Scripture: Zechariah 11:17 NASB “Meet The Fleecers”
“Woe to the worthless shepherd Who leaves the flock! A sword will be on his arm And on his right eye! His arm will be totally withered And his right eye will be blind.” Zechariah 11:17
I was called a “hireling” once by one of the local pastors (cf. John 10:12, KJV). He explained himself by saying that I lived far from the church I served. I told him I couldn’t afford a house in the area of the church on what my wife and I were making together. I didn’t bother to tell him I couldn’t sell our house either since we were behind on our payments. We eventually went into bankruptcy to save the house to keep a roof over our heads. I hope his pastor friend saw us, not long after that, at his food bank. We had to go every week for a while to make it through pay periods. We’re doing a little bit better now. And don’t feel sorry for us. We learned how to trust the Lord for everything and be “bond-servants” (cf. Rom. 1:1 and almost every other 1:1 in Paul’s letters, as well as James 1:1; 2 Pet. 1:1; Jude 1; Rev. 1:1).
He was a pastor who was well-paid but preaching what I considered a heresy. He believed that it was not necessary to choose God. A person should just try to tell if he or she was “called” or not. What a breach of grace! In case you’re wondering, you don’t have to be wait to be called. YOU ARE CALLED! Answer the phone! (“Ho! Every one who thirsts, come to the waters; And you who have no money come, buy and eat. Come, buy wine and milk Without money and without cost” Isa. 55:1, NASB). At least answer the door! (cf. Rev. 3:20). Don’t wait! Today is the day of salvation (cf. 2 Cor. 6:2).
I would say that pastors who hold to that false doctrine are antichrists (1 John 2:18). There were already many antichrists in John’s day and now there are even more. Here are some:
1) Pastors who tell you to clean up your life before you’re saved (!) (Phil. 2:12-13; 1 Pet. 1:14-16, both passages addressed to those who had already trusted Christ, never before!)
2) Pastors who tell you you can lose your salvation (!) (John 10:28-29; 1 John 5:13; John 5:24)
3) Pastors who tell you to give ten percent of your income or you’re sinning (!) and won’t “prosper” (cf. 2 Cor. 8:12, 15; 1 Cor. 16:2)
4) Pastors who tell you if you have more good works than bad works, you will eventually make it into Heaven (Eph. 2:8-9)
5) Pastors who tell you can get to Heaven without Christ (John 14:6)
6) Pastors who don’t tell you about the bema seat judgment for rewards for Christians (Rom. 14:10, 1 Cor. 3:10-15, 2 Cor. 5:10)
7) Pastors who don’t warn people about the Great White Throne Judgment and Hell (Rev. 20:11, 12, 15)
If you’re not in God’s grace place, you are in danger of being a false prophet! Or taken in by one!
But the greatest part of the Christian life is to be in the Grace Place! Go there and then spread that grace to others! (See blog The Grace Place.)
If you do, you will find that you are choosing life (Deut. 30:19)!
Review the above and make sure you’re not being fleeced by YOUR pastor. Is he preaching the Word? Or is he preaching a religion that’s been handed down to him? One thing I’ve learned in the past forty-something years of being a Christian is don’t trust anything that’s not in the Bible. No matter how good or even traditional it might sound, don’t trust it!
Here are a few:
Tithing: see above, it’s not in the New Testament (in the gospels, Christ was speaking to people before the new covenant)
Substitutionary atonement (Christ died for our sins) is not mentioned in the Apostle’s Creed
“God helps those who help themselves” (Ben Franklin, not Scripture!)
What are your beliefs? Do you know of Scripture to back them all up? Is everything your church teaches scriptural? You don’t have to leave your church if it’s not perfect but if the heresy is significant, you may have to ask God for another place to go.
And if you do, you’ll get free.
And you’ll be blessed.
The purpose of Choose Life is to pick a positive help out of the One Year Bible (OYB) reading plan for the day. There is always something positive in the Word of God to cheer us and give us strength. For more on today’s reading, check out my One Year Bible blog: No Singing In The Reign