Stand In The Gap

Ezekiel 22:30 “And I sought for a man among them, that should make up the hedge, and stand in the gap before me for the land, that I should not destroy it: but I found none.” The Israelites constantly grieved God with their rebellion. God sent prophet after prophet to warn them. Eventually they became so like the nations around them that God gave up on them. He arranged for their captivity and bondage. As stated by the great prophet Ezekiel not a man could be found to stand on God’s side. Our American society represents the greatest rebellion against God’s word. The religious
denominations represent the greatest mockery of God’s word. As we look at the condition of the Lord’s church today we are witnessing the results of rebellion that began over two decades ago. Just like generations of Israelites and the nations around them, the rebellion continues today. God needs a people who will “stand in
the gap” against those who insist on constant rebellion to God’s instruction for mankind.
He needs preachers who will stand against the religious error of denominational preachers and teachers. Such false teachers have done serious damage to the hearts of many people. God’s preachers are those in the front line when it comes to confronting and combating false doctrine in the world. God also needs strong preachers who will “stand in the gap” against the invasion of liberal doctrines within the Lord’s church. Those who cry for “change” in the Lord’s church today are guilty of the same digression as those who split the Lord’s church more than a century ago over the mechanical instrument and the Missionary Society. They must be confronted
by God’s preachers.
The elders are to feed the flock (church) of God: “Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood” (Acts 20:28). This is a tremendous responsibility, one for which they will answer in
eternity: “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” (Hebrews 13:17). Elders must be godly men who not only respect the word of God, but who will take seriously God’s charge to care for His church. Elders must be willing to “stand in the gap” to keep error from creeping in among those with whom they are entrusted. They must have the courage to properly oversee every controversy that comes, whether over doctrine or personality. They must make responsible judgments that will both keep peace in the Lord’s church while at the same time refusing to compromise the doctrine of Christ.
Not only should the elders and preachers be sound enough and courageous enough to
stand against error, but so should every child of God. Peter tells us: “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear” 1 Peter 3:15). Paul said: “Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man” (Colossians 4:6). Obviously, God expects us to be able to give answers to religious questions or false religious opinions. Many times the word of God is compromised on the job, in discussions with neighbors or family, because Christians are either too ignorant or are too cowardly to answer. Most
church members expect their elders and preacher to be able to give sound, doctrinal
answers to error; however, most of the compromising of God’s word is done by members who simply have not prepared themselves to stand strong for God.
May God help us to accept the responsibility given to us to stand strong against the onslaught of society, religious error, and liberalism. When God needs men and women to “stand in the gap” against rebellion, let us not find ourselves in support of the rebellion through weakness and compromise. Let us not give our God the need to say, “But I found none.”

By John D. Cotham

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