“The hired man, since he is not the shepherd and doesn’t own the sheep, leaves them and runs away when he sees a wolf coming. The wolf then snatches and scatters them.” John 10:12 (HCSB)
True shepherds speak the truth while hirelings are afraid to speak the truth because they may offend people, lose money and/or they simply want to tickle ears so people will like them. Pastors have lost people because they took a stand, and they kept their churches open during the lockdown. But the hirelings have run!
Shockingly, 20% of America believe the Bible is the word of God! That means 80% no longer believe in the Bible. And that is reflected in the pulpits of so many churches. The authority of the word is not held and therefore not taught anymore in these churches. Recently, the Episcopal Church has clearly indicated the Bible needs to be revived. They strongly advocate abortion and think the Bible needs tweaking to include it! Paul told us that the message of the cross is as foolishness to our world (1 Corinthians 1:18). The church that is holding onto the timeless message of Jesus and the full gospel will appear antiquated and out of date with the world.
The reality is, pastoring has never been as hard as it is today! Pastors are attacked from the inside and outside. And most pastors who are standing today are doing so wearily in weakness, and many are discouraged. Pastors today are leading a people, many who desire their ears to be tickled. But not all are been seduced by the spirit of the age! In fact, people are very hungry for the full meat of the word. They are growing impatient and dissatisfied with what is being served up at their church.
The Bible is quite clear that in the latter days (TODAY!), there would be a great falling away, or apostacy as the passage reads. People will be given over to their desires and reject Christ. And as such a great delusion will fall upon them (2 Thessalonians 2:9-12). Jesus even said that wickedness would increase and cause the love of most will grow cold (Matthew 24:12).
People are falling away because they never got the real thing. Celebrities who once proclaimed Jesus are walking away, and committing to take others with them! They were not taught the full Gospel. They were not brought to the cross and instructed to surrender all. They were not told they were to die daily and follow Christ. They were not told the danger of flirting with the world. Nope, most who are falling away were inoculated with a weak version of powerless compromised Christianity. Those who fall away tend to have been taught how little they had to give away to follow Christ, not how much it was going to cost them. They were never trained to resist the devil and temptation.
Pray for your pastor! It has taken a lot not to run, for him to stand firm preaching the Word of God week in and week out. Pray for greater anointing and power in the pulpit as he declares the full Gospel, from the beginning of the Bible to the end. Pray that the knowledge of the authority of the word of God would increase in your church, for your congregation to fully believe it is the Word of God! Pray that hirelings would be exposed and removed and for true shepherds to be strengthened and blessed! Pray that your pastor would be filled with joy, wisdom and wonder as he leads your congregation forward in Spirit and in Truth!