Google+ 10/22/12 Don't be Hasty!

1 Timothy 5: 21-22

I charge you, in the sight of God and Christ Jesus and the elect angels, to keep these instructions

without partiality, and to do nothing out of favoritism. 

Do not be hasty in the laying on of hands and do not share in the sins of others. 

Keep yourself pure.

 

My question today in my ministry is the same as Paul's was in his ministry.  Who should preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and how do we as Christians discern this fact accurately?  Paul gives a clear and accurate picture of exactly how to go about this dutiful and spiritual task and warns against not following his instructions to the letter.  These words were written almost 2000 years ago by Paul to his apprentice Timothy.  They were extremely relevant at the time as Paul instructed Timothy about all the false prophets and teachers in and around the major commerce hub that was Ephesus.  Paul was concerned that these false prophets would influence young Timothy before Paul could arrive.  Paul was intent about lots of things but primarily the leadership in the church.  This would be natural as we remember who Paul used to be!!  1st Timothy is where most churches find the qualifications of ministers, deacons, and elders.  It is also where we find how the church is supposed to deal with widows and orphans.  It is also where Paul deals with "the love of money".  Paul was a wise and prudent man.  The Bible warns in both the Old and New testaments about what we call in the world "a wolf in sheeps's clothing". Today is no different.  In your daily devotion, read the passage above and commit it to memory.  When dealing with church leadership in any form, always remember this adminition from Paul to Timothy.  The Bible will help you discover those that preach a different gospel than the one Jesus and Paul talk about regardless of how slick they may be in their presentation.  It took 3 years and 24 elders to discern that I should be called to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  That might have been because I was a tough case!  It might also have been that they read the passage above and simply were not willing to be hasty or play favorites or be partial.  This experience was many years ago for me but I still use it as the benchmark for my music, preaching, and teaching ministry and will always be grateful for the process.  This is an area where the Bible is clear.  Once you have discerned accurately that someone is Biblically worthy and called to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ, follow them and listen carefully.  Remember the last part of this passage warns us of sharing in others sins in this matter.  Test their words, their actions, and their intentions with complete scripture, but most of all keep yourself pure and Don't be hasty!