Professional Pickpockets In The Pulpitsby Van Robison
Jesus Christ is the absolute standard
of all human conduct and life. When Jesus first began
His earthly ministry, He quoted a prophecy about
Himself from the book of Isaiah and we read at Luke
4:18, "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he
has anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he
has sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach
deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight
to the blind, to set at liberty them that are
bruised." Also in Matthew 11:5, "...and the poor have
the gospel preached to them." Jesus told His disciples
when He sent them out, to preach "The Kingdom of
heaven is at hand" (Matthew 10:7). And in the next
verse (verse 8), He said "...FREELY YOU HAVE RECEIVED,
FREELY GIVE." It would be obvious that as the
disciples traveled around and preached the Gospel of
the Kingdom of God, that someone had to feed these men
and also provide them shelter for the night's lodging.
But that aside, they still nevertheless at the command
of Jesus Christ, did not charge money to convey Christ
to others. If they had, it would have been a betrayal
of their commission from Christ.
It would be totally disingenuous for Christ to tell His hand picked disciples to GIVE FREELY, and for Him to turn around and charge money for His own personal preaching. Nowhere in the teachings of Jesus Christ can it be found that He ever took up "tithes" and money offerings to finance His personal ministry, and likewise He also commanded His disciples to GIVE FREELY and NOT CHARGE for the Gospel. Professional pulpiteers in our day and age do the opposite of what Jesus Christ taught His disciples and they DO NOT GIVE FREELY. Their justification will be found in certain passages of the New Testament, as well as certain passages from the Old Testament. Nevertheless, even the apostle Paul ("apostle" meaning "one sent", and NOT an office of power, authority, or control over the flock of Christ) stated in Acts 20: 29-35, when he was speaking to the "elders" (verse 17), that he NEVER took money to preach the Gospel of Christ, and that he worked with his own hands. He also stated the same thing that Christ said to the "elders", that "it is more blessed to give than to receive" (Acts 20:35) and he was speaking to the "elders"--not to the people in general.
The church world is full of professional pickpockets who rob the poor in the name of Jesus Christ and would gladly take your home, your bank account, and your life savings in the name of preaching the Gospel to the world. Entire ministries have been born revolving around "the joy of giving" and "generous giving." In spite of what men teach, the real truth is found in the teachings of Jesus Christ, and Jesus Christ never taught anything about giving to "non-profit" organizations or to church corporations. On the other hand Jesus taught other teachings such as that when you do your alms (charity or giving), do it in private (Matthew 6:1-4) because that is the way God wants you to live. He also taught a very fundamental teaching in Matthew 25:34, "Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, you blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. (35) For I was hungry, and you gave me meat: I was thirsty, and you gave me drink: I was a stranger, and you took me in: (36) Naked, and you clothed me: I was sick, and you visited me: I was in prison, and you came unto me. (40) And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as you have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, you have done it unto me."
It is heart warming to know that Jesus says, "Come, you blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom." In context, Jesus made reference to the heart and attitude of life that we should all live by and it has nothing to do with "non-profit corporations", but instead He says this:
- I was hungry and you fed me.
- I was thirsty and you gave me drink.
- I was a stranger and you took me in.
- I was naked and you clothed me.
- I was sick and you visited me.
- I was in prison and you came unto me.
It is nothing short of MOCKERY what many pulpiteers preach from their soapboxes and it is for certain that many have come with ANOTHER gospel. They are professionals of deception and they appear as angels of light. Many are the preachers who will pick your pocket in the name of Jesus Christ and claim that you will be blessed for your contributions. It is nothing less than spiritual abuse.
If Jesus Christ walked our streets today, would His conduct be like that of the professional pickpockets in the pulpits?