This is the second indictment against teachers, preachers, pastors and elders in many churches. There is a perceptible ignorance of God.
Who is God?
To many who stand in pulpits today God is simply a tool or an object to point to. He’s a “pie in the sky” ideal. Too many ignore what He says about Himself in His Holy Word. God is an object of sermon messages, but the object is barely understood.
Have you been called to teach? Is there a Holy Spirit drive in you to preach His Word? Has the Father pointed to you and appointed you to lead others to understand His Word? Preacher if you do not know then you need to step aside from your duties and find out who He is. Get on your knees. Fall on your face and seek Him.
Preacher we have a commitment to teach the Truth of God and to teach His nature.
Not many of you should presume to be teachers, my brothers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly.
God will tolerate a false prophet only for so long. But, in the end God will judge us all and those of us who have taken on the responsibility to teach; those of us called to teach will stand before Him and held to account for what we have taught.
Can we claim we have taught our congregations to love and adore God? Have we worked diligently to dispel the illusions some in our congregations hold about God?
God has many attributes. He is not only benevolent. He is also wrathful. But, for reasons unknown to me we do not teach that God’s wrath is our lot if we choose to disobey Him.
If you violate the covenant of the Lord your God, which he commanded you, and go and serve other gods and bow down to them, the Lord’s anger will burn against you, and you will quickly perish from the good land he has given you.
God was speaking directly to the Israelites, but this admonishment applies to us as well.
The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them.
Certainly we see God in nature, but God’s presence is far more than that. We as teachers are to see God in His Word.
From His Word we cannot deny the fact that God hates idolatry. When people in our congregations have a false representation of God in their hearts it is incumbent on us to correct them. God will execute His wrath on those who rebel.
Brothers there is a rebellion in our churches. And, we do little to end it.
But because of your stubbornness and your unrepentant heart, you are storing up wrath against yourself for the day of God’s wrath, when his righteous judgment will be revealed. God will give to each person according to what he has done. To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, he will give eternal life, but for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger.
These are not idle words. These are cautionary verses from the mouth of God. These are words admonishing us. Teacher pay attention to what you teach. We will be judged more strictly, particularly, when we fail to exhort our congregations to know God.
The consequences are dire.
So, as the Holy Spirit says: “Today, if you hear his voice [God’s voice, His Word], do not harden your hearts as you did in the rebellion, during the time of testing in the desert, where your fathers tested and tried me and for forty years saw what I did. That is why I was angry with that generation, and I said, ‘Their hearts are always going astray, and they have not known my ways.’
So I declared an oath in my anger, “They shall never enter my rest.”
Because of rebellion; because men hardened their hearts; because men would not pay attention to the prophets the Israelites wandered the desert for forty years. None of the original Israelites escaping Egypt, except Joshua and Caleb, were able to put their feet on the promised land. Every other Israelite, including Moses because of his disobedience, died in the desert.
Will that be the fate of your flock?
Men have a way of making God to be whatever they want Him to be. They create in their own minds something that makes them most comfortable.
Preachers, Pastors we have a problem.
In congregations across the country; throughout the world, you have folks who have been in the church for years. Their money helped build the church or their families have been members for decades. When their view of God is challenged the preacher is in trouble. When they are told Who God really is they will be alienated from the teacher. Their traditional view will be shattered.
People who know God find a “purpose driven life” in His Word. Christians who know God are living their “best life now.”
Have you visited a Christian Bookstore lately? The aisles and shelves are crammed with self-help tomes. Why? Why self-help books? Because the people who search out these kinds of books are struggling to know God and these kinds of books tickle the ears of those searchers. It is easier to swallow watered down truth than to live the Truth.
At this point, preacher, we should be asking ourselves, “What am I to do?”
It is our responsibility as those appointed by God to teach His Word to teach the Truth; the unvarnished, unmitigated Truth.
It is time; past time, really to teach Who God is in our churches once again. It is time to teach repentance. It is time to stop walking in fear and begin walking in the knowledge and in the faith that God will carry us through.
It is time to stop considering how many people come to your service on Sunday morning. God will provide. It is time to teach the truth.
And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, correcting his opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth, and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, after being captured by him to do his will.
It is so easy to step off the narrow path. It is too easy to get dragged into the raging river of complacency. It is too easy to stop knowing Him. It is the easy and wide path that leads to destruction. There is not a self help book aside from the one true Word of God!
I heard this said of Sunday mornings.
“Sunday morning is the greatest day of idolatry. For one hour maybe two every Sunday people are worshiping a God of their imaginations.”
Does that say anything about us?