Nepaug Bible Church - http://www.nepaugchurch.org - Pastor's Adult Sunday School Notes - http://www.nepaugchurch.org/bb/bb20020714.htm
CHRIST'S SCRIPTURE PROPHECY ON CONTEMPORARY EVANGELICALISM
Part II: Christ's All-Sufficiency For Evangelicalism Presented
B. Christ's All-Sufficiency For Ministry Unto The Carnal
Lesson: (1) Carnal Evangelical laymen (a) are tempted by the unrest they have rising out of God's first round of discipline for unconfessed sin to FLEE FAITHLESSLY to humanly-pacifying but unbiblical institutions for help from their pain rather than repent and LIVE by FAITH where God first assigns them. (b) They may try to pressure pastors to AGREE with them to justify this switch. Yet, (c) failing to live by faith only extends God's discipline no matter where they go, so laymen must repent for blessing. Also, (3) for blessing, pastors should put fear of persecution aside and tell such laymen God's truth!
- If Christ has predicted our current Evangelical era of Church History, we should expect Him to comment on effective ministry to His carnal believers in our Evangelical Church era with its unique needs.
- Revelation 3:14b(b) shows us Christ's All-Sufficiency for ministry to today's carnal believers as follows:
- Christ's All-Sufficiency For Ministry Unto The Carnal, Revelation 3:14b(b)
- In preparing to comment on today's Evangelical era, Jesus laid out a threefold description of Himself in Revelation 3:14b: He is "The Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, The Head of the Creation of God."
- His second title, "the Faithful and True Witness," shows Christ's All-Sufficiency in ministry to carnal Evangelicals: this title is used of God (as in Rev. 3:14) elsewhere in Scripture only in Jeremiah 42:5 (cf. Strong's Exhaus. Conc., p. 1179). We view its context for God's insight relative to carnal Evangelicals:
- After Jerusalem fell to Babylon in God's judgment (Jer. 4:1-4), Hebrew survivors told Jeremiah God would be a "True and Faithful Witness" if they failed to heed God's word from him to them, 40:1-42:6.
- In reality, these Hebrews feared Babylon would retaliate for the death of its puppet governor who had been assassinated by a Hebrew from Ammon. Thus, they already planned to flee to Egypt, but sought Jeremiah's approval for doing so even though it countered Scripture at Deut. 17:16, cf. Jer. 41:17-18.
- As it happened, God's word to Jeremiah directed these Hebrews to stay in Judah and live by faith in GOD as opposed to fleeing to Egypt, Jer. 42:7-12. Then, were they to flee to Egypt, God warned all they feared Babylon would do unto them in Judah would come upon them in Egypt, Jer. 42:13-18.
- We know from Jer. 15:11-21 with 1:17 Jeremiah struggled with temptations to avoid giving such news to carnal people in sin for fear of persecution reprisals, but that his fear of God's personal discipline for his not telling the people God's true message kept him preaching God's truth anyway!
- When Jeremiah thus gave this message to the Hebrews, they rejected it, slandered Jeremiah in retaliation for the message and forcibly carried Jeremiah with them down into Egypt, Jer. 43:1-7.
- So, in Egypt, God had Jeremiah predict Babylon would invade Egypt, Jer. 43:8-13. The few Hebrews who would survive this repeat trauma would realize Jeremiah had spoken God's truth, Jer. 44:1-30!
- APPLYING this insight EXPLAINS Christ's commentary on effective ministry to carnal Evangelicals:
- Christ used the extended Jeremiah 42:5 context to show the state of carnal Evangelical laymen:
- Hurting from their first round of God's discipline for disobeying Scripture, carnal laymen tend to abandon Biblical institutions (Judah) where God directs them to live by faith in Him, and they seek shelter from their pains by looking to unbiblical but nurture-promising institutions (Egypt).
- However, doing so, being additional sin, only brings more discipline, and the pain the carnal try to flee in making their institutional switch only pursues to hound them in these unbiblical institutions!
- Christ also used the extended Jeremiah 42:5 context to show the state of faithless Evangelical pastors:
- Faithless pastors dread reprisals from carnal laymen who hurt from God's discipline were they to say sin is the root of their hearers's pain, so they tend either to say what the carnal want (that it's fine to turn to the unbiblical institutions) or to switch pastorates to avoid dealing with these laymen!
- Either way, such pastoral responses to the carnal are sin, bringing God's discipline on these pastors!
- Christ thus revealed the solution for effective ministry to and for carnal Evangelical believers:
- Regardless of short-term persecution, pastors must trust God's vindication and proclaim the truth.
- Carnal laymen must heed this Biblical exposure of their sin and repent for God's discipline to end.