My Pastor Said ...

Denver L. Thomas

Quite often, while discussing matters of religion with those with whom we come in contact, someone is apt to say, “I don’t know but I’ll ask my pastor.” Right away that can lead to two rather unsettling thoughts. The first is that the person apparently does not read and study for himself or herself but, rather, relies on someone else for answers in matters of religion. The second thought is even more disturbing in that it indicates the person most likely is not associated with the Lord’s church, determined from the reference to “pastor.”

A pastor, in the Lord’s church, is an elder or bishop (Ephesians 4:11, 12; 1 Timothy 3:1-7; Titus 1:5-9). Elders are overseers of the flock (Acts 20:28). It is true that elders may preach from time-to-time, but that is not their primary charge.

The religious community has become saturated with all sorts of beliefs and practices, many of which cannot be supported fully by the word of God. Man has succeeded in creating numerous so-called “plans of salvation” by perverting the scripture and, in many cases, has created a religion of convenience where very little is offered and even less required of anyone who would care to listen or be associated therewith. 

In 2 Timothy 4:2-4, the Bible says,Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; and they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.” 

A “pastor” may give answers that are not in keeping with the Holy Scriptures and, as such, are misleading. The scriptures tell us plainly that every person will be called to account – as we read in Romans 14:11-12. “For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God. So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.” We will not have “our pastor” to answer for us on that great day. It will be his to answer for himself! We need to remember what Jeremiah wrote in Jeremiah 10:23, “O LORD, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps.” Or, what Solomon wrote in Proverbs 16:25, “There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.”

God has authored the only acceptable plan for the redemption of mankind, and it is fully contained in those words penned by His apostles, as is written in 2 Timothy 3:16-17, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.” All others will be uprooted, as Jesus said in Matthew 15:13: “But he answered and said, Every plant, which my heavenly Father hath not planted, shall be rooted up.” Philippians 2:12 says,Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.” 

Luke praised those who read and studied after Paul and Silas, as we read in Acts 17:11. “These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.” It is an individual’s responsibility to secure for himself or herself that home in Heaven that Jesus spoke of in John 14:1-3, 6: “… In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also … Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” -PO Box 821, Milton, WV 25541.

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