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DaveW

Aside from Sunday morning services.....

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6 hours ago, Alan said:

Please permit me to digress from the subject matter at hand and just comment on weary warriors reference to Ezekiel 34:1-10.

I am of the same persuasion on Weary Warriors comment on Ezekiel 34:1-10.

God's denunciation of the shepherds of Israel as written in Ezekiel 34:1-10 is terrifying. If the shepherd of the flock is in the ministry for the the wrong reason, as 2 Peter 2 relates and other passages, and does not feed the flock from the word of God, does not warn of the judgment to come, and is not compassionate, or passionate, concerning the things of God. And, is a false teacher, a hypocrite, and does not have a passion for souls: than that man is going to give an account to God one day. The pastor, the evangelist, the missionary, the Bible teacher, is supposed to feed the flock and not have the attitude of the contemporary crowd, the liberal crowd, the multitude of false teachers in the ministry in our age, and the preacher of hate and slander, etc... One day, as Ezekiel 34:16-17 states, God will will judge between the true shepherd and the false shepherd.

Also, to digress a moment to reference  Ezekiel 34:1-10 in the context of my current study of Ezekiel 34:23-31. The Lord Jesus, the True Shepherd, will one day raise up David, as a shepherd, to the nation of Israel, to guide the nation of Israel in the way of righteousness.

Yes, Weary Warrior is correct in this comments of Ezekiel 34:1-10.

Please forgive my digression as I too am terrified that I will not meet up to my responsibilities as a shepherd of the flock, as a missionary, every time I read Ezekiel 34:1-10

Indeed, I agree that the warning of Ezekiel 34:1-10 is a serious and solemn warning unto all pastors of the Lord's flock.  Thus it is worthy for us to understand the sinful behavior of the pastors who were confronted and condemned by our Lord in that passage.  (Note: I am not aware that any of the true prophets of the Lord God, the true preachers/teachers of God's Holy Word, were included in this confrontation and condemnation.  Rather, this confrontation and condemnation was laid against the false, ungodly pastors of Israel, as referenced in other places of Ezekiel (See 13:1-16; 22:23-31), as well as in Isaiah, Jeremiah, etc.)

1.  They fed themselves upon the flock, rather than faithfully feed the flock. (vs. 2-3, 8 )
2.  They ruled over the flock with force and cruelty, rather than care for the flock with compassion and spiritual healing. (v. 4)
3.  They scattered the flock through their cruelty to become a prey before the enemy, rather than search and seek after them with spiritual diligence. (vs. 5-8)

On the other hand, it is also worthy of notice that in the very same chapter the Lord our God ALSO confronted the selfish and ungodly members of the flock --

"And as for you, O my flock, thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I judge between cattle and cattle, between the rams and the he goats.  Seemeth it a small thing unto you to have eaten up the good pasture, but ye must tread down with your feet the residue of your pastures?  And to have drunk of the deep waters, but ye must foul the residue with your feet?  And as for my flock, they eat that which ye have trodden with your feet; and they drink that which ye have fouled with your feet.  Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD unto them; Behold, I, even I, will judge between the fat cattle and between the lean cattle.  Because ye have thrust with side and with shoulder, and pushed all the diseased with your horns, till ye have scattered them abroad; therefore will I save my flock, and they shall no more be a prey; and I will judge between cattle and cattle." (Ezekiel 34:17-22)

Edited by Pastor Scott Markle

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Bottom line difference between your view and my view...?

You - "What are they doing wrong?"

Me - "What are we doing wrong?"

Now, one of us is not approaching this correctly. I can only trust that the Chief Shepherd, whom we both serve sincerely, will make it known to each of us the things that we need to learn and mature in in order to serve Him better.

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Some further thoughts in relation to the confrontation and condemnation of Ezekiel 34:1-10.

1.  Is there anything in the surrounding context that might reveal the character of a faithful prophet/pastor/preacher of God?  Yes, there is in Ezekiel 33:7-16 --

"So thou, O son of man, I have set thee a watchman unto the house of Israel; therefore thou shalt hear the word at my mouth, and warn them from me.  When I say unto the wicked, O wicked man, thou shalt surely die; if thou dost not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand.  Nevertheless, if thou warn the wicked of his way to turn from it; if he do not turn from his way, he shall die in his iniquity; but thou hast delivered thy soul.  Therefore, O thou son of man, speak unto the house of Israel; Thus ye speak, saying, If our transgressions and our sins be upon us, and we pine away in them, how should we then live?  Say unto them, As I live, saith the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel?  Therefore, thou son of man, say unto the children of thy people, The righteousness of the righteous shall not deliver him in the day of his transgression: as for the wickedness of the wicked, he shall not fall thereby in the day that he turneth from his wickedness; neither shall the righteous be able to live for his righteousness in the day that he sinneth.  When I shall say to the righteous, that he shall surely live; if he trust to his own righteousness, and commit iniquity, all his righteousnesses shall not be remembered; but for his iniquity that he hath committed, he shall die for it.  Again, when I say unto the wicked, Thou shalt surely die; if he turn from his sin, and do that which is lawful and right; If the wicked restore the pledge, give again that he had robbed, walk in the statutes of life, without committing iniquity; he shall surely live, he shall not die.  None of his sins that he hath committed shall be mentioned unto him: he hath done that which is lawful and right; he shall surely live."  So, the faithful prophet/pastor/preacher of God is to warn the people of their sin through reproof and rebuke and to exhort the people to turn from that sin with broken-hearted repentance.

2.  Is there anything in the surrounding context that might reveal the manner in which many will respond to the faithful prophet/pastor/preacher of God?  Yes, there is in Ezekiel 33:30-33 --

"Also, thou son of man, the children of thy people still are talking against thee by the walls and in the doors of the houses, and speak one to another, every one to his brother, saying, Come, I pray you, and hear what is the word that cometh forth from the LORD.  And they come unto thee as the people cometh, and they sit before thee as my people, and they hear thy words, but they will not do them: for with their mouth they shew much love, but their heart goeth after their covetousness.  And, lo, thou art unto them as a very lovely song of one that hath a pleasant voice, and can play well on an instrument: for they hear thy words, but they do them not.  And when this cometh to pass, (lo, it will come,) then shall they know that a prophet hath been among them.

Consider also Ezekiel 3:4-11 --

"And he said unto me, Son of man, go, get thee unto the house of Israel, and speak with my words unto them.  For thou art not sent to a people of a strange speech and of an hard language, but to the house of Israel; not to many people of a strange speech and of an hard language, whose words thou canst not understand.  Surely, had I sent thee to them, they would have hearkened unto thee.  But the house of Israel will not hearken unto thee; for they will not hearken unto me: for all the house of Israel are impudent and hardhearted. Behold, I have made thy face strong against their faces, and thy forehead strong against their foreheadsAs an adamant harder than flint have I made thy forehead: fear them not, neither be dismayed at their looks, though they be a rebellious house. Moreover he said unto me, Son of man, all my words that I shall speak unto thee receive in thine heart, and hear with thine ears.  And go, get thee to them of the captivity, unto the children of thy people, and speak unto them, and tell them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; whether they will hear, or whether they will forbear."

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6 hours ago, weary warrior said:

Bottom line difference between your view and my view...?

You - "What are they doing wrong?"

Me - "What are we doing wrong?"

Now, one of us is not approaching this correctly. I can only trust that the Chief Shepherd, whom we both serve sincerely, will make it known to each of us the things that we need to learn and mature in in order to serve Him better.

That's really funny, because the way I read your first post is that I was blaming everyone else for something I was doing wrong, which plainly shows that you didn't actually read the opening post.

As I read the posts following your first I see it as :

you: It is all the Pastor's fault.

Scott: It is sin wherever it is found.

funny how perceptions differ......

All I know is the problem is real and I want to fix it whatever it takes. I am trying on my part, but nothing seems to make a difference. But in fact all I can do is to do better on my part - I can't "force" others into it.

But the accusation that it is all my fault for being an unspiritual and boring pastor was certainly an encouragement, especially since you know me and my preaching so well.

Edited by DaveW
Phone spelling

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3 minutes ago, DaveW said:

That's really funny, because the way I read your first post is that I was blaming everyone else for something I was doing wrong, which plainly shows that you didn't actually read the opening post.

As I read the posts following your first I see it as :

you: It is all the Pastor's fault.

Scott: It is sin wherever it is found.

funny how perceptions differ......

All I know is the problem is real and I want to fix it whatever it takes. I am trying on my part, but nothing seems to make a difference. But in fact all I can do is to do better on my part - I can't "force" others into it.

But the accusation that it is all my fault for being an unspiritual and boring pastor was certainly an encouragement, especially since you know me and my preaching so well.

Dave, your original post stated that it was a "common problem where I am". You then asked "how can we..." fix this situation. I took it as a general observation regarding the local Baptist churches as we know them. I in no way read that as a specific question regarding you yourself or your specific church. For my misunderstanding of the original question, and my reaction to it, I sincerely apologize. You are correct. I do not know you personally, nor do I know your church or you preaching. I have been speaking of a broad, general problem in IFB circles.

My personal offence to you was completely unintentional, and I am very sorry. Please forgive me this.

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On 2/4/2019 at 12:14 AM, DaveW said:

Thoughts people?

How can we (biblically of course) find a way to help people see the importance of the other services?

 

I do a lot of expository preaching and I try to find something in the passage, usually a story, or an incident, that shows that the scriptures, and the truths contained therein, are for our good.

I would like to mention two scripture verses to point out my thoughts.

Moses said, "And the LORD commanded us to do these statutes, to fear the LORD our God, for our good always, that he might preserve us alive, as it is at this day." Deuteronomy 6:24

Paul said, "Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come." 1 Corinthians 10:11

In our work on the field, when we first started the work, we did not always have a Wednesday night service for several reasons. So, our experience is not so great a scale as in numbers. But, we have seen some good spiritual growth, and we have experienced, on a small scale, that once saints realize that the scriptures are  beneficial for our well being, and that further attendance, or work in the church, is good for their spiritual development, and family life, than they may want to come out of joy to learn more and not come out of duty.

I still remember the day when some of the folks in our latest work, even though small in numbers, decided among themselves to start doing some of the maintenance work on the building, attend visitation services, and help with the daily routine of starting a church. These blessings started when the folks that were saved started to see that the scriptures were written for our good, and that serving the Lord out of a heart of love, and not duty, was a blessing to their lives.

 

Edited by Alan
our to out

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16 hours ago, Alan said:

I still remember the day when some of the folks in our latest work, even though small in numbers, decided among themselves to start doing some of the maintenance work on the building, attend visitation services, and help with the daily routine of starting a church. These blessings started when the folks that were saved started to see that the scriptures were written for our good, and that serving the Lord out of a heart of love, and not duty, was a blessing to their lives.

Indeed, when the Lord Himself became the first love-priority of their lives.  There is always a distinct difference in attitude and behavior when this occurs.

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"Aside from Sunday morning services....."

In regard to the tittle, if the question is to which service time would be most "required" or commanded, then Sunday Evening service would be more biblical than Sunday morning, as it fulfills the request of Paul and its the only service time Jesus attended after his resurrection. 

However in regard to requirements, Christians aren't required to to do anything they don't want to. What they SHOULD do is a different matter.

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In my own experience, I found that, when I finally decided to get serious about my walk with the Lord, I WANTED to be in service, as much as possible. At the time, there was something going on just about 7-days a week at our church, and I got involved in many of them, though clearly, I couldn't do them all. 

But my point is, I WANTED to get in because in my heart, I was ready to get in. My pastor's preaching, which was always excellent, didn't change, I changed. Before that I spent a lot of time under excellent preaching not getting much from it, because MY heart wasn't ready. But when I was, I wanted to be there, Sunday, evening and morning, and Wednesday, and special meetings, and visitation. And I lament, til this day, all the time I wasted before that, and these are the things I try to instill in the young men in our church, the importance of making that decision to put Jesus on the pedestal of our lives, to follow Him, and to get in while young and strong. Sadly, it too often falls on deaf ears. Video games and cars and overtime and family events are all too important. 

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8 minutes ago, Ukulelemike said:

In my own experience, I found that, when I finally decided to get serious about my walk with the Lord, I WANTED to be in service, as much as possible. At the time, there was something going on just about 7-days a week at our church, and I got involved in many of them, though clearly, I couldn't do them all. 

But my point is, I WANTED to get in because in my heart, I was ready to get in. My pastor's preaching, which was always excellent, didn't change, I changed. Before that I spent a lot of time under excellent preaching not getting much from it, because MY heart wasn't ready. But when I was, I wanted to be there, Sunday, evening and morning, and Wednesday, and special meetings, and visitation. And I lament, til this day, all the time I wasted before that, and these are the things I try to instill in the young men in our church, the importance of making that decision to put Jesus on the pedestal of our lives, to follow Him, and to get in while young and strong. Sadly, it too often falls on deaf ears. Video games and cars and overtime and family events are all too important. 

Amen, and AMEN!  This is as I have been trying to communicate - The issue IS a heart-priority issue.

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Growing up, the church I attended only had Sunday morning service (with sunday school).  Maybe a lot of people don't realize it's different sermons each time? They don't see the importance of attending as many services as you can. Providing good health. Our church is broadcast live online. So if we miss a sermon we're able to catch up online. Not very many churches at all that do that.  Not every one is at the same stage of spiritual growth to want to attend 3-4 times a week. As you grow spiritually, speaking for myself, you can't get enough true Biblical preaching! 

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Though I have no issue with a church having a midweek or Sunday night service. The number of times a church meets is up to the church. The early church met daily,  not just on Sunday. However,  there is no mandate in scripture other than Sunday.

With that said,  we are definitely in a time where the church is dying, pastors treat the ministry as a job and the people want to be entertained. There are over 80 Independent Baptist churches in a 30 minute radius of my home and none are worth attending. I lived an hour away previously and there were over 100 churches and I only found 1 that preached the Word. 

We are definitively in the Laodecian Period, the false Church that God is going to spew out of his mouth 

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13 hours ago, Miss Daisy said:

 

Growing up, the church I attended only had Sunday morning service (with sunday school).  Maybe a lot of people don't realize it's different sermons each time? They don't see the importance of attending as many services as you can. Providing good health. Our church is broadcast live online. So if we miss a sermon we're able to catch up online. Not very many churches at all that do that.  Not every one is at the same stage of spiritual growth to want to attend 3-4 times a week. As you grow spiritually, speaking for myself, you can't get enough true Biblical preaching! 

Miss Daisy,

You're an inspiration to me. I know I haven't interacted with you much, but I want you to know that I appreciate you and your input.

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