.It IS his business.He has RULE over you.Do you realize that?God’s word says that YOUR pastor has RULE OVER YOU (Heb. 13:7, 17; I Ths. -13).If you believe the Bible, then you must also believe that your pastor is over you in the Lord.Just as an employer is over you in a business, your pastor is over you in the Lord.You are told to give him DOUBLE HONOR and to ESTEEM HIM VERY HIGHLY IN LOVE. Yet, you skip church services and offer no explanation.You give more honor to your employer than to God’s man!
Friend, think about your conduct!You will give account to God one day.Stop treating your pastor like an insignificant stranger.He is very significant in your life, and much of your spiritual well being is dependent upon your relationship with him.
Pay Close Attention and Take Notes on His Preaching
Bring your Bible to all church services, and bring a pen and paper for notes.This doesn’t mean that every message will be a great one, but it does mean that you can be a great Christian and show great respect.
Earlier in the week, while you were watching television,or talking on the telephone, or playing golf, or fishing, your preacher was studying God’s word and praying.Out of 168 hours per week, you only have to listen to the preacher for three or four hours.The least you can do is listen respectively.Sit up straight, keep the kids quiet, pay attention, and take notes.
Occasionally, after the message is over, it won’t hurt a thing for you to go to the preacher and thank him for the message.
Friend, don’t hurt yourself by being disloyal to your pastor.Pray that God will make him the best possible leader, and pray that God will make you the best possible follower.Don’t be a burden to God’s man: be a blessing.
Your Church Parking Lot Is Covered with Cigarette Butts
Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.(II Cor. 6:17-18)
The Only Time You Hear the Word “Hell” is when Someone Swears
And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame. (Luke 16:23-24)
The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God.(Psa. 9:17)
Your Preacher Never Preaches Against Your Sins
Them that sin rebuke before all, that others also may fear. (I Tim. 5:20)
Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and shew my people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins. (Isa. 58:1)
Your Preacher is a Woman
Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection. But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.For Adam was first formed, then Eve. (I Tim. 2:11-13)
You Go to Church on Saturday
And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them, ready to depart on the morrow; and continued his speech until midnight.(Acts 20:7)
Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come. (II Cor. 16:2)
Your Church Believes in Bowing Down to Graven Images
Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments. (Exo. 20:4-6)
You’ve Never Heard the Words “Modest Apparel” from Your Preacher’s Mouth
In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array; (I Tim. 2:9)
The Church Reader Board Offers Many Human Sayings, but No Scripture
Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. (II Tim. 4:2)
To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them. (Isa. 8:20)
My tongue shall speak of thy word: for all thy commandments are righteousness. (Psa. 119:172)
A Baptism in Your Church is a Sprinkling or a Pouring of Water
And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him. (Acts )
And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him: (Mat. )
Your Preacher Doesn’t Encourage Members to Bring Their Bibles to Church Services
And take the helmet of salvation, and thesword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: (Eph. )
For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. (Heb. 4:12)
Let the high praises of God be in their mouth, and a twoedged sword in their hand; (Psa. 149:6)
Your Preacher Accepts Various Bible Translations Rather Than Studying to Prove Which One is God’s True Word
Prove all things; hold fast that which is good. (I Ths. 5:21)
Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him. (Pro. 30:5)
The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. Thou shalt keep them, O LORD, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever. (Psa. 12:6-7)
Your Church Has Many Meals and Activities, but it Seldom has the Members Involved in Such Spiritual Works as Witnessing, Tract Distribution and Public Street Preaching
But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth. (Acts 1:8)
And the lord said unto the servant, Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled. (Luke 14:23)
And unto the angel of the church in Sardis write; These things saith he that hath the seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars; I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead. (Rev. 3:1)
You Have Been Programmed to Take Offense at Such Publications as This One Rather than Facing the Truth and Repenting
Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them. (Psa. 119:165)
And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God; I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches. (Rev. 3:14-22)
Friend, the simple fact is that, most churches today are DEAD churches in the eyes of God.They have a NAME that they live, but spiritually they are dead.What about YOUR church?Why do you attend the church that you attend?Is it because a friend attends the same church?Is it because it’s a church with many activities for your children?Is it because most others in your area attend this church?What does GOD think of your church?Have you examined your church with God’s word?If not, then why not?Do you realize that a church is accountable to God for its service to Him?Do you realize that God’s word has given the church specific instructions which are to be obeyed?Is your church an obedient church before God?Is it a HOLY church with HOLY people?Is it doing the work which Christ commissioned it to do, or is it just a religious social club?It is YOUR duty to find out and take action.God will hold YOU accountable: “Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.” (Rev. 18:4) “So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.” (Rom. )
NOTE: If you happen to be looking for a good Bible-believing church, see the church directory at biblebelievers.com.
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