February 20, 2016

Sheep Stealers

There are preachers in the last days who “steal sheep” instead of winning souls. The Apostle Paul says in II Timothy 3:6-7, “For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts, Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth” (II Timothy 3:6-7). This refers to pastors and teachers in churches who worm their way into the hearts of weak women and lead them into their own church or Bible study. They usually seduce women, but they can also do this with weak men, particularly weak men whose wives have been seduced by the “sheep stealer

The sheep stealer, of course, will never tell you, “I’m a sheep stealer. I’m here to get you to leave your church and join mine.” One man who is a very notorious sheep stealer said not long ago, “I’m not a sheep stealer.” Actually this man is an expert sheep stealer, and yet he said that. I think these men often deceive themselves, to keep from facing their own sinfulness. They are “deceiving, and being deceived” (II Timothy 3:13).

What they do is get the prospective sheep to talk about his church. If they see that the sheep has no complaints the sheep stealer will leave him alone. But if the sheep complains to him, he will draw him out by asking smooth questions in a soft and kindly voice. If he can get the sheep to say something against his pastor, the sheep stealer will work on that point, all the time appearing to be a kind and understanding friend. In the end the sheep stealer will persuade the sheep to leave his own church and come with him. Believe it or not, there are preachers who make a career out of doing this. They have many people in their church that they seduced into coming with them. One preacher recently told me about a small town in Alabama that has 66 Baptist churches in it. He said the people float back and forth from one sheep stealer to the other. Needless to say, the spiritual level in that town must be very low, with hardly anyone truly saved. Why? Because such people are “Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth” (II Timothy 3:7).

The only way to avoid stealing sheep is for pastors not to accept members from other churches without their former church giving them approval or a “letter” of transfer. These are historic Baptist positions, which are violated by sheep stealers today.

This is a continuing problem because very few pastors in the last days know how to win and disciple converts from the world. As a result, they often try to build their churches by seducing professing Christians to leave their own churches and come with them. May I say to you as strongly as possible – that is an abominable kind of ministry! Sheep stealing preachers are like grave robbers in the 19th century. They dug up dead bodies that had recently been buried and sold them to medical schools to be dissected. The sheep stealing preacher is no better than a grave robber in my view!

May I say to you that no matter how bad the churches become in the last days, Jesus Christ Himself is ready to pardon your sin. He bled and died on the Cross to save your soul. He is now at the right hand of God praying for you. It is my prayer that you will seek Him and find Him. He said, “Ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart” (Jeremiah 29:13).