The Gospel for Sale?

Why is it that everywhere I look the Gospel of Jesus Christ seems to be mainly a moneymaker?

I realize and understand authors of books, films, etc. need to meet the costs of production but in my opinion when money becomes THE priority then the Gospel and our witness for Christ suffers.

When God has given an awesome insight to an individual it must be shared and not hoarded. It must be given out to all!

For example, if Jesus had told Nicodemus that He would explain his actions for a price or if Paul and the other apostles had written what they did and then just offered their writings on the market where would we be today?

There are too many who are embezzling, what God has given, in order that they might profit.

There are countless ministries, blogs, websites and so on which say they want to spread the Good News and they want to encourage fellow believers in their journey with Christ yet prohibit the sharing of good writings and thoughts which will do so.

Here are a couple of examples that I am talking about.

There is one which uses the slogan ‘Seek and save the lost the way Jesus did‘ however they have the following included in their disclaimer on the Free duplication page. […duplication of any ministry resources, whether intended for sale or free distribution, is strictly prohibited. This includes books, tracts, study guides, videos (DVD and VHS), CDs, MP3s, etc. We thank you for your cooperation and understanding.]

On my website I had several great articles, which I procured permission for a few years ago, by a certain author and speaker. Recently, as I was updating the site, I could not locate the email in which I had received the permission so I wrote again to the individual for a copy. What I received was an explicit order to remove the articles and only to provide a small portion of the writing with a link to another site where people could order the book in which these were recently placed. Needless to say, I was taken aback at such a request and now I’m having difficulty even pointing folks to this author.

Just the other day I came across some outstanding items on another site which proclaims…..a global and ecumenical ministry dedicated to providing biblical and theological resources for growing Christians. So I wrote to them, as I usually do, with this “I am impressed with ‘This certain article’ and would like to re-post it on both my blog and website, with your permission. There would of course be links and credits directing readers back to your site.” I was surprised by the curt reply, “I appreciate your interest in our material. However, we do not allow duplication of the material on other web sites or media. You are welcome to provide links. Grace and Peace.”

Am I missing something here?

What has happened to God’s people?

Where is the true sharing of the Gospel?

Where is the encouraging and exhorting each other in Christ?

Nowhere in scripture do I find Jesus selling the gospel or putting disclaimers on what He was preaching.

However, I do find this warning from the book of Acts chapter 8 verses 9-25.

9 Now in that city was a man named Simon, who had been practicing magic and amazing the people of Samaria, claiming to be someone great. 10 All the people, from the least to the greatest, paid close attention to him, saying, “This man is the power of God that is called ‘Great.’” 11 And they paid close attention to him because he had amazed them for a long time with his magic. 12 But when they believed Philip as he was proclaiming the good news about the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they began to be baptized, both men and women. 13 Even Simon himself believed, and after he was baptized, he stayed close to Philip constantly, and when he saw the signs and great miracles that were occurring, he was amazed. 14 Now when the apostles in Jerusalem heard that Samaria had accepted the word of God, they sent Peter and John to them. 15 These two went down and prayed for them so that they would receive the Holy Spirit. 16 (For the Spirit had not yet come upon any of them, but they had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.) 17 Then Peter and John placed their hands on the Samaritans, and they received the Holy Spirit. 18 Now Simon, when he saw that the Spirit was given through the laying on of the apostles’ hands, offered them money, 19 saying, “Give me this power too, so that everyone I place my hands on may receive the Holy Spirit.” 20 But Peter said to him, “May your silver perish with you, because you thought you could acquire God’s gift with money! 21 You have no share or part in this matter because your heart is not right before God! 22 Therefore repent of this wickedness of yours, and pray to the Lord that he may perhaps forgive you for the intent of your heart. 23 For I see that you are bitterly envious and in bondage to sin.” 24 But Simon replied, “You pray to the Lord for me so that nothing of what you have said may happen to me.” 25 So after Peter and John had solemnly testified and spoken the word of the Lord, they started back to Jerusalem, proclaiming the good news to many Samaritan villages as they went.

Yet, I must concede, there are many who have the heart and mind of Christ and are doing what they can to spread the Word of the Lord.

I was at a Business Men’s Fellowship this month and received a FREE book that a brother in Christ had written, gotten it published and was just giving them away! WOW!

Recently, I even wrote to a well known Christian magazine and received permission to re-post articles with all the proper credits etc.

There are many website writers, bloggers, and ministries who have given of themselves in their writings and articles and freely give permission for us to pass on and share their insights and thoughts of the Good News of Jesus Christ, their exhorting and encouraging words as we journey together on this road of life keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus the author and finisher of our faith.

I must give thanks to God for these folks.

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