Be faithful in praying for your pastors. I’ve been a way a great deal this fall in church, after church, after church literally from coast to coast. An impression has accumulated on me in the process that is: that faithful, Bible-preaching men of God have never been under such assault, satanic assault, as they are today. I have a new prayer burden for the graduates of this institution that are in pulpits and others like them who are trying to be faithful and do right. Day and night their lives are burdened with the cares of their church. The families are often falling apart. There are burdensome health needs. I had a pastor tell me recently, never in my whole life have I seen people in my church in one time with so many serious illnesses, terminal illnesses. I think that he said there were eighteen people that he could think of right off the top of his head who are seriously ill in his church. Of course those burdens weigh heavily on pastors. And pastors have to give care and shepherding to those people.
And then there are the efforts of angry and bitter people who would not endure sound doctrine, who instead of turning the conviction of the Holy Spirit upon themselves when the word of God is preached they turn it outward upon the messenger. They go on their blogs and Facebooks and they start defaming and ridiculing and even some times slandering their pastors, accusing them of all kinds of unjust things. And in the process of that it weighs heavily on you. You know in all of that there is only one thing to do about any of that is it ignore it and not to read it, you can’t do anything about it. It’s one of the curses of technology–there are some good parts of it but there are some curses too, and that is one of them, you just don’t pay any attention to them you go about your business, you know you are doing right in the eyes of God and that’s all that matters anyhow there is only one person that we have to please and answer to.
You pray for your pastors. They are carrying huge burdens unlike anything I have heard of. I was talking to a pastor late last night on the phone who just unburdened and he was just one more of those instances that I have come across in profusion in the last several weeks
Pastor in Colorado was telling me just yesterday that there is a whole website dedicated to the defamation of the name of Tim Tebow, you know who Tim Tebow is, I guess, he was one of the most outstanding football players I think who has ever played on the collegiate level, and he had a testimony of Christlikeness. He tried to keep himself pure and clean, and as far as I know he has. I have heard nothing about him that would bring any reproach on his efforts to try to live above moral defilement and there is a whole website dedicated to attacking him just because he has a public testimony as a Christian. You know that he grew up in a preacher’s home in the Philippines. He plans to go back, he says, and be a missionary in the Philippines. I hope he will, but one of those people on that website, I was told by this pastor is a Hollywood producer, a very vile man himself, who said if I walked into a room and Tim Tebow and Osama Bin Laden were both in that room, and I had a gun with only one bullet in it, I would shoot Bin Laden. If I walked into a room with those two men there and I had two bullets in it, I would shoot Tim Tebow first and then I would shoot Bin Laden.
I share that with you because I think it is indicative of the growing venom and hatred against Christians whose testimony is bright for the Lord and unashamed. And you are going to face that as these days come nearer to the coming of the Lord. We are warned of those days. We were told about those days in Paul’s epistles and we shouldn’t be surprised that these days have come upon us. These days when people will hire preachers who will tell them what they want to hear and tickle their ears. They don’t want the truth they want to be flattered. They want to hear what they want to hear and if they don’t hear that they will find another preacher somewhere, there is always another preacher in any community who will tell them what they want to hear. It’s just that way in the end times, and it goes on and on until the Lord returns. But this is not unusual, Peter told us not to be surprised when these things happen. The Lord said when you are ridiculed as the prophets were, rejoice and be exceeding glad, they were persecuted ahead of you and you will be persecuted if you have a testimony for Christ. Nothing unusual about that. Don’t be surprised about it.
In the process of all of this there is also some wonderful happy joyous experiences. I was, and some of us were speaking yesterday to a group of pastors and their wives down in Tampa in the process of that I gave several tracts away, but I gave one away to a guy and he looked at it and his face brightened up and he said “I owe my life to a blood donation.” I said, “a blood donation?” He said, “yeah, the blood of Christ. I owe my life to a blood donation.” “You know,” I said, “I have never heard it put that way before, but I like that. That’s good, indeed, we do owe our life to the Savior’s shed blood on Calvary’s cross. This man and I had some brief, but really, really good fellowship.
Before I come to the message I would just like to say one more thing because I think that in times like these it’s necessary for the university to be on record. You have probably heard the last week about the scandal at Penn State, Joe Paterno, their venerable coach has been involved in it. I say a little blurb yesterday that said it is possible that he might even face criminal charges in this. One of their people in the athletic department years ago molested, he was a sexual pervert, he was accused of being asexual pervert and molesting some boys. The charges are that the president of the university and the vice president, I think, and the athletic department including Joe Paterno knew about this and swept it under the rug and did nothing about it. If that is true, it is shameful and there should be some criminal actions taken against those, not only the man who did those things but the person who covered them.
I just want to tell you for your own peace of mind that Bob Jones University doesn’t do that. There’s an elementary school here, there’s a high school here, a university here, a graduate school here. Physical molestation, sexual molestation, it will not be swept under the rug. It never has been. It’s not the way we operate. It’s always reported to the authorities. There are some very clear guidelines written for anybody employed here, including student workers who work with children about what will happen, what we will do, about what this institution will do if we hear of such activity as that. Nothing is swept under the rug. Nobody would be kept here who did despicable deeds like that. Nobody would be kept on the board or on the faculty or staff who did such things as that or swept things like that under the rug. It’s just not the way we do it. And so I just want you to know that because this was another educational institution and it’s much talked about. I want you to know that you can just tell anybody that might say anything to you, that by the grace of God the institution that I attend does not function that way. It never has. And I know that I speak for the President and all the officers of this institution it never will.