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Discussion Forum : Scriptures and Doctrine : The American Church, Laodicea?(The Love of Money)

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 The American Church, Laodicea?(The Love of Money)

This particular subject has always been in my spirit. Its always a controversial subject and I respect other views on how we as the Christian community handle the issues of money. Some believe wholeheartedly in the tithing system while others believe that this system was part of the Old Covenant and is not part of the New Covenant. I have a view on that subject but I believe that is a different debate. The one group I do not respect are the "peddlers of the Gospel." These are wicked men indeed and they will hear these terrifying words "depart from me you workers of iniquity for I never knew you."

Peddlers come in many forms and can be found in many parts of Christendom. Some areas of the Church are more infested than others, sad to say, the part I truly identify with, the "Pentecostals," for lack of a better phrase, seems to have the most peddlers. I believe that is because the people in these circles, generally, have good sensitive hearts, therefore they are more easily manipulated by "wolves in sheeps clothing." When you always want to think the best of someone or people in general(this is a truly great state to be in) then you are more likely to be burned by hustlers.

The prosperity Gospel , so called, has the most members of this infamous club. And so, I will try and dispel some myths about who we are as Christians, and what God wants for His people. I would like you to consider the following statistics. These statistics can be found on the "World Challenge,Inc," webpage which is the home page of David Wilkersons Ministries, a highly respected worldwide ministry......................

6.5 Billion people live on planet Earth
1.5 Billion people live on 23 cents a day
2 Billion people live without electricity
80% of the population of the world live in substandard housing.
1 Billion people are without safe drinking water
Every 16 seconds someone dies of hunger.
57 million people died in 2006
10.5 million of these were children under 5

Now brothers and sisters consider these stats........

$8 Billion yearly on cosmetics in the USA
$11 Billion yearly on ice cream in Europe
$17 Billion yearly on pet food in Europe and USA
$105 Billion on alcohol in Europe.

When you look at the numbers, and then you consider that we, in Johnson County , the third or fourth richest county in America, which is the richest country in the world, then we are amongst the richest people in the planet, in the history of the planet. The poorest amongst us are richer than most of the people of the world. Now we know that God is not only the God of America, that He is the God of the whole world. We know that God so loved this world, this whole world, that He gave His only Son to die for it, that was the measure of His sacrifice. So what do you think God thinks when He hears the richest people in the world, a world that is predominantly poor, crying out for more riches and for God to bless them more? The logic for this I am told is so that we can win the world for Christ. If God will just enrich us, then we can use those resources to win the world for Him. Yet, as we have already seen, we are already the richest people on the planet in the history of the planet.

1Ti 6:6 But godliness with contentment is great gain.
1Ti 6:7 For we brought nothing into the world, and it is clear that we can carry nothing out.
1Ti 6:8 But having food and clothing, we will be content.
1Ti 6:9 But they who will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts which plunge men into destruction and perdition.

In 1Tim 6:9 we can clearly see that those "who will be rich," those who desire to be rich are in extreme danger. It does not say that some who would be rich, the mere desire to be rich, regardless of your motivations, is sinful and tempting disaster upon your spiritual life. What it does say is that we are to be content by merely having food and clothing, and when you consider the world statistics, what great advice is this?Heb 13:5 Let your way of life be without the love of money, and be content with such things as you have, for He has said, "Not at all will I leave you, not at all will I forsake you, never!"

So, is there something wrong with people who are rich? Absolutely not. Some are born rich and some by hard work and diligence and integrity become rich.These attributes are Godly and we are compelled by the Scriptures to work hard even when the boss is not looking, we should work as unto God. So it is not riches in and of themselves that are sinful, but it the desire to be rich. The problem is that there is teaching in the Church to the contrary. We are taught by certain leaders not to be content with our position( a violation and a contradiction of Scripture) The logic that they give is that in order for the Gospel to be preached and the lost to be won for Christ we need resources. And, quite conveniently enough, the way to get Gods resources, to enrich yourself, in order to do Gods work(we have already seen that the desire itself to be rich is ungodly) is to give generously, and give generously to them. If we give generously to them then we will be rewarded perhaps a hundredfold or more. So the very premise of their teachings is wrong.

How do today's modern day peddlers compare to the saints of old? The people who actually turned the world upside down for Christ.

Hudson Taylor is a great hero of mine. For those of you who do not know him, he was one of the greatest Missionaries that the Body of Christ has produced. He founded China Inland Missions and brought the Gospel to the vast interior of China when it was a vast unknown territory back in the 1860s and he did so for the following four decades. He lost three children and a wife to the extremes of living in China at that time. Hudson Taylor never allowed a collection in his whole career. Nor would he allow subscriptions. There was a monthly periodical but there was never any request for money, he depended upon faith in God. There was a famous incident in Herefordshire in England at a service convened and ran by a Colonel Puget. Now, even although it seemed strange to Colonel Puget, the service had been advertised with the announcement that there would be no collection at the service. Well the service got going and the Holy Spirit was moving and the congregation were greatly affected by Hudson Taylor's sermon. Colonel Puget realized at the end of the service that the people, because they were greatly moved, would give generously so he decided to overrule Mr Taylor and announced a collection. Mr Taylor stood to his feet and here is the quote from his book

"It was his earnest desire that the hearers should go away burdened. Money was not the chief thing in the Lords work, especially money easily given under the influence of emotion. Much as he appreciated their kind intention, he would far rather have each go home to ask the Lord very definitely what He should have them do. If it were to give of their substance, they could send a contribution to their own or any other society, but in view of the appalling facts of heathenism, it might be more costly gifts the Lord was seeking, perhaps the life service of one's own son or daughter. No amount of money could save a single soul. What was wanted was that men and women filled with the Holy Spirit should give themselves to the work of China and to the work of prayer at home. For the support of God sent missionaries would never be lacking.

"You made a great mistake , if I may say so, remarked the host at supper. "The people were really interested, we might have had a good collection."

Mr Taylor tried in vain to explain his standard. The next morning his host came down rather late for breakfast. He explained that he could not sleep all night as he thought about all the souls of China going to hell not having heard the Gospel. He handed Mr Taylor a check for 500 pounds,an amount that today would be worth several thousand dollars and told him that if he had given at the collection the night before he would have given 5 pounds.

Let me say this brothers and sisters, the God of Hudson Taylor, the God of 150 years ago, is the same God today. The principals have not changed. Mr Taylor used to say that God did not beg for money and neither should his ministers.

The Wesley Brothers, who founded the Methodist church, were men of equal integrity. When the more famous brother died, he left behind $7, an old cloak and a Bible, and of course the Methodist church and a thousand glorious hymns to the glory of Jesus. These were men who were wholly dependent upon Jesus for everything and they shook the world. Mr Taylor only ever traveled in third class, how does that compare to the "leaders," of today who have their own private jets? These same leaders of the peddlers movement live in mansions and compounds ranging from $2 million to $5 million.

As in all things we have to look to Scripture for the final word on all things. What does the New Testament have to say about riches and the desire for money. In Mark 12:41 We have the famous story of the widows mite. This story was told in the context of bewaring of the Pharisee. 1Tim 6:10 is also a well know Scripture, it talks about the love of money being the root of all evil. Much has been taught on this scripture, especially by people who love money, yet the context is being content with what you have. Matt 13:22 talks about the deceit of riches and the context is anxiety, fearfulness and how this desire for money chokes out the word and those who run after it become unfruitful. In Mark 10:23 Jesus explains how difficult it is , nigh impossible, for a rich man to enter heaven, yet all we ever really hear preached is how nothing is impossible for God, which of course is true but Jesus had a purpose in stating what He did, it was a warning. In Luke 16:13 it states "Luk 16:13 No servant can serve two masters. For either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will hold to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.
Luk 16:14 And being money-lovers, all the Pharisees also heard all these things. And they derided Him.
Luk 16:15 And He said to them, You are those who justify yourselves before men, but God knows your hearts. For that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God.

Can you see what Jesus was saying? The Pharisees were money lovers. Yet the Pharisees had the reputation for living frugal lives. The Pharisaical spirit will always have to explain itself to men in regard to money, "But God knows their hearts," and what is taught by these men is an "abomination in the sight of God." Here is what Rev 3 says about a rich church...................

Rev 3:14 And to the angel of the church of the Laodicea write: The Amen, the faithful and true Witness, the Head of the creation of God, says these things:
Rev 3:15 I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I would that you were cold or hot.
Rev 3:16 So because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth.
Rev 3:17 Because you say, I am rich and increased with goods and have need of nothing, and do not know that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked,
Rev 3:18 I counsel you to buy from Me gold purified by fire, so that you may be rich; and white clothing, so that you may be clothed, and so that the shame of your nakedness does not appear. And anoint your eyes with eye salve, so that you may see.

So what are the riches that we should desire ? Let us see what Scripture has to say. Romans 11:33 says that the wisdom and knowledge are riches of God. Ephesians 1:7 says that His grace is riches. Eph 1:18 talks about the riches of His glory.Eph 3:8 says that Christ is true riches.Col 2:2 says that "full assurance," is true riches. Heb 11:26 says that the "reproach of Christ," is greater riches than all the treasure of Egypt. Romans 10:12 says that to be rich is to be able to "call on Him." Eph 2:4 says that we are rich in the mercy and love of God.

So what we should truly hunger after and desire is this, the wisdom and knowledge of God, and we should revel in His great mercy and His glory. We should desire to be identified with His sufferings and we should know that we are rich because we can call on Him and that we have full assurance of salvation. Yet most of all, we should glory in the Living God that we are rich in His love. Brothers and sisters, I urge you not to hunger after the riches of this world, regardless of your motivations, it is not a Godly desire. Hunger after the true riches and in this you will find peace and contentment. Some say we should desire wealth so that we can further the Kingdom, some say we should desire more wealth so that we can wear $700 shoes and Italian suits worth 2 or 3 thousand dollars and that this glorifies God. In light of Scripture I ask you to consider the matter and let the Lord lead and guide you into all truth. It is men and woman , rich in the true riches of God that will change this world...................may His name be praised.................Frank



 2007/4/13 0:14
UniqueWebRev
Member



Joined: 2007/2/9
Posts: 640
Southern California

 Re: The American Church, Laodicea?(The Love of Money)

I believe that those who teach this false prosperity through giving are technically right in their teaching, although prosperity takes many guises, and blessings are not usually handed down in gold and silver

Whatever you give, give where it will do the most good.

I hold to tithing, to God's purposes, through Abraham, in whom I am adopted by Christ. And I give according to what Jesus said would be of value:

[color=993300]KJV Matthew 25:31. When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory:
32. And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats:
33. And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.
34. Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:
35. For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:
36. Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.
37. Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?
38. When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?
39. Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?
40. And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.[/color]

I am sure, for the Lord has blessed me in many ways, that giving to these purposes can never be wrong.

Do I give to get? I sure do. I am buying treasure in heaven.

[color=993300]Matthew 6:19. Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal:
20. But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:
21. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.[/color]

I am not a fan of poverty, but poverty too comes in different guises. I am glad I am an American. I am glad, that though poor by American standards, I am blessed to be considered rich by most of the world, and to give a little here and a little there, until 10% has been left behind, and I do not miss it, for God does provide for me.

But most of all, I have great riches in Christ, and want all that will to have the same.

Sow seed to good ground, and water it lovingly, that you might bring just one soul into the kingdom.

Water seed that others have sown, that you see young plants just breaking from good ground, that they might bring just one more soul into the kingdom.

God gives us the power to get wealth, that we might carry out His purposes.

[color=993300]Deut. 8:18. But thou shalt remember the Lord thy God: for it is he that giveth thee power to get wealth, that he may establish his covenant which he sware unto thy fathers, as it is this day.[/color]

Yes, much of the Church in America is Laodicean.

Pray that they might become Philadelphians, for the time of the end is very near.

In Christ,



_________________
Forrest Anderson

 2007/4/13 4:36Profile
enid
Member



Joined: 2006/5/22
Posts: 2676
Nottingham, England

 Re: The American Church, Laodicea?(The Love of Money)

With all that we say aboout trusting God, when it comes to money, we do not trust God.

How many of us, like the widow, would give our last mite for God if it was all we had?

Luke 12v33, 'Sell what you have and give alms, provide yourselves money bags which do not grow old, a treasure in the heavens that does not fail, where no thief approaches nor moth destroys.

vs 33, 'For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

God wants us to give to reach souls, and for the poor, that was what the church did in the book of Acts.

Let's do the same.

God bless.

 2007/4/13 5:13Profile
rowdy2
Member



Joined: 2007/1/21
Posts: 528
Southern USA

 Re: The Love of Money

Reply to all

As a former lover of money I could not trust even myself with the purse.

Eddie


_________________
Eddie

 2007/4/13 7:33Profile









 Re: The American Church, Laodicea?(The Love of Money)

Thank you, brother Frank, for your post and your love! The Lord has been working in your life and this post is a great encouragement to me, and an admonition from Him, that I put no trust in worldly means and riches, but in the Living God.

Depend on Him! He has provided and He always will provide, when we can upon Him alone, in secret. I am going to cling on to my mustard seed of faith... for I so often lose it and lose heart over petty matters, like food and clothing, and trample the unsearchable riches of Christ. But God is good, rich in mercy and abounding in love, and even when we don't know as we ought to, He will reveal even this to us.

I am convicted, brother, that I need to meditate on His Word, and to rest in Him on that matter--because money indeed has been a painful and unwanted subject in my life. But your post is coming at the right time of my life, perhaps not for the very reason you intended it, but for the glory of God.

In Christ,
Slavyan

[i]"Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty." 2 Cor. 3:17[/i]

 2007/4/13 9:31
Nile
Member



Joined: 2007/3/28
Posts: 403
Raleigh, NC

 Re: The American Church, Laodicea?(The Love of Money)

Here is a rather unpopular verse:

Luke 14:33
So then, none of you can be My disciple who does not give up all his own possessions.


_________________
Matthew Miskiewicz

 2007/4/13 11:59Profile









 Re:

great verse...........much teaching in that one verse...........Frank

 2007/4/13 16:00









 Re:

I am glad that it ministers to you, I hope that you find rest in the Lord over all matters , including money Slavyan............Frank

 2007/4/14 19:07
PassingThru
Member



Joined: 2005/5/7
Posts: 175


 Re: The American Church, Laodicea?(The Love of Money)

A good post.

George Mueller was another strong historical example.

I always found it to be a contradiction when a 'preacher' hypes up his audience to give beyond their finances 'out of faith'. If he had that kind of faith himself, he could ask God to supply for his needs without mentioning anything to the congregation.

When I see a pastor hypes up the offering with pep talks, backed up with music to strike the right emotional chord, I can't help thinking what effect it has on non-Christians who may seriously be looking for answers. To me it gives the testimony, "We talk about Jesus here, but our own faith is in Mammon."

There are probably a lot of sincere Pastors that get trapped into this, especially when the 'opportunity' to get televised appears.

I'm not saying all television ministry is wrong, but I suspect that some started out with a call to reach a particular local community and got distracted into 'going big time' instead. They then need to manipulate their audience to sustain this new found drug.

PassingThru

 2007/4/14 22:55Profile









 Re:

George Mueller is an excellent example of what I was trying to convey and considered mentioning him in my piece.......thanks PassingThru.....Frank

 2007/4/15 18:28





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