From time to time, I invite people to write “guest blog posts” for this blog. There are several reasons for this: 1) To offer different perspectives. 2) To generate even more discussion and conversation between blogs. 3) To introduce other bloggers to my readers.
(If you are interested in writing a guest blog post, please contact me at alan[at]alanknox[dot]net.)
Today’s post was written by Neil Braithwaite. I “met” Neil about a month ago when he emailed me after coming across my blog. You can find out more about Neil at the following web sites: http://honorgodsword.com/ and http://thepersecutedchristian.com/.
The Rich Young Pastor
One day Jesus met a pastor who had grown-up in the church, attended Christian college and seminary and upon graduation moved from church to church working his way up the financial ladder starting as an associate youth pastor for a mere $20,000 salary and finally at age thirty-five to senior pastor of a large denominational church making over $75,000 with full benefits and a great retirement package.
The pastor told Jesus he had been working very hard since seminary and felt greatly blessed to have been called on every occasion to a church offering a larger salary and better benefits. He also told Jesus he was looking forward to his reward in heaven for a life of sacrificial service as a full-time pastor and preacher of the gospel. The pastor told Jesus he had done his best to follow all His commands and examples and asked Jesus if there was anything at all he could do with the rest of his life to please Him more.
Jesus said to the pastor, “Truly I say to you, as a vocational pastor you have your reward in full. Stop accepting a salary, get a job to support yourself and your family and continue to shepherd your flock and preach the gospel at no charge – and then you will have treasure in heaven.”
When the pastor heard these words from Jesus he went away grieving because making a living by preaching the gospel was all he ever wanted to do and all that he knew, and he wasn’t about throw away all he had worked so hard for by relinquishing his right to charge for the gospel.
“Then Peter said to Him, ‘Behold, we have left everything and followed You; what then will there be for us?’ And Jesus said to them, ‘Truly I say to you, that you who have followed Me, in the regeneration when the Son of Man will sit on His glorious throne, you also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or farms for My name’s sake, will receive many times as much, and will inherit eternal life. But many who are first will be last; and the last, first.'” Matthew 19:27-30