Have we ever wondered why Jesus Christ, and later, His Apostles, never stayed preaching in the same place – and to the same congregants – but were always on the move?
Which is in stark contrast with today’s Christian pastors who stay in one place, and preach to the same congregation – for years.
Why would a person who has already received Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour, has been baptised by both water and the Holy Spirit, and has the Bible, still feel the need to be preached to week in and week out, for years and years – in most cases, being taught the same thing over and over again?
How many times have most of us Christians been taught about faith, or love, or forgiveness, or that we are the righteousness of God, or that we can do things in Christ?
Do we really need to be taught the same message endlessly?
Why do we need to go back week in and week out – for years – to hear the same preaching repeatedly?
Why are we not like the early Christians, who – even without Bibles, as the age of mass printing was still centuries away – needed to be taught the Word of God only a few times, and they would be left alone to ‘fend for themselves’?
The answer to all these questions is quite straightforward: today’s Christians lack depth, and have no root, such that the Word quickly dies away, and need constant re-teaching.
This is exactly what Jesus taught in the parable of the sower (Matthew 13).
In the parable, He taught of a sower whose seed fell on various grounds – along the path, on rocky ground, upon thorns, and in good soil.
Christ told of what effect each type of ground had on the growth of these seeds – such as, the seed along the path were devoured by birds; whilst, that which fell upon the thorns were chocked by them.
The seed that fell on rocky ground – as there was not much soil – immediately sprang up.
However, having no depth of soil, the sun rose and scorched them – and since they had no root, they withered away.
Nevertheless, the seed that fell on good soil, brought fought grain – ‘some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty’.
As Jesus alluded to, these various soils are akin to the hearers of His Word.
Without delving into the other soils, I believe that today’s Christians can be placed into two soils – rocky ground, and good soil – although, the other two soils also do apply.
A truly born-again Christian receives Jesus as Lord and Saviour, is baptised in both water and the Holy Spirit, and has the Word of God (the Bible, or seed).
Jesus describes the Holy Spirit as living water that one who drinks it shall never thirst, as He is like a fountain or spring that never stops flowing (John 4:10,14).
He also said that the Holy Spirit teaches the Believer all knowledge – guiding us into all truth – and is the Helper in all things, (John 16:7-11,12-14).
In fact, the Holy Spirit gives us power to preach the Gospel to all nations (Acts 1:8) – through His various gifts (1 Corinthians 12:4-11).
Such is the power and teaching of all knowledge of truth that John instructed that no one who has received the Holy Spirit needs to be taught the Word by anyone – so as to avoid being misled (1 John 2:26,27).
With these facts in mind, it therefore, goes without saying that anyone who has depth and can be described as ‘good soil’, will hear – or read – the Word of God and understand it, and it will grow and bring forth fruit and yields – a hundredfold, sixty, and thirty.
The Word of God does not die out in such a person, and, therefore, has no need to be repeatedly taught by a preacher.
Only the Holy Spirit will constantly water and nurture the Word in such a person, such that – no matter what situation they may be in – they will always be emboldened and be strengthened only by Him – and only Him.
The Word will stay and continue growing and yielding abundant fruit in such ‘good soil’ – through the most ‘scorching sun’, as the ‘living water’ will always be giving life to the Word in that person.
In so doing, the ‘good soil’ Christian does not need to be constantly attending ‘church’ and being preached the same thing week in and week out, for years.
As with the early Christian, once they hear the Word, they are left alone by whomever would have taught them, so that they can grow with the Holy Spirit.
The one who introduced them to the Word, would then move on, so as to preach to others who would have never heard of Jesus Christ.
Similarly, the ‘good soil’ Christian would also move on and preach the Gospel to unbelievers elsewhere.
So, in effect, both the one who introduced the Word to the ‘new’ Believer, and ‘good soil’ recipient of that Word, move on to teach others (bringing forth fruit) – no one staying in one place.
However, today’s Christians need to return to the preacher repeatedly as they are ‘rocky ground’, thus the Word regularly withers and dies – therefore, need the seed to be re-sown over and over again.
As Jesus said, they hear the Word and immediately receives it with joy, yet have no root in themselves, but endures for a while, and when tribulation and persecution arises, immediately they fall away.
Nevertheless, as these are Christians who do not want to leave the faith, they will run back to the preacher or ‘sower’, so that the Word or ‘seed’ may be sowed again.
That is why, having been taught about – for instance – faith, and received that Word immediately with joy, and lots of ‘Hallelujahs’ and ‘Amens’ – once they encounter a faith-testing tribulation, they weaken and feel the need to have the preacher teach them again about faith.
Thus, these ‘rocky ground’ Christians are always attending ‘church’ every week – for years – hearing the same messages.
Most of them – obviously oblivious to their sad plight – actually brag about wanting a ‘refilling’ of the Word, or even ‘re-impartation’ of the Holy Spirit, every week.
Why ‘refilling’ and ‘re-impartation’?
What would have happened to the Word, and Holy Spirit, they would have received before?
Did the Word wither out?
Obviously, the Word in such Christians – as they are ‘rocky ground’ – would have withered!
What about the Holy Spirit – why the need for ‘refilling’ or ‘re-impartation’?
The Holy Spirit is supposed to be living water – a spring or fountain – that does not stop flowing, and one who drinks it shall never thirst – so what would have happened?
This is the same living water that is meant to keep the Word alive in these Christians!
So if they regularly ‘run dry’ of the Holy Spirit – needing ‘refilling’ and ‘re-impartation’ from their pastors – is there any wonder why the Word in them also dies, such that, they need ‘re-teaching’?
This is exactly the plan of Satan the Devil, in that these Christians will never grow, and bring forth abundant fruit, as they will always be holed-up in ‘church’ for the rest of their lives – instead of moving on and making disciples of all nations.
Thus, the Kingdom of Heaven never grows significantly, as the people who are supposed to expand it, are themselves not growing.
This plan also bodes well with our ever-greedy and lazy pastors, who then spend the rest of their lives vegitating, as they preach to the saved, whilst the unsaved are left unattended.
It is easier to spend time preaching to the already converted, and it is more comfortable – as they do not need to travel to the midst of jungles, and hostile nations to seek the unsaved.
These pastors actually set themselves up well, with a comfortable home, lovely family, and even a vibrant business venture.
Yet, in the Bible, true discipleship entailed even leaving behind family and all wealth – to go to the most inhospitable places in the world and preach to the unsaved.
The biblical Apostles showed us what was expected of us all – especially these pastors – moving to all lands where Christianity has not reached.
Christ Jesus Himself was often accused by the Pharisees of spending most of His time with sinners – of which He aptly replied that a physician comes for the sick, for the healthy do not need a physician.
Equally, the Apostles spent most of their time with the unsaved, as these are the ones we are called to – once one is saved, we move on.
We are the representatives of Christ, and as physicians, we are called predominantly for the ‘sick’, the unsaved sinners.
So, why do our pastors spend most their time with the saved?
Why would a physician spend most of his or her time with the healthy?
The so-called ‘Five Fold Ministry’ – whereby we are called to be apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, and the edifying of the body of Christ (Ephesians 4:11,12) – does not entail us spending most of our time with the saints (already saved).
Similar to what Paul, Peter, John, and other Apostles did – they would still occasionally visit, or write to the saints, in order to edify and equip them – but, their main focus was with the unsaved.
Such occasional visits and equipping, would be akin to a physician’s ‘house call’, just to check up on how his former patients are holding up – it is not his or her main job, but just once in a while.
Therefore, what our pastors are doing is the complete opposite of what Christ and the Apostles did!
They have become like the Pharisees who focussed more – if not always – on the saved, not on the sinners.
Pastors should be with sinners 95% of their time – not once a year, if at all – whilst spending most of the time with family and friends the rest of the time.
That is why the Church has become so self-righteous and conceited, just as with the Pharisees.
The Apostles literally left their families and homes, so it was not a metaphorical expression – as Jesus expects that from them.
However, our pastors spend their time pandering to the spoilt whims of Christians who refuse to grow up, and ‘leave home’.
Christians who come to the pastor each and every day with issues that – if they had been ‘good soil’ – they would have allowed the Holy Spirit to deal with, whilst, they were on the go – making disciples of all nations.
But then, their pastors would never tell them that, because they too are lazying around.
In fact, these cry-baby ‘rocky ground’ Christians are easy fodder for these equally good-for-nothing pastors to suck them dry of their hard-earned cash.
As Christians who never grow, they are easily deceived by these pastors with all manner of schemes, from tithes, offerings, and financial ‘gifts’ for ‘miracles’ – making these pastors overnight multi-millionaires.
As I always joke with my dear wife Tinta, that I would rather have a tutor to teach me science, than have someone teach me the Bible.
It sound like a joke, but it is not, as the earlier quoted text in I John 2:26,27 told – or rather, warned – us, there is no need for anyone to teach us the Word of God, as the Holy Spirit Himself will do it.
Therefore, if I say that I do not need anyone to teach me the Bible, it is not bragging – for I would not be relying on my own understanding or intellect, but solely on the teaching and leading of the Holy Spirit – who knows all truth, more than any human can possibly expect.
The reason why so many Christians are being misled – and were misled from ages ago, even during biblical days – was because they relied on humans for their knowledge and understanding of the Word of God.
That is the Christian’s greatest folly!
The most obvious sign that someone is a Christian, and that they are most probably going to ‘church’ would be that they would be carrying a Bible – so we all have access to the Word.
So why do we then need to be taught that Word that we have in our hands – and our homes – by another human, who also needs teaching?
The Holy Spirit was given to all of us – not to a few selected men and women of God – so it is up to us to acknowledge His power to teach us everything.
This warped anti-Christ and anti-Holy Spirit idea – that only a few specially selected people could understand the scriptures – was promulgated by the Roman Catholic Church centuries ago – in order for the priests and Pope to deceive the people – thereby giving themselves power they did not possess.
That is why, in those days, only priests were allowed to read the Bible, and anyone else found to be in its possession, would be burnt at the stake.
We only have ourselves to blame when we are constantly deceived, because we deny the power of the Holy Spirit – replacing Him with a mere mortal human.
I am not against the gathering of saints, as that is important – as Christians are the body of Christ, as such can not live in isolation.
However, the gathering of saints does not necessarily equate to attending ‘church’ regularly – where there is absolutely no spiritual growth, but merely the repetition of the Word.
Such gatherings are counter-productive, and are not edifying to the Spirit, but make Christians docile perpetual babies.
There are numerous means by which Believers can gather for edification and growth – and that can occur when one is on the go, making disciples of all nations.
In today’s world, Christians can even ‘gather’ online.
The concept of, mostly the same people, meeting at the same ‘church’ each and every week, was a scheme to keep these people captive, so as not only to stop them spreading the Word and growing, but also to fleece them of their cash.
Christians need to wake up!
It is time that we had Christians who were founded in ‘good soil’, who received and understood the Word of God immediately, but also bore fruit – not ‘rocky ground’ that needs constant ‘re-sowing’ of the Word, as it quickly withers.
° Tendai Ruben Mbofana is a Christian social justice activist, writer, author, and speaker. He is available should you invite him to speak at any gathering or event. Please call/WhatsApp: +263782283975, or email: tendaiandtinta.mbofana@gmail. com. Please also follow him on Facebook and Twitter.
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