HIGHLAND PARK BAPTIST CHURCH

COMMENT:  AS HIGHLAND PARK BAPTIST CHURCH WAS PREPARING TO CONSIDER CALLING A NEW PASTOR, THE FOLLOWING SERMON WAS DELIVERED TO COVER THE DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITY OF A GOD-CALLED PASTOR. 
JESSE R. SPURLOCK - PASTOR EMERITUS
  
“THE PASTOR’S DUTY”
II CHRON. 29:11

INTRODUCTION

I MET WITH A PROSPECTIVE PASTOR FOR HIGHLAND PARK BAPTIST CHURCH ABOUT HIS COMING TO PREACH IN VIEW OF A CALL.  AS I CONSIDERED A MESSAGE FOR TONIGHT, I THOUGHT OF THE SCRIPTURE OF THIS TEXT.  I BELIEVE THE INSTRUCTIONS CONTAINED THERE WOULD BE HELPFUL TO US AS A CHURCH.  CONSIDER THE INSTRUCTIONS THAT KING HEZEKIAH GAVE THE PRIESTS, WHEN HE WAS PREPARING TO BRING THE NATION BACK TO PROPER SERVICE OF THE LORD.  THE THINGS HE TOLD THE PRIESTS IN VERSE 11 APPLIES VERY CLEARLY TO THE PASTOR AND HIS RESPONSIBILITY TODAY.  THERE ARE AT LEAST FOUR THINGS DECLARED HERE THAT APPLY TO THE RESPONSIBILITY EACH TIME A MAN STANDS BEHIND THIS SACRED PULPIT.  BEFORE WE ISSUE THE INVITATION FOR ANY PREACHER TO COME TO SERVE WITH US, PLEASE CONSIDER WHAT I BELIEVE GOD WANTS US TO REALIZE THE PASTOR’S DUTIES FOR PASTORING ONE OF GOD’S BLOOD BOUGHT CHURCH, THAT WE RECOGNIZE THE AWESOME RESPONSIBILITY THAT INDIVIDUAL HAS.  I ALSO ASK THAT YOU PRAY FOR ME AND EVERY OTHER GOD-CALLED PREACHER ACROSS THIS LAND. VS. 11, BY APPLICATION, SPEAKS OF THE PLACEMENT OF THE PASTOR, AND HIS RESPONSIBILITY TO PREPARE, TO PREACH, TO PROVIDE, AND TO PRAY.

I. HEZEKIAH SAID THE LORD HAD "CHOSEN" THEM TO STAND BEFORE THE LORD.  THIS REFERS TO THE PLACEMENT OF THE PASTOR BY THE LORD IN THE POSITION HE IS TO FILL.  THE PRIESTS DID NOT "CHOOSE" TO "ENTER THE PRIESTHOOD" ANY MORE THAN A GOD-CALLED PREACHER CHOOSES TO "ENTER THE MINISTRY".  IT IS GOD'S MINISTER, GOD’S MINISTRY, GOD’S MESSAGE, AND IT IS GOD’S MEASUREMENT TO DETERMINE THE SUCCESS OR FAILURE OF THE MESSAGE.

A. THE MINISTER BELONGS TO THE LORD. MUCH LIKE PAUL EXPRESSED IT IN ACTS 27:23, "FOR THERE STOOD BY ME THIS NIGHT THE ANGEL OF GOD, WHOSE I AM, AND WHOM I SERVE". IN REV. 1:20, WE ARE TOLD THAT THE PASTORS OF THE SEVEN CHURCHES WERE IN THE RIGHT HAND OF GOD, "THE MYSTERY OF THE SEVEN STARS WHICH THOU SAWEST IN MY RIGHT HAND, AND THE SEVEN GOLDEN CANDLESTICKS. THE SEVEN STARS ARE THE ANGELS OF THE SEVEN CHURCHES: AND THE SEVEN CANDLESTICKS WHICH THOU SAWEST ARE THE SEVEN CHURCHES."  IT IS A BLESSED PLACE TO BE, BUT IT IS ALSO A VERY SERIOUS PLACE OF RESPONSIBILITY TO BE. 

B. THE MINISTRY BELONGS TO THE LORD. IN I TIM. 1:12, PAUL WROTE, "AND I THANK CHRIST JESUS OUR LORD, WHO HATH ENABLED ME, FOR THAT HE COUNTED ME FAITHFUL, PUTTING ME INTO THE MINISTRY;" ALTHOUGH PREACHERS OFTEN SPEAK OF THEIR MINISTRY, ACTUALLY IT TRULY IS THE LORD'S MINISTRY IF THE PREACHER IS A GOD-CALLED PREACHER.  IT IS NOT HIS TO DO WITH AS HE WISHES.

C. THE MESSAGE BELONGS TO THE LORD. ACTS 5:20, "GO, STAND AND SPEAK IN THE TEMPLE TO THE PEOPLE ALL THE WORDS OF THIS LIFE." AS THE EARLY CHURCH WAS TOLD, SO IT IS WITH THE PASTOR.  WE ARE GIVEN THE ADMONITION TO SPEAK ALL THE WORDS OF THIS LIFE (ETERNAL LIFE).

D. THE MEASURE BELONGS TO THE LORD. IN ISA. 55:11, GOD DECLARED, "SO SHALL MY WORD BE THAT GOETH FORTH OUT OF MY MOUTH: IT SHALL NOT RETURN UNTO ME VOID, BUT IT SHALL ACCOMPLISH THAT WHICH I PLEASE, AND IT SHALL ACCOMPLISH IN THE THING WHERETO I SENT IT." ALTHOUGH PREACHERS OFTEN TRY TO "MAKE SOMETHING HAPPEN" IN THEIR MINISTRY, IF IT DOES NOT ORIGINATE WITH GOD, THE RESULTS DON'T COUNT FOR ANYTHING ANYWAY.  IT IS GOD'S WORD, IT IS GOD’S SENDING, IT IS GOD’S ACCOMPLISHING, AND IT IS GOD’S PROSPERING.

II. HEZEKIAH SAID THEY WERE CHOSEN "TO SERVE" THE LORD. THIS REFERS TO THE PREACHING THE PASTOR IS TO DO IN HIS MINISTRY. THE PASTOR MUST BE SAVED, THE PREACHER MUST STUDY, THE PREACHER MUST BE SUBMISSIVE, AND THE PREACHER MUST PREACH WITH SIMPLICITY. 

A. SCRIPTURAL PREACHING REQUIRES THE PASTOR TO BE SAVED. ROM. 10:14-15, PAUL ASKED, "HOW THEN SHALL THEY CALL ON HIM IN WHOM THEY HAVE NOT BELIEVED? AND HOW SHALL THEY BELIEVE IN HIM OF WHOM THEY HAVE NOT HEARD? AND HOW SHALL THEY HEAR WITHOUT A PREACHER?  AND HOW SHALL THEY PREACH, EXCEPT THEY BE SENT? AS IT IS WRITTEN, HOW BEAUTIFUL ARE THE FEET OF THEM THAT PREACH THE GOSPEL OF PEACE, AND BRING GLAD TIDINGS OF GOOD THINGS!" ALTHOUGH GOD USED A DONKEY ONCE TO PROCLAIM HIS MESSAGE - IN ORDER FOR THE PASTOR TO UNDERSTAND HIS OWN MESSAGE AND PRESENT IT IN SINCERITY, HE ALSO MUST BE SAVED.

B. SCRIPTURAL PREACHING REQUIRES STUDY, II TIM. 2:15, "STUDY TO SHOW THYSELF APPROVED UNTO GOD, A WORKMAN THAT NEEDETH NOT TO BE ASHAMED, RIGHTLY DIVIDING THE WORD OF TRUTH." SINCE PAUL DECLARED THAT WE ARE TO RIGHTLY DIVIDE THE WORD OF TRUTH, WE KNOW THAT IT CAN BE WRONGLY DIVIDED. JOHN WROTE THAT MUCH STUDY IS A WEARINESS TO THE FLESH.  HOWEVER, A PASTOR MUST NEVER NEGLECT THE STUDY OF THE MESSAGE HE IS GOING TO PREACH.

C. SCRIPTURAL PREACHING REQUIRES SUBMISSION. II TIM. 4:2, "PREACH THE WORD; BE INSTANT IN SEASON, OUT OF SEASON; REPROVE, REBUKE, EXHORT WITH ALL LONGSUFFERING AND DOCTRINE." GOD'S PURPOSE FOR THE MESSAGE ISN'T ALWAYS THE SAME AS THE PASTOR'S.  GOD OFTEN WANTS SOMETHING PREACHED THAT THE PASTOR HAD RATHER "LEAVE ALONE."  HOWEVER, "PREACH THE WORD" IS THE COMMAND FROM GOD, WHETHER OR NOT IT IS WHAT WE WANT TO PREACH.

D. SCRIPTURAL PREACHING REQUIRES SIMPLICITY. I COR. 14:19, "YET IN THE CHURCH I HAD RATHER SPEAK FIVE WORDS WITH MY UNDERSTANDING, THAT BY MY VOICE I MIGHT TEACH OTHERS ALSO, THAN TEN THOUSAND WORDS IN AN UNKNOWN TONGUE." ALTHOUGH PAUL HAD UNDER CONSIDERATION THE MISUSE OF THE GIFT OF TONGUES, HIS THOUGHT AND MEANING IS APPLICABLE TO GOD'S MESSAGE IN ALL AREAS.  THE PURPOSE OF THE MESSAGE IS TO BE UNDERSTOOD AND NOT TO IMPRESS THE LISTENERS.  ONE OF THE GREATEST COMPLIMENT A PASTOR CAN RECEIVE ABOUT THE MESSAGE IS THAT IT WAS UNDERSTOOD.

III. HEZEKIAH SAID THEY "SHOULD MINISTER" UNTO THE LORD. MINISTERING UNTO THE LORD REFERS TO THE PASTOR'S DUTY TO PROVIDE FOR THE CONGREGATION.  THE PASTOR, LIKE THE PRIESTS HEZEKIAH ADDRESSED, HAS NO CHOICE OF THE KIND OF MEMBERS HE PASTORS.  HE HAS A DUTY TO MINISTER TO PEOPLE "NOT THE WAY THEY SHOULD BE, BUT THEY WAY THEY ACTUALLY ARE."

A. MINISTERING UNTO THE LORD REQUIRES MINISTERING TO THE NEEDY. JAMES 1:27, "PURE RELIGION AND UNDEFILED BEFORE GOD AND THE FATHER IS THIS, TO VISIT THE FATHERLESS AND WIDOWS IN THEIR AFFLICTION, AND TO KEEP HIMSELF UNSPOTTED FROM THE WORLD." PASTORING A CHURCH IS FAR MORE COMPLEX AND CHALLENGING THAN JUST PREACHING. THE PASTOR IS AN EXTENSION OF GOD'S COMFORT TO THOSE IN NEED.

B. MINISTERING UNTO THE LORD REQUIRES MINISTERING TO THE NAIVE. I COR. 8:13, "WHEREFORE, IF MEAT MAKE MY BROTHER TO OFFEND, I WILL EAT NO FLESH WHILE THE WORLD STANDETH, LEST I MAKE MY BROTHER TO OFFEND." THE PASTOR MUST MINISTER TO THOSE WHO OFTEN HAVE A VERY SHALLOW UNDERSTANDING OF THE WORD OF GOD.  MANY HAVE SOME VERY STRANGE IDEAS THAT ARE TOTALLY FOREIGN TO WHAT THE BIBLE ACTUALLY STATES.  HOWEVER, THEY WILL BECOME HIGHLY OFFENDED IF THEY ARE CORRECTED TOO ABRUPTLY.

C. MINISTERING UNTO THE LORD REQUIRES MINISTERING TO THE NARROW-MINDED. AS PAUL WROTE IN ROM. 12:18,  "IF IT BE POSSIBLE, AS MUCH AS LIETH IN YOU, LIVE PEACEABLY WITH ALL MEN." MANY CHURCH MEMBERS ARE LIKE THE PHARISEES OF OLD.  THEY THINK THEY HAVE IT ALL THOUGHT OUT AND UNDERSTAND EVERYTHING THERE IS TO KNOW ABOUT THE BIBLE. THEY THINK ALL TRUTH BEGINS AND ENDS WITH THEM.  THE PASTOR MUST ALSO MINISTER TO THOSE AND TRY NOT TO ENGAGE IN A BATTLE OF WITS WITH THEM OVER THEIR BELIEFS, BUT GENTLY TEACH AND LEAD THEM TO THE TRUTH. 

D. MINISTERING UNTO THE LORD REQUIRES MINISTERING TO THE NOTABLE ONES, THAT IS THE “SPIRITUAL” ONES. PRAISE THE LORD FOR THE FAITHFUL AND SINCERE CHURCH MEMBERS WHO ARE WANTING TO LEARN MORE AND MORE ABOUT GOD'S WORD.  WHAT A JOY IT IS TO SEE IN PRACTICE EVIDENCE OF WHAT HAS BEEN TAUGHT IN CHURCH.  IN ISA. 28:10, ISAIAH STATED THAT LEARNING COMES IN A SLOW STEADY MANNER, "FOR PRECEPT MUST BE UPON PRECEPT, PRECEPT UPON PRECEPT; LINE UPON LINE, LINE UPON LINE; HERE A LITTLE, AND THERE A LITTLE:" AS PAUL DECLARED TO THE EPHESIAN ELDERS, IN ACTS 20:27, MAY IT BE SAID OF THE GOD-CALLED PREACHER, "FOR I HAVE NOT SHUNNED TO DECLARE UNTO YOU ALL THE COUNSEL OF GOD." THE PASTOR HAS A RESPONSIBILITY TO PREACH THE WHOLE COUNSEL OF GOD. THAT MEANS STRONG DOCTRINE AS WELL AS BASIC TRUTHS.

IV. HEZEKIAH SAID THEY WERE TO "BURN INCENSE".  INCENSE REPRESENTS THE PRAYERS OF THE PASTOR.  SO THIS HAS REFERENCE TO THE DUTY OF THE PASTOR TO PRAY.  HE IS TO PRAY SINCERELY, TO PRAY SIMPLY, TO PRAY SERIOUSLY, AND TO PRAY SUBMISSIVELY.  ONE OF THE FASTEST WAYS A PASTOR CAN FAIL IN THE OTHER RESPONSIBILITIES COVERED HERE TODAY, IS TO NEGLECT HIS PRAYER LIFE.

A. THE PRAYER LIFE OF THE PASTOR MUST BE SINCERE. JAMES 1:5-6, "IF ANY OF YOU LACK WISDOM, LET HIM ASK OF GOD, THAT GIVETH TO ALL MEN LIBERALLY, AND UPBRAIDETH NOT; AND IT SHALL BE GIVEN HIM. BUT LET HIM ASK IN FAITH, NOTHING WAVERING. FOR HE THAT WAVERETH IS LIKE A WAVE OF THE SEA DRIVEN WITH THE WIND AND TOSSED."  WHEN A PASTOR TALKS TO GOD IN PRAYER, HE ABSOLUTELY MUST BE SINCERE IN HIS REQUESTS.  HE IS TO ASK IN FAITH, NOTHING WAVERING.

B. THE PRAYER LIFE OF THE PASTOR MUST BE SIMPLE. LUKE 18:13, "AND THE PUBLICAN, STANDING AFAR OFF, WOULD NOT LIFT UP SO MUCH AS HIS EYES UNTO HEAVEN, BUT SMOTE UPON HIS BREAST, SAYING, GOD BE MERCIFUL TO ME A SINNER." JUST AS THE PUBLICAN, THE PASTOR ISN'T TO TRY TO IMPRESS GOD WITH BIG HOLY SOUNDING TERMS.  HE NEEDS TO TALK TO GOD IN A RESPECTFUL BUT A DOWN-TO-EARTH LANGUAGE.  GOD IS HIS FATHER AND HE CERTAINLY ISN'T IMPRESSED WITH ANY BIG WORDS WE MIGHT USE.

C. THE PRAYER LIFE OF THE PASTOR MUST BE SERIOUS. MATT. 7:7-8, "ASK, AND IT SHALL BE GIVEN YOU; SEEK, AND YE SHALL FIND; KNOCK, AND IT SHALL BE OPENED UNTO YOU: FOR EVERY ONE THAT ASKETH RECEIVETH; AND HE THAT SEEKETH FINDETH; AND TO HIM THAT KNOCKETH IT SHALL BE OPENED." PRAYER MUST NEVER BE AN EMPTY FORMALITY WITH THE PASTOR.  IT MUST REFLECT OUR FAITH AND BELIEF IN GOD'S PROMISES.  WHEN THIS PASSAGE STATES, "ASK", IT LITERALLY MEANS, "ASK AND KEEP ON ASKING." "SEEK" MEANS "SEEK AND KEEP ON SEEKING."

D. THE PRAYER LIFE OF THE PASTOR MUST BE SUBMISSIVE. PHIL. 4:6-7, "BE CAREFUL FOR NOTHING; BUT IN EVERY THING BY PRAYER AND SUPPLICATION WITH THANKSGIVING LET YOUR REQUESTS BE MADE KNOWN UNTO GOD. AND THE PEACE OF GOD, WHICH PASSETH ALL UNDERSTANDING, SHALL KEEP YOUR HEARTS AND MINDS THROUGH CHRIST JESUS." THE PASTOR MUST BE WILLING TO ACCEPT GOD'S WILL IN EVERY AREA OF OUR LIFE. BUT IT IS ESPECIALLY NEEDFUL IN THE AREA OF PRAYERS.  IN HIS PRAYERS, JESUS HIMSELF PRAYED, "NOT MY WILL BUT THINE BE DONE."
 
V. SUMMARY:

A. THIS MESSAGE IS GIVEN THAT ALL HERE TONIGHT WILL UNDERSTAND MORE ABOUT THE PASTOR'S RESPONSIBILITY AND DUTIES.

B. THE GOD CALLED PREACHER BELONGS TO GOD, HIS MINISTRY BELONGS TO GOD, HIS MESSAGE BELONGS TO GOD AND THE RESULTS FROM HIS MINISTRY BELONGS TO THE LORD.

C. THE GOD-CALLED PREACHER MUST BE A DEDICATED STUDENT OF GOD'S WORD.  HE SHOULD NEVER THINK HE HAS REACHED THE PLACE HE NO LONGER NEEDS TO STUDY.

D. THE GOD-CALLED PASTOR'S DUTIES SHOULD BE PERFORMED AS UNTO THE LORD HIMSELF, BECAUSE THAT'S WHAT IT ACTUALLY IS.

E. THE GOD-CALLED PASTOR MUST NEVER NEGLECT HIS PRAYER LIFE.

(PREACHED WED. P.M., FEBRUARY 15, 2017)

Make a Free Website with Yola.