4Jesus Outreach

Proclaiming the good news of Jesus Christ.


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Breaking Free of Religious Profiteering

Freely Give
“We do not sell the word of God for a profit as many people do.”
– 2 Corinthians 2:17

Some people have asked why we do not sell our books and teaching resources like many other churches and ministries do. The reason is, we do not believe in making money from the teachings of God. His message should be readily and freely given to anyone regardless of their economic status. Our Creator’s letters to His people are sacred and its distribution should not be turned into a profit-making business.

Our Lord Jesus set a precedent for this when He declared, “Freely you have received, freely give.” (Matthew 10:8) Ask yourself this question, “When was the last time God spoke to you?” Did He charge you any fee to communicate with you? Were there any monetary strings attached to being able to hear His voice? Not at all. So, why should you be charging anyone to convey the message that was freely given to you?

As you read this very teaching today, did we charge you anything when you visited our website? Of course not. The Internet is free and so is all of our content. And it will always continue to be. You may ask, “So where do you get the money to pay for all your printing, Internet costs and other expenses?” It comes from God as He influences people like you to make voluntary donations to our ministry. We have always trusted God to provide the financial means to carry out His work, and He has never let us down. When money is not available to pay for something, any further purchases get put on hold until God provides a way. The Lord Jesus will always honor your faith when you believe and stand firm in His promise to meet your every need.

Many preachers today may teach about the importance of faith, but they really don’t believe or practice it themselves. Instead of trusting God to providentially provide for their ministries, they take matters into their own hands by turning the church into a business utilizing secular marketing tactics to raise money. This inevitably leads to widespread corruption in the church. God’s message is altered or weakened in order to keep people happy and supporting their ministries with tithes, offerings, book purchases, sales of CD’s, DVD’s and a host of all sorts of religious products.

Turning over the tables of the money-changers.

Jesus was outraged with this same kind of religious profiteering when He overturned the tables of the money-changers who were profiting from their temple business, as well as those who sold animals for sacrifices right on the steps of the Jerusalem worship center. The religious leaders who sanctioned this were obviously getting a percentage of everything that was sold. Jesus cried out against this abomination and hypocrisy and said, “My house shall be called a house of prayer, but you have turned it into a den of thieves!” (Matthew 21:13)

Cleansing the temple.

Religious merchandising has become so widespread and accepted in the church today that many don’t even object to it. It’s going to be hard to break free of it. But if we are to take a stand against this corruption, we must refuse to buy from any Christian retailer, ministry or church that sells the teachings of God in whatever form. Instead, donate and support only those ministries who freely give of what they have received. You will also be pleasantly surprised to find that most churches and ministries that refuse to be corrupted with religious merchandising practices will generally preach the greatest amount of truth. They will not be motivated by greed or self-serving ambition.

Our ministry’s bookstore resources are handpicked for truthfulness and resourcefulness – not for sales potential or popularity. Unfortunately, much of what’s sold in most Christian bookstores (especially the big chain stores and online websites) today is spiritually worthless or ear-tickling, diluted teaching. It seems most Christian retailers these days don’t even care if what they sell is spiritual poison as long as it is popular and they can make a quick buck.

Our ministry’s position is that all of the teaching resources we offer is available on a donation basis. We never put a price tag on any of it. When you support our ministry with your love offerings and financial gifts, we like to bless you back with something of spiritual benefit to your faith.

Our Bookstore Policy is this: Even if you cannot afford to send a donation, but you believe that God wants you to order one of our teaching resources, let us know what you want. We will trust the LORD to make up the financial deficit some other way. By operating our Christian Bookstore in this ethical manner, we hope to avoid the pitfalls of religious huckstering, greed, and mass merchandising that is rampant in the Christian retailing industry.

– Luis Josephus

RealJesus Logo+75x75REAL JESUS MINISTRIES
www.RealJesusLife.com
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Let us speak the truth in love

Christianity For SaleIn 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
http://www.RealJesus.net

Email Us your questions, comments, or prayer requests: realjesusministries@gmail.com

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.