Must Listen

Must Read

What Art Thinks

Pre-Millennialism

Today's Headlines

Man blowing a shofar

Administrative Area





Locally Contributed...

Audio

Video

Special Interest

Exploring Revelation
279
“John's Glorious View of Jesus (Part 4)”
by Art Sadlier   
August 5th, 2007

We have seen four things Christ is doing as He walks up and down in the midst of the church.

Today we want to see the FIFTH thing Christ is doing in the midst of His church. He is in the midst of His church to CONTROL His church.

We are living in an hour of history that is totally unique, at least in one important way. Human rights is the unique cry of men today. I have my rights! I demand my rights! I am going to have my say! That has carried over into the church, and it is a violation of God's program for authority in the Local Church.

We are living in the Laodicean Age, "LAODICEA" means the rights of the people. Where does authority lie in the church of Jesus Christ? That's the issue in our study today.

Christ is in the midst of His church today to control His church. "And in His right hand seven stars;" What or Who are the seven stars? Again we are reminded that the scripture is the interpreter or scripture, vs.20 "The seven stars are the angels of the churches." Angel means one who delivers a message or teaches a message.

Who is the one in the local church who is called to deliver a message from the Lord, or teach God's message? The answer is very clear, it is the Pastor of the church who is God's messenger to the church.

"In His right hand," the Lord's right hand is the right hand of power, the Lord is holding the pastor of each church in His right hand. He controls the pastors and through the pastors He controls the church. That message is not very acceptable today, but it is the Lord's purpose for the church. Individuals and churches violate that plan of God at the expense of God's Blessing upon themselves and the church. "And out of His mouth went a sharp two-edged sword:" The plan of the Lord's control of His church is a two-edged sword.

The FIRST edge of the sword is pointed toward the congregation. Don't fight against the Lord's leader of the church, the pastor. The Lord calls a pastor of His choosing. It is the responsibility of the church to recognize God's man and appoint Him, and then to work with him, and follow his leadership. I know that doesn't sit well today, but if we want the Lord's blessing we had better conform to His word. "Remember them which have the rule over you, who have spoken unto you the word of God: whose faith follow, considering the end of their conversation" (Hebrews 13:17).

The SECOND edge of the sword is pointed toward the pastor. A pastor is only God's man as long as he follows the Lord's plan and purpose for pastors. He is to feed the flock by the enablement of the Holy Spirit. The pastor's calling is to lead and feed the flock and not let lesser things take his time and distract him. He is to establish the church in sound doctrine and build up the saints through the teaching of the Word.  When a pastor fails to do that, he no longer has a mandate to be a pastor, and he loses God's call upon himself as a pastor. The congregation can and must expect the pastor to fulfil this mandate.

He is to lead the flock by example, in meekness and humility, not as a dictator. "Neither as being lords over God's heritage, but being ensamples to the flock" (1 Peter 5:3). He is to feed the flock by the enablement of the Holy Spirit. When a pastor fails to do that, he no longer has a mandate to be a pastor, and he loses God's call upon himself as a pastor. The congregation can and must expect the pastor to fulfil this mandate.

It is the congregations' responsibility to recognize what the mind of the Lord is in this area, and if necessary, remove the pastor.

A word of caution! No individual in the church of Christ has any right or authority in the congregation. The congregation has authority but that doesn't give any individual authority in the church. The authority is limited to the congregation collectively. Of course, that doesn't refer to pastoral authority, which is exercised under the collective will of the congregation, not under individuals in the congregation.

Christ is the Head of the church, the Lord of the church. He has given us a blueprint for the exercise of His authority in the church. Both pastor and congregation are to discover the mind of Christ and obey it.

If we fail in this area, God's blessing will not be on the church. The church will languish, fights and splits will occur and the church will be a reproach on the name of Christ.

A pastor is to be simply an agent through which the sovereign Lord of the church controls the church. That is why the standard for pastors is so high. Those standards are found in 1 Tim. 3:1-7.

For example a pastor or a man aspiring to be a pastor, who has committed adultery, is forever excluded from being a pastor, even though He can be forgiven by God and returned to full fellowship

Notice, "moreover he must have good report of them that are without," (outside the church 1 Tim.3:7) Proverbs 6:32,33 says "his reproach shall not e wiped away." therefore he will never have good report of those outside the church.

It is not God's purpose for all to be pastors, you do not have to be a pastor. You can serve the Lord and win His approval and blessing in whatever situation He places you.

SIXTHLY the Lord of the church is ever present to protect His church.

The church is attacked from without and within, by far the most serious attack on the church is from within. The attack of Satan on the church from within is constant.

In Rev. 2: we see an attack on the church of Pergamos from within. The attack is false doctrine, in Rev. 2:16 the Lord says He will turn His sword on those within the church who are seeking to destroy it.

The church can be victorious over her enemies who are within. The Lord of the church is our source of victory, we need but recognize Him as Lord of the church and obey Him and trust Him to defend His church. Anyone inside the church who threatens the life of the church, anyone who spreads lies, any unbeliever who comes in to currupt the church is in trouble with Christ. Jesus says He will use His sword on them. FINALLY the Lord of the church, reflects His glory through the church, "and His countenance was as the sun shineth in His strength" vs.16. John saw the face of Christ and it was like the sun in it's blazing fulness at noonday. We see the same thing in Judges 5:31. "O Lord, let them who love Him be as the sun when He goeth forth in His might."

The church is to be a reflection of the Glory of Christ! The Lord shines in His church and the Lord shines through His church. We who love the Lord, reveal His glory to a watching world. "Unto Him be glory in the church by Jesus Christ throughout all ages..." Eph. 3:21.

The Glorified Lord is in the midst of His church to EMPOWER IT - to INTERCEDE FOR IT - to PURIFY IT - to SPEAK AUTHORATIVELY TO IT - to CONTROL IT - to PROTECT IT - to be GLORIFIED IN IT.

 

 

                                                                      ------------------------

go back button