The book of Acts tells the story of Simon the sorcerer, who enjoyed the attention he had gained, and the name he had made for himself through the use of his witchery, but once he had witnessed the power of God displayed through the Apostles, he believed and was baptized and followed Philip, being amazed by the miracles the Lord was doing through the apostles. At this time the Holy Ghost had fell only upon to those that had been baptized in Jesus’ name, So the Apostles laid hands on people and prayed that they may receive the gift of Holy Ghost, Acts 8: 18-21 “And when Simon saw that through the laying on of the apostles’ hands the Holy Ghost was given, he offered them money. Saying, Give me also this power, that on whomsoever I lay hands, he may receive the Holy Ghost. But Peter said unto him, Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money. Thou hast neither part nor lot in this matter: for thy heart is not right in the sight of God.”
So if it is wrong to attempt to BUY the gift of the Holy Ghost, then how much more wrong is it to SELL the Gospel?
The sharing of the Gospel has been given such a reputation by some that a lot people really believe that preachers just want their money. Huge, televangelist that sit in two hundred thousand dollar studios with immaculate decor, complete with golden chairs, while clad in several thousand dollar suits, pleading with every breath “Sow you gift of $1000.00 or more, right now!” You know, they really do need it for their jets, fleets of luxury cars, and upkeep on their multi million dollar homes!
I really loved it when one had another big timer on his show begging for money because he needed a couple of million to replace what had been used to defend himself against the congressional inquisition into certain ministries finances.
Shortly before coming to Christ, God had put a friend in my life that walked with me through an ordeal that truly left me wishing I had never been put on this earth, she never judged me or gave me lectures on the consequence of sin, I was very aware of it, she faced it every day for months with me, never knowing what that day would bring, and she had faith, faith like a rock and she suggested to me that I listen to Charles Stanley and I did, and he made everything make sense and so kind and has the love of God, once I started watching him, I started listening to others and one came on, this was years ago and this guy is now a mega-minister. I guess he needed financing because he was sounding pretty good, then he says that a certain number of people watching had a certain demon and they needed to send him x amount of dollars to be free! Even in my lost state I thought “whatever” and turned him off. I have never forgotten that.
He never said what would become of the people who could not pay him! And what about someone who may have been listening in a delicate state of mind and became convinced that they were demonically possessed and couldn’t pay him his price?
They will even tell you to send your bill money, put it on a credit card ( yeah, you can pay interest on that for years, but do the care? No, they will automatically deposit it, nice, neat, interest free and tax exempt!
Apostle Paul who no one in their right mind would question his gift or anointing, worked as a tent maker and prayer aprons were taken from him to be given to the sick, and those who were tormented by evil spirits, these aprons soaked in the “sweat from his brow” as he made his living as the Lord had commanded.
The disciples being told by Jesus, to take nothing, nothing and to stay where they were welcomed and eat what was placed before them.
That is why we are to know the Gospel we support! We do need to give to our churches, we do need to support traveling evangelists, that are the modern-day Levites and as the offerings to the temple supported and fed them and their families, we need to support those who dedicate their lives to God’s service, BUT know them and know what they do!
Support broadcasts that you believe makes a difference, and if you feel like giving, there are lots of local charities, food banks etc. that you could bless, but research it out and know where it goes. Support local missionaries who need all the financial help they can get! And they love to share with you where your money goes!
The rest of them, well, they have their reward! They prey on the lonely, widowed and desperate for help. God’s gifts are free! We SOW mercy, we SOW kindness and if we gave our last dollar to help someone who God put on our heart, that would come back a hundred fold, but we don’t “buy” anything from God!
1 Timothy 2,3 “A bishop (overseer) then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, (not two or three and a harem!) vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach; Not given to wine, no striker (not violent), NOT GREEDY OF FILTHY LUCRE (MONEY); but patient, not a brawler, not covetous;”
I tell you, I really believe you’ll soon see a downfall with this business because He wants his people saved, not “made merchandise of” by filthy rich ministers. He rewards faith and belief in him, it’s not always about who’s doing the praying, it’s often more about who’s doing the believing!
Be careful and watch out especially for elderly family members who may be being taken advantage of. I tell you If I had to choose between the ministerial council of $3000.00 suit and a sweaty tent maker, Every time my money would be on the sweaty tent maker as the one whose gonna get that prayer through!
Nina Brown Johnson /// Φλογιζω/ FOWC /06/30/2014