In my previous message, “Why we don’t sell the Word of God”, I spoke about those ministries, churches, and Christian retailers today who sell the Word of God for a profit. We believe this is unethical, therefore, our ministry does not charge for our Bible teaching resources (i.e. books, audio messages, videos, DVD’s, etc.). We offer them on a “donation basis” only, believing the Holy Spirit will touch your heart to help us cover our costs and continue preaching the message of God. We base this policy on the admonition of Jesus to us: “Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out demons. Freely you have received, freely give.” – Matthew 10:8. The apostle Paul also wrote to the Corinthian church, “We do not sell the Word of God for a profit, as many do. But in Christ we speak the truth before God, as messengers of God.” – 2 Corinthians 2:17.
If God has freely given us of His grace and power to teach His Word and minister healing and deliverance to others, then we should also freely give of these gifts without charge or price tag. The servant of God should never perform his services for a price – whether it is teaching the Bible, praying for the sick, or helping to deliver someone from demonic oppression. Jesus said, “Freely you have received, freely give.”
Instead, we must trust in God’s provision for our needs through the hospitality and generosity of others. If we are truly doing God’s work, God Himself will make sure our needs are taken care of. He will move upon His people to provide “love offerings” for you as you are faithful to carry out His work, “For the worker is worthy of his food” (Matthew 10:10), and those who labor in the church are to be provided for (1Timothy 5:17-18).
The selling of Jesus
But rather than trusting in God’s supernatural provision for their needs, many ministers, churches and ministries turn the work of God into a business, merchandising the Word of God for a profit. They become dependent on selling their books, tapes, DVD’s, and other merchandise to sustain the operation of their ministries. That’s where they run into trouble. You see, when your ministry becomes dependent on sales generated by your books and tapes, or the salary you’re drawing from your congregation as their pastor or paid preacher, you’re going to think twice before preaching something that is going to offend someone’s sensibilities – especially if they are a strong financial supporter.
As a result of your preoccupation with money and financial security, you will not be free to preach and teach the whole counsel of God. In Christ, you cannot “speak the truth before God, as messengers of God,” but instead become a seller of the Word of God for personal profit, as many pastors and preachers do today.
Only can we be effective ministers of Christ when we take the Christ-like position that we are going to preach the truth of God no matter what, without compromise, or watering-it-down in any way.
Speaking the truth in love (Ephesians 4:15)
There are many times when you have to preach something people don’t want to hear. Or you may be accused of being “negative” in a culture like ours in America who want to hear only “positive, encouraging, uplifting things.” They may be offended by the truth (which sometimes is constructively negative, disciplinary, or politically incorrect). But if you always speak the truth in love, eventually your supporters or congregational members will get over their offense and correct their mistakes in light of God’s Word.
Of course, there is always the possibility that some individual member may refuse to be corrected and will leave your church or stop financially supporting your ministry. So be it. God Himself will reward you for being faithful to proclaim His message with integrity and He will make up whatever financial loss you incur by some other means. In the meantime, keep preaching the truth, in season, and out of season, for the time will come, and now is, that preachers of the gospel of Jesus Christ are falling away from the true faith. Many today are teaching and preaching a compromised, watered-down gospel. They may have popular and successful ministries (by the world’s standards), but they are dishonoring Christ and preaching only what people want to hear. The apostle Paul called this preaching to people with “itching ears.”
“For a time is coming when people will no longer listen to sound and wholesome teaching. They will follow their own desires and will look for teachers who will tell them whatever their itching ears want to hear.” – 2 Timothy 4:3
– Luis Yosefus
REAL JESUS MINISTRIES
Order our free audio CD, “Knowing the Real Jesus” by Luis Yosefus. http://www.RealJesus.info A new and different perspective on the life of Christ – His teachings, His miracles, His death and resurrection.