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“So I took the heads of your tribes, wise and experienced men, and set them as heads over you, commanders of thousands, commanders of hundreds, commanders of fifties, commanders of tens, and officers, throughout your tribes.” Deut. 1:15

 

There is a story found in the word where the great prophet Samuel was found mourning by the Lord over the rejection of Saul. God asked Samuel a question, “The LORD said to Samuel, “How long will you grieve over Saul, since I have rejected him from being king over Israel? Fill your horn with oil, and go. I will send you to Jesse the Bethlehemite, for I have provided for myself a king among his sons.” (1 Samuel 16:1)

Even though Saul was not physically dead, the truth was, the end of his reign and rule over the nation of Israel was sealed, and soon Saul would be dead. But God, knowing all things, had a plan and that plan was the next phase of leadership through a young boy named David.

When Moses disobeyed God, he was permitted to see the promise land, however, he was forbidden to enter into the land of Canaan, this would be Joshua’s promise, and Moses went up into the mountain and there died. Joshua then began to fulfill the role of leader of Israel where Moses’ role ended. Joshua carried the torch for the next generation.

I have lived through leadership change in my own life. When I was 14, our church lost its pastor suddenly and without warning and it came as a major blow to the church, many lives were deeply affected and for some, things would never be the same. Yet, change is always necessary and since life does go on, our small little church managed through the difficulties death would bring and we were better for the ware, after all, our hope and trust is in Christ.

Even within the past 3 years, I saw leadership die in the life of our Bishop. A Godly man, a visionary and spiritual leader, passed all too soon to his reward, leaving behind a work that will continue to go on in however God intends for it to do. Still, the fact is, when leadership dies, things change, ideas change, and such as it is, leadership changes, for good or bad, when a spiritual leader dies, we can only hope that the individual coming into a vacancy that once was occupied by the former, will take to heart the reigns of what was originally envisioned and fulfill, to some degree, the past and begin a new vision.

But there is another type of death when it comes to leadership that I want to deal with, and that is when leaders die spiritually.

Jeremiah 23:1 says, “Woe to the shepherds who destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture!” declares the LORD.”  The prophet Ezekiel spoke the following as well in 34:2 “Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel; prophesy, and say to them, even to the shepherds, Thus says the Lord GOD: Ah, shepherds of Israel who have been feeding yourselves! Should not shepherds feed the sheep?”

There has been a significant increase in immorality in this nation for the past 25 years, and by the look of things, the increase of perversion and immorality is only growing beyond anything I, or others could have ever imagined. However, Jesus himself knew what was coming long before the advent of television and radio would literally change the world, he saw a world so void of anything Godly or moral, that he stated that the only comparable way to describe what he knew was coming was to connect it to the days of Noah.

Our media has become filled with images of violence, sexual perversion, depictions of immorality and even recently, Satanic worship (Grammy’s). Why is this happening? Why are we seeing wickedness and iniquity rise so quickly in this nation? Why are false teachers being given platforms that once Godly, anointed men once occupied? It’s because leadership has died in many churches across the nation.

When leadership fails to present the gospel in such a way that it brings correction to the body of Christ, it has spiritually died and can do no good to anything, why? Because it has become lukewarm, it is neither beneficial to anything spiritual and the end result is, it contaminates everything around it. When leadership dies, compromise fills the void and that compromise never ends well. When leadership dies, wolves come in, and those wolves act surprisingly like sheep, with no one to protect them. When leadership dies, teachers with seduction in their hearts enter into the body to divide and conquer without any opposition. This would fulfill the words of the apostle Paul in 2 Timothy 4:3 “For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions,”

When leadership dies scripture goes out the window, obedience to the word of God is then subjective, not reverenced. This is why, when it comes to what is happening across the nation when it involves social topics such as homosexuality, prominent preachers and pastors no longer call sin – sin, as in the case of Pastor Joel Osteen, when asked if homosexuality was a “sin”, his response was anything but genuine, or Biblical. In other words, he could not correctly state, for the record, that homosexuality, as outlined in the word, was sin. 

But this should not come as to any big surprise, the ranks of preachers and prophets and pastors are equally succumbing to the political and social pressures of the day when it comes to denouncing homosexuality and all but ignoring it altogether. The fact is, they simply do not wish, nor desire to deal with the spiritual apostasy that is taking place. This is why Christian artists are not willing to openly speak out on the issues of the day, because they have become so imbedded with the world that refuting those things which the world does, is ignored under the common rhetoric of “do not judge”. We have become a church which no longer is willing or able to deal with the elephant in the room and would more be inclined to deal with the mouse instead. This is a direct result from leadership dieing.

The only hope for the church is for a return to preaching the cross, denouncing sin and rejecting the worldliness which has captured many a believer today. There must be a reformation, an uprising where a genuine line is drawn where those who are going to follow Christ and his word and reject compromise, reject worldliness, reject idolatry and immorality is clearly seen and those who won’t are equally seen for what they are – tares.

I believe a genuine separation is coming where those who truly love Christ and his word and truly desire to walk in God’s grace, will rise up and confront the imposters that have made their way into many pulpits across the country. Until we become emboldened against the deception in the world and those within the pulpits across America, it will remain business as usual.

Leadership is meant to guide the body of Christ where God’s spirit directs and leads, but when leadership dies, the only ones who suffer is the sheep, yet someone must stand up and speak out – will that be you?

 

Christopher

 

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