PK’s Thoughts 11/14/17

 “Keep a close watch on yourself and on the teaching.” – 1 Timothy 4:16 ESV
I’m afraid Paul’s exhortation to young Pastor Tim has fallen flat on the ears of many pastors & elders today. The text is binding on all who lead God’s church (2 Timothy 3:16-17), yet in our culture, we find many church leaders keeping a closer watch on cultural trends then on their own holiness and the doctrine they teach. 
In an effort to offend as few people as possible, many preachers and teachers end up offending the most important listener of all, God. They think they’re doing a good job, because God’s people are blessing them with praise and thanksgiving, but their inattentiveness regarding the content they’re teaching is really only serving to bring them under the Father’s discipline. 
Paul is intentionally clear in this text, ‘Keep CLOSE watch on yourself and on the teaching.’ – CLOSE watch, pay very careful attention to the teaching. Is it faithful to what God has said? Is the point of the sermon the point of the text? Has the particular doctrine that is embedded in  the text been explained and illustrated accurately and thoroughly? Is the Gospel presented in the teaching in an understandable, yet undiluted way? Does the teaching see God as the primary audience? 
People come and go from church to church quite regularly in our culture, often times because a pastor might be doing just these things in faithful obedience to God while offending some who hear him. May God’s people everywhere, particularly at SCC, never place numbers and emotions above our faithfulness to the clear teaching of God’s word. Soli deo Gloria.