Is Christ Divided? Why are there so many denominations? Part 7
What begins to become apparent is the lack of necessity for the written Word of God in the preaching and teaching of the denominational founders who have gained acclaim as the religious leaders of our time. Somebody did not get them to see the necessity of “study to show thyself approved unto God.” They were and are so busy showing themselves! They are preaching their story of salvation, not the story written by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit!! It seems they fail in how to show themselves approved—the answer is by rightly handling the Word of truth. 2 Timothy 2:15 How natural is such a figure in the instruction of the apostle from the Holy Spirit. When one “presents” himself they must seek commendation from He to whom they present themselves. What they present is called a “workman.” This word is ergates in the Greek language it means one who is hired. When we present ourselves, in a fashion, to get our paychecks at the end of the pay period, we are actually receiving accreditation for the work done. The question has to arise; “who did the hiring?” To commend our obedience and not the obedience to Him to whom we will present ourselves, is presenting something in the nature of a “creed of egotism,” not the humble submission to the God to whom this presentation is offered!! Paul had heard from the direction of the Holy Spirit that which he had delivered to Timothy; “a form of sound words.” 2 Timothy 1:13 These words formed a summary of gospel truths, which was the deposit placed in the hearts of “them that hear thee”; and in committing this message to him, God had laid on Timothy the necessity of executing these words into a living instrument who would be “able to teach others, also.” 2 Timothy 2:2 Preachers do not seriously consider this demand!! What is sad is the “passing on” on the baton without consideration of the results can be as damning as being a blessing. When we “execute a deed of transfer” on land, it is necessary to make the transaction valid and complete!! The gospel has been “committed,” that is it has been handed to us on deposit.” “O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane and vain babblings…” 1 Timothy 6:20 We MUST feel the weight of this load on our shoulders and process that which has been given us, faithfully!!
When following the lives of the men who have started denominations, we find that many of them did not do what they preached to their adherents. Last week we mentioned Charles Spurgeon, one of the great Baptist preachers of the 18th century, this week we will get to John Wesley, the founder of Methodism. Spurgeon “got saved” in the assembly of a Methodist church building January 6, 1850 because he was unable to reach his destination because of a snow storm, later “got baptized” by the Baptist on May 3, 1850 to join the Baptist Church (seems like to me if I had attended the Baptist denomination for over 5 years as did Spurgeon, met Jesus in a Methodist church building, my best bet would be to stay where I met the Lord, at least I would be admitting the Lord had not presented Himself in any Baptist assembly in 5 years of attendance!) And Wesley never ceased being an Anglican priest! The founder of the Baptist church died a priest of the Church of England; the founder of the Lutheran church died a Roman Catholic!! How does one explain this!! Does this remind you of the Muslim clerics sending the women and children clothed with bombs to die and themselves hide in their places of safety? Did Peter, James, Paul stay under the Law of Moses? Galatians 5:4
John Wesley and his brother Charles came from a family of 19 children, were Anglican (Church of England) priest who founded much of their teaching of their work on Jan Hus of the 14th century, the man who started the Moravian Church. Advised on his trip to Savannah, Georgia when invited by General Ogelthorpe to become the priest of his new city, was advised on his voyage not to marry Sophia Hopkey by a Moravian preacher, returned to England in distress, returned to the Moravians for a while before he broke off his own “band” and started his famous “open air preaching” that made him famous. He rejected the predestination teachings of John Calvin and got his “warm feeling of the Holy Ghost” while in a service of the Moravians (like Charles Spurgeon, I believe I would have stayed where I got the Holy Ghost!!). The mode of baptism was of no concern to him, the Church of England practices sprinkling. From his efforts came the Nazarene’s, Pentecostal’s, and Christian and Missionary Alliance.
See how important that baton passing becomes? We cannot afford not to qualify our faith!!