Don't Let The Con Men Turn You Off To The True
"My defense to those who examine me is this: Do we have no right to eat and drink? Do we have no right to take along a believing wife, as do also the other apostles, the brothers of the Lord, and Cephas? Or is it only Barnabas and I who have no right to refrain from working?" 1 Corinthians 9:3-6 It seems some were looking at Paul and the other workers in the Gospel as men out to make gain from them. It's similar to today as preachers of the Gospel are portrayed as money-grubbers out to rob little old ladies from their meager incomes. The sad truth is that that IS often the case. Men get on TV and tell you that if you'll send such-and-such a "gift" that the blessings of God will come upon you. Then they live in villas and mansions, fly around in private jets and are often involved in immorality. It's no wonder the world laughs at the Gospel, and these men will stand before their Maker one day and give account to him for the way they perverted his Word and brought shame to the name of Christianity. But that doesn't change the way the Gospel is to be funded, for indeed the Word of God tells us that it is to be funded by the believers. Satan has moved in and corrupted this message, and that has caused many to stop supporting the work of the Gospel. Don't let Satan have that victory. By raising up these false men, he has brought shame upon the church and has in the process turned people off. See that for what it is. Don't stop funding the true Gospel because of this. vs 9-10: "For it is written in the law of Moses, 'You shall not muzzle an ox while it treads out the grain…'" When an ox is treading out grain the law of God says that you shall not put a muzzle on it to stop it from eating from the grain as it works. How much more therefore, is the preacher of the Gospel allowed to receive his sustenance from his preaching? "...Is it oxen God is concerned about? Or does He say it altogether for our sakes? For our sakes, no doubt, this is written, that he who plows should plow in hope, and he who threshes in hope should be partaker of his hope." Otherwise, how would the churches be kept going? Do we expect a minister to give up his life to pastor a church with all the duties and responsibilities and hardships and cares that that will impose upon him, and then have to worry about how to provide for himself and his family? No, clearly the Scriptures teach that the people are to support him so that he can concentrate on the Word, not on worrying about taking care of it all. vs 13: "Do you not know that those who minister the holy things eat of the things of the Temple, and those who serve at the altar partake of the offerings of the altar?" Brothers and sisters, do not fall into such disgust at the shenanigans going on especially with well-known "ministers" who are raking in the money and fleecing the flock, that you leave off supporting the true work of God. Be careful who you support and investigate before you support them. More importantly though, turn your attention more to the pastors in your community who truly need the support of the people. These are they who give themselves for the people, who spend their time comforting and counselling and supporting the weak, who lay awake nights praying for wisdom and guidance in how to minister to the hard cases presented to them every day, who worry and fret about those who are the hardest to reach and who pray for guidance as they try, and then after all this, they have to prepare themselves to stand before a congregation on Sunday mornings and deliver a word from God for the Body of Christ to feed on. If ever there were a need for support, this is where it is. Do not muzzle these men. Be so grateful for them that you will consider it a privilege to give them the support they need. And pray for them. They surely need your prayers.