Pastor’s Taking Donations Is a Warning to Me

By Zhen Ai

When I was in mainland China, I always saw a pastor with a wry neck in the church. He was already in his seventies, trembled as he walked. He understood many biblical knowledge and gained quite a number of people by spreading the gospel. His sermons were cadenced and very sensational, believers were often attracted by his special tone. Thus he became a senior pastor.

When everyone crowded around him, I always wanted to figure out how he suffered a wry neck.

Later, I found out that he preached in the city’s church but he was in charge of the churches in every town. Every church had to report to him and receive his consent and approval in order to build a new church; the money of every town’s church must be handed over to the city’s church as well. Afterward I learned the reason of his wry neck: There were too many believers in a town, but their chapel was too small to fit all of them.Brothers and sisters wanted more people to listen to sermons, so they lived frugally to raise money for a new church. However, the pastor always rejected them for a variety of reasons. Under the strong demand from the brothers and sisters, he reluctantly agreed in the end. On the first day of the construction, he drove to the town to attend the opening ceremony and also preached a sermon. In the end he went back with part of the “donations” from the church. However, he was involved in a car accident on his way back. Although he survived, he was left with a sequelae, a wry neck.

Afterward, I saw the Lord Jesus said when reading the Bible: “Not every one that said to me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that does the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in your name? and in your name have cast out devils? and in your name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess to them, I never knew you: depart from me, you that work iniquity” (Mat 7:21-23).

The Lord Jesus Rebukes the Pharisees

I pondered after reading this verse: Aren’t those who called out “Lord, Lord” believers in the Lord? Then why did the Lord say that they were evildoers? Later, I thought of the Pharisees who served Jehovah God in the temple for their entire life. When they prayed, they stood at the crossroads for people to see; they made the tassels on their clothes longer and full of scriptures to show their devoutness to God; they taught the laws in the temple for people to abide by, but they themselves broke the law, devouring widow’s houses and properties and killing prophets. They appeared to be serving God, but in fact, they were opposing Him. Particularly, the Pharisees traveled over land and sea to spread the gospel for people to believe in Jehovah God. However, when the Lord Jesus incarnated to do the work of redemption, they opposed and condemned Him under the banner of upholding the law. They entrapped people who kept the law and stopped people from accepting the true way; in order to protect their status and livelihood, they even incited people who worshiped them to crucify the Lord Jesus. At last, they achieved their contemptible plan with the help of the Roman government. They were simply typical hypocrites, wicked and heinous antichrist devils.

At this moment, it reminds me of what the pastor has done. What’s the difference between him and the Pharisees? It is even more understandable now that God is righteous and unoffendable. God does not look at who we are, what status we have, neither does God see whether we have silver-tongues, how much we have abandoned, but whether we are doing things according to His commandments and requirements, whether we are really considerate of God’s will and whether we can bring brothers and sisters before God to be gained by Him. Abraham had no status, but he often received strangers with good things. When Jehovah God demanded Abraham to offer up his only son to Him, he was able to endure pain and obey Jehovah God unconditionally; although Job herded for a living, he lived in the way of fearing God and shunning evil. His children often held feasts, but he never joined them. He often offered sacrifices to God for them, worrying that they would offend God; when he lost his livestocks that filled the mountains and untold masses of wealth, even later when his body was full of sore boils, he did not complain about God but would rather curse the day of his own birth. He did not renounce God but could still extol God’s name…. Thoughts dawned on me and I understood the true meaning why the Lord Jesus said: “Not every one that said to me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that does the will of my Father which is in heaven.

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