My friend, I'm not preaching this message as an evangelist that has never pastored a church. I know the joys and the heart aches of pastors because I have pastored. I have learned that a lot of trouble found in churches is caused by pastors taking in "Sister Ratchet Jaw" from the neighboring pastor up the street. Nobody could have told you that you were getting a devil, because you wanted to show everybody you could build a church with these rejects. Now you have ulcers, now you're drinking Malox and pulling your hair out. How many churches have taken in folks unsaved, put them in the choir, made deacons out of them, youth directors, or song leaders, saying, "Oh, they are good people, the preacher up the street didn't love them like I do."
So here are a few thoughts as a sermon starter that are new improved and fat free. Just add your own meat.
1 Now when these things were done, the princes came to me, saying, The people of Israel, and the priests, and the Levites, have not separated themselves from the people of the lands, doing according to their abominations, even of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Jebusites, the Ammonites, the Moabites, the Egyptians, and the Amorites.
2 For they have taken of their daughters for themselves, and for their sons: so that the holy seed have mingled themselves with the people of those lands: yea, the hand of the princes and rulers hath been chief in this trespass.
3 And when I heard this thing, I rent my garment and my mantle, and plucked off the hair of my head and of my beard, and sat down astonied.
Wow, did you see that. When he saw the condition of his people, he pulled his hair out. Now believe me, there are things that occur in the church that will make you pull your hair out, too. That is, if you're a man of GOD like Ezra that hated sin. I am NOT going to use the things he saw, like how they had not separated themselves and intermarried, and mixed the Holy with the unholy. But look with me at these nations. You have some of these in your church as well. Their names reveal their character. As you know, Bible names have meanings. For example, Jacob means "deceiver" (he sure was). If you will read Deuteronomy 7 :1, GOD told Joshua not to run with the crowd that had an "ITE" on the end of their names. Let's see how many of these "ITES" you have in your church, and why they make you want to pull your hair out. Let's examine the meaning of these tribes names and you will see why you can't do nothing with that bunch.
They liked living in plains and lowlands. GOD'S people like mountains like David in Psalm 121:1-2 ("I look unto the hills...). Caleb was a mountain climber. John the Baptist came from the hill country. Do you have this low living crowd down at your church. Never looking to move up, they love the low living. You can't change that crowd and that's why you're pulling your hair out, trying to make mountaineers out of low wicked lowlanders and low lifers.
I've pastored this bunch. They have no faith. They always have a fear that if we started a building program, we would go broke. They fear we wouldn't be able to afford it: "But preacher, you're to controversial! I'm scared! Folks in the community will get mad at us!" They stay in fear all their lives. They have no Faith in GOD or you. Yes, they will make you pull your hair out.
In other words, they take something that belongs to another. I know preachers like this. They pastor a church in order to stop the good people from getting a man of GOD. Oh, they have not left the ministry, but the ministry has left them years ago. But he will stay as a squatter and kill the flock because he's too sorry to get a job. Many others in the church are not GOD'S choice for holding an office, but because of family and financial influences, they are in the office. Another thing, it's bad to have too many preachers in your church because they will be wanting to claim squatters rights on your pulpit.
After wheat is harvested, it was carried to a threshing place where the wheat was separated from the chaff. We all have to go through the sifting process like CHRIST told Peter in Luke 22:31-32:
31 And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat: 32 But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.
This crowd has listened to Benny Hinn and Kenneth Copeland and their health, wealth and prosperity, pie-in-the-sky garbage. They teach you: Just go to Heaven on a feather bed. No trials, no heartaches, or sickness, and be an instant millionaire if you send them a seed faith offering of $1000. You're suckers to buy into it. So, when GOD begins to put this bunch through the sifting process, they begin to whine and complain. They say, "I must not be saved" and stay in a state of doubt and depression because they have listened to this charismatic junk and not the Bible. Yes, sir, they will make you pull your hair out. I would vote my members out if I knew they listened to such jokers as Hinn and Copeland. You say, "I wouldnt say that brother Johnny." Well, go ahead pull your hair out.
You say there's nothing like that in the churches. I'm ashamed to say it, but your wrong, sir. I wish that it wasn't so, but it is. Even in the Great Apostle Paul's day, according to 1st Corinthians 5, a man was sleeping with his step-mom. What about David's son Amnon raping his own sister Tamar. I know a missionary that was caught in this ungodly sin with his own daughter. You think this wouldn't make you pull your hair out??
These boys had the same Father, but different mothers. Their mothers were sisters. Not only were they half-brothers, they were first cousins. The Apostle Paul said don't even let this be mentioned among you. Ephesians 5:3 - "But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints."
Also, Paul said in 1st Corinthians 5:9 not to keep company with fornicators. Furthermore, in verse 11 of the same chapter, Paul said that if a man who calls himself a brother is a fornicator, don't even sit and eat with him. I know pastors that know of a surety that they have this crowd in their churches, but they say they are trying to be patient and love them to JESUS. You say, "Well I don't know a pastor that would let a fornicator stay a member of a baptist church. Well, go to the Immanuel Baptist Church in Little Rock, Arkansas, where the Commander and Chief is a member. He's one of the biggest fornicating whoremongers that ever put on a pair of pants. But a pastor that is sold out to GOD would run him out and make him a public example. They might fornicate, but not as a member of my church. You might have some of these characters in your church, too, but you will get hush mouth and pull your hair out. If you don't vote that bunch out of your membership, you're going to pull your hair out, AMEN?
Exodus 3:2- "And the angel of the LORD appeared unto him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush: and he looked, and, behold, the bush burned with fire, and the bush was not consumed."
Exodus 3:17- "And I have said, I will bring you up out of the affliction of Egypt unto the land of the Canaanites, and the Hittites, and the Amorites, and the Perizzites, and the Hivites, and the Jebusites, unto a land flowing with milk and honey."
Look how they oppressed the children of Isreal. Here we have the crowd that puts people in bondage. Not all the Pharisees are dead. Some say you can't drink caffine, use hair spray, wear horn rim glasses, or wear cowboy boots. They oppress folks with their little rule book (not GOD'S Book). They are taskmasters like Hitler. Don't ever dare question their authority. Just bring your check book to the services and leave your brains at the door. These oppressors make me want to pull my hair out.
Have you seen any Amorites around your church? These are in every church: babblers, people bitter at everything and everybody. They have been members of 40 churches and have caused trouble in every one of them. They really hate preachers, especially the ones they can't control. Pastor, if you don't point this crowd out as trouble makers, they will sow enough discord in you church with their babblings that you might have to be looking for a U-Haul to move with. Don't pull your hair out, point them out. Preacher, be on the lookout for this crowd. You will save your church and your hair!!!
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