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I think my friend coined the saying, "The gospel is not for sale." Of course, we have all heard that salvation is a free gift of God, not of works; however, the gospel ought not to be for sale either. But in most churches, radio, TV, and electronic ministries, everything is for sale, including the preachers and priests.

The Gospel is Not for Sale

 

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I think my friend coined the saying, “The gospel is not for sale.”  Of course, we have all heard that salvation is a free gift of God, not of works; however, the gospel ought not to be for sale either.  But in most churches, radio, TV, and electronic ministries, everything is for sale, including the preachers and priests.  They are bought with a paycheck, and so are the flee-by-night evangelists who unashamedly pass their beggar bowls and buckets, encouraging you to pay as you pray, give as go, and hand it over as you hallelujah.  Interestingly, though, if you were to take a peek at their diplomas and paychecks, you would find their sheepskins and checks are not signed by God, so I guess God is not their teacher or their employer.

 Now, right about this time, some of you are going to remember what those whore house hookers taught you along the way about paying off the clergy. They like to quote Paul who said, “For it is written in the Law of Moses, Thou shalt not muzzle the mouth of the ox that treadeth out the corn. Doth God take care for oxen? Or saith he it altogether for our sakes? For our sakes, no doubt, this is written: that he that ploweth should plow in hope; and that he that thresheth in hope should be partaker of his hope. If we have sown unto you spiritual things, is it a great thing if we shall reap your carnal things?” (I Corinthians 9:9-11)

 Let’s use Paul’s oxen illustration to preach some free truth here.  If you are a dumb ox, a preacher, you are the property of someone else, and in this case, you ought to be the property of God.  And, as a matter of fact, you didn’t go to school to become his ox, because corn treading preaching doesn’t take much learning, and it is just a matter of letting the Master lead you where to tread - to start preaching.  If you are a little bull-headed, though, he may have to poke his goad in your rump roast every now and then to keep you in line; or to get you treading in the first place, because you are scared of talking to groups larger than two or three; or he may give a jab to stop you from talking too much, because you like to be the center of attention. 

 If you are God’s ox, you probably didn’t plan on being a preacher, either, let alone apply for the job, because the Lord already had it planned out for you before being conceived in the womb.  You didn’t fill out an application to be a preacher or submit any references.  You didn’t have an interview with the board of directors of a church or evangelical organization, and you didn’t have to give your Social Security number to receive your compensation.  Maybe, if you were like Saul of Tarsus, you didn’t want the job in the first place and had to get knocked off your high horse to come to your senses.  Also, you didn’t go and start your own corn treading business, and pass an offering bucket, plate, or sock around, because you simply get what the Master gives you one way or another, or what he lets you freely take.  You have found, though, some of the more mature Christians may freely give you something along the way to contribute to the Lord’s ministry.  It’s like the man that said to the visiting missionary, “Why, sir, I hope you would not be offended, but I would like to take you downtown and buy you a suit.”  And so the missionary took him up on the offer and got a new suit he badly needed.  That’s how it works with God.

 And because Paul is mentioned, let it be asked, what was his paycheck, anyway?  Listen: His paycheck was… no paycheck.  As he revealed, “For though I preach the gospel, I have nothing to glory of: for necessity is laid upon me; yea, woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel!  For if I do this thing willingly, I have a reward: but if against my will, a dispensation of the gospel is committed unto me. What is my reward then? Verily that, when I preach the gospel, I may make the gospel of Christ without charge, that I abuse not my power in the gospel.” (I Corinthians 9:16-18)

 Again, Paul’s paycheck was no paycheck.  If you are an employer, try convincing your employees their paycheck is no paycheck, like God is trying to convince you that your paycheck from him is no paycheck.  But some will say, “But I am not an apostle like Paul!  I got a family to support.  I’ve got bills.”  Always looking for loopholes, aren’t you.

 Here, look in these scriptures for your loopholes if you can find any.

 “If God be for us, who can be against us? He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?”  (Romans 8:31b-32)

 Think about it: The Lord freely gives us the Holy Ghost, free teaching, free preaching, free insight, free revelation, and free exhortation, edification, and comfort, by those freely serving ministers called apostles, prophets, evangelists, and pastor/teachers.  These oxen are “For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ….” (Ephesians 4:12)  It’s kind of hard to picture ol’ Paul hocking copies of his books, isn’t it… “Ten shekels will get you a copy of I Corinthians.  And for only seven shekels more I’ll throw in II Corinthians as well, and that overlooked little note I wrote to Philemon.”  But so-called ministers do such things all the time today, and it is expected and accepted standard procedure.  These are the same thieves the Lord Jesus had to cast out of the temple at the beginning of his ministry and at the end.  However, they keep on coming back century after century, and will, until the Lord Jesus returns and overturns more than their cash registers, for he will overturn the whole universe, and burn it up.  And then there are the so-called Christian entertainers.  Watch out!  What a contradiction they are.  They claim God gave them a free gift to sing or play an instrument, and then they go and peddle their performances, DVDs, and CDs.  Piddle on you all, I say.

 Let me leave you with a few quotes from the head of the church, who was given by God – not sold – that whosoever believeth in him should not perish but have everlasting life:

 “And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand. Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give.” (Matthew 10:7-8)

 “It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely.” (Revelation 21:6)

 “And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.” (Revelation 22:17)

 In conclusion: The gospel is not for sale.  Amen and Amen.

 So, until we meet again, remember – God loves you.  Read your Bible.

 

Maranatha


The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all.  Amen