Our Chairman - Bishop Samuel Smith
Bishop Samuel Smith is honored among Apostolics across the globe as a modern day Apostle. His views and insights target the contemporary Apostolic Church's most pressing needs.
Bishop is the General Chairman of the Apostolic World Christian Fellowship [AWCF]. He travels the world as a vibrant crusader for Christ and the Apostolic Message.
Wolves With Bloody Hands
Bishop Samuel L. Smith
Following the most recent national tragedy, the police massacre in Dallas, the social media lit up with commentaries. Everyone seemed to have an opinion. Indeed, the unwarranted deaths of black men is tragic; likewise, unwarranted deaths of innocent police is tragic. Everyone has a right to his own opinion. One such expression struck me as especially unfitting. It was from a nationally renown TV preacher, whose commentary began with the longest lament, how disappointed he was, and hurt, and upset, and even bewildered, at the rise in violence and upheaval in our nation. As he continued with his narrative how personally distraught and desperate he is to find the answer to repair America, I found myself talking back to the screen, saying, "I really don't care how you feel, the problems with America, mostly lie at yours and your ministerial associates' feet." Let me justify my impression by quoting the noted 19th century clergyman, Charles Spurgeon, who had the largest church in England at the time, with over 5,000 worshippers on Sundays, a prolific preacher, Bible scholar, author, prayer warrior, and who was called by his contemporaries, "the Prince of Preachers".
I quote: "Brethren, our preaching will bear its legitimate fruits. If there is decay of conscience, the pulpit is responsible for it. If the press lacks moral discernment, the pulpit is responsible for it. If the church is degenerate and worldly, the pulpit is responsible for it. If the world loses interest in Christianity, the pulpit is responsible for it. If Satan rules in our halls of legislation, the pulpit is responsible for it. If our politics become so corrupt that the very foundations of our government are ready to fall away, the pulpit is responsible for it."
Every action has a cause and effect. The Bible says, "The curse cometh not causeless." There is a reason for the decline of America, and it is not Clinton, Bush, or Obama. It is not a Democrat or Republican issue. Nor is it Wall Street, big banks and big business, nor even Hollywood. It is a sin issue; plain and simple! The Bible records; "Righteousness exalteth a nation, but sin is a reproach to any nation" (Proverbs 14:34). According to the words of Jesus, we are living in the days, likened unto the days of Noah; Genesis 6:5 describes what those days were like. "And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually." What was the answer in Noah's day? Repentance. "Repentance" is mentioned seventy times in the Gospels. What was the message that Jesus gave in the last book in Bible, Revelation, to the churches ? "Repent!"
Against that backdrop, I quote from one of the greatest revivalist of our time; author, pastor, evangelist, David Wilkerson: "Show me a preacher who never exposes sin --- who doesn't show people the difference between the holy and the profane, who doesn't mention repentance or judgment, but instead says God wants to make you rich and prosperous --- and I'll call such a man what he is. He is a wolf. And he has substituted the Cross for cash." Our Lord Jesus said; "Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves" (Matthew 7:15).
The TV preacher whom I reference in this article and his contemporaries, all millionaires, are all about prosperity, "a better me," bigger and better houses, successful businesses, and feeling good about one's self. They preach a gospel that majors on money and numbers. They are loved and adored by politicians, Hollywood, and the world as a whole. Politicians, movie celebrities, and rock-stars, laud and praise them. Thus, we have a generation of citizenry, politicians, and youth, who have no spiritual anchors, no fear of God, little or no awareness of the consequences of sin, not sensitive to eternal values; they seek the treasures of this world rather than laying up treasures for the next world. I quote C. S. Lewis; "If you read history you will find that the Christians who did most for the present world were precisely those who thought most of the next. It is since Christians have largely ceased to think of the other world that they have become so ineffective in this world."
Surely, by now, the American clergy and most of their congregations have enough money, leisure, and pleasure to make their lives reasonably comfortable. I have been around the world twice, by comparison, there are few really poor people in America. More than anything, this country needs God! The Christian ministry, equipped with the Gospel of Christ, and the apostles' doctrine, are the chosen ones entrusted with the same keys that Jesus gave Peter to set mankind free from the prison of sin, and change their hearts. Only the message of our Lord Jesus Christ, can stop the cycle of violence and wickedness and the consequences thereof throughout America.
My answer to the famed TV preacher's Facebook commentary; stop looking for some mysterious silver bullet, some catchy slogan; "Let us become one, ---can't we just get along---let's have a detailed national debate." No, you will not find the answer there; Apostle Paul had the only answer; "For I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth" (Romans 1:16).
I conclude my commentary with a suggestion to those who are under the sway and influence today of superstar preachers and their mega-churches, by once again quoting Charles Spurgeon; "We are not called to proclaim philosophy (the philosophies of men), but the simple Gospel. Man's fall, his need of a new birth, forgiveness through atonement, and salvation as the result of faith, these are our battle-axe and weapons of war."
Americans need to hear from every pulpit, that we are the creations of an Almighty God and ultimately have to give an account how we have lived. Americans must hear that every soul will spend eternity somewhere, that there is a day of judgment coming; that there is a Heaven prepared for the born again; but the wages of sin is eternal separation from God, and that the wicked will be turned into Hell. I know, it is called old-school and legalism, but, it is the truth anyhow, "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom." It will be a terrible thing to hear our Lord say one day, "Depart from me, for I know you not!" Eternity to the saved is day with no sunset; to the lost it is night with no sunrise.
"But if the watchman see the sword come, and blow not the trumpet, and the people be not warned; if the sword come, and take any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at the watchman's hand" (Ezekiel 33:6).
Preachers, stop looking for answers in all of the wrong places; just preach the Gospel! Otherwise, no matter how prestigious you become, what level of success or fame and riches you attain; in reality, you're a Wolf with bloody hands.