Tuesday, May 31, 2016

LOVE REBUKES

Studies in Titus Pt. 17
HOLDING FAST THE FAITHFUL WORD
Tit. 1:9

A leader of the church must be one who is able to hold fast to the Word of God.


Never has this been more appropriate than in today’s church. Of course, this has been said throughout the ages. However, today, we have no one who is standing against heresy and for the truth.

Yes, there are many on Youtube and Facebook and in the blogosphere who are pointing out what is wrong with so-and-so and such-and-such; but there is no ONE strong voice standing for the Word among God’s people.

Occasionally, we will find one lone pastor who is standing for the truth in his local area—and that is a good thing. Sadly, they are few and far between.

The word translated “hold fast” means to “hold oneself opposite to.”

Anyone who knows just a little of the Word of God knows that to hold to what it says will put you in opposition to many of those around you.

The verse in Titus goes on to say, “…as he has been taught,”  and herein lies a great problem—how; when; what; and by whom has he been taught?

To solve this particular thorny issue, we have established seminaries for the training of those who would desire to “go into the ministry.”

Seminaries teach their particular flavor of the Word, which is not in itself a problem. It helps us to identify the possibilities of the one who is a candidate before us.

If we are a church of the Presbyterian tradition, we probably do not want someone trained at Dallas Theological Seminary.

Regardless, though, of ‘where’ one received his training, there is no way of knowing for sure that he believes what that particular school emphasizes.

The question is: Does he hold the Word faithfully? Does he use the Word in his preaching, teaching, encouraging, correcting, rebuking?

Rebuking?
Yes, REBUKING!


REBUKE = to express sharp disapproval or criticism of someone because of their behavior or actions.

In the NT, “rebuke” (according to Thayer’s Greek Lexicon) means “to convict or refute, generally with a suggestion of the shame of the person convicted.”

In the NT, the word is used 17 times, and is translated “rebuke” five times in KJV. Four of those places are in what is known as “The Pastoral Epistles” of Paul to Timothy and Titus.
  • 1 Tim. 5:20—them that sin rebuke before all…
  • 2 Tim. 4:2—preach the word…rebuke
  • Tit. 1:13—rebuke them sharply
  • Tit. 2:15—rebuke with all authority
(do NOT try to interpret these verses based on just the partial phrase I have given here. Get the context first. I have only listed what is germane to the discussion, ie, the idea of rebuke.)

Rebuking those in error seems to have gone completely out of style (except for those like my former pastor who used it in an unholy manner to keep people under his authority.)

All types of error have wormed their way into and among the Body of Christ simply because there are no longer any “watchmen on the wall.”

Pastors fear rebuking someone for fear of losing them from the church. (It is not always the fear of losing the tithe. Sometimes it is the fear of losing them from the possibility of hearing the truth, which is a weak excuse at best, because that is what the rebuke is for.)

The biggest lie of the postmodernism is “tolerance,” and that concept has found its way into the church to such a degree that we are forced to ‘tolerate’ most anything. We are not permitted to speak out against anything, because that would be a sign of intolerance.

As a result, anything and everything is allowed to permeate the Christian ranks. Even though much of it is too strange for even a weird mind, it is permitted to remain until a solid foothold is gained and extrication of the poison root is all but impossible.

I was not following the things of God, nor walking with the Lord during the three most recent ‘revivals’ known as The Brownsville Revival, The Toronto Blessing, and The Lakeland Revival. Some of the things that occurred during those times should have been stopped as soon as they were manifest.

  • barking like a dog 
  • being led around on a leash like a dog 
  • uncontrollable laughter 
  • passing out for hours on end 
  • angel dust 
  • feathers falling from heaven

These events were attended and sometimes supervised by “big name” men of God. These leaders not only stood by in approval, but would often encourage the strange behavior.

Was there no one to stand and say, “Enough! You are making the 400 prophets of Baal look like choir boys!!” (1 Kings 18:17-40)

We desperately need pastors in the pulpit who will “hold fast the faithful word” and “rebuke with all authority” them that are trying to deceive the people of God, turning them away from the One who has bought them and making them “twofold more the child of hell.” (Matt. 23:15)

Let us not forget that “open rebuke is better than secret love.” (Pro. 27:5)

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