WISDOM FOR LIVING DAILY DEVOTIONAL
APRIL 22, 2021
TOPIC: UNREPENTANT CORRUPT SPIRITUAL LEADERS WON’T ESCAPE THE WRATH OF GOD
BY T. O. BANSO
“To the others He said in my hearing, ‘Go after him through the city and kill; do not let your eye spare, nor have any pity. Utterly slay old and young men, maidens and little children and women; but do not come near anyone on whom is the mark; and begin at My sanctuary.’ So they began with the elders who were before the temple” (Ezekiel 9:5-6 New King James Version).
Leadership is very important in any organization or society. The same applies to the church. God did not leave the church without leadership. The Bible says when Jesus ascended to heaven He led captivity captive and gave gifts to men to lead the church (Ephesians 4:8).
These gifts are apostles, prophets, evangelists, and pastors and teachers. Their responsibility is to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, till believers all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ (verses 11-13).
The reason for this is to ensure that God’s people will no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head — Christ (verses 14-15).
While God expects the leader to be esteemed highly by believers because of their work (1 Thessalonians 5:13), they must always strive to behave honorably. However, as human beings, they sometimes make mistakes but some go into error, probably because of negative influences or wrong motives or they are not genuine. Whereas God will forgive leaders who genuinely repent of their sins, those who persist in error will not escape His wrath.
Some corrupt spiritual leaders may behave as if they are above the judgment of God but they’re only deceiving themselves. God will not overlook the sins of unrepentant spiritual leaders, including those He genuinely called. This is because the sin of a leader is a serious thing. It affects his followers. No leader goes into error alone. This is why, for example, when a leader is living in open rebellion against God, he still has loyal followers. They continue to support him as if they don’t know what the Word of God says. They have been brainwashed and support their leaders against God!
The story of the children of Israel in the Old Testament shows us that the king influenced the direction the people went. When a king did what was right in the eyes of God, the people’s hearts were largely turned to worshipping God. On the other hand, an evil king caused the people to abandon God. This is why a leader must be careful. What is true of political leaders is also true of spiritual leaders. Unrepentant leaders cannot escape God’s punishment.
If someone is a leader, especially a spiritual leader, and he is living recklessly and irresponsibly contrary to the Word of God and his calling as a servant of God, he should understand that it is not about him alone. What he does affects others, especially his followers who see him as representing God. God is jealous for His people. Such a leader should before the wrath of God comes upon him. God will not tolerate forever those who’re desecrating a holy office. His longsuffering for those who think that the ministry is for sinful and selfish pursuits will not endure forever.
In Jeremiah 23:13-14, God said, “I saw that the prophets of Samaria were terribly evil, for they prophesied by Baal and led my people of Israel into sin. But now I see that the prophets of Jerusalem are even worse! They commit adultery, and they love dishonesty. They encourage those who are doing evil instead of turning them away from their sins. These prophets are as wicked as the people of Sodom and Gomorrah once were” (New Living Translation).
God continued in verse 15 by saying that He would feed the prophets with bitterness and give them poison to drink because it was because of Jerusalem’s prophets that wickedness filled this land. In other words, the prophets who were supposed to influence the people positively influenced them negatively. Therefore, God warned the people not to listen to them for prophesying lies to them and filling them with futile hopes.
In Ezekiel 8, the prophet Ezekiel who was with the people of Judah in exile in Babylon was taken in a vision to the Temple in Jerusalem and shown the idolatry the leaders and the people were practising in the Temple. In chapter 9, the vision continued with the punishment of the city.
Verses 5-6 say, “To the others He said in my hearing, ‘Go after him through the city and kill; do not let your eye spare, nor have any pity. Utterly slay old and young men, maidens and little children and women; but do not come near anyone on whom is the mark; and begin at My sanctuary.’ So they began with the elders who were before the temple” (New King James Version). The judgment began right at the Temple with the killing of the seventy leaders/elders by the men appointed to punish the city. God said they should defile the Temple. Why? The leaders and the people had already defiled it with their idolatry.
Remember that the judgment began with the seventy leaders before those who killed them went into the city to kill the people. God will punish sinners in the church but He will start with the pastors whose lives and ministries led the people astray and encouraged them to sin. The apostle Peter said, “For the time has come for judgment to begin at the house of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the end of those who do not obey the gospel of God?” (1 Peter 4:17 New King James Version).
Nadab and Abihu were priests along with their father, Aaron, the first high priest of Israel. God didn’t spare them when they disobeyed His command on the conduct of a priest. Each of them took his censer and offered profane/strange fire before the LORD, which He had not commanded them. Therefore, fire went out from the LORD and devoured them, and they died before the LORD (Leviticus 10:1-2). Fire for fire! God is a consuming fire (Hebrews 12:29). Unfortunately, Nadab and Abihu died before their father did and they had no children (Numbers 3:4; 1 Chronicles 24:2).
The Bible does not give further information on the profane fire they offered before the LORD. But their action was in disobedience to God’s command and was so serious that it deserved instant death. Corrupt spiritual leaders won’t escape the wrath of God if they don’t repent. Every corrupt spiritual leader should repent today to avoid the wrath of God.
The two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, were priests. But they were corrupt and did not know the LORD (1 Samuel 2:12). They lay with the women who assembled at the door of the tabernacle of meeting (verse 22) and kicked at the sacrifice and offering of the LORD (verse 29). God’s wrath eventually came on them and they died the same day in the battle. Their father who didn’t discipline them as he should also died when he heard that the Ark of God had been captured in addition to the death of his two sons.
God is a merciful God. He is not only a God of love but He is also love. Nevertheless, He is, similarly, the God of justice. At the right time even here on earth before the final judgment on Judgment Day, He will cause those who have sown the wind to reap the whirlwind. “The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9 New King James Version). There is still room for repentance.
It is my prayer that all the true servants of God will live in holiness and serve God faithfully to the end.
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto you today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and resurrected the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank you, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like the palm tree and grow like the cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you.
PRAYER POINTS: Father, cause all Your genuine servants who have gone into error to repent and return to You. Father, extinguish all strange fire that many have lit in the body of Christ that is drawing the multitude and leading them astray. Expose all those who are agents of Satan pretending to be servants of God. Release all the captives of fake ministers of God. Let them know the truth and let the truth make them free.
(For about 600 in-depth and powerful messages by T. O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President, Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
Phone No: +2348155744752, +2348033113523
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