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The Daily Word of Righteousness
The Work of Restoration, #45
I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars: (Revelation 2:2)
There are instances today in which pastors are engaging in immorality and are not confessing their sin and repenting. When the members of the congregation go to the elders concerning the sin, the elders advise the believers that God has forgiven the pastor and that the members who raise the question of morality have a wrong attitude. They are told they must not judge and that God is condemning them because they are not forgiving the pastors and evangelists who are committing adultery. In this manner the organizations protect themselves, but the sheep are in confusion.
This kind of incident is happening in the churches. It is what the Scriptures mean when they state "with force and with cruelty have ye ruled them." Such elders and pastors will be beaten with many lashes.
Sometimes the leadership places great emphasis on our going forth and converting the unsaved. But what good does it do to add more people to the churches when those within the churches are not growing in Christ, are going through divorce, are drunken, are starving for the Word of God, are confused, depressed, lonely, living in sin and worldliness?
What sense does it make to bring additional people into the churches when the Lord's sheep are wandering aimlessly in a spiritual wilderness? Will an increase in numbers of people result in an increase in the worship and obedience that God requires of the Church?
If not, what has been gained in the Kingdom of God by adding people to the churches?
But when the Lord's sheep are being led by true shepherds, are growing, are being nourished, cherished, and protected, are worshiping God and serving Him, then the Lord Himself will add to the Church each day such as should be saved.
And all that believed were together, and had all things common; And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need. And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart, Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved. (Acts 2:44-47)
It often has been the practice to order the preaching and the "service" in such a manner that the unsaved or worldly "Christians" will not be bewildered or offended by intense spiritual worship and teaching. When this is the policy of the assembly, there may never be occasions when the church comes together to worship God and hear the voice of the Spirit of God. In this instance the members never will grow in Christ. The lack of services designed for the saints is a principle reason for the eternal babyhood of the believers.
One of the great needs, therefore, is the restoration of the sheep gate. In fact, the purpose of the ministries and gifts given to men by the ascended Christ is that the Lord's sheep may grow into the Head—Christ.
Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: (Ephesians 4:13)
To be continued.