|I call upon the church to remain faithful to her Lord Jesus !|
I am in the process of completing 24 years of pastoral service at the Eastside Baptist church – the only church that I have really known and loved as a pastor. I will be turning 55 in December 2013 and I am truly desirous that whatever time I have left in Christ’s service on earth, that I should be a good and faithful servant of Christ, whose call I have followed since June 1978.
I am aware of the fact that it is before Him that I stand or fall… and I will be upheld, for the Lord is able to make me stand. (Romans 14:4)
If I have 15 (or more) fruitful years left in pastoral ministry,then I am praying now for more grace and help to make the Lord Jesus Christ unavoidable to the people that I am called to minister to. I really do desire to end well. I do not wish to be a reckless and careless fool (Proverbs 13: 16) discrediting the Lord or His church.
Two things constantly occupy my mind as I consider the ministry: Prayer and the Word! Not that I consider myself an expert in either, but I believe that these two disciplines must occupy the heart of the pastor and of his ministry. I do earnestly pray now, at this time of my life, that I shall not stand still with regard to these, but that I shall continue to grow in these disciplines on my way to the heavenly city.
2013 has been a relatively quiet year when I compare it with past years. Obviously, I have continued to fulfill the main responsibilities of my ministry, but I have led no small group (home fellowship) this year, nor have I taught in our School of the Bible. Instead, my wife and I were a part of a home fellowship, being ministered to. We deeply appreciated the level of good teaching which we have received from our retired elder, Dr. Eric Tordiffe.
I have spent much time thinking, looking at the issues which we face in our city and country. I have spent time talking with, and interacting with pastors from other denominations.
It has been a “Nehemiah year” for me. Nehemiah did an inspection tour of the city of Jerusalem which had been destroyed by the Babylonians. Here is what he writes…
“…So I went to Jerusalem and was there three days. Then I arose in the night, I and a few men with me. And I told no one what my God had put into my heart to do for Jerusalem. There was no animal with me but the one on which I rode. I went out by night by the Valley Gate to the Dragon Spring and to the Dung Gate, and I inspected the walls of Jerusalem that were broken down and its gates that had been destroyed by fire…. (Nehemiah 2:11-13 ESV)
I am not a man of the stature of a Nehemiah. Neither do I see myself as the saviour of my city and country. But I do have the burden of Nehemiah for my city and country, as I do see so much destruction among us… so many destructive influences bearing upon us.
With the help of God I do want to continue the ‘fight of faith’ in our context in the years ahead.
The broken walls and gates of our society are manifold:
I see many broken marriages and unruly children; I see many school teachers that are not coping with the many ill- disciplined children in their schools, all which derives from the brokenness of the home.
I see the gay agenda forcefully advancing, and along with it I see a false tolerance developing; I see sexual immorality becoming a norm.
I see lack of proper administration of justice in our courts and I see corruption and greed in the market place; I see the wide gap between rich and poor.
I see a dangerous cult called “prosperity teaching” engulfing our churches. I see the entertainment driven ministry and liberal theology which affects our pulpits and pew, progressively emptying our churches. I see disillusioned people leaving the churches that have abandoned their gospel calling, and going nowhere…
I see many good Christians doing their own thing in para church organisations. I see little rallying around Bible believing, Scripture affirming churches. I see people paying lip service to the church, which surely is the most biblical organisation on earth, the very body of Christ of which He is the head.
I see the love of many growing cold as they are sucked into materialism and the excessive pursuit of pleasure and leisure. I see many professing Christians nowadays preferring Sunday sport and leisure over worship.
What is this but coldness of heart?
What is this but coldness of heart?
What does one do when the spiritual gates are broken down, and when the walls are destroyed and when the enemies of God mock the man and woman who believes in the authority and sufficiency of Scripture?
We continue to do what the church has always done!
We continue to call people to have faith in Christ and His Word alone.
We continue to call all people on earth to repent and believe in the gospel reminding everyone that there is a day of judgement to come and that only those who believe and trust in Christ will inherit eternal life.
We continue to call on converted men and women and their families to faithfully sit under the preaching the Word in faithful Bible believing churches.
We continue to call all Christian people to attend public prayer meetings of their churches and to engage in private prayer.
We continue to call people to set their Sundays apart for public worship, that is, to start and to end the Lord’s day in worship.
We continue to call upon all believers to lead holy lives. We call all believers to resist evil in every form and to do good to all – even our enemies. We call upon all believers to be salt and light. We call upon all believers to forsake the company of those who corrupt the gospel and who lead immoral lives, whilst retaining loving and open arms to those who wish to turn from evil to Christ.
Yours for the love of Christ and His church,