WHEN A man of God or a church forsakes Christ, they refuse to preach the incarnation, the deity, birth, ministry, death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. They refuse to preach and teach about the ascension, and the second coming of Jesus Christ. I mean, such ministers underrate the gospel of Jesus Christ.
A few years ago, a Kumasi-based man of God told Bible school students in his church that the preaching and teaching of the aforementioned topics are fundamental and that they are supposed to be preached and taught by upcoming ministers. He stated unambiguously that a pastor will collapse his church if he preaches Jesus Christ.
In his view, mature ministers must concentrate on feeding Christians with messages about success, career development, financial prosperity and wealth creation so they can make money and live happy lives.
It is not evil at all for us to create wealth because we live in a real world where money rules, but we must not forget the mandate and commission Christ entrusted to the Church. We are charged to preach the crucified Christ to make disciples, baptise and teach them to observe the commands of our Lord so that we can grow up spiritually to conform to the image of Christ.
But that pastor did not see the need to uphold and respect the command of Jesus Christ. One may wonder if such a pastor was genuinely called, prepared and commissioned by the Lord to do His will. Christ is the Builder of His Church using men filled with His Spirit, who glorifies Christ. A true servant of Christ will preach Christ and honour Him.
Remember we are still discussing how Christ Jesus examined His ministers who oversaw churches in the days of the Early Apostles. Now, the church in Thyatira did not escape the condemnation of the Son of God. He carefully and closely examined this church, and saw that the church had fallen into sin despite its love, faith, service, patient endurance and improvement in its works.
“But I have this against you, that you tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself prophetess and is teaching and seducing my servants to practice sexual immorality and to eat food sacrificed to idols” (Revelation 2: 20).
Similarly, in most churches today, the practice of idolatry, fornication, adultery, homosexuality, occultism and witchcraft are rampant. The spirit of Jezebel has succeeded in deceiving many ministers with her seductions to follow materialism and demonic teachings against the call to preach the crucified Christ.
Now, there are several other comments our Lord made about these ancient churches which we may read about. But the hidden truths which Jesus Christ revealed to John about these churches should warn us that no one can run away from the presence of the Lord. Everyone is naked before His eyes. “He reveals deep and hidden things; he knows what is in the darkness…” (Daniel 2: 22).
The Lord counselled some of the Pastors of the seven churches to remember where they had fallen, repent, and do the works they did at first or they would lose their churches. He threatened others with different kinds of grave punishments.
Christ's advice and warnings to the Pastors in-charge of the churches apply to us too. Jesus Christ is alive, and He watches everything we do. He has been warning us through various media including this publication. Those who have ears let them hear the warnings of the Spirit of Christ.
Beloved, Christ knows everything we do in our churches, offices, bedrooms and cars. The Lord knows our motives for the messages we preach and teach. He knows for the funds we raise and everything we do. What a God we serve! He knows the messages we decide to preach even before we mount the pulpit and open our mouth to speak (Psalm 139: 4).
Ministers speak in the name of the Lord. We mention His name in our preaching, teachings, prayers, exorcisms, fasting, and lectures and in our writings, but Jesus Christ might be unhappy with some of us after all. He says:
“Not everyone who says to me, lord, lord; will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name? And then will I declare to them, I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness” (Matthew 7: 21- 23).
The discussions so far point to the fact that our Lord probes His ministers to correct, criticise and commend them even before they appear before Him for accountability on the Judgment Day.
FROM James Quansah, Kumasi