“But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction. And many will follow their destructive ways, because of whom the way of truth will be blasphemed. By covetousness they will exploit you with deceptive words; for a long time their judgment has not been idle, and their destruction does not slumber.” 2 Peter 2:1-2
“However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come.” John 16:13
“For we know in part and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away.” 1 Cor. 13:9-10
“And she had a sister called Mary, who also sat at Jesus’ feet and heard His word…”But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her.”” Luke 10:39-42
If you’ve put your pastor on a pedestal as I wrongly did for years, please take him off. Pastors don’t belong on pedestals. Pastors aren’t perfect. Pastors may preach behind pulpits, but they’re just as human as the rest of us. And sometimes pastors are wrong when they’re preaching from their pulpits. We need to remember that while pastors are little shepherds of the sheep who are Christ’s followers, there is only one Good Shepherd. Only one Great Shepherd. The Lord Jesus Christ. He is perfect. Pastors are not, and we who are Christ’s sheep need to be careful because those who pastor us can be wrong. How so? And how do we know?
Pastors can be wrong when they preach because they may be false teachers who were not called by the Lord in the first place to stand behind the pulpit. And pastors can be wrong because none of us – no matter how much we love the Lord and how much we study and learn about the Lord and His Bible – are perfect in our understanding and are promised by God His Spirit will lead us into all Truth. But we will only know in part while we are on this earth and need correction when we are wrong, to be teachable, and to be ever learning and growing.
How do we know when our pastor is wrong? We need to diligently, devotedly, and daily study the Bible and measure what pastors and others tell us about God and His Word because anything that does not line up with His Word is not from God. If we rely only on our pastors, Bible studies, people in ministry, devotionals, and Christian books, and fellow Christ followers, we will NOT be able to clearly tell God’s Truth from what is wrong. We need to intimately know the Lord and His Word with His Spirit continually teaching and growing us to be able to tell when what is being preached to us is wrong. It’s our responsibility to grow in our relationship with God and in our study and understanding and application of God’s Word to our lives to be able to figure out what is not of the Lord.
I am sad to say countless people I meet who profess to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ rely only or mostly on pastors and other Christians and Christian devotionals and such to learn about the Lord and His Word such that it would be impossible or nearly impossible for them to number one know if they are listening to a false teacher through whom they may be entirely and dangerously deceived or number two to know if their pastor has made an error in his understanding and teaching of God’s Word in which case they need to believe the Truth about what God’s Word teaches instead of what they were mistakenly taught.
The Lord makes clear He absolutely wants us gathering to worship Him and learn about Him and grow and fellowship with His followers whether it be in a church, Bible study, house church, etc., but we are in grave danger of being deceived, mis-taught, or not sufficiently taught not to mention missing out on the very most important part of our lives if we are not taking time daily to sit at the feet of the Lord with His Word open in our laps as we pray to Him and praise Him and worship Him and seek Him and learn from Him and grow by Him and listen to Him and enjoy Him and rejoice in His fellowship and more than anything to humbly submit with love and adoration to His lordship.
Where do you stand?