Dereliction of Duty, Pt 2
The apostle Paul spells out clearly the responsibility each member of God’s Church has toward his or her own salvation.
“Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.” (Phil. 2:12)
God holds the individual accountable for their own actions. He does not take into consideration the actions of others when evaluating a person’s behavior.
“The soul (person) who sins shall die. The son shall not bear the guilt of the father, nor the father bear the guilt of the son. The righteousness of the righteous shall be upon himself, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon himself.” (Ezek. 18:20)
There is no way of getting around the individual responsibility one has for working out their own spiritual salvation.
“But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.” (Jam. 1:22)
In “Dereliction of Duty, Pt 1” the Bible identifies the ministry as a major impediment to the spiritual growth and development of God’s Church. The dereliction of ministerial duty is why God’s Church today is described by Christ as “wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked." (Rev. 3:17b)
God has allowed this problem to exist within His Church as a means of testing those He has called. God must know if He comes first in the lives of those he has called or not. (Matt. 22:36-40; Luke 14:26, 33)
False ministers and brethren within God’s Church reveal to God those committed to following His Word. (I Cor. 11:19) Dealing with people within God’s Church who oppose God’s Truth serves to strengthen faith and develop a resolve within God’s firstfruits for fulfilling God’s calling. No one or nothing should prevent a member of God’s Church from becoming part of God’s ruling family. (Rom. 8:35, 38-39)
Despite the failure of God’s ministry to properly feed and care for God’s people, thus creating a dominant “lukewarm” spirit within God’s Church today, this is not cause to become derelict in the duty of fulfilling the calling God has extended to each individual Church member.
Dereliction of duty results when one fails to carry out specific responsibilities that he or she has been given to fulfill.
God’s Word makes no provision for the individual Church member to become derelict in duty because the ministry is failing in its responsibilities.
Doing your duty
"Test all things; hold fast what is good.” (I Thes. 5:21)
Are you thoroughly examining everything the ministry is teaching with your Bible? Are you asking questions and seeking explanations to material you don’t understand? Do you discard what proves to be biblically false, while holding down that which is biblically correct?
“Therefore, brethren, stand fast and hold the traditions which you were taught, whether by word or our epistle.” (II Thes. 2:15)
Are you willing to use the strength of God’s Spirit in retain God’s Truth when the ministry and brethren have embraced certain teachings you know are biblically incorrect? Do you stand against the opposition and take the criticism that comes for taking such action?
“Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life to which you were also called and have confessed the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.” (I Tim. 6:12)
Are you seizing hold of the opportunity God has provided you to receive eternal life? Paul is very clear with Timothy, the quest for eternal life is a fight.
“Hold fast the pattern of sound words which you have heard from me, in faith and love which are in Christ Jesus.” (II Tim.1:13)
Do you know what the pattern of sound words is? If not, how can you hold to it? Following Paul’s instruction requires continued growth in understanding God’s Word. Is your ministry providing you a sound pattern of instruction from God’s Word?
“For we have become partakers of Christ if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast to the end.” (Heb. 3:14)
Are you maintaining your baptismal commitment? Do you remember what you committed to when you first became a member of God’s Church? Are you using spiritual strength to remain steadfast to God’s Word? Your commitment to God must be maintained to the end of your physical life or the 7th trumpet, whichever comes first. (I Thes. 4:16-17)
“Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful.” (Heb. 10:23)
The condition of God’s Church over the past 30 years has created great conditions for wavering. Confusion abounds within many different groups of God’s people, whose minsters tout their superiority over others. Yet, the Bible says God’s people are not to waver, holding down the purpose of God’s calling so it doesn’t slip away. Are you wavering?
“Behold, I am coming quickly! Hold fast what you have, that no one may take your crown.” (Rev. 3:11)
This should be the focus of God’s Church today. Are you using spiritual strength to seize hold of your calling and not let the lukewarm spirit which dominates in God’s Church today impact what God expects of you?
These are serious times God’s people are living in. It is a time to know, understand and be confident in what you believe and are being taught. This makes it possible for you to do your duty as a member of God’s Church.
Are you fulfilling your duty?