act 20v29 After My Departing




Acts 20:29


Sometimes God places a man in a field of service for life, to preach the gospel and rule the church of God in a given town throughout his life on earth. If a man is truly God's servant, he will be faithful in the place of his calling. He cannot be driven away by trials and hardships. And he cannot be drawn away by the allurements of personal gain, worldly comfort, or greater recognition. Preachers who use churches as stepping stones on the road to "ministerial success" are not the servants of God. They are hirelings, who sell their services to the highest bidder. But sometimes God sends a man to a place to do a specific work; and when that work has been accomplished, God sends him to another field of service to accomplish other things for the glory of Christ. Faithful men move from one place to another to preach the gospel as they are led by the Spirit of God. Their place of service is not determined by anything except their desire to serve the interests of Christ's kingdom according to the will of God. And, sooner or later, every man's ministry in a given place will come to an end. Either by death or by the providential direction of the Holy Spirit, every pastor will be removed from his pulpit.

                I know that I am only a temporary spokesman for God in this place. One day the pulpit of  will be, as they say, "vacant". But I trust that when my voice is silent, God shall yet speak to men by the voice of his Spirit from this pulpit through the preaching of the gospel. To prepare you for that time when God removes me from you, I give you two things to look for in a pastor. Be sure that no man enters this pulpit who does not meet these two criteria:


(1) HE MUST BE A MAN WHO LIVES BY THE GOSPEL. That is to say, the man who preaches the gospel must live by gospel principles, as a man who is dedicated to the glory of God.


(2) HE MUST BE A MAN WHO PREACHES THE GOSPEL. He must with honesty, plainness, and boldness preach the gospel of God's free and sovereign grace in Christ to all men at all times, never hedging, never trimming the message. May God be pleased ever to preserve the light of the gospel in this place for the glory of Christ.