As a parent, I sometimes fall into that trap of scaring my children into salvation. I mean, what Christian parent doesn’t want their children to follow Jesus? We all do, and if we’re honest we would save them if we could. But we can’t. As much as I want to make my children good disciples of Jesus, the truth is that I can’t. Only God can call their names. I can’t get them on the guest list, or have them say enough of the right words, or even have them pray a prayer that will get them salvation. It’s out of my hands
Although there isn’t a book, sermon, or blog post that can single-handedly address each of these issues, I believe there is a certain sentence that applies to any kind of pain and suffering. There are seven words that, when viewed correctly through the lens of Scripture, can bring hope, peace, and purpose to any situation, no matter how severe. For the terminally ill cancer patient, for the lonely single mother, for the bullied child and the heartbroken couple, for the Syrian refugee and the paraplegic, you should know: God is in control of your pain.
Church discipline isn’t just the final stage we often think of—removing from membership, fellowship, and so on. I went under church discipline in the booth of The Nook Cafe. It didn’t go all the way to the end because my brothers helped me. Our Lord loved me.
We are, sadly, familiar with pastors having to leave the ministry because of sexual impropriety. These incidents seem to occur with such frequency as to be barely newsworthy to a watching world.
But another, equally sad trend has developed in recent years: Pastors having to leave for bullying.