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Wednesday, May 20, 2015

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Pastors seldom present a message of rebuke or exhortation to come up higher.  It is not the fashionable thing to do today. But Paul makes it clear that it must be done. 

 

Are you a “sound doctrine” person or are your ears itching to hear only what is pleasing and are in need of an occasional loving rebuke?  I have never understood the reasons, or motivating factors, behind joining a church and then attacking or ignoring its beliefs because you decided the teachings were inaccurate or outdated. Why spend the time and energy working to change the direction and momentum of an entire denomination?  The answer is simple, you and I are involved in a war—a cosmic conflict. There are no other logical explanations. 

 

For an individual to simply disagree and leave the church would cause very little problem for the organization or her people, but allow dissent to linger and take root— passions to foment—and now you have the makings of a demonically created situation.  When taken to its ultimate conclusion, dissension will rip, tear, and finally destroy a once mission driven, kingdom bound, fighting force.

 

Paul counseled Timothy to deal with such dissent in a straightforward manner.  If not approached head on, more people will be dragged into the itching-ears-don’t-believe-in-sound- doctrine” camp—disaster!   Allowing such misdirection to continue in the church is not love! It is a destructive force that must be dealt with.  Reprove, rebuke, and exhort said Paul, but do so with gentle patience because every person is potentially, and hopefully, our neighbor in heaven.

 

God speaks firmly to His children because He is looking for people who will humble themselves; people like the apostle Paul, who will pour themselves out as a sacrificial drink offering to be used by God “For I am already being poured out” (2 Tim. 4:6 ). Are you humble before the Lord? Have you poured yourself out in full surrender to Him?  How do you respond to His chastening?  The fight is long and difficult but for those who fully surrender to Him and keep the faith—endure to the end through His power—there is a crown of righteousness for the victor!

 

Imagine that glorious, soon-coming day when the lovely Jesus—King of the Universe—approaches you, gently looks into your eyes, and with His own nail pierced hands, places the victor’s crown upon your head and says, “Well done, good and faithful servant. . . enter into the joy of your Lord” (Mat 25:21).  Because you have overcome the old life, you are now my child forever and you will inherit all things (Rev 21:7).

 

Jim Ayer
Vice President
Adventist World Radio
General Conference