I read this on a web site: “Isn’t it really painful to see that some pastors no longer care about the flock today, but they “have been feeding themselves?” What will be the reward of the pastors who shepherd for sordid gain?
In chapter 34 of the book of the prophet Ezekiel, spiritual leaders of God’s people are called “spiritual shepherds of Israel” and all the people are called “sheep”. In fact, in the Holy Scripture, believers are often compared with sheep that are obedient animals but they completely lack the ability to defend themselves.
What do these shepherds do?
Then the word of the LORD came to me saying, ”Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel Prophesy and say to those shepherds, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD, “Woe, shepherds of Israel who have been feeding themselves! Should not the shepherds feed the flock? You eat the fat and clothe yourselves with the wool, you slaughter the fat sheep without feeding the flock. Those who are sickly you have not strengthened, the diseased you have not healed, the broken you have not bound up, the scattered you have not brought back, nor have you sought for the lost; but with force and with severity you have dominated them. (Ezekiel 34:1-4)(NASB)
What does this kind of feeding lead to?
They were scattered for lack of a shepherd, and they became food for every beast of the field and were scattered. My flock wandered through all the mountains and on every high hill; My flock was scattered over all the surface of the earth, and there was no one to search or seek for them. (Ezekiel 34:5-6)(NASB)
God will demand the sheep from them
Thus says the Lord GOD, “Behold, I am against the shepherds, and I will demand My sheep from them and make them cease from feeding sheep So the shepherds will not feed themselves anymore, but I will deliver My flock from their mouth, so that they will not be food for them.” (Ezekiel 34:10)(NASB)
He who destroys will be destroyed
In the Epistle to the Corinthians, the Apostle Paul writes that believers are the temple of God, and pastors are those who have the responsibility to build this temple in spiritual building and teachings that they give Christians whom they shepherd. And about pastors who abuse their position or recklessly perform their job to which they were called, it is written:
According to the grace of God which was given to me, like a wise master builder I laid a foundation, and another is building on it. But each man must be careful how he builds on it. For no man can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if any man builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, each man’s work will become evident; for the day will show it because it is to be revealed with fire, and the fire itself will test the quality of each man’s work. If any man’s work which he has built on it remains, he will receive a reward. If any man’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire. Do you not know that you are a temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? If any man destroys the temple of God, God will destroy him, for the temple of God is holy, and that is what you are. (1 Corinthians 3:10-17)(NASB)
Good pastors will receive the unfading crown of glory
As the pastors who shepherd recklessly or for sordid win will get their reward, so those who perform their ministry well will receive a good reward. The Apostle Peter wrote this:
Therefore, I exhort the elders among you, as your fellow elder and witness of the sufferings of Christ, and a partaker also of the glory that is to be revealed, shepherd the flock of God among you, exercising oversight not under compulsion, but voluntarily, according to the will of God; and not for sordid gain, but with eagerness; nor yet as lording it over those allotted to your charge, but proving to be examples to the flock. And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory. (1 Peter 5:1-4)(NASB)
God help us to shepherd the flock with eagerness, according to the model of the Great Shepherd and bless all believers with such spiritual shepherds.
Translated by Felicia Rotaru