Pastors Ought to Pray for Church Members to do the Right Thing Part 7 (Praying Through the Bible #271)

TEXT: 2 Corinthians 13

1 This is the third time I am coming to you. In the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established.

2 I told you before, and foretell you, as if I were present, the second time; and being absent now I write to them which heretofore have sinned, and to all other, that, if I come again, I will not spare:

3 Since ye seek a proof of Christ speaking in me, which to you-ward is not weak, but is mighty in you.

4 For though he was crucified through weakness, yet he liveth by the power of God. For we also are weak in him, but we shall live with him by the power of God toward you.

5 Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?

6 But I trust that ye shall know that we are not reprobates.

7 Now I pray to God that ye do no evil; not that we should appear approved, but that ye should do that which is honest, though we be as reprobates.

8 For we can do nothing against the truth, but for the truth.

9 For we are glad, when we are weak, and ye are strong: and this also we wish, even your perfection.

10 Therefore I write these things being absent, lest being present I should use sharpness, according to the power which the Lord hath given me to edification, and not to destruction.

11 Finally, brethren, farewell. Be perfect, be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace; and the God of love and peace shall be with you.

12 Greet one another with an holy kiss.

13 All the saints salute you.

14 The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen.

--- PRAYER ---

We are in a series of messages titled "Praying Through the Bible: A Series on Every Passage and Verse Regarding Prayer in the Bible." The purpose of this series is to encourage and motivate you to pray to the God of the Bible. We highlighted each of these over 500 verses and passages in the Prayer Motivator Devotional Bible. So far, we have completed 270 messages in this series.

This is message #271 titled, Pastors Ought to Pray for Church Members to do the Right Thing, Part 7.
 
After Paul challenges the Corinthian believers to examine themselves to see whether they were in the faith or reprobates, Paul anticipates a counter-question. What if the believers asked Paul to examine himself? What if they not only questioned his legitimacy as a leader, but his salvation? Paul does not try to defend himself against these questions; instead he dismisses such ideas saying, "I trust that ye shall know that we are not reprobates."
 
Again, we see that Paul does not try to defend himself against the accusations of his accusers. Instead, he is wholly concerned about the well-being of the church members and their standing before God. To that end, he says, "Now I pray to God that ye do no evil." As we read this, we must remember that Paul wrote this part of his letter because some in the church questioned the authority he claimed in Christ. Paul threatened that, when he visited them, he would come with "sharpness" and "power" in order to demonstrate that the Lord really had granted him apostolic authority over that body of believers. But, if all of the believers were doing the right thing before God, Paul would not have a reason to use "sharpness" and "power" when he came -- thereby granting them the opportunity to continue their false claims about him.
 
William Barclay notes that Paul's prayer, if answered, was such "that [the people] might never give him occasion for the exercise of his power in that way, though as a consequence he would be regarded as a reprobate, or as having no claims to the apostolic office. He would rather be regarded as an impostor; rather lie under the reproach of his enemies that he had no claims to the apostolic character, than that they, by doing wrong, should give him occasion to show that he was not a deceiver."
 
Paul was willing to let people go on claiming that he was a pretender and not a real apostle so long as they were in right standing before God. He was willing to be considered a "reprobate" before them if it meant that they were doing the right thing. Paul's desire ought to be the desire of every preacher -- that the people under his care live in a manner that is worthy of Christ no matter what the cost might be to his reputation or the esteem in which he is held. This is a prayer that every pastor and every believer who has spiritual authority over others can get behind -- that those whom they are responsible for will "do no evil."
 
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Now, if you are with us today, and you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ as your Saviour, your first prayer needs to be what we call the Sinner's Prayer. First, please understand that you are a sinner, just as I am, and that you have broken God's laws. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: "For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God."

Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: "For the wages of sin is death…"

Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: "And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell." Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: "But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death."

Now this is bad news, but here's the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life."

Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.

Romans 10:9 & 13 says, "That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved... For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved."

If you believe that Jesus Christ died on the Cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and you want to trust Him for your Salvation today, please pray with me this simple prayer: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I now believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.

If you just trusted Jesus Christ as your Saviour, and you prayed that prayer and meant it from your heart, I declare to you that based upon the Word of God, you are now saved from Hell and you are on your way to Heaven. Welcome to the family of God! Congratulations on trusting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour. You have done the most important thing in life. For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read "What To Do After You Enter Through the Door". Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, "I am the door, by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture."

God loves you. We love you. And may God bless you.