heb 13v17 Obey Them That Have The Rule Over You




Hebrews 13-17


Christ has given his church pastors to be overseers and shepherds in his kingdom. As such, each pastor is God's authoritative messenger in the congregation entrusted to his care. In this sense, there can only be one pastor, one voice of authority in a single local church. He is "the angel" (singular) of that church (Rev. 3:1). I know that this biblical principle of pastoral rule in the church is both unpopular and contrary to man's high opinion of himself. It always has been (Num. 16-3). But it is plainly taught in the Word of God. And it is really most practical. When a local church is ruled by the voice of the people there is no limit to the evil it may do. I have been in church business meetings where people actually voted to tell their pastor he could not go to a certain place to preach, in which the people voted to have Christmas plays, and once where they voted a man out of the pulpit for preaching predestination!

                Before a local church calls a man to be its pastor, it should know as much as possible about that man. If he is not a man of proven faithfulness and integrity, do not call him. ONCE YOU CALL A MAN TO BE YOUR PASTOR, IT IS YOUR RESPONSIBILITY TO YIELD A VOLUNTARY OBEDIENCE TO HIM AS HE RULES OVER YOU BY THE WILL OF GOD. You are to subject yourself to him as God's messenger to your soul.  THE BASIS OF HIS RULE AND THE BASIS OF YOUR OBEDIENCE IS LOVE AND TRUST. You cannot put that down on paper. It is a matter of the heart. It is either there or it is not.

                WHAT IF THE CHURCH IS NOT HAPPY WITH ITS PASTOR? If you are not happy with your pastor, if you have reason to question his ability to watch over your soul and minister to you, you can do one of these two things: (1) You can ask God to remove him; and wait for him to do so; or (2) You can quietly remove yourself from his rule. In either case, you had best be very sure of what you are doing. BUT DO NOT EVER DARE ASSUME THAT IT IS YOUR RESIBILITY TO REMOVE THE PASTOR FROM HIS OFFICE (Ps. 105:15; I Sam. 24:1-12). I have seen many churches vote their pastor out of office for many reasons. But never have I seen a church prosper after doing so, no matter what their reason was. Ichabod is always written over the door of that assembly forever!