Make no mistake about it, *Christian teachers, pastors, and youth leaders (and others within the category) will be held to a much higher standard than the flock they instruct. However, we also must recognize that although they will be more strictly judged, their salvation is secure. The judgment spoken of in James 3 is not for sin, for the sins of the believer have been taken away forever by the blood of Christ. Rather the judgment spoken of is the Bema Seat Judgment and the one Paul refers to in 1 Corinthians 3:13-15:
Each one’s work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one’s work, of what sort it is. If anyone’s work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward. If anyone’s work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.
Who Then Should Teach?
One of our best clues for answering that question is found in chapter 20 of Jeremiah. In the story, the prophet Jeremiah is sharing God’s word and he is not being well received. Let’s go back to the opening verse at James 3:2. I prefer the Kings James translation here, for it says:
For in many things we offend all
This is what Jeremiah was experiencing! The ‘convicting’ word of God was offensive to his listeners. So much so [Jeremiah] found himself being mocked, beaten, and thrown into the stocks. Amazingly, Jeremiah responds this way (pay close attention to the last sentence of the passage):
O Lord, You induced me, and I was persuaded; You are stronger than I, and have prevailed. I am in derision daily; Everyone mocks me. For when I spoke, I cried out; I shouted, “Violence and plunder!” Because the word of the Lord was made to me A reproach and a derision daily. Then I said, “I will not make mention of Him, Nor speak anymore in His name.” But His word was in my heart like a burning fire Shut up in my bones; I was weary of holding it back, And I could not. Jeremiah 20:7-9
While on a mission trip in 2011, I had a similar revelation. For years I had been sharing God’s word; either inter-personally or through writing. Nevertheless I had a similar sensation; a burning fire shut up in my bones and I was exhausted from holding it back. The revelation came when the Lord identified the cause of my weariness: I wasn’t *doing enough; I was only scratching the surface of what the Holy Spirit was moving in me to do. My tendency to hold back, whether rooted in political correctness, giving far too much credence to the counsel of tender-footed believers, or just plain-old fear, was toilsome to my soul.
God revived me and was directing me towards boldness.
And for me, that utterance may be given to me, that I may open my mouth boldly to make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador…that in it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak. Ephesians 6:19-20
How About You?
- Is God’s word ablaze within you?
- Is His word as much a part of your soul, as marrow is to a bone?
- Regarding the Good News, can you not restrain your zeal to reveal?
I suspect that if you answered yes to these questions, it is a likely sign that you should teach, preach, or beseech for God’s glory. Pray about it. Seek wise counsel. Search the word of God. He will be faith to reveal the answer to you.
These articles may or may not be related:
- The Word of God Is at Work in You! by John Piper (keyword-power.com)
- The Sufficiency of Scripture (part two) – Sufficient for Purity (mindrenewers.com)
- Jesus Christ: The True Greatest Prophet (conmakhalira.wordpress.com)
- Where Is Your Zeal? (aparticularbaptistblog.wordpress.com)
- Is There Someone in My Corner? (resources.wcrossing.org)
- Know the Lord (loopyloo305.com)
- “The Peace of Jerusalem” Luke 19.41-48 Trinity 10 sermon (deprofundisclamaviadtedomine.wordpress.com)
- Jeremiah 39:17-18. God Will Keep You Safe (bummyla.wordpress.com)
*By Christian I mean those who are not teaching false doctrines for the purpose of leading others away from salvation realized in Christ Jesus alone.
**By doing enough, I am not endorsing a works-towards-salvation doctrine. Jesus has finished that work.
If you enjoyed the blog please like, share, comment, or subscribe to it.