The Apostle Paul was given a ministry by Jesus Christ. He viewed this ministry in many ways as a long distance endurance race. And he was determined to finish and finish well. Paul knew that if he did things God’s way and completed this race that he would finish his race with joy.
“But none of these things move me; nor do I count my life dear to myself, so that I may finish my race with joy, and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God.” Acts 20:24, NKJV.
But Paul also knew that after his death the enemy of our souls would also send workers into the field to spoil the work Paul had completed. He warned – “For I know this, that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock. “Also from among yourselves men will rise-up, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after themselves.” Acts 20:29, 30, NKJV.
Paul gave young Pastor Timothy a similar warning – “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables.” 2 Timothy 4:3, 4, NKJV.
In the last 2,000 years we have seen this play out in church history to the point that too much of the modern church fits this sad description.
As your pastor, I am committed to teach you the whole counsel of God, to feed and lead you in the way of the Lord. But you must also do your part in not neglecting fellowship and your personal study of God’s word.
“So now, brethren, I commend you to God and to the word of His grace, which is able to build you up and give you an inheritance among all those who are sanctified.” Acts 20:32, NKJV.
“And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.” Hebrews 10:24, 25, NKJV.