“Obey those who rule over you, and be submissive, for they watch out for your souls, as those who must give an account” (Hebrews 13:17). Pastors, and overseers of the house of God, including bishops and apostles, must be extremely careful as to how they conduct themselves in their positions as leaders of the body of Christ.These leaders are held to a much higher standard than the members themselves. As such their lives must be above reproach.The apostle Paul laid out the qualifications for men of God who would assume the exalted position of a pastor: “If a man desires the office of a bishop (overseer), he desires a good work. A bishop must be blameless, the husband of one wife, temperate, sober-minded, of good behavior, hospitable, able to teach, not given to wine, not violent, not greedy for money, but gentle, not quarrelsome, not coveteous; one who rules his own house well, having his children in submission with all reverence” (1 Timothy 3:1-4).
It saddens and angers me to see many pastors mistreating and abusing the flock of God, the very people whom they are called to protect and watch out for. I am grieved to see individuals entering into the ministry for their own selfish gain, not because they have been called by God to be servants of the people. The Lord Jesus Himself said, “He who is the greatest among you let him be your servant.” I don’t see that servant mentality in many of today’s pastors. They seem to have set themselves upon a pedstal, and indeed the
1 Peter 5:2, 3 warns: “Shepherd the flock of God which is among you, serving as overseers, not by compulsion but willingly, not for dishonest gain but eagerly; nor as being lords over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock.” The only concerns of these wayward pastors are how big the offering is, and the size of their membership. There are only a few pastors left out there who are genuinely burdened for the souls of their flocks. Most of the pastors and mega-preachers are only concerned about themselves and their own advancement at the expense of their memberships who trust them so blindly.
To underscore the self-centeredness and selfishness of these “men of God,” one need only to look at the starving millions around the world, in Haiti, Africa, Latin America. When have you heard of a pastor chartering one of his private jets to take a shipment of desperately needed food to those starving masses? And the sick and dying in these countries; when have you heard of a faith healer traveling to an affected and infected country, laying hands on the sick, and “healing” them in the name of Jesus? No, these poor, impoverished people do not not have money give an offering to support their lavish lifestyles.
But God has has the ultimate answer to this most pressing issue of deceitful pastors in the ministry. “Thus says the Lord God to the shepherds: Woe to the sheperds of Israel who feed themselves! Should not the shepherd feed the flock? You eat the fat and clothe yourselves with the wool; slaughter the fatlings, but you do not feed the flock. The weak you have not strengthened, nor have you healed those who were sick, nor bound up the broken, nor brought back what was driven away, nor sought what was lost; but with force and cruelty have you ruled them. So they were scattered because there was no shepherd; and they became food for all the beasts of the field when they were scattered” (Ezekiel 34:2-5).
These corrupt pastors will be judged by the Creator. Here is what the Lord God says, “Behold, I am against the shepherds, and will require My flock at their hand; I will cause them to cease feeding the sheep, and the shepherds shall feed themselves no more; for I will deliver the flock from their mouths, that they may no longer be food for them. For thus says the Lord God: Indeed I Myself will search for My sheep and seek them out. As a shepherd seeks out his flock on the day he is among his scattered sheep, so I will seek out My sheep and deliver them from all the places where they were scattered on a dark and cloudy day” (Ezekiel 34:10-12).
Yes, God will soon deliver His people from these spiritual and predatory vulchers. He is going to expose them for who and what they truly are! He will indeed take the congregations and large memberships away from them. The true Church must pray that this happens sooner rather than later, because people are dying spiritually, even as they search desperately for the truth.
He that has an ear let him hear.