A Letter To Pastors
Sunday - November 17, 2019
A letter to Pastors from a heartbroken sheep. This may be hard for you to read, but please read this to the end.
How lovely is your dwelling place, O Lord Almighty! My soul yearns, even faints, for the courts of the Lord; my heart and my flesh cry out for the living God. Psalm 84:1-2
Through the years, I have listened to many a message on Jesus' work on the cross, holiness and the Holy Spirit. I have heard messages in churches, on television, radio and the internet from many Godly men and woman who helped me to know Jesus as my Lord and Savior, my healer and my redeemer. But on the other hand, I have also been to churches where I actually sat in my seat and cried because I was so disturbed by what I saw and heard. So now, I would like to ask pastors to read this message from a very concerned sheep. I come to you in humility but with a message that I truly believe many pastors need to hear. It is entitled: Remember the height from which you have fallen.
Let me start with Revelation chapter 4. Here we see Jesus on the throne. Surrounding the throne are 24 elders. In the center around the throne are four living creatures. Day and night these creatures never stop saying: "Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty who was, and is, and is to come." When ever the living creatures give glory, honor and thanks to him who sits on the throne and who lives for ever and ever, the twenty four elders fall down before Him who sits on the throne and worship him who lives for ever and ever. They lay their crowns before the throne and say, "You are worthy, our Lord and God to receive glory and honor and power for you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being."
Pastors please allow me to preach a bit to you:
- We serve a Holy God: How are we to act with a Holy God? Reverentially. What does this mean? This means that we are to give Him our best. Pastors, if you were going to meet the President or the King and Queen of England how would you dress? Would you go looking like you just got out of bed in jeans, sneakers and an old tee shirt? You might be saying, "I want people to relate to me and to Jesus. I need to come to where they are." Pastors, I have news for you, your job is not to come down to where they are, your job is to get them to come up to where you are and to meet Jesus. If they come to church in jeans and sneakers, that's fine but you need to be the leader and show respect for this Holy God while you are on the altar. The sheep learn from the shepherd. Please teach them how to respect and reverence their God.
- Day and night they worshiped before Jesus: The 24 elders laid their crowns before the throne and worshiped him. Notice they did not have a cup of coffee and a donut in their hands. I have seen churches set tables up at the entrance of the sanctuary so that people coming in could get their coffee and donuts before they sat down. And what about the Starbucks stands? Do you realize that there are people that cannot afford to buy coffee and refreshments for themselves and their families? Are they to watch everyone else eat? Paul admonishes the early Christians for this. In 1 Corinthians 11:22 Paul writes, "Don't you have homes to eat and drink in? Or do you despise the church of God and humiliate those who have nothing?" The only thing we should be eating or drinking in the house of the Lord is the body and blood of Jesus.
- The Lords Supper: Do you serve communion? How often? I have seen churches where people had to ask for it because it was just not offered. 1 Corinthians 11:23 reads "The Lord Jesus, on the night he was betrayed, took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, 'This is my body, which is for you: do this in remembrance of me'. In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying 'this is the new covenant in my blood, do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me'. For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord's death until he comes." Please, please stop serving coffee and donuts and serve the people the body and blood of Jesus.
- The Altar: Why is there an invisible line between the altar and the seats where the people sit? Pastors, open up your altars and let the people pray. This is the place where hearts are changed and softened towards God. I have heard tremendous stories of people who were freed from bondage, addictions, prostitution and many other strongholds at the altar. Please, please give people this time. It's as simple as this. Towards the end of service, tell the people that the altars are open if they would like to come and pray. Let's look back at Revelation 4: "When ever the living creatures give glory, honor and thanks to him who sits on the throne and who lives for ever and ever, the twenty four elders fall down before Him who sits on the throne and worship him who lives for ever and ever." The 24 elders fall down before Him who sits on the throne and worship him. Well, if they are doing that in heaven, shouldn't we be doing so on earth?
- Music: Who is leading worship? Who is on your worship team? Are they followers of Jesus Christ? Do you know how many ads I have seen posted from churches looking for Worship Leaders that must love music, love people and love to sing. Not one word about being a Christian or loving Jesus Christ. Are they just playing music and putting on a good show? How can the dead lead people to life? The worship team should be worshiping Jesus Christ not just with the words to the songs but with their whole hearts. The blind cannot lead the blind.
- The Holy Spirit: There is a God, three in one. The Father, the son, and the Holy Spirit. In John 16 Jesus said that when he goes away, He will send a Counselor who will guide us into all truth. The book of Acts goes on to tell us about the miraculous things that happened on the day of Pentacost. When Peter addressed the crowds, he quoted from the book of Joel saying "In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams." Pastors, do you believe that we are in the last days? If so, please do not stop the Holy Spirit from doing a work in and through your people. Please do not quench the Holy Spirit. I have heard some say that they would lose people in their church because they would be scared away. Well, are you more concerned with numbers then you are with the Spirit of the Living God? I have heard others say that they want to make sure that their service is orderly. Absolutely, I couldn't agree with you more. Do you know that an orderly service comes from the pulpit? Teach your people about the Holy Spirit and how to respond to him. Let them speak in tongues but make sure there is an interpretation and if not, then you must interpret. Please do not be afraid of the Holy Spirit working in and through your church.
- Hell: Pastors, there are only two choices - heaven or hell. Do you ever preach on hell? In Matthew 13:42 Jesus says "They will throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. In Mark 9:43 "If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life maimed than with two hands to go into hell, where the fire never goes out." There are pastors that actually preach that there is no hell. Let me tell you, if you are one of those preachers you are telling your people a lie straight from the mouth of the devil. Yes, preach salvation, love, joy, peace and healing but you are making a huge mistake if you are not also preaching on sin and the reality of hell.
Pastors, it breaks my heart that I have to write such a message as this but I have at times felt like Jesus must have when he overturned the tables in the temple. Too many churches are just tickling the ears of people. They are telling them a watered down simplified version of the gospel but are lives really being changed? You may honestly believe that what you are doing is a good thing because it is reaching people for Christ. That may be true but what happens after they are saved? Do they love Jesus or do they love your funny messages and all the cool social events they get to attend? Please do not become like the church in Laodicea. Jesus said "I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot, I wish you were either one or the other." Pastors, we live in a fallen world, and it's time to return to your first love. Reverence Him, worship Him, fall on your face before Him and cry out for fresh oil from heaven. And when you get up from that encounter, be sure to give your congregation the same opportunity to come into His presence and fall before the Throne of God.
Questions/Comments on this article - please e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org