The fact that he had no business being in the ministry never even slowed him down. He loved mammon, loved to have the preeminence, loved pleasures, especially the pleasures of sin. He sought his own, not anotherâ€™s. Far from blameless, he had had only one wife at a time. If he was sober, he was vigilantâ€¦ vigilant to end that condition. When it came to the neighborâ€™s wife (or the deaconâ€™s for that matter), he certainly was given to hospitality. He was apt to teach, for by it he seduced many. Never had he been given to wine, though plenty had been given to him. No striker could match his tantrums. He was not greedy of filthy lucre. He liked the clean kind, which was why he insisted that money always be laundered. When it came to getting an angle, he was the most patient of men. Give him his way, and he wouldnâ€™t be such a brawler. He was not covetous, he just wanted lots of things. His children all followed in his footsteps, of course. Just that they werenâ€™t so sly about covering it. You can believe that this man was not a novice. His chicanery came from years of experience. He had a good report card, though. Back in first or second grade â€“ he couldnâ€™t remember which. But hey, he desired the office of a bishop. It had filled his coffers, and made him fat.
You might be thinking that it obviously is not Godâ€™s will that this man be a pastor. But then again, you could be wrong. Sometimes, God brings these men to such positions. After all, God chose Saul to be the first king of Israel. God called Judas Iscariot to be a disciple. Sometimes, God chastises a nation with such men. God raised up Pharaoh. God gave Israel ungodly preachers (I Kings 22:22-23). Josephâ€™s brothers fulfilled Godâ€™s will, even as they didnâ€™t. Surely, this reveals something about Godâ€™s will.
This reminds us that men often displease God even as they do Godâ€™s will. Was God pleased when David committed adultery with Bathsheba? Yet Davidâ€™s act most certainly fulfilled Godâ€™s will (consider Matthew 1:6 with Psalm 119:152; Isaiah 46:10-11). It pleased the LORD to bruise Christ, and God was displeased with those who bruised him. Even so, a man may advance to the pastorate without the call of God, and may displease God through his grasping, and this may be according to Godâ€™s will. I dare say that if the man is in the pulpit, that means it is Godâ€™s will that he be in the pulpit, even as it isnâ€™t.
Those who seek a pastoral position must be concerned about this. Yes, you can take a pulpit without a divine call. But that doesnâ€™t mean God will be pleased. God uses usurpers, though not usually for their own good (see Jeremiah 14:14-15ff and Jeremiah 23:21-22ff). Disqualified pastors are a scourge on a nation.
Sadly, stubbornness keeps men in pastoral ministry who long ago disqualified themselves. They destroy and devour the flock (Jer 23:1-2, 9-15), and by them many are devastated. And despite the carnage, these wolves in shepherds garb will smugly insist that the â€œgifts and calling of God are without repentance,â€ demonstrating that Godâ€™s Word is to them a lever for gaining advantage over Godâ€™s flock.
Jack Hyles taught us that repentance is not necessary for salvation. And his â€œpreacher boysâ€ learned their lessons well. If salvation comes without repentance, then so does â€œthe call.â€ And once you get â€œthe call,â€ this too is without repentance. The smart ones connect the dots well. They can live like the devil and still go to heaven. So they do (live like the devil, at least). Ironically, if one gets caught, all one needs to do is â€œrepent.â€ Not that repentance is necessary. Just that if he wishes to keep preying on the sheep, it is.
Whether God actually calls a man to pastor who later disqualifies himself or not is a discussion for another time. For now, we can be sure that this too was Godâ€™s will, and according to his plan. In other words, it was Godâ€™s will that there be a First Baptist Church of Hammond, that Jack Hyles pastor it, that he found Hyles-Anderson College, and that this college produce graduates like John Price. It is Godâ€™s will that Jack Schaap pastor that church today. And that should bring us to repentance if nothing else does.