From the Preacher’s Pen…

RacineBuildingAs members of God’s family, one of the first things we should learn is the basics about the Bible. Obviously, no one can live right before God without knowing that we do not live under the Law of Moses. That leads us to learn the differences between Old and New Testaments and, while all lessons from God are important, some are more directly applicable to us today.

When we come to the New Testament we still must learn how to apply the lessons. The first four books, the Gospels, tell of the life and teachings of Jesus. While they are vital lessons for us we must understand that not everything is directly applicable to us today! For example, many people wrongly claim salvation by the “thief on the cross” method without understanding that it most certainly does NOT apply.

When it comes to how to be saved, the most important book of God’s word is the book of Acts. When we follow those instructions we are actually doing the things necessary to become Christians.

All the rest of the New Testament is written to the saved ones actually living under the New Covenant of Christ. It is here we must turn for God’s instructions on living IN Christ… and these are vital for eternal life!

Since the church began people have been trying to re-write God’s commands and will. One of the great errors that has been injected by the Devil into God’s way is the concept of clergy and laity, that is a “priesthood” of some special group other than all of God’s people.

Without a doubt, one of the greatest disappointments for so-called Christians at the Judgment Seat of God will be to learn that they are personally responsible for living and acting as saints, as royal priests of God. Consider this lesson:

They Fired the Preacher!!!

There are many excuses used for not assembling with the saints. Through the years, most of us have heard just about everything imaginable. Some folks are kept away by a rainy day while others are home-bound because their pets were unruly! As one man said, “Any excuse is as good as another.”

Here’s a little “preacher story” that has an important lesson for us. Read it and seriously consider if it is not the mindset of many in the church today.

The story is told of a preacher who began showing up late for services and even missing the “prayer meeting” altogether. The straw that broke the camel’s back was when he did not show up at all one Lord’s Day because he had taken a drive in the country to see the beautiful fall colors. The elders met and decided to fire the man. The secretary summed it all up in the minutes of the meeting by saying, “It was clear he cannot be a minister here if he insists on acting like the rest of our members…”

I suppose we would all laugh if we could not see so much truth in the notation made by the secretary. Most preachers would be fired if they tried to get away with what some of the members do on a regular basis.

Whether we admit it or not, whether we like it or not, we do have a “double standard.” I am not suggesting, by any means, that the preacher should be allowed to get by with what some of the members get by with. Neither am I suggesting that we should hold the preacher up as our standard for Christianity, even though he should strive to be a good example (1 Corinthians 11:1).

What I am suggesting is that we ALL live our lives by the standard Christ set for us. “For you have been called for this purpose, since Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example for you to follow in His steps,” (1 Peter 2:21).

The question is: Do each and every one of us as Christians actually try to live like who we are called to be?

The challenge for us is to truly behave like children of God instead of anything less. Long ago Solomon warned us that “God will bring every act to judgment, everything which is hidden, whether it is good or evil.” (Ecclesiastes 12:14)

Are you prepared to be judged by God for who you really are and what you are doing? Are you personally living and acting like a saint, a royal priest of the Lord God?

The time to get it right… is now!

— Lester P. Bagley