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Follow the Leader (9 of 10)
Dr. J. Gerald Harris
I Thessalonians 5:2-15
In the passage before us tonight, Paul speaks about the leaders of the church -- pastors, deacons, teachers, all who are in leadership responsibilities in the church. He is not just speaking about the pastor or one of the ministers, but all who are sharing through the leadership of the church.
And those of us who are in leadership responsibilities have a tremendous responsibility. The Bible says "unto whom much is given, much is required."
This is illustrated in the life of the famous author Mark Twain. Mark Twain is one of the keenest minds this nation has ever produced. He might well have been a powerful influence for God, but church leaders were largely to blame for his becoming hostile to the Bible and to the Christian faith. As he grew up, he knew elders and deacons who owned slaves and abused them. He heard men using fowl language, and saw them practice dishonesty during the week after speaking piously in church on Sunday. He listened to ministers use the Bible to justify slavery.
Although he saw genuine love for the Lord Jesus in some people, including his mother and his wife, he was so disturbed by the bad teaching and poor example of church leaders that he became bitter toward the things of God.
Actually, in our text, we find some rules concerning leadership. First of all, we will find rules for the governed. Secondly, we will discover rules for the governors. And, finally, we will study the section that pertains to rules for the group.
I. RULES FOR THE GOVERNED
Look in verses 12 and 13 (read). In these verses, Paul begins with a word of regulation concerning the government of the church. There were two unusual situations among this group which made Paul's words necessary.
First of all, there was the problem caused by those who had stopped working because of their belief in the nearness of the second coming. Undoubtedly, the leaders had rebuked them and the ...
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