Pastors Should Tremble

From Christian Research Net by Sam Guzman

“Do pastors understand their terrible responsiblity before God? Based on how a great majority of the pastors in America run their churches, I must conclude, no. I literally hate the things that the false teachers and foolish pastors of the day do in God’s name. It makes me angry because they aren’t just glorying in shameful things, they are doing it in the name of ministry and “relevance.”

As one who has dedicated my life to full time ministry, I do fear the responsiblity. I do know that pastors will face a greater judgement, and there is a sense in which it is terrifying. Yet I know that faithfulness is possible, or God would not require it of us. Understanding the responsibility should simply drive us to our knees in prayer– drive us to God in utter dependence.

Those who point out the sin of these pastors and are often considered mean, critical, divisive, and pharisaical. But if pointing out and condemning the sin of those who are supposed to be shepherding God’s sheep is the criteria, then God himself is the most critical and mean spirited yet. In Jeremiah 23, God tells us how he feels about the sin that goes on in his name, and it isn’t positive, gentle, or heartwarming. To those of you who idolize relevance and big crowds more than faithful ministry, hear what the Lord has to say. Hear what the Lord has to say pastors who are leading your flocks astraty through vulgarity, fleshliness, silly gimmicks, and lewdness; pastors who will not preach on sin because it’s not “nice” or “positive.” Hear what God says and tremble at his word.

“ For both prophet and priest are profane;
Yes, in My house I have found their wickedness,” says the LORD.
“ Therefore their way shall be to them
Like slippery ways;
In the darkness they shall be driven on
And fall in them;
For I will bring disaster on them,
The year of their punishment,” says the LORD.
“ And I have seen folly in the prophets of Samaria:
They prophesied by Baal
And caused My people Israel to err.
Also I have seen a horrible thing in the prophets of Jerusalem:
They commit adultery and walk in lies;
They also strengthen the hands of evildoers,
So that no one turns back from his wickedness.

All of them are like Sodom to Me,
And her inhabitants like Gomorrah.

“Therefore thus says the LORD of hosts concerning the prophets:
‘ Behold, I will feed them with wormwood,
And make them drink the water of gall;
For from the prophets of Jerusalem
Profaneness has gone out into all the land.’”

Thus says the LORD of hosts:
Do not listen to the words of the prophets who prophesy to you.
They make you worthless;
They speak a vision of their own heart,
Not from the mouth of the LORD.

They continually say to those who despise Me,
‘ The LORD has said, “You shall have peace”’;
And to everyone who walks according to the dictates of his own heart, they say,
‘ No evil shall come upon you.’”

For who has stood in the counsel of the LORD,
And has perceived and heard His word?
Who has marked His word and heard it?
Behold, a whirlwind of the LORD has gone forth in fury—
A violent whirlwind!
It will fall violently on the head of the wicked.
The anger of the LORD will not turn back
Until He has executed and performed the thoughts of His heart.
In the latter days you will understand it perfectly.
“I have not sent these prophets, yet they ran.
I have not spoken to them, yet they prophesied.
But if they had stood in My counsel,
And had caused My people to hear My words,
Then they would have turned them from their evil way
And from the evil of their doings.

Am I a God near at hand,” says the LORD,
“ And not a God afar off?
Can anyone hide himself in secret places,
So I shall not see him?” says the LORD;
“ Do I not fill heaven and earth?” says the LORD.
“I have heard what the prophets have said who prophesy lies in My name, saying, ‘I have dreamed, I have dreamed!’ How long will this be in the heart of the prophets who prophesy lies? Indeed they are prophets of the deceit of their own heart, who try to make My people forget My name by their dreams which everyone tells his neighbor, as their fathers forgot My name for Baal.
“ The prophet who has a dream, let him tell a dream;
And he who has My word, let him speak My word faithfully.

What is the chaff to the wheat?” says the LORD.
Is not My word like a fire?” says the LORD,
“ And like a hammer that breaks the rock in pieces?

“Therefore behold, I am against the prophets,” says the LORD, “who steal My words every one from his neighbor. Behold, I am against the prophets,” says the LORD, “who use their tongues and say, ‘He says.’ Behold, I am against those who prophesy false dreams,” says the LORD, “and tell them, and cause My people to err by their lies and by their recklessness. Yet I did not send them or command them; therefore they shall not profit this people at all,” says the LORD. … therefore behold, I, even I, will utterly forget you and forsake you, and the city that I gave you and your fathers, and will cast you out of My presence. And I will bring an everlasting reproach upon you, and a perpetual shame, which shall not be forgotten.’”

Jeremiah 23

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