MANY THINK that ministers of God have the freedom to do and teach whatever they like. They do not know that ministers are called to a holy, high and heavenly calling. In fact, it is a call to stewardship and accountability. Christ is the caller, who appoints and places His ministers in various ministries, according to His will.
True servants of Christ are aware of these things and so they try to walk worthily of their calling. Of course, a servant is not greater than his master. If Jesus Christ, who never sinned was hated, insulted and rejected, His servants should expect attacks of all forms. And as humans, true ministers may make mistakes, but they will work hard to minimise incidents which trigger public criticisms.
Throughout generations, God's servants have always preached and taught messages God gave them. God does not call a person to be His messenger or minister without giving him a message they must preach or teach. God gives specific messages to everyone He calls. Thus, a messenger of God and his message are inseparable. A minister of God is mostly known for the messages he preaches and teaches.
When God called Noah, He told him about His decision to judge and destroy the then world with water for its great sins. In fact, God told Noah many things including an instruction to construct an ark of gopher wood to preserve himself, his wife and sons and their wives as well as males and females of all living things. Moreover, Noah had a message of righteousness to preach (2 Peter 2:5). Finally, the Bible says, “Noah did this; he did all that God commanded him” (Genesis 6:22).
Moses was instructed to go to Egypt to rescue the people of Israel from slavery in Egypt. God personally gave Moses the messages he must deliver to the people of Israel and Pharaoh, the king of Egypt (Exodus Chapter 3). As a human being, Moses might have made some mistakes, but in Exodus 40:16, the Bible says, “This Moses did; according to all that the LORD commanded him, so he did.” This means, to a greater degree, Moses was an obedient servant of God.
Even the creator Son of God, the Lord Jesus Christ, preached and taught the messages His Father told Him. “For I have not spoken on my own authority, but the Father who sent me has himself given me a commandment—what to say and what to speak. And I know that his commandment is eternal life. What I say, therefore, I say as the Father has told me” (John 12:49-50).
What about the apostles Jesus Christ called, trained, prepared and commissioned? Did they preach and teach just any message? They taught and preached about only what Christ commanded them. They were not interested in any other message except the doctrines of Christ. In fact, they taught and preached Christ.
Thus the apostle Paul boldly warned, “If anyone teaches a different doctrine and does not agree with the sound words of our Lord Jesus Christ and the teaching that accords with godliness, he is puffed up with conceit and understands nothing” (1Timothy 6:3-4).
We can talk about the messages Wesley, Spurgeon, Knox and others preached, but one thing remains that true ministers of God receive divine messages for their preaching and teaching. They do not preach and teach what they like as we hear many do these last days. When ministers preach and teach what they like or what the people would like to hear, they lead believers astray.
We live in the last days, awaiting the return of Jesus Christ. These are the days Christians must be greatly informed about the qualities of true ministers so they can make better choices of pastors they wish to follow. One way we may know true servants of Christ is the message they preach and teach.
All genuine servants of Christ Jesus are given one key message. And the one message is Jesus Christ. Yes, Christ is the only key message. There is no other message. A minister full of Christ in his heart will preach and teach nothing except the crucified Christ Jesus. Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. A Christ-filled pastor preaches and teaches the things of Christ.
Therefore, we should not follow a pastor simply based on his bodily stature, oratory skills, seminary training, priestly garment or ecclesiastical titles. A servant of Christ follows Christ; he is Christ-centred and gospel-focused. So, choose a minister who follows Jesus Christ. Choose a pastor with Christ in mind. Choose a pastor with eternity in mind and choose a pastor with the salvation of your soul in mind.
By James Quansah
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