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We're looking this morning at 1 Corinthians Chapter 4, 1 Corinthians Chapter 4 and verses 1 through 5 in our continuing study of 1 Corinthians. We've been encouraged by the response of our folks to the series which we gave in the last three weeks on God and Satan, but now we're returning to our study of 1 Corinthians and find ourselves in Chapter 4 looking at the first five verses. I confess to you that the passage is written as much to me as it is to you. It is addressed to the Corinthian congregation, but it is the definition of the true place of the minister. It's the guideline or the standard by which the minister is to minister.
And it is the attitude in which the people are to hold him. And so it's a very important portion of Scripture. It's been a very heart searching time for me, a time of self examination, a time of measuring myself against the word of God in order to see that I fulfilled that which God has laid out as His pattern for His minister. One of the very popular games that people play in the church among many games is the game of evaluating the pastor.
All kinds of criteria have been offered as the standard for who is to be the most honored pastor and who is to be the tops and who's the bottom and why so and so is better than the other and so forth, there are even institutions that give special honors to the people who fit their criteria. And I suppose that because ministers are in the public eye and because we're always up in front, it is tempting to rate and rank them and the game then is very common. Ministers are generally ranked by the following criteria. The size of their church, the ability of their staff, the size of their staff, the style of their preaching, the degrees they've received academically, the books they have written, the particular scriptural emphasis that is associated with them, their popularity with people, their social status, etc., etc. And on this basis we all, I think, are tempted to rate and rank ministers.
Every parent who has lost a child has dealt with disturbing, haunting questions. Why my child? Where is my baby now? Will I ever see my child again? Renowned Bible expositor John MacArthur tackles the question of infant death (in the womb or following birth) in his trademark style--with detailed attention to Scriptures that hold the answers. No death occurs apart from the purposes of God, MacArthur assures readers, just as no life occurs apart from the purposes of God.
With a pastor's heart, he leads readers to an understanding of the eternal destination of these precious little ones. His conclusion: Babies--and anyone else who has not reached the condition of accountability--go to heaven when they die, and there will, indeed, be a time of blessed reunion with these souls. This comforting book is certain to bring consolation to those experiencing this most painful loss.
About the Author John MacArthur is Pastor/Teacher of Grace Community Church in Sun Valley, California and President of The Master’s College and Seminary. He is also President of Grace to You, the ministry that produces the internationally syndicated radio program "Grace to You," and a host of print, audio, and Internet resources—all featuring John’s popular, verse-by-verse teaching. He also authored the notes in The MacArthur Study Bible, which has been awarded the Gold Medallion and has sold more than 500,000 copies. John and his wife, Patricia, have four grown children and twelve grandchildren.