“Whom Should I Follow?”

Posted: April 11, 2019 in Bible Study, Philippians

Philippians (#2)

Follow the leader.”  Do you remember playing that game when you were a child? But now that you’re older you may wonder whose advice you should follow since there are so many people vying for your attention. The Psalmist wrote: Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, Nor stands in the path of sinners, Nor sits in the seat of the scornful” (Psalm 1:1).

On a one hundred year old headstone in a cemetery in Indiana there is an epitaph that reads: Pause, Stranger, when you pass me by, / As you are now, so once was I. / As I am now, so you will be. / So prepare for death and follow me.”  Someone added these words: To follow you I’m not content, / Until I know which way you went.” This person wanted to know if the deceased was in heaven or hell? Not all those with “R.I.P.” on their tombstones are actually resting in peace (Read Luke 16:19-31). Are you sure you know where you will spend eternity? Why should God let you into heaven? Having the right answer is critical to your eternal happiness. If your not sure, let us help you. (Read “The Bad News & The Good News” on our website.)

Physical death (the separation of the soul and spirit from the body) is the general rule for most of us (Hebrews 9:27). There have been a few exceptions in the past and there will be more in the future (Genesis 5:24; 2 Kings 2:1-11; 1 Corinthians 15:51, 52). We’re all born spiritually dead (Ephesians 2:1) and we need to be born again from above” if we are to see the kingdom of God (John 3:3-7). Physical and spiritual death can be reversed, but the “second death” can’t be (Revelation 20:14; 21:8). It involves eternal separation from God in the lake of fire for all unbelievers. We don’t want you or any other human being to go there. (Read John 3:16, 18, 36; 1 John 2:2)

But while we’re living here on earth, it’s important that we follow the right leaders and live by the right rules. (Refer to our “Understanding The Times Dispensations Chart” on our website.) There are many false teachers and antichrists who are misleading multitudes of people (2 Corinthians 11:4; 13-15; 2 Peter 2:1 ff; 1 John 4:1 ff; Jude 1:3 ff). The consequences are disastrous. There is a way that seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death” (Proverbs 14:12). Evil company corrupts good habits” (1 Corinthians 15:33).

In the Apostle Paul’s letter to the believers in Corinth, he wrote: Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ” or Imitate me, just as I imitate Christ” (1 Corinthians 11:1). As long as the leader follows Christ, we should follow him and his example. In his letter to the Christians in Philippi, Paul wrote to them with a different tone – not as an apostle” but as a bondservant of Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 1:1; Philippians 1:1; See Exodus 21:6; Deuteronomy 15:17).

Suppose the church you attend was without a Pastor. You were selected to be on the pulpit committee and you and the others had the job of interviewing possible candidates for the position. If you received a letter (resume) like this one below, how would you respond to it?

Gentlemen:

Understanding your pulpit is vacant, I should like to apply for the position. I have many qualifications. I’ve been a preacher with much success and I also have had some success as a writer. Some say that I’m a good organizer. I’ve been a leader most of the places I’ve been.

I’m over 50 years of age. I have never preached in one place for more than three years. In some places, I have had to leave town after my work caused riots and disturbances. I must admit I have been in jail three or four times, but not because of any real wrongdoing on my part.

My eyesight and health are not too good, though I still get a great deal done.

I’ve not gotten along well with most of the religious leaders in towns where I have preached. I am not too good at keeping records. I have been known to forget whom I baptized.

However, if you can use me, I shall do my best for you.”

Sincerely yours,

Would you recommend this man to the church for them to consider him as their new Pastor? If not, what if you learned that the letter was signed, “The Apostle Paul”? [1]

Would you like to learn more about him? Who was he and what did he do during his life time? Consider these things about him. Read https://www.gotquestions.org/life-Paul.html

Since the Lord Himself selected the Apostle Paul to be the “steward of this dispensation of grace” in which we now live, we need to read, study, and apply what God gave to us through Paul’s writings (Ephesians 3:1 ff; 2 Timothy 2:15; 4:16, 17; 2 Peter 3:15, 16). Peter, John, James, and Jude supplement Paul’s writings.

The Lord’s half-brother, James wrote: “…be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves” and “…to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin” (James 1:22; 4:17). As hard as it may seem to do, if God commands us to do it, He will give us the strength to do it (Philippians 4:13). By our loving the brethren, we demonstrate our love for God (John 13:34, 35; 1 John 2:15-17; 3:16, 17; Galatians 6:10). Our primary purpose needs to be to glorify God by making Him known to others (1 Corinthians 10:31). What are others learning about God through you?

May we encourage you to read Dr. Luke’s account of the formation of the church in Philippi in Acts 16 and also Paul’s brief letter to the Philippians. Here are some “Bible Study Helps”: https://kelseypeach.wordpress.com/2014/01/24/bible-study-helps/

We’re here to assist those who are teachable and willing to change (2 Timothy 2:2, 15). You can reach us through our website: www.kelseypeach.com. Please join us on Facebook and Youtube for our Bible Studies. Let us know if this article has helped you. Click on “Follow” to receive future articles as they come out.

[1] Paul’s resume. https://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/fl-xpm-1992-12-08-9203050371-story.html

[2] Who was Paul? https://www.gotquestions.org/life-Paul.html

Please memorize this and share the Gospel with others as the Holy Spirit leads you so they can be saved.

Friend: You have sinned.

But Christ died for sinners and rose again.

Trust Him alone and He will save you eternally.

Do it now!”

M Kober

Romans 3:10, 23; 6:23; 1 Corinthians 15:3, 4; Acts 16:31; Ephesians 2:8, 9

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