I sat with some young adults last night who talked of several who were leading worship and small groups who were living very ungodly lives on the other days.
I listened as they said, rarely, have they themselves, been asked what they believe before they been asked to lead in church.
This morning, I was reminded of something I wrote previously when it popped up on my FB memories—
Paul’s prodigy, Timothy, is wise beyond his years and well studied in the Scriptures. He is trusted with evangelizing and teaching in the early churches in Corinth and Thessalonica.
Yet, Paul feels the need to warn Timothy with strong words, “I charge you before God and the Lord Jesus Christ and the elect angels that you observe these things without prejudice, doing nothing with partiality. Do not lay hands on anyone hastily, nor share in other people’s sins; keep yourself pure.“ (1 Tim 5:21-22)
Paul is telling Timothy to be careful and cautious, and when he says, “Do not lay hands on anyone hastily” he is not talking about punching someone in the nose (I actually thought this for years)
No, when Paul refers to “not laying on hands hastily”, he is talking about not appointing someone as a teacher, or preacher, or allow them in leadership position too hastily.
And here’s the takeaway for us – let’s be careful, so very careful.
Let’s be careful because the damage an immature or ungodly person placed in church leadership, or given a platform, can be so very horrendous.
What’s more, in our information, post it, tweet it, blog it, culture we are being spoken to all day long in many, many ways.
It’s easier than ever for others to share their thoughts and influence us.
So let’s be incredibly diligent to test everything we hear and keep testing it.
Let’s compare what people are saying to what Scripture says (including anything I write!)
What’s more, just because we have found someone to rightly divide the Word in the past does not mean they cannot get off track. Anyone with flesh on them is capable of getting off track.
Let me be clear – there are some,today, with large platforms, of whom in the past, I have genuinely learned from and grown closer to God because of their teaching. However, I am concerned that these very same teachers are no longer rightly dividing the Word.
There is a check in my spirit when I read what they post and tweet now.
When I test what they say with Scripture, I’m further concerned.
I suspect as the days get harder and the enemy knows his time is short, many in positions of influence will fall away from speaking and living truth.
And in order to guard our hearts-and minds in Christ Jesus, so we can walk in truth, we better spend time studying the Word for ourselves and our families. Your quiet time needs to be protected and cherished! (Forsake some laundry if you have to and pick up your Bible!)
It’s also great to study the Word with others. I love reading your thoughts on my ministry page.
I know these days aren’t easy. There are false teachers. Many are falling away from truth. Our country is divided. Our world is chaotic.
But God chose you and your family to be here for such a time as this. He truly did!
He will equip you with what you need to walk close to Him (1 Thess 5:24). Listen for His voice. Be wise in who you follow. Churches, be careful in who you allow to lead.
In all your ways acknowledge Him. He will make your path straight (Prov 3:5-6). Do what He says. Test everything. Hold onto the good (1 Thess 5:21) . The joy of the Lord will be your strength (Neh 8:10)
He truly will give us what we need when we need it. He’s not going to leave us or forsake us. Let’s hold tight to Him. (Heb 13:5)