Nepaug Bible Church - http://www.nepaugchurch.org - Pastor's Evening Sermon Notes - http://www.nepaugchurch.org/ev/ev20050306.htm
CHRIST'S PROPHETIC MESSAGE TO CONTEMPORARY EVANGELICALS
Part II: Christ's All-Sufficiency For Evangelicalism Presented
B. Christ's All-Sufficiency For Ministry Unto The Carnal
Lesson: (1) Carnal laymen (a) are tempted by pain from God's first round of discipline for initially not heeding Scripture taught to them by even experientially certified, God-led pastors to FLEE to unbiblical groups for balm. (b) They try to pressure pastors to teach what THEY want to hear to justify their plans. Yet, (c) failing to repent and live by faith only extends God's discipline, so the carnal hurt all the more. In solution, (2) God-led pastors should (a) trust God's faithfulness to vindicate them and give out God's truth ANYWAY (b) instead of saying what the carnal want to hear or taking some other job!
- In prophetically addressing us believers in our current Evangelical era of Church History, our Lord implies a great lack exists of effective ministry to His carnal believers in Evangelicalism.
- Revelation 3:14b(b) shows us Christ's All-Sufficiency for meeting this need of today as follows:
- Christ's All-Sufficiency For Ministry Unto The Carnal, Revelation 3:14b(b)
- In preparing to comment on today's Evangelical era, Jesus laid out a threefold description of Himself in Revelation 3:14b: He is "The Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, The Head of the Creation of God."
- His second title, "the Faithful and True Witness," shows Christ's All-Sufficiency in ministry to carnal believers: this title is used of God besides Revelation 3:14 elsewhere [BUT IN REVERSE ORDER] only in Jeremiah 42:5 (Strong's Exhaus. Conc. , p. 1179), giving insight on ministry to carnal laymen:
- After Jerusalem fell in fulfillment of Jeremiah's prophetic warnings (Jer. 18:11-12; 19:14-20:6, etc.), Hebrew survivors THUS realized Jeremiah was God's true prophet, and called God to be a "True and Faithful Witness" against them if they failed to heed God's future words to them by him, 40:1-42:6.
- In reality, they feared Babylon would retaliate for the killing of its governor in Judah, so they already planned to flee to Egypt versus Deut. 17:16 and so deceptively sought Jeremiah's sanction, 41:17f.
- God through Jeremiah then told them to stay in Judah and live by faith in His protection, and that if they fled, all they feared Babylon would do to them in Judah would come on them in Egypt, 42:7-18!
- Now, Jer. 15:11-21 with 1:17 shows Jeremiah was tempted to avoid giving such messages from God for fear of reprisals from his evil hearers; yet, his fear of God drove him to preach God's truth anyway!
- When Jeremiah then told these Hebrews God wanted them to stay in Judah and trust in His protection, they did not accept it as God's Word, but forcibly took Jeremiah with them down into Egypt, 43:1-7.
- Well, in Egypt, God had Jeremiah claim Babylon would invade Egypt (43:8-13), so those who rode out this repeat Babylonian invasion experience would see Jeremiah had spoken God's truth, 44:1-30!
- If we apply this insight, Christ's comments on effective ministry to carnal Evangelicals becomes clear:
- In pain from the first round of God's discipline for not heeding Scripture, and not acknowledging GOD'S experiential evidences (Jeremiah's fulfilled prophecy re: Jerusalem's fall) that God-led pastors are His true messengers, carnal laymen leave the church where God calls them through the messages of His true messengers to live by faith so as to seek balm by their unbiblically moving to other groups.
- Since doing so brings more divine discipline for more SIN, the pain these carnal laymen try to avoid only follows them with mounting intensity in the groups to which they have moved!
- Pastors in turn tend to fear such carnal laymen who hurt will persecute them and leave the church were they to say sin is the cause of their pain; so, like Jeremiah, they are tempted either to say what the carnal want or to change jobs to avoid persecution reprisals from these carnal laymen!
- Either way, such pastoral responses are sinful unbelief, leading to God's discipline of such pastors!
- Christ thus implied the solution for effective pastoral ministry to carnal Evangelical laymen as follows:
- As we noted, Rev. 3:14 reverses the original Jer. 42:5 order of the words, "True and Faithful" to be "Faithful and True" in focus on Christ's reliability to judge NOW as in Jeremiah's era; today's pastors must trust Christ's reliability to vindicate THEM TODAY so they might give God's truth!
- Carnal laymen must heed the experiential signals God provides TODAY to certify who His God-led pastors are [with Scripture] and repent at their words to heed Scripture so God's discipline will end.