God’s Word, is very outspoken concerning the leaders of His people. This is the case in both the Old and New Testaments. God’s love for His humankind is such that He will not tolerate leaders that exploitation their subjects neither will He tolerate the abuse of power and authority.

Someone reading this opening statement may want to refer the author to leaders that he or she is aware of that does exactly those things. However, we must remember that such abusive leaders will ultimately pay the price for their abuse. God does not tolerate sin, and although He is a loving God, known for His grace and loving-kindness, he will eventually see to it that every abusive leader pays the ultimate price for their persistent deeds.

Let us look what the Bible reveals regarding God’s feelings towards mankind. Firstly it is important to recall God’s own comments after He created man. As with every other part of creation, God said that it was GOOD. Was He satisfied with His work and dissatisfied with the product? No, God was satisfied with the product. God was satisfied with every other part of creation, but especially so with man. (And obviously woman. The use of ‘man’ in the article refers to both man and woman, except when otherwise stated.)

If anything God would have been more satisfied with mankind, as this was the only part of His creation that was created to His likeness.

Genesis 1:26 WEB God said, "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the sky, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth."

Does God look like a bush, a beast or some golden statue? Evidently not, because according to His specifications, He must look somewhat like mankind. When Jesus walked the earth, He looked like any other male human. Yet when the Apostles begged of Him to reveal the Father to them, he replied:

John 14:8-11 WEB Philip said to him, "Lord, show us the Father, and that will be enough for us." (9) Jesus said to him, "Have I been with you such a long time, and do you not know me, Philip? He who has seen me has seen the Father. How do you say, 'Show us the Father?' (10) Don't you believe that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? The words that I tell you, I speak not from myself; but the Father who lives in me does his works. (11) Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me; or else believe me for the very works' sake.

All this brings us to the point where we should understand that God has a special affinity with humankind. From the beginning of times, God had a special plan for man. So much so that until man severed the relationship between himself and God through sin, ‘God used to visit Adam and Eve in the Garden’.

It is important to realize that every person is important and precious to God. The Bible specifically state that ‘God so loved the world’ that He gave His only Son. Not God so loved the pastors, priests, or even Jews. Neither did He love certain ethnic cultures more. To personalize this, any person. reading this can rightfully say that “God so loved ME, that He gave His Son to die on the cross so that I might have a chance at obtaining eternal life”.

Now if God so loved every man and women from creation till eternal future, why do some choose to go to hell? Is this God’s fault? Most definitely, this is not God’s fault. Every person shall spend eternity according to the choices that he or she made in this life. But you may ask, ‘did Jesus not die for the sins of everybody?’ According to the Bible He died on the cross paying the full price for each of us with His blood. However, those that reject His offer cannot receive salvation. His Word specifies that:
John 1:12 WEB But as many as received him, to them he gave the right to become God's children, to those who believe in his name: (Emphasis by author)

It is wrong to assume that all humans are ‘children of God’, just as it is wrong to preach that all of those belonging to a certain church or denomination are children of God. Only those that ‘received Him and believe in His name’ have the right to become children of God.

The Christian religion is not a religion of membership or inheritance. Christianity is a religion that fundamentally is made of only of those that received Jesus into their lives.

The next important issue to look at, is that God still want to fellowship with mankind, even in these end times.
Revelation 3:20 WEB Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, then I will come in to him, and will dine with him, and he with me. (Emphasis by author)

God wants as much to fellowship with every person on earth today as He wanted to fellowship with Adam and Eve. God wants to spend time with you, and He want you to spend time with Him.

John 4:23-24 WEB But the hour comes, and now is, when the true worshippers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father seeks such to be his worshippers.(24) God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth."

Would God seek such worshippers if He had rejected mankind? Would He have sacrificed His own Son for the sake of mankind if He had rejected sinners? God hates sin, but He loves the sinner. God does not love the sinner because of his or her sins, just as much as God will not accept any person. in heaven on ground of his or her good works. God loves mankind, because He knows the inherent potential of every person, and He won’t give up on any person until the last moment. This author had personal experiences where people who rejected God throughout their lives, in the last minutes of their lives came to their senses and cried out to God, and received salvation.

Finally, if God has so much love for every human being, how can any leader, and especially Christian leaders, expect to please God when they abuse their power?

Ezekiel 34:2-4 WEB Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel, prophesy, and tell them, even to the shepherds, Thus says the Lord Yahweh: Woe to the shepherds of Israel who feed themselves! Shouldn't the shepherds feed the sheep? (3) You eat the fat, and you clothe you with the wool, you kill the fatlings; but you don't feed the sheep. (4) You haven't strengthened the diseased, neither have you healed that which was sick, neither have you bound up that which was broken, neither have you brought back that which was driven away, neither have you sought that which was lost; but with force and with rigor have you ruled over them. (Emphasis by author)

The author realizes that he too is a shepherd, and therefore he realizes the tremendous importance of not forming cliques in the church, the importance of not allowing partiality, and the importance of not deeming one person more noteworthy than the other.

James 2:1-9 WEB My brothers, don't hold the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ of glory with partiality. (2) For if a man with a gold ring, in fine clothing, comes into your assembly, and a poor man in filthy clothing also comes in; (3) and you pay special attention to him who wears the fine clothing, and say, "Sit here in a good place;" and you tell the poor man, "Stand there," or "Sit by my footstool;" (4) haven't you shown partiality among yourselves, and become judges with evil thoughts? (5) Listen, my beloved brothers. Didn't God choose those who are poor in this world to be rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which he promised to those who love him? (6) But you have dishonored the poor man. Don't the rich oppress you, and personally drag you before the courts? (7) Don't they blaspheme the honorable name by which you are called? (8) However, if you fulfill the royal law, according to the Scripture, "You shall love your neighbor as yourself," you do well. (9) But if you show partiality, you commit sin, being convicted by the law as transgressors.

Every Christian leader should know that God the poor as much as the rich, the mighty as much as the insignificant. God cares for the individual, and He will ultimately revenge every deed of oppression and partiality.

Author's Bio: 

Dr Gerrit van Vuuren [Ph.D.] is Principal of the Shepherd Leadership Institute. Visit Shepherd Leadership Institute!
At the age of 30 he accepted Jesus as Saviour, resulting in a radical conversion, a radical calling, and a radical ministry. Dr Gerrit wrote a research doctoral thesis on the 'leadership style of Jesus Christ', and has a calling to teach the body of Christ to understand and apply Jesus' leadership style, which he calls True Shepherd Leadership ©. For more information, e-mail him at gerrit@shepherdleader.co.za