And Jesus, walking by the sea of Galilee, saw two brethren, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers. And he saith unto them, Follow me and I will make you fishers of men. Mt 4:18-19
I believe God calls men into the gospel ministry. He calls them from all walks of life. He called men who were fishermen, he called a tax collector, he called some who we do not know their occupation, and he called Saul of Tarsus a very highly educated man. For all of those he called, he prepared them for the work he had for them to do.
The gospel ministry is the highest calling given to men today. It has more authority than the president of any nation in the world. Ministers have a calling that is unique since we are called to preach the gospel, the only message that will save the souls of men from the condemnation of sin.
All of us who are called to preach are sinners who have been saved by the grace of God. We are not worthy of the honor given unto us, but God in his mercy has chosen us to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ.
The ministry for God called men is a joy and delight. We do not consider it work, but a blessed privilege to serve our wonderful Lord and Savior. When God called me to preach I resisted for some time because I was frightened and I felt so unworthy. However, the call would not leave, and God was patient with me until finally I completely turned my life over to Him to do whatever he wanted with me. It is a decision I have never regretted.
When I stop and think about how God calls certain ones into the ministry, I realize we do not all have the same type of ministry. Some are called to be missionaries, some are called to be Evangelists and some are called to be Pastors. Whatever God calls us to do we are satisfied because that is where God needs us to serve Him.
God does not have one minister who is more important than another. The pastor of a big congregation is no more needed than the pastor of a small congregation. God has given talents to each one to serve where he needs them. Each minister is going to be examined for how they conducted the ministry God gave to them. As ministers we should have the same attitude as the Apostle Paul when writing to the church at Corinth;
Therefore seeing we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we faint not; But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God. 2 Corinthians 4:1-2
We must always be sure we are not misrepresenting God’s word to people. This requires much studying, praying and seeking the truth of God’s word. In second Peter the Bible says the scriptures are of no private interpretation;
We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost. Peter 1:19-21
If we search the scriptures as we should, the Bible will interpret itself. Wise ministers will handle God’s word carefully because we are dealing with the souls of people. We are also representing God and our conduct must be one of upmost integrity. One day we will answer as to how we have served our Lord and Savior.
The Lord Jesus, the Apostle Paul, John, James, Jude and Peter have warned us of many who would be false ministers.
Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. 1 John 4:1
But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of. 2 Peter 2:1-2
For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ. Jude 4
These are just some of the warnings given in the scriptures to alert us to the danger of false ministers. They can be found in all the denominations, cults and religions of the world.
CONCERNING WOMEN IN AUTHORITY
Along with writing about false prophets, the Apostle Paul when writing to Timothy a young pastor, instructed him concerning women;
Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection. But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence. For Adam was first formed, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression. 1 Timothy 2:11-13
According to Paul, women must be learners, and are not allowed to be public teachers or pastors in the church over men; for teaching is an office of authority, and the woman must not usurp authority over the man but is to be in silence. Christian women may and ought to, teach the principles of the gospel to their children from their home. Timothy from a child had known the holy scriptures; and who should teach him but his mother and grandmother? (2 Timothy 3:15)
Aquila and his wife Priscilla, who Apostle Paul thought of as his fellow workers in Christ expounded unto Apollos, who was first mentioned in the Bible as a Christian preacher, the way of God more perfectly but then they did it privately, for they took him unto them. (Acts 18:26)
Here are two reasons given for the man’s authority over the woman, and her subjection to the man from 1Timothy 2:13‑14;
1-Adam was first formed, then Eve; she was created for the man, and not the man for the woman
2-Then Eve was deceived, and brought Adam into the transgression
Consider this scripture from 1 Corinthians 11:9; Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man.
It was Eve who first ate from the forbidden tree of the knowledge of good and evil and then she gave some to Adam leading to the fall of man.
Here are other examples of women taking charge;
Genesis 3:6; And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.
It was Sarah who told Abraham to take her handmaid and have a son by her. This led to future decedents of Ishmael creating trouble for Israel down through the centuries.
It was Rebecca who plotted with Jacob to deceive Isaac, her husband so Jacob would inherit the birthright of the firstborn.
It was Bathsheba who was taking a bath in the open that David saw which led him into sin of adultery and murder.
The truth is most problems in the local churches are with the women. In the book of Acts it was the women who created the trouble that led to the appointment of deacons. Satan likes to use women.
I am aware that many women do not believe this scripture, 1Timothy 2:11-13, and some even hate the writing of the Apostle Paul because of it but remember;
All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: 2 Timothy 3:16
For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. Hebrews 4:12
But whether some agree with it, like it, or don't like it, it is God's Word!
There is also another problem when we talk about women in some form of authority in the church. If the truth be known most women pastor's teachings are filled with error on salvation and the Holy Spirit. God in his wisdom has appointed man to be the leader and not the woman. Many women preachers are stubborn and rebellious. Their attitude is they have as much right to preach as men. All I can say is God made the rules, not me. I can only tell you what the Word of God says.
I have read many commentaries of various scholars and they have come to the same conclusion I've stated concerning women pastors. The Lord has appointed men only to be the pastors in his church.
The Apostle Peter gives good advice to all of us who have been called into the ministry;
Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind; Neither as being lords over God’s heritage, but being ensamples to the flock. And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away. 1 Peter 5:2-4
Finally, to all my fellow pastor's I'd like to say, we must preach God’s word strictly as scripture has it. We should never preach with making money, prestige or fame as our goal, and we certainly should never think of ourselves as better, smarter, or above any of those we serve. Preaching God's Word as it should be allows us to receive the crown of glory which is reserved only for faithful ministers.
Always remember the message in 2 Timothy 4:2;
Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.
Heavenly Father, we praise you, the ministers of our Lord Jesus Christ. We pray for all of them and ask that multitudes of people would come to the Savior through the gospel message of salvation.
"Loving the Savior" Amen, Preacher