When God said these Words thousands of years ago to the Israelites, He knew they would be true for us today. I substituted our nation in the following scriptures to show His Words to us.
“This is what the LORD of Heaven’s Armies, the GOD of [America], says: “Do not let your prophets and fortune-tellers who are with you in the land of [the United States of America], trick you. Do not listen to their dreams, because they are telling you lies in My Name. I have not sent them …. For I know the plans I have for you,” says the LORD. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” ” – Jeremiah 29:8-9,11 NLT
There are so many false prophets today! Look at the messages being broadcast on national television, plus all of the other media out reaches there are. Giving money will not get you closer to God. Having a charlatan lay His hands on you and pronounce you healed won’t do anything to save you. Lavish sets and thousand dollar suits and dresses don’t show the gospel. Million dollar buildings can’t get you any closer to God, and expecting God to make you rich will only bring spiritual defeat.
Have I offended you yet?
A truly committed, saved by Grace pastor won’t waste his preaching and teaching time to exhort money from his flock. His burning desire will be to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ to anyone who will listen. He will be a humble man, and he will be more concerned with his people than the building where they meet. It is the Elders and the deacons duty to oversee the care and feeding of the flock, and the head shepherd (the pastor) to oversee it, but also to not be averse to doing whatever needs to be done. His focus should be God first, his wife second only to the LORD, thirdly his children, and then his church flock. That’s the example Jesus gave and lived.
I’m not saying all television pastors are false prophets, and there are great men of God leading some of the biggest churches. “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts completely. Great men are almost always bad men.” (From a letter written by Lord Acton, historian and moralistic, in a letter to Bishop Mandell Creighton in 1887.) Men called by the LORD don’t want control, they just want to preach as God called them to do. Having said all that, there still have to be funds to maintain the buildings, and to pay a living wage to the pastor in order for him to devote his life to spreading the Gospel. Nobody – NOBODY – needs millions of dollars to live, and many, many pastors work other jobs besides pastoring to they can provide for their families.
It is imperative we test our leaders, and that our leaders test tnemselves. Paul and John both wrote about this:
“…. but test everything that is said. Hold on to what is good. Stay away from every kind of evil.” – 1 Thessalonians 5:21-22 NLT
“Dear friends, do not believe everyone who claims to speak by the Spirit. You must test them to see if the spirit they have comes from GOD. For there are many false prophets in the world. But if someone claims to be a prophet and does not acknowledge the truth about Jesus, that person is not from God. Such a person has the spirit of the Antichrist, which you heard is coming into the world and indeed is already here.” – 1 John 4:1, 3 NLT
“Our actions will show that we belong to the Truth, so we will be confident when we stand before God.” – 1 John 3:19 NLT
Look at yourself first before looking at anyone else. (“Look At Yourself” by Uriah Heap. Great song!) We are sinners, saved by Grace and not by works, according to the Gospel of our LORD Jesus Christ. Our preachers and teachers are human, just as we are, and they are not infallible. There will be times when they will stumble and even fall, and it is our job to help them. When Jeremiah wrote his words to the Israelites, I’m quite sure he didn’t know they would be read by me. I’m pretty certain he didn’t know they would still be true today …… but God knew.
Don’t judge them; PRAY for them instead.
(All scriptures quoted from http://bible.com)