We find an interesting discussion between Christ and Peter in the 21st chapter of the book of John. Peter was repeatedly asked by Christ if he loved Him. You can sense by the responses of Peter that by the third time Christ asked him this question, he was a little frustrated. We see from the responses given by Christ in Verses 15-17 of John 21, that He, on the other hand, was focused on how this love was to be manifested. These responses were, “Feed My lambs,” “Tend My sheep” and “Feed My sheep.”
We can conclude by these responses to “Do you love ME?” that the way to demonstrate that love is by feeding and tending Christ’s sheep. This responsibility lies with the ministry and we in the ministry are to take that responsibility seriously.
Now, there are several ways to feed sheep. You can feed them sporadically, cut back on the amount you feed them or feed them a poor quality diet. All of these methods produce the same result — weakened, sickly sheep subject to disease and unable to ward off predatory attacks. It is unfortunate that some of the Churches of God have chosen this path in regard to their sermons, counseling and writings, thereby “feeding milk” to the sheep — messages that are more palatable, more appetizing, more appealing — instead of giving the flock meat in due season.
Is this the type of feeding that is expected of the ministry? Let us look at what Paul admonished Timothy in 2 Timothy 4:1-2:” I charge you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom: Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching.”
There is no hint here of watering down the truth to become more popular or make it more palatable. Rather, Paul admonishes Timothy to always tell the truth as it is, with love and longsuffering.
Can you imagine having a group of guests over for a fine dinner and serving a quality wine that was half watered down, and trying to explain to your guests that you were trying to be frugal and save a little money by watering down the wine by 50%? I suspect this would not go over very well, no matter how you presented your case.
The ministry in The Church of the Eternal God in the U.S, the Church of God, a Christian Fellowship in Canada, and the Global Church of God in England take very seriously the responsibility of feeding meat in due season to the sheep of Christ, as well as tending to them. We are not out to win a popularity contest and we are not out to offend, either. At the same time, we will not shrink from the responsibilities given to us by Christ and demonstrating our love for Him. That love is shown by our “Feeding His Sheep,” as He commanded.
We shall continue to give meaty sermons based on the Bible and not on speculation or merely on human tradition. Speculation may be titillating to the ear, but it does little for the stomach, as far as a strong diet is concerned. Our articles and booklets are Bible based. By doing this, we show our love to God the Father and Jesus Christ, as well as our determination to follow the admonition in Matthew 24:45-46: “Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his master made ruler over his household, to give them FOOD IN DUE SEASON? Blessed is that servant whom his master, when he comes, will find SO doing” (Emphasis added).
If we truly love God the Father who has called us to His Way, and if we truly love Jesus Christ who gave His life for us, we, as a church, must follow Christ’s command and feed His sheep.