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The Retirement Crown

"For I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time has come for my departure. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day--and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing." 2 Timothy 4:8

In this Scripture, I hardly think Paul was alluding to retirement, shuffleboard in Florida, golfing, cooking as a hobby and traveling the country in an RV when he wrote this. Paul was near death. He knew his time was almost up and he would be leaving this earth.

There's nothing wrong with retirement from a long time job and collecting a the world. Most people save most of their lives for the moment they retire and think they're really going to enjoy the few years they have left. Maybe get a dog, go fishing, wander around the house, plant some flowers, take trips. That's the world. What blows my mind is to read about so many ministers doing this. They even pump their congregations in their remaining years to add to their retirement.

I know of a man who ministered in his church for 50 years and he refused to retire because he wasn't dead therefore was still charged with administering the Gospel. He was eventually forced out of his own church and into retirement. Despite his years of service, despite teaching the unadulterated Word of God for 50 years, most of his congregation believed he was too old, too tired and should retire to enjoy what few years remained for him.

I have yet to find anywhere in Scripture anything concerning God's servants retiring from His work while they still have breath left in their bodies. God's retirement plan doesn't kick in until we're dead. Our pension and other retirement funds is the crown of righteousness. Our rest won't come until we stand before God Himself.

The church so emulates the world in almost every aspect that it's hard to tell them apart anymore. When Believers are given the administering of the Gospel as Pastors there is no cut off date until death. God doesn't call anyone in for a retirement meeting and hand out RVs and golf clubs. The Prophets and Apostles never looked forward too a pension, social security and retirement to wander around the country side sight seeing and playing shuffle board. They looked forward to standing before Christ unashamed as loyal, faithful servants.

The Apostle John eventually became so old and so weak that he had to be carried into the synagogues, but he never stopped teaching. His voice was barely audible, but he would teach and instruct the Believers until the day he died. No one forced him out because he was getting too old. Paul never stopped, James never retired, Peter continued to preach even as he was being put to death and so on. Why do we have so many Pastors retiring from leading and teaching flocks? Why do we have so many ministers setting up retirement funds early on and eventually leaving the pulpit to collect money and "enjoy life".

There are ministers today so worried over health insurance that they're forming a sort of union to pool funds in case someone gets sick. They scoffed at one minister who said quite frankly "If I get sick I'll put my faith in God. I'm not going to worry about it."

When we have leaders that do as the world does how can we not expect the flock to follow? When a lone leader steps out and says "Wait. This isn't how those who came before us lived", they're scoffed at. I'm not against relaxation or enjoyment, but leaders and sheep have made it the focal point of our lives and we plan heavily and live for it.

I had a minister on my facebook who knew my parents before he was a minister so we became friends. He leads a large congregation. All he talked about is retiring and all his happy plans, his Beatles memorabilia collection and things he did as a kid. Most of his congregation is on his facebook page and they think he's the coolest Pastor ever. The frivolity infects the people and they follow. I've never learned so much about a band in my entire life. I never put that much effort into my favorite bands when I was an unbeliever.

This is how he leads his congregation and he's not anomaly. This is what his flock learns from him. A short sermon on Sundays that he brags about writing several times during the week and a whole lot about the Beatles, his plans for retirement and what he was like as a kid. This world is going down like the Hindenburg right before our eyes, millions are dangling over hell and already have the stench of smoke on them and we're looking forward to retirement, a pension and all our happy relaxing plans.

“Listen to me, you who pursue righteousness
   and who seek the LORD:
Look to the rock from which you were cut
   and to the quarry from which you were hewn;" Isaiah 51:1 

We have to return to the foundation. We have to go back to the quarry which is the Bible and live by our faith, serving God continuously as He demands and expects until we have no more breath. Leaders need to take their flocks back to the quarries. If you've found yourself surrounded by this worldly mentality in your church and in your leaders then for you as the individual I give you this...

"This is what the LORD says:
   'Stand at the crossroads and look;
   ask for the ancient paths,
ask where the good way is, and walk in it,
   and you will find rest for your souls.'" Jeremiah 6:16

"The West is crumbling before us and we still choose to be trite, frivolous and happy. The fact of the matter is man is twisted and broken and dead. The fact of the matter is judgment is coming. The fact of the matter is all that we can see will be melted as with fire." - Paul Washer from The Reality of Judgment


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Disclaimer: I do not condone the teaching of men by women nor am I trying to exercise authority over men by using this blog as a method of teaching men. All posts are for the edification of women. For more on what I believe concerning this issue please see: Women - No Dominion Over Men
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