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When we’re small and at home, it means mom and dad. When we’re in school, it means the teacher. When we’re out in the working world, it’s our boss or manager. When we’re in the church, it’s the Lord! No, no matter where we are, it’s the Lord!
ILL.- That old lighthouse story tells the story. The captain of the ship looked into the dark night and saw faint lights in the distance. Immediately he told his signalman to send a message" "Alter your course 10 degrees south." Promptly a return message was received: "Alter your course 10 degrees north."
The captain was angered; his command had been ignored. So he sent a second message: "Alter your course 10 degrees south--I am the captain!" Soon another message was received: "Alter your course 10 degrees north--I am seaman third class Jones."
Immediately the captain sent a third message, knowing the fear it would evoke: "Alter your course 10 degrees south--I am a battleship." Then the reply came "Alter your course 10 degrees north--I am a lighthouse."
Matthew 7:21-23 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’”
The proof of the pudding is in the eating, they say. The proof of our discipleship is what? It’s in the doing of the will of God. But didn’t these prophets prophesy and do good things?
Yes, but perhaps in their heart of hearts, they really didn’t know the Lord. And if so, it may be that they were ministering and prophesying for self pleasure or self acclamation.
Doesn’t this make you wonder sometimes about those in really big ministries where they may make big claims and receive lots of attention and perhaps receive big salaries? We all remember what happened to Jim Bakker of the PTL Club.
ILL.- Someone wrote: By the early 1980s, the Bakkers had built Heritage USA in Fort Mill, South Carolina, (south of Charlotte), then the third most successful theme park in the US, and a satellite system to distribute their network 24 hours a day across the country. Contributions requested from viewers were estimated to exceed $1 million a week, with proceeds to go to expanding the theme park and mission of PTL. In justifying his use of the mass media, Bakker responded to inquiries by likening his use of television to Jesus' use of the amphitheater of the time. "I believe that if Jesus were alive today he would be on TV", Bakker said.
In their success, the Bakkers took conspicuous consumption to an unusual level for a non-profit organization. According to Frances FitzGerald in an April 1987 New Yorker article, "They epitomized the excesses of the 1980s; the greed, the love of glitz, and the shamelessness; which in their case was so pure as to almost amount to a kind of innocence". Detractors often said that PTL stood for Pass The Loot.
Jim Bakker ended up in prison for five years and was released on Dec. 1, 1994.
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