Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. II Timothy 2:15
Have you ever tried to explain to someone why the sun is able to continuously burn without ever burning up? Or maybe explain to a person how to split an atom and produce a chain reaction that results in an atomic bomb? Or perhaps tell a child the relationship that exists between the oceans of the world and the rain that spoils a family picnic? If you are like most people, you probably have not given a complete and reasoned explanation for these and countless other events that transpire around us daily. That is because it is impossible for you to explain to someone else something that you do not fully understand.
We may give a partial explanation or we may give our opinion of what we believe to be the truth in order to satisfy the desire of the one posing the question. However, that does not fully answer the question. Yet, we have ministers who stand behind the sacred desk each and every week who are not fully informed on the subject to which they are attempting to enlighten their congregation. One of the greatest weaknesses of "the church" today is a lack of knowledge on the part of ministers.
Yes, they have their titles of Reverend and Bishop, as well as and their degrees with all manner of letters after their name, BA, M.Div., D.Min., etc. and etc. Yet, there is much ignorance on the part of so many pastors that to many sheep in their flocks are weak, impotent, and many are dying from a lack of proper nourishment. God's Word tells us to "feed the flock," but all too many pastors do not know the proper recipe that will give their sheep all the daily requirements to grow and prosper. They cannot teach what they do not know. Too many pastors today are "hirelings" rather then shepherds (John 10:11-13). We, who seek to be shepherds must continue to study all that we can about the Bible and we must encourage our flocks, our congregations, to hunger for the Word of God. Simply preaching evangelistically Sunday after Sunday will only mean that a church is filled with babes in Christ. Pastors are not called to lead lambs only, but also sheep.
Fully grown and mature beings that are wise and knowledgeable can continue the work that God has ordained. Nurseries are for newborns. Sadly many a church is in reality just a nursery. Yes, Christians must be given the "sincere milk of the word" (I Pet. 2:2) until such time as they require meat for further development. Today as then, pastors must furnish that meat in order for continued growth to take place. If the pastor is not knowledgeable or is entangled in the sin of this world, he can not properly provide for his flock.
It is my opinion that this is the primary reason the Methodist/Wesleyan-Arminian position has failed to maintain its once lofty position. Between a failure to hold firmly the authority of inspired Scripture, and a lack of knowledge of our past, we have allowed the ideas of Methodist/Wesleyan-Arminian thought to be pushed aside by compromise, "easy believe-ism," the fallacy of "once saved, always saved" and the lies of the ecumenical movement. We must reassert ourselves into the battle by a continuing effort to educate ourselves as well as our congregations. It is much easier to lead astray those who are less knowledgeable than those who are fully aware of their beliefs and why they hold to them.
We must not only trust Christ with our immortal souls, but we must also study to show ourselves approved in our mortal lives and be prepared to face all the evils of this world. What we do not know can make an eternal difference not only in our life but also in the lives of those in our charge.
As we seek to be proper pastors and good shepherds of God's flock, let us heed Paul's admonition to Timothy as found in II Timothy 2:15:"Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth."
If you have any questions or comments, you may contact Rev. Clark.