Disqualified pts 3&4

Part one

Part two

The Warning To Timothy

“This charge I commit unto thee, son Timothy, according to the prophecies which went before on thee, that thou by them mightest war a good warfare; Holding faith, and a good conscience; which some having put away concerning faith have made shipwreck: Of whom is Hymenaeus and Alexander; whom I have delivered unto Satan, that they may learn not to blaspheme.” (1 Timothy 1:18–20)

Paul has a desire for Timothy, and that is that Timothy retain and treasure faith in Christ and a good conscience, because a lack of these things leads to shipwreck. Shipwreck is a description of the destruction and ruin that can come upon one who walks away from God by not trusting Christ and not maintaining a good conscience.

When we know the truth, sin and error will work against our conscience. We will know and be aware of our wrong, and our conscience will bear witness to our error (See Romans 2:14-16;9:1-2). When we ignore the testimony of a conscience that is educated by the Word of God and moved by the Spirit, we know that we are persisting in sin. This can only lead to destruction.

Paul warns Timothy that shipwreck is possible. In no circumstance can we assume that shipwreck is a positive thing. Neither should we dare think that one cannot and will not make shipwreck if they ignore God’s Word, His Spirit, and the pangs of conscience. If one makes shipwreck, he cannot continue as he did before. Some shipwrecks may possibly be repaired. Some shipwrecks may be irreparable. Regardless, shipwreck means that life will not go on as if it were in good repair. Ministry cannot continue as if one’s life were in good shape. Shipwreck is destructive to peace of mind, one’s family, one’s conscience, one’s walk with God, and all else in the person’s life. Those shipwrecks from which one can recover are not things that will be fixed over night.

Some shipwrecks are large scale disasters. Paul spoke of two men who had been turned over to Satan that they would learn not to blaspheme. Paul was speaking of church discipline, or excommunication, when he said this (See 1 Corinthians 5:1-5). There is no way that we could ever put into words just how serious this is and how sobering it should be to us. When one is excommunicated from the church and left at the mercy of the devil, there is no knowing exactly what will happen when the flesh is destroyed as God allows Satan to plague such an one. The purpose of this is to bring the shipwrecked person to repentance. One thing is sure, and that is that while the person is turned over to Satan, God is still in control of the process, and “It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.” (Hebrews 10:31)

Should the shipwrecked person refuse to repent and change their ways, we find that destruction can indeed be a final sort of destruction. We read of some whose sins led to death (1 Corinthians 11:17-34). Solomon was used of God to say, “He, that being often reproved hardeneth his neck, shall suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy.” (Proverbs 29:1)

I am convinced that one can sin to the point that his life is taken. We are solemnly warned of this: “If any man see his brother sin a sin which is not unto death, he shall ask, and he shall give him life for them that sin not unto death. There is a sin unto death: I do not say that he shall pray for it.” (1 John 5:16) Sin has no other end than destruction.

Shipwreck is a reality. Please do not minimize sin and shipwreck and act as if the consequences thereof are small. There are times that one must step down from the ministry. There are times that the time out of the ministry is permanent. Shipwreck, when minimized as if it has neither consequence nor impact upon the ministry, can only lead to more heartache and destruction. Please, let us not fall prey to the folly of minimizing shipwreck!

 

 

 

Romans 11:29

            With the above things in mind, we must also address one argument that has been presented in the past regarding disqualification from the ministry. It is said that, since God said, “For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance,” (Romans 11:29) that one cannot be disqualified. After all, God gives gifts that are eternal, and God does not repent of His calling.

First of all, let us realize how simply shallow and errant this interpretation of the passage is; because it ignores the context in which it was written. The question is asked whether God had cast off His people Israel (Romans 11:1-2), to which a negative reply is given. The apostle then proceeds to present his case based upon the fact that God had given many gifts and made many promises to Israel that He would forgive their sins and make them His people. Paul establishes this argument by appealing to a specific passage of Scripture to show them that God keeps His promises despite the sin of Israel: “God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good? Behold, I have received commandment to bless: and he hath blessed; and I cannot reverse it.” (Numbers 23:19–20) Balack the king of Moab desired Balaam the prophet to curse Israel. Balaam stated that, though he tried to do so, God had spoken a blessing upon Israel, and would not repent of it. God had given Israel the gift of being His people, and He was not repenting of doing so. Paul stated that, though Israel was temporarily blinded, their ultimate end and salvation was of God, who promised that He would save Israel and make them His people.

This text can be of great comfort to us when we sin, because we know that God will indeed forgive the sin of His people and not cast us away. It is what comforted Jeremiah when he looked around and beheld the devastation of Jerusalem that came because of their idolatry. He said, “It is of the LORD’S mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.” (Lamentations 3:22–23) God’s faithfulness to His promises was the reason that He was merciful to Israel and refused to completely destroy them. This is also why He spoke to cold, callous, and careless Israel in Malachi’s day, saying, “For I am the LORD, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed.” (Malachi 3:6)  Despite our sins, God keeps His promises. That should indeed comfort us, because we know that those of us who are trusting Christ are securely safe in His steadfast, unchanging love.

What we cannot do, however, is rejoice that this verse tells us that a person cannot disqualify himself from the ministry. That is to disregard the context of the Scripture as God’s promise not to abandon Israel, but to also ignore the fact that people have disqualified themselves and lost God’s blessing upon their labors. Saul is a case in point: He was rejected from being king (1 Samuel 13:13-14;15:22-23), and God departed from Him (1 Samuel 28:15-19). Furthermore, if one could not disqualify himself, it nullifies the qualifications presented in First Timothy chapter three, and makes a mockery of God’s Word by presenting a Bible that conflicts with itself and has portions which are incorrect. This is absolutely unacceptable to any Bible believing person. In fact, this is sin, as we have seen in the previous two articles.

 

Concluding Thoughts

The above truths are hard truths, and they cannot be softened. Sinful men who insist that shipwreck and disqualification cannot happen, or that they are not so serious as many of us believe, must be warned. We must not act as if sin’s consequences are small. We must not act as if our sins will not affect us negatively and even destroy us. We are told that such must be rebuked. “Them that sin rebuke before all, that others also may fear.” (1 Timothy 5:20)

Finally, this series of articles should not be viewed as harsh, judgmental, and unforgiving. The fact is, we cannot present the forgiveness of sin, God’s mercies toward the sinner, and God’s restoring power unless we first present sin as destructive and damning. Those who desire to stand with God’s Word dare not treat sin lightly. They must present the exceeding sinfulness of sin. Only then can we see the glories of the grace of God. “Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound: That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Romans 5:20–21) If you are a minister who has fallen and disqualified himself, please take sin seriously. I plead with you to be as David, who confessed his sin and accepted the consequences. Only then can you truly be restored in your walk with God. I do not profess to know your future. I do not know whether or not your ministry can be restored. Maybe it can, and then maybe your reputation is so greatly damaged that you can never again fill the qualifications of First Timothy chapter three. I do know that God will forgive you and restore you to a holy walk with Him, and that is what is of utmost importance.

 

 

Disqualified pt 1

Disqualified

Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain. And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible. I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air: But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.” (1 Corinthians 9:24–27)

 

The text before us shows us Paul’s passion for preaching Christ. It shows us his desire to be a blessing to others. It shows us that Paul recognizes the need for temperance in order for us to be a blessing to others. Sadly we can fail to have the same passion and the same life as Paul did.

Paul compares the effort to be a blessing to athletic competitions. We are told that we must run if we are to win the prize. In the effort to win a competition, each competitor exercises self control. There are things we must deny ourselves, and there are things we must do in order to have a chance to win. Those who compete in athletics do so in order to win a prize that will not last forever. Our desire is an eternal reward. For this reason, Paul states that he runs with certainly, fights by landing blows instead of shadow boxing, and forces his body to yield and submit in order to win. Why? Because, if he does not exercise this self control, he may become a castaway, or one who is disqualified.

Not every competitor wins his event, and not everyone who crosses the finish line first is qualified. A few years ago, Lilly King competed in the Summer Olympics and won her race; however she was disqualified. King had broken the rules. For this cause, though she won her race, her disqualification caused her to lose the competition: she was not qualified to win. Sadly we can do the same thing in our Christian lives: we can fail in such a manner that, contrary to all appearances, we do not receive the crown. The salt can lose its savor, Jesus said (Matthew 5:13); and the best runner can be disqualified.

In our day we have those who are loudly and boldly asserting that one cannot disqualify himself from Christian service, that the minister can always fill the pulpit and carry God’s Word. This text belies such statements. Can one fail and be forgiven? Can one fall and be restored? Can one sin and be forgiven? The answer is, yes. The fact of the matter remains that there is great loss that goes with moral failures. First Timothy chapter three gives us a list of qualifications for pastors. If one must meet these qualifications to be a pastor, he who does not meet these criteria is disqualified, no matter how well he speaks or how much he is loved and forgiven. Forgiveness does not automatically qualify a person, if it did, the novice who has just been forgiven his sins is qualified. If forgiveness automatically qualifies one for the pastorate, then the qualifications for 1 Timothy 3:1-11 are useless and wrong. This is a grave mistake to make, when one decides to begin rejecting various truths of Scripture in order to maintain a Christian façade, or to retain an office. It is far better to acknowledge the truth, repent of one’s sins, step down from the ministry from which one has been disqualified, and uphold the veracity of God’s Word and the sanctity of the pastoral office.

 

How to Pray for Your Pastor

How to Pray for Your Pastor

“Finally, brethren, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may have free course, and be glorified, even as it is with you:”https://ref.ly/2Th3.1;av1873

    Your pastor is human and cannot lead you by God’s Word unless given strength by God. He needs your prayers. Just as surely as Paul the apostle recognized his need of prayer, every godly pastor recognizes the same need, and echoes the holy plea, “Pray for us.”

    How then must one pray for his pastor? Let us first look to our text.

    We should first pray for his heart. The godly pastor longs for the Word of God to have free course. His passionate desire is that Scripture would not only work unimpeded among those who hear it, but also in his own heart. Pray that God would open his understanding, strengthen his affections for Christ, inflame his passion for God’s glory, and make him strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.

    Pray that the Word of God would have free course as your pastor preaches. Pray that his mind will be clear and free from distractions. Pray that his thoughts will be orderly, that he might preach plainly for the good of all who hear. Pray that he will have grace, wisdom, and boldness so that he can preach the Word of God correctly.

    Pray that the Word of God would have free course so that God would fill your pastor with the Spirit and use him as an instrument of blessing. (See also Ephesians 6:17-20;Colossians 4:1-4.)

“From henceforth let no man trouble me: for I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus.”https://ref.ly/Ga6.17;av1873

    Pray that your pastor would be freed from troublesome people in the church. Paul battled against false doctrine, and the battles sometimes became wearisome. Paul longed for people to repent and believe the truth. Every disturbance in the church can be connected to doctrinal error. Scripture teaches that right practice and godly behavior are the result of believing correct doctrines (2 Timothy 3:12-17). There are enough troubles in the world to face, when we serve Jesus.Pray that yourself and all other members of the church would humbly hear God’s Word and learn so that your pastor can be freed from church trouble. The peace of your pastor is also your peace and profit (Hebrews 11:7-8,17).

“Pray for us: for we trust we have a good conscience, in all things willing to live honestly.”https://ref.ly/Heb13.18;av1873

    Here we find the apostolic writer asking again for prayer. It is crucial that we understand the context. Instruction is given in verse seventeen for the hearers to obey their pastors and submit themselves to them. Truly the only way you can pray well for your pastor is when you recognize the great responsibility laid upon him by God, submit yourself to his leadership (Remember, according to the Scriptures, his position places him as your elder, no matter how old you may be.), and strive to follow His instructions from God’s Word. Knowing his responsibility, and recognizing your own need of leadership, you can then pray earnestly and humbly that God’s power and wisdom would rest upon your brother who teaches you from God’s Word. If you believe it is your prerogative to get on the phone and gossip about him, criticize him, and even seek to rebuke him; remember that will not be to your profit (Hebrews 13:17). Rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft (1 Samuel 15:22-23), and you are courting danger if you do these things. 

    Pray humbly for your pastor. He loves you. He longs to help you. He prays for grace to be a blessing to you. You need him. You need his guidance and instruction. Be among those who make the ministry pleasant for their pastor. Pray for him!

A Pastor’s Heart

A Pastor’s Heart

Have you ever considered your pastor’s heart? What makes him tick? Why does he do the things he does? Why is he in the pulpit, the hospital room, the funeral home, and the hospice? Who are his friends? Who is his confidante? Is he happy, sad, burdened, or discouraged? Does he have someone walking with him along the way, or is he lonely?

Paul spoke of the daily care he had for the churches (2 Corinthians 11:28). Care here speaks of great concern, even an anxious concern. Often your pastor feels pain for you and with you, though you may not even be aware. Often he prays for you as he goes about his daily tasks, or he even is up late into the night pleading with God for you.

Your pastor may be younger than you are, yet he is still your elder in position, and should be your elder in the respect you show him. He certainly feels that way toward you. He considers you as precious children, entrusted to him by God; and he determines to be gentle and to cherish you (1 Thessalonians 2:7-8), and greatly longs to be able to help you. Even when he must speak to you firmly and sternly about your sin, he seeks to be meek and gentle like Christ (2 Corinthians 10:1-6). He desires only to help you and build you up.

Your pastor longs to lead you and feed you, because you are Christ’s sheep, and Jesus has called him to the difficult task of providing you with the nourishment, guidance, and discipline necessary for your spiritual well being (1 Peter 5:1-4). Studying God’s Word in order to preach and teach multiple sermons each week is a daunting task, yet your pastor takes pleasure in doing so that he might help you follow Jesus.

Sometimes, no matter how hard he tries, there are those who refuse to yield to his guidance; yet his love and pity for the erring sheep only increases as he spends himself seeking to be a blessing (2 Corinthians 12:15). Often this shepherd’s love for the sheep is not given to him in return. At times your pastor’s heart yearns for you, because he is fearful regarding your precarious spiritual position (Galatians 4:19), and his heart is in great distress for your sake. Sadly, in the midst of this, some view him as their enemy and treat him as such (Galatians 4:16). This causes your pastor pain today, and may cause him to weep over the wayward even at the judgment (Hebrews 13:17).

Your pastor often leads quite the lonely life behind the scenes, as he bears the burden of teaching and guiding some who have little to no desire to truly learn and grow. How can you help him? Become like those whom Paul described as being addicted to serving Christ and others (1 Corinthians 16:15). Become a true yoke fellow who labors alongside your pastor (Philippians 4:3). Be as Philemon, whose life and labors were refreshing to others (Philemon 1:7). Follow your pastor, submit to his leadership, obey his Biblical teaching and guidance, so that he can rejoice over you at the judgment (Hebrews 13:7,8,17).

What is a pastor’s heart? A pastor’s heart is one that is full of the love Jesus, spilling over to Christ’s sheep in teaching leading, correcting, weeping, rejoicing, and seeking to be a blessing. In short, your pastor’s heart is a heart for Jesus that moves him to have a heart for you. “For the love of Christ constraineth us…” (2 Corinthians 5:14)

God Our Enabler

“And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry;” 1 Timothy 1:12

Brothers, our abilities are of God, who put us into the ministry. We have neither power nor talent apart from Him.

We dare not puff ourselves up with the thought that we are doing a good job, and thus rely upon ourselves.

We must not think that we win people by our personalities/

We should never think that our logical thoughts and rhetorical skills are sufficient for the souls of men.

It is God who enables us, and without Him we can do nothing.

Brothers, let us always recognize our need for God and trust Him who will enable us.

A Simple Guide For Church Business Meetings

Guide For Business Meetings

  1. Motion to enter into business meeting
  2. Reading of the previous minutes
  3. Reading of treasurer’s report 
  4. Call for unfinished business
  5. Call for new business
  6. Call for any matter touching the peace and harmony of the church
  7. Motion to close business meeting

Note: It is well that the pastor, as moderator, be provided with an agenda for the business meeting so that he can be aware of any potentially problematic issues and be prepared to guide the church appropriately.