To My Pastor and Minister Friends

Those of you who are Christian pastors and ministers will have a special interest in this blog because its theme is the Lord Jesus Christ, and the glorious salvation that He offers.

Some of you know that I myself was a seminary student, minister, and pastor from 1979 through 1994 in St. Louis, Missouri.  Some of us even labored and prayed together.  I treasure those days…and I treasure every one of you.

All of us who labor for the gospel want to see the Lord glorified because He is so utterly worthy of all the praise humanity could give Him…and then some.  Thus, the common bond that exists between me and you – whether we know each other or not – is that we want to see Jesus honored as Lord throughout the earth as He is heaven.

While studying the Scriptures with all my heart and over many years, He opened my mind to see that we had taken on many tasks in His name which actually turned out to be distractions.  Instead of serving Him, these tasks actually prevented us from serving Him.  The most notable distraction we’ve taken on is trying to build the church.  I wrote about this in To My Churchgoing Friends  so I won’t repeat myself here, except to say that our church-building distracts from the kingdom of God.  The kingdom of God is an individual living under the lordship of Christ.    Our churches are a poor imitation of the New Testament church.  His church is the real thing, and it is not divided.  It is all those who are living in the kingdom of God, and, indeed, the Lord knows those who are His.

The sheep truly cry out for their Shepherd.  The saints long for the Holy One.  The children pine for the only One who is to be called Father.  We cannot meet their needs, but He most certainly can.  Therefore, we should forget everything else except extolling Him who loved us and released us from our sins by His blood.  Make Him preeminent.  Preach Him.   Obey Him.

That God Himself is speaking this word around the world today can be evidenced in many ways.  You yourselves know that these broken cisterns called church we have tried to build for Him cannot hold living water.  It has been a yoke which neither we nor our fathers have been able to bear.  Even recently you may have seen a document published called “A Jesus Manifesto.”  It was a stirring summons to Jesus.  My heart leapt as I read it, and then sank when it ended not with a call to repentance but with a promotion to buy the authors’ books.  These authors meant well and I do not condemn them.  We must, however, finish what such declarations have started.  We must act on the word to exalt Jesus alone.  We must forsake the trappings of church and loose the people from every bond.  The chariots of Pharoah could not cross the Red Sea as the Israelites had, because the crossing is by faith.

We have left our first love.  It is time to return.

Be strong in the Lord, and in the strength of His might.  Stand up for Jesus.  Let no one take His seat, for there is a King in Israel.  And Jesus is His name.

See also these related posts:

[For those of you who want encouragement along these lines as well as those of you who demand more biblical explanation of these truths, refer to the companion blog A Bible Reader’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom, including the post Yes, I Am a Recovering Christian Leader.]

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11 Responses to To My Pastor and Minister Friends

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  10. Syd says:

    In recent years, as a pastor for thirty years, I have seen many small churches struggling to survive. The focus and passion seems to be to survive as a church, get more young familes to come to church, whatever you do… don’t run out of money! How sad! Wish I had those years to do over again. I would lead, as you suggested, to exalt Jesus Christ and nudge the church to know Him better. That is a whole different thing that trying to get more bodies to sit in the church pews or trying to keep the bodies that are there from leaving. http://www.lifefromheaven.com

  11. Mike Gantt says:

    Syd,

    Good for you! And God bless you.

    It’s not too late for us to make up for those years we preached the truth of Christ compromised by our errors and fears. Let us now declare Him in His purity, without compromise of any kind.

    Spread the word to our wandering brethren. That is, spread The Word – our Lord Jesus Christ and His grace. He is sufficient. He is more than sufficient.

    Pleasing Him is heaven on earth. Pleasing Him is joy in the midst of trouble.

    Man-made churches are a waste. The kingdom of God is what we ought to be seeking.

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