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Watch 2022 online sermons » Derek Prince » Derek Prince - Pastors Need To Proclaim The Reality Of Jesus' Coming

Derek Prince - Pastors Need To Proclaim The Reality Of Jesus' Coming

Derek Prince - Pastors Need To Proclaim The Reality Of Jesus' Coming
TOPICS: Pressures Tests And Challenges, Second Coming

This is an excerpt from: Pressures, Tests & Challenges

Now, we’ve reached a decisive point in this discourse, because we finished the outline that Jesus has given. And now we’re going to deal in this chapter and the next with four different categories of people, all of whom will be impacted by the coming of the Lord. We’ll look at each category in order. The first category is contained in Matthew 24:45–51. It speaks about those whom God, or the Lord, has set in His household to care for the needs of His people. And specifically, to give them the appropriate food at the right time.

What kind of person does that indicate? I would turn to 1 Peter 5. I think this is the answer. 1 Peter 5:1–4: The elders who are among you I exhort, I who am a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that will be revealed: Shepherd the flock of God which is among you, serving as overseers, not by constraint but willingly, not for dishonest gain but eagerly; nor being lords over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock; and when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that does not fade away. So that speaks about those whom the Lord has placed in His flock to overseer. We have both words used, in and over. The overseers, the pastors the shepherds, the elders, the apostles, for Peter was an apostle. And I would say all the ministries, the five ministries, are appointed by Jesus in the flock and over the flock.

Let’s not emphasize one preposition at the expense of the other. They’re not just over, they’re also in. In verse 2 of 1 Peter 5 Peter says: Shepherd the flock of God which is among you. So we are not talking about a superior class of people who live on a different level from the rest of God’s people. We’re talking about people who live amongst God’s people, but yet have a special responsibility over them. Peter warns his fellow elders. Because when an apostle becomes resident in the city, he has the position of an elder. Be careful how you handle your responsibility. Because you’re going to have to give an account. Let’s go back now to the picture at the end of Matthew 24. Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his master made a ruler over his household - actually, that’s not the best translation, appointed within his household - to give them food in due season?

Notice the first requirement for such a servant is not successful, but faithful. I have been a missionary in two areas at different times. And in each place I have recognized that there were missionaries who were there before me, who labored faithfully and laid down their lives and saw very little obvious fruit. But I say to myself, God forbid that I should ever think that I’m more successful than they are. Because if they hadn’t been there first, the way would not have been prepared for me. So bear in mind it’s not success as the world understands it that God looks for it’s faithfulness. Who is that faithful not successful, servant. I don’t mean that a Christian will not be successful. But success is not measured by the world’s standards.

Success is faithfully accomplishing the task allotted to you by the Lord. And the task here is to give God’s people their food in due season. That really is a pastoral task, a shepherd’s task. I observed over the years that a true pastor knows exactly what his particular flock needs. It may be quite different from what another flock needs at the same time. When I do go, which is rather rare now, to minister to just a congregation, I always like to inquire of the pastors or the pastoral staff: what do you think your people need particularly?

One of the responsibilities of a shepherd is to know where His people are and what they really need. That requires sensitivity. And then Jesus tells us the reward of that kind of service. I say to you that the Lord will make him ruler over all his goods. Faithfulness in this life leads to promotion in the next life. This is a solemn thought, the way we conduct ourselves in this world will determine what we’ll be for eternity. There is no substitute for faithfulness. Now we come to the but the other side of the picture. But if that evil servant says in his heart, ‘My master is delaying his coming,’ and begins to beat his fellow servants, and to eat and drink with the drunkards... So this is the only alternative; and if you sometime or other, were going to look at a picture of the judgment seat of Christ which is described in Romans 14 and 2 Corinthians 5, you’d find there are only two categories: good or evil. There’s nothing in between. We’ve invented in the church a third category.

Well, I’m not good, but I’m not evil. In God’s view that category doesn’t exist. If you’re not good, you’re evil. A lot of people in our churches today are what I call 'fence sitters'. They’re sitting on the fence; they’re not really committed, but they don’t want to be classed as unbelievers. My little comment on this is when the Holy Spirit comes to the church, one of the first things He does is to electrify the fence. That’s why some people don’t welcome the Holy Spirit, because they want to stay comfortably seated on the fence. So, what’s the feature of this evil servant? Well, he says, My master is delaying his coming. In other words: he’s lost the vision of the imminent reality of the Lord’s return and that’s his basic problem. I’ve come to this conclusion that in churches where they do not proclaim the coming of the Lord Jesus as a reality, the standards of holiness will never be those of the New Testament.

This is an essential truth to produce holiness in God’s people. So he says, My master’s been away a long time. I haven’t heard anything about him. I haven’t really been in close touch with him, I can live it up. So, he begins to beat his fellow servants, he becomes domineering. It is very, very easy for people who help occupy the position of pastors to become domineering, to control people. It’s evil. I’ve made this personal assessment that God will never put His anointing on something witch man seeks to control. So, if man wants to keep it under his control God says, Well, carry on, but don’t expect My anointing. Unless I’m allowed to be in charge, you can carry on. You can go through your religious procedures. You can use all the words and the titles, but the results will not be what come only from the anointing of the Holy Spirit. So, he’s domineering. He beats his fellow servants, he eats and drinks with the drunkards. He begins to live it up. This is a very real temptation in the Western world, especially in the United States.
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