Nepaug Bible Church - http://www.nepaugchurch.org - Pastor's Evening Sermon Notes - http://www.nepaugchurch.org/ev/ev20050515.htm
CHRIST'S PROPHETIC MESSAGE TO CONTEMPORARY EVANGELICALS
Part IV: Christ's All-Sufficiency Offered To Wean Us From Evangelicalism's Two Factions To Himself
A. Christ's Motivational Counsel For A Great-Cross-Before-The-Crown Solution For Us Evangelicals
Lesson: The solution to the plight of Evangelicals is traumatic and painful for those pastors willing to accept Christ's advised path; yet, it must be traverses for God to use them to salvage the true, pure unity of His flock worldwide: Christ suggests the pastor ask Him to arrange for him to be badly mistreated by errant, carnal Calvinist and Arminian Evangelical leaders and their followers that he by this cross might CLEANLY BREAK from the errant establishments, associations and beliefs of Evangelicalism. Then this pastor can be holy so as to be used by God to yield true, holy unity in His worldwide flock.
- Christ in Revelation 3:17 critiqued our current Evangelical era's haplessly errant Calvinist and Arminian theologies with their resulting bankrupt spiritualities and resulting ministries, an alarming crisis indeed!
- Since His sharp criticism can dismay us, in grace, our Lord begins His address on solving our problems with a dramatic, hopeful offer of a great-cross-before-the-crown solution for us Evangelicals (as follows):
- Christ's Motivational Advice For A Great-Cross-Before-The-Crown Solution For Evangelicals, 3:18a
- In starting to offer the solution to Evangelicalism's mammoth doctrinal and resulting spiritual and ministry problems, Jesus said, "I counsel you to buy from Me . . ." in Revelation 3:18a NIV.
- The Greek word for "counsel" is used elsewhere in the New Testament only in John 18:14 similarly to present one party's act to advise others , (Arndt & Ging., A Greek-Engl. Lex. of the N. T., p. 785). There, the high priest, Caiaphas advised the Sanhedrin to kill Jesus to avoid what they thought was an impending Roman retaliatory destruction of Israel if Christ's earthly ministry continued unabated, John 11:47-51.
- Yet, John stated that God graciously used Caiaphas' vile suggestion, utilizing the resulting mistreatment of Christ by the Sanhedrin and their fellow Hebrew followers to save His people worldwide :
- John explained that Caiaphas' words of what to do to cut off Jesus' efforts were used by God to make His death the means of providing salvation and true worldwide unity for God's people, John 11:50-52.
- Thus, what began as a vile suggestion on Caiaphas' part and its horrendous implementation by the Sanhedrin and its followers was in turn used by God to save and unite His flock worldwide, Acts 2:23.
- Hence, Christ advises the Evangelical pastor today to look to Him to arrange for this pastor to be badly rejected and mistreated by errant Evangelical leaders and their followers similar to how Christ was abused with the Father's permission, for through such mistreatment, God might position his mind and heart to be a useful tool by which God could save and unite His true flock on a worldwide scale, Revelation 3:18b:
- Christ calls the Laodicean messenger to " . . . to buy from Me . . ." in Rev. 3:18b, a suggestion that Christ graciously arrange to supply something (to "buy" from God is to gain by grace, cf. Isaiah 55:1).
- Thus, uniting the phrases "I counsel you . . . " and " . . . to buy from Me . . .", we conclude that Christ TODAY offers to solve the Evangelical impasse by sovereignly arrang ing for willing individual pastors to be mistreated by errant Evangelicals; thereby, just as the Father arranged for Christ's abuse at the hands of Israel's leaders and followers to save us through the result of that mistreatment, the cross (Acts 2:23), Christ might use this abuse of a pastor to become the means of positioning him to be used of Christ to salvage the true unity of His flock worldwide from Evangelical errors destructive works!
- This path is a tremendous "cross" for today's pastor: as in Christ's case, it involves his "crucifixion" to relying on the godless Evangelical movement, to participating in ungodly Evangelical works and to accepting errant Evangelical beliefs, Gal. 6:14b. Yet, that "crucifixion" is necessary for God to lead such a pastor to break from the errant beliefs, deeds and associations that plague Evangelical pastors so that God might use him to salvage the true, holy unity of His flock worldwide, cf. 2 Timothy 2:12a.
Application: May we Evangelical pastors and laymen yield to Christ's offer to implement His plan for the pastor to take the cross-before-the-crown path of being badly mistreated by errant Evangelicals that Christ in such trials might prepare them to be holy in belief, association and function for use by God to edify His flock in an effective "ruling" pastoral ministry of worldwide value!