Tuesday, January 28, 2014

The first of 11 reasons pastors aren't trusted today

Paul is giving Titus some advice as to how older men and older women should live.

"to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled." (Titus 2:5).

Then Paul gives advice for how younger men should live and also pastors:

"and sound speech that cannot be condemned, so that an opponent may be put to shame, having nothing evil to say about us." (Titus 2:8)
Living Water by AmBr0

Paul speaks about how even slaves are supposed to live. Even though they are not free in life, they are free to make Godly choices.

"not pilfering, but showing all good faith, so that in everything they may adorn the doctrine of God our Savior." (Titus 2:10).

Do you notice how in verse 5 and 8 and 10 Paul attaches to the verse the reason why we should live holy lives?

Paul says the same thing to Timothy in these verses:

"So I counsel younger widows to marry, to have children, to manage their homes and to give the enemy no opportunity for slander." (1 Timothy 5:14)

"All who are under the yoke of slavery should consider their masters worthy of full respect, so that God's name and our teaching may not be slandered." (1 Timothy 6:1)

So that the teaching of Jesus may not be slandered! Satan is always looking for an opportunity to accuse us
of being hypocrites. So are the lost. it is so important that since we have been given the Light, not to share the dark. Yet more and more often, Christians hide their light under a bushel basket and allow the way of Christ to be slandered. This is from Thom Ranier:

Eleven Reasons Pastors Are Trusted Less Today
The moral failures of a minority of pastors receive widespread coverage. The media loves the sensational stories behind clergy failure. For sure, some stories such as sex abuse should be brought to the public eye. But many people now believe the bad behavior of a few is normative for all pastors.

Wikipedia creative commons photo, Dunn County Farm
Kerby Anderson wrote in his essay "The Decline of a Nation"

The refrains that are often heard are: "It can't happen here," or "Our country is different." But the reality is that nations are born and die just like individuals. Their longevity may exceed the average person's lifespan. But the reality is that nations also die.

History has shown that the average age of the great civilizations is around two hundred years. Countries like Great Britain exceed the average while other countries like the United States are just now reaching the average age.

Each of the great civilizations in the world passed through a series of stages from their birth to their decline to their death. Historians have listed these in ten stages.

The first stage moves from bondage to spiritual faith. The second from spiritual faith to great courage. The third stage moves from great courage to liberty. The fourth stage moves from liberty to abundance. The fifth stage moves from abundance to selfishness. The sixth stage moves from selfishness to complacency. The seventh stage moves from complacency to apathy. The eighth stage moves from apathy to moral decay. The ninth stage moves from moral decay to dependence. And the tenth and last stage moves from dependence to bondage.

These are the ten stages through which the great civilizations have gone. Notice the progression from
The Civilization Express Station by theflickerees, cc photo
bondage to liberty back to bondage. The first generation throws off the shackles of bondage only to have a later generation through apathy and indifference allow itself to once again be enslaved.


I believe the US, and perhaps even the entire world, are at the end of stage nine and readying for the final stage before the antichrist comes to power, by taking advantage of humankind's dependance and moving them into the prophesied bondage.

But back to Paul's admonitions. Paul ended his letter to Titus 2:15 this way-

"Declare these things; exhort and rebuke with all authority. Let no one disregard you."

Paul is serious about holy living. On the Day when we all stand before Jesus, think of whether you want Him to congratulate you when your works are not burned up, that you lived for Him with good motivations. Or will you (or I) be embarrassed that our sins were exposed to the world and the word of God was reviled? Why give satan ammunition? He'll only use it against us. (Zechariah 3:1, Revelation 12:10).

Spurgeon said of holy living:

"There are legitimate reasons why the world, the church, and our Lord Jesus Christ himself, may expect more from Christians than from the rest of mankind. And, the first is, because they profess more. Professions should always be supported by facts, or else they are deceits, impostures, and hypocrisies. A Christian professes himself to be a renewed man; he has learned the evil of sin, repented of it, and fled from it to Christ Jesus; he professes to have been pardoned, and to have received a new heart and a right spirit; he professes, also, to be a child of God, and an heir of heaven. Other men do not profess this. ... Now, Christian, if you profess this, your life must prove it, or else, if your life gives the lie to your religious pretensions, you stand convicted of a flagrant falsehood, a fraud on men and a felony against God."

"But, secondly, we may well expect more from Christians than others, because it is a fact in the case of those who are truly Christians that they are more than others. It is not mere talk, it is a fact that the believer in Christ is born again. He is not only as other men are, made by God, but he has been twice made, new born, new created in Christ Jesus. It is no fiction but a matter of truthful experience; we have passed from death unto life. We have received the Spirit of God into our souls, which has implanted in us a new nature higher than the nature of other men."

"Again, it is certain that true Christians can do more than others. "Can," saith one, "why, they can do nothing." True, but through Christ that strengtheneth them they can do all things; and Christ does strengthen his people."

Be strengthened, live holy, that the way of Christ not be reviled!

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