PHBC October 31, 1999

Series: First Peter, Sermon #81

THE REWARD OF THE FAITHFUL PASTOR-ELDER-BISHOP-TEACHER


TEXT: 1 Peter 5:4 And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away.

INTRO: I suppose at some time in his life as a pastor, each God called pastor-elder-bishop has felt unappreciated and unrewarded. I have no doubt that this is what happened to Jeremiah when he wrote, Jeremiah 9:2 Oh that I had in the wilderness a lodging place of wayfaring men; that I might leave my people, and go from them! for they be all adulterers, an assembly of treacherous men.

And again when he wrote, Jeremiah 20:8-11 For since I spake, I cried out, I cried violence and spoil; because the word of the LORD was made a reproach unto me, and a derision, daily. 9 Then I said, I will not make mention of him, nor speak any more in his name. But his word was in mine heart as a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I was weary with forbearing, and I could not stay. 10 For I heard the defaming of many, fear on every side. Report, say they, and we will report it. All my familiars watched for my halting, saying, Peradventure he will be enticed, and we shall prevail against him, and we shall take our revenge on him. 11 But the LORD is with me as a mighty terrible one: therefore my persecutors shall stumble, and they shall not prevail: they shall be greatly ashamed; for they shall not prosper: their everlasting confusion shall never be forgotten.

Let me say very quickly that it is not my intention to try to evoke, induce, or stir up sympathy for this pastor or any other pastor. We are men most blest. If you will behold us in a Bible Conference you will usually see one of the happiest groups of men you can find anywhere. We are engaged in the greatest work that has ever been committed to mortal menóthe preaching of the word of God. We deal in eternal merchandise. We fish for men. We have the greatest message that men and angels have ever proclaimed. We have a message that is so wonderful that angels desire to look into it.

We may face opposition from many corners, sometimes from our own brethren in the ministry. Just yesterday, I heard that Bro. John Kohler and I were tearing up the churches in West Virginia. That is so far from the truth, it is almost laughable. You, my own dear people at Pilgrims Hope know that I have not had time for such, even if I were inclined to meddle. My answer to the charge is found in the word of God. Job 16:19 Also now, behold, my witness is in heaven, and my record is on high.

Ah, but let us not dwell on the grandiloquent derision and unmitigated gall of those who would peddle such nonsensical lies. Let us look up. Let all my pastor-brethren who may read or hear this, look up. The great Shepherd of the Sheep, the chief Shepherd who endured more contradiction from sinners that we can ever endure, is coming again. And he will judge our works and labors. 1 Corinthians 4:3-4 But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged of you, or of manís judgment: yea, I judge not mine own self. 4 For I know nothing by myself; yet am I not hereby justified: but he that judgeth me is the Lord.

I. THE COMING OF THE CHIEF SHEPHERD

A. Our text assure that our Chief Shepherd will come again. 1 Peter 5:4 And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away.

B. Our life is hid with Christ in God and he will appear and we shall appear with him. Colossians 3:3-4 For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. 4 When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.

C. He is coming to be admired in his saints and his pastors are in that number. 2 Thessalonians 1:10 When he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe (because our testimony among you was believed) in that day.

D. He now walks in the midst of his churches and holds his pastors in his hand. Revelation 1:12-20 And I turned to see the voice that spake with me. And being turned, I saw seven golden candlesticks; 13 And in the midst of the seven candlesticks one like unto the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle. 14 His head and his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and his eyes were as a flame of fire; 15 And his feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; and his voice as the sound of many waters. 16 And he had in his right hand seven stars: and out of his mouth went a sharp twoedged sword: and his countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength. 17 And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last: 18 I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death. 19 Write the things which thou hast seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter; 20 The mystery of the seven stars which thou sawest in my right hand, and the seven golden candlesticks. The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches: and the seven candlesticks which thou sawest are the seven churches.

E. The same one who walks among his churches and holds in his hand the pastors of his churches is the same one who declared that he would come and reward his people. Revelation 22:12 And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.

F. Paul, who had endured much for the cause of the Lord and who was yet to suffer for him, looked forward to the return of his Chief Shepherd. 2 Timothy 4:7-8 I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: 8 Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.

II. JUDGMENT OF PASTORS BY THE CHIEF SHEPHERD

A. Judgment will be based on quality, not on quantity. 1 Corinthians 3:11-15 For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; 13 Every manís work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every manís work of what sort it is. 14 If any manís work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. 15 If any manís work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.

1. The foundation upon which pastors must build is Jesus Christ for no reward could be expected if we build on any other foundation.

2. The pastor may build upon this foundation that which is like wood hay and stubble.

a. These works may possibly include false professors who are led to make professions of faith though not regenerated.

b. They would also include works that are done contrary to biblical example or mandate.

3. The pastor may build on this foundation of Jesus Christ that which is like gold, silver and precious stones.

a. This probably includes true believers who are begotten by the gospel. 1 Corinthians 4:15 For though ye have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet have ye not many fathers: for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel.

b. This probably includes doing Godís work, Godís way, and for Godís glory.

4. The work of the pastor will be tried by fire to manifest the type of itóthat which is burned by fire or that which is purified by fire.

5. If oneís work endures the fire, he will be rewarded by the Chief Shepherd.

6. If oneís work is burned, he shall suffer loss though he himself shall be saved.

B. It is important that the pastor fight his fight and run his race according to the rule book, the inspired word of God. 2 Timothy 2:5 And if a man also strive for masteries, yet is he not crowned, except he strive lawfully.

C. Temperate living on the part of the pastor is also important to receiving his reward. 1 Corinthians 9:24-27 Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain. 25 And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible. 26 I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air: 27 But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.

D. The pastor must exercise care in the manner that he does his work if he is to be rewarded. Galatians 2:1-2 Then fourteen years after I went up again to Jerusalem with Barnabas, and took Titus with me also. 2 And I went up by revelation, and communicated unto them that gospel which I preach among the Gentiles, but privately to them which were of reputation, lest by any means I should run, or had run, in vain.

E. The pastor must be very careful in the way he labors lest it all be in vain as for as reward is concerned. Philippians 2:16 Holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain.

F. When the Chief Shepherd comes the pastor must give account of his oversight of the church or churches he has pastured. Hebrews 13:17 Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.

III. THE REWARD OF THOSE WHO HAVE FAITHFULLY SERVED IN THE PASTORAL OFFICE

A. There is a crown of glory for the faithful pastor. 1 Peter 5:4 And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away.

B. The pastorís reward is an unfading crown of glory. Gill says on this, "ye shall receive a crown of glory which fadeth not away; in distinction from those crowns which were given to the conqueror, in the Olympic games; which were made of divers flowers, of the olive, wild olive, pine tree, and of parsley, and inserted in a branch of the wild olive tree {y} and which quickly faded away; or in allusion to crowns made of amaranthus {z}, the plant "everlasting", so called, from the nature of it, because it never fades: the eternal glory and happiness, which is here meant by a crown of glory, or a glorious crown, never fades away, but ever shines in its full lustre; and this faithful ministers shall receive at the hands of the chief Shepherd, as a gift of his, as a reward of grace; when they have finished their work, they will enter into the joy of their Lord, and shine as the stars for ever and ever; they shall reign with Christ, as kings, on a throne of glory, wearing a crown of glory, and enjoying a kingdom and glory to all eternity.

C. Matthew Henry writes on this declaration of Peter concerning the reward of faithful ministers. This chief shepherd will appear, to judge all ministers and under-shepherds, to call them to account, whether they have faithfully discharged their duty both publicly and privately according to the foregoing directions. 3. Those that are found to have done their duty shall have what is infinitely better than temporal gain; they shall receive from the grand shepherd a high degree of everlasting glory, a crown of glory that fadeth not away.

D. I pray that God will give all his true ministers the spirit and faith of Moses. Hebrews 11:24-26 By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaohís daughter; 25 Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season; 26 Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompence of the reward.

E. Genuine faith expects God to reward faithful service. Hebrews 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

CONC: There are many rewards in faithfully serving the Lord as pastor of one of his flocks. But, the shepherds of his flocks will not receive the greatest of their reward until the great chief shepherd returns. What a day that will be when all his faithful ministers receive their crown of glory and reign with him a thousand years on earth and for all eternity.

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