“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep. But a hireling, he who is not the shepherd, one who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees; and the wolf catches the sheep and scatters them. The hireling flees because he is a hireling and does not care about the sheep. I am the good shepherd; and I know My sheep, and am known by My own.” (John 10:11-14 NKJV)
The purpose of this particular post is to stir up questions in the mind of the reader. Only the reader can actually answer the questions that are stirred up.
There are many true churches that you will find across the USA and the world. These churches are led by sincere and loving pastors who are true shepherds ordained by the Lord Jesus Christ. But there are other churches that are led by hirelings. What is so difficult is to try and distinguish between the two. Just because a church has huge grounds with many wonderful buildings and programs doesn’t mean it is the real thing. Instead of being a dynamic church that is both spiritually alive and at the same time a hospital for lost and wounded souls, its hidden agenda is really being an institution where works and finances are central.
One sign of hirelings is the tactics they use. A common ploy is pointing out that you must do things for Jesus, rather than spiritually stirring up its members for good works. Also that you must obey them because they are over you in the Lord. Ask yourself, “Am I a product of motivational speech or am I truly being cared for by a loving Pastor?”
A telltale sign of a hireling church is the emphasis they put on ‘Look What We Did!’ or ‘Look How Much We Contributed To That!’.
Please do not take me wrong. Money and works are very vital to the survival and propagation of the Gospel. But it’s the methods that are used that are in question. Look what Jesus said:
“What sorrow awaits you teachers of religious law and you Pharisees. Hypocrites! For you cross land and sea to make one convert, and then you turn that person into twice the child of hell you yourselves are! What sorrow awaits you teachers of religious law and you Pharisees. Hypocrites! For you are careful to tithe even the tiniest income from your herb gardens, but you ignore the more important aspects of the law—justice, mercy, and faith. You should tithe, yes, but do not neglect the more important things. What sorrow awaits you teachers of religious law and you Pharisees. Hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs—beautiful on the outside but filled on the inside with dead people’s bones and all sorts of impurity. Outwardly you look like righteous people, but inwardly your hearts are filled with hypocrisy and lawlessness.” (Matthew 23:15, 23, 27, 28 NLT)
You may ask, “Why write a post like this?” The reason is simple. When the wolf comes and the sheep is no longer of any use to the hireling, the sheep is left to the slaughter. I have seen many fellow Christians damaged severely in their faith because of this. I do not want this to happen to any of the Lord’s sheep. Remember that the Good Shepherd will leave the 99 to rescue the one in danger:
“If a man has a hundred sheep and one of them wanders away, what will he do? Won’t he leave the ninety-nine others on the hills and go out to search for the one that is lost? And if he finds it, I tell you the truth, he will rejoice over it more than over the ninety-nine that didn’t wander away! In the same way, it is not my heavenly Father’s will that even one of these little ones should perish.” (Matthew 18:12-14 NLT)
Please do not become a victim!