The gospel that Jesus’ disciples were to proclaim was the offer of the forgiveness of sins, reconciliation with God, and eternal life, all through faith in Jesus Christ apart from works of the law or any other kind of payment to God (Rom. 3:28). It was all designed to magnify the glory of God’s free grace. Therefore, payment of any kind to hear the gospel or receive kingdom benefits would completely distort the gospel. It would shortly turn the church into a den of thieves. It was crucial that the medium also be the message.
This is precisely why Paul worked so hard to make the presentation of the gospel free to his hearers. He had to fight the gospel distorters, the “peddlers of God’s word” (2 Cor. 2:17) who had figured out how to make godliness a means of great gain (1 Tim. 6:5). He even decided to forgo legitimate ways of making a living from the gospel (1 Cor. 9:14) in order to prevent any misconstruing of his motives. He resolved to “endure anything rather than put an obstacle in the way of the gospel of Christ” (1 Cor. 9:12).
If peddling God’s gospel was a problem in Paul’s day, it is an epidemic in ours, especially in the affluent church of the West. We are a multi-billion dollar market. There is serious money to be made. And that is dangerous to the gospel.
Sunday, July 18, 2010
Ministry Is Not for Financial Gain
Jon Bloom's article, Give Without Pay, is a call for ministers of the gospel to present the gospel free of charge.