Good day dear listeners and welcome again to overcoming temptations, My name is Oyisi Okatahi. Today our topic is titled “The Gospel for Sale”. Our bible reading is taken from John 12:3-6 Then Mary took about a pint of pure nard, an expensive perfume; she poured it on Jesus’ feet and wiped his feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume. But one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, who was later to betray him, objected, 5 “Why wasn’t this perfume sold and the money given to the poor? It was worth a year’s wages.” 6 He did not say this because he cared about the poor but because he was a thief; as keeper of the money bag, he used to help himself to what was put into it.
So you see Judas Iscariot was a pure business man, he saw the gospel or message of Jesus as something we could make money from. He became the disciple of Jesus and worked his way to be the money keeper or treasurer. As he treasurer the bible says he took some of the money for private use without permission. Even when he said they should not waste the perfume on Jesus and rather sell it and share for the poor, it was not because he loved the poor but because he wanted to steal some of the sales proceed. Eventually this same Judas betrayed Jesus to the High priest and elders for 30 pieces of silver. Eventually he committed suicide due to regret and Jesus said it was better that he should not have been born.
So there are several pastors, priest or prophets who are not preaching because they care about peoples salvation but because of the financial benefits they can get. In some cases, it is not that they are not preaching the right message but the motive of the message is to make money. They live in excess and luxury, drive flashy cars, live in large mansions while several people who attend their churches are in poverty and despair, some cannot even afford a meal for the day. Some of this money pastors turn it to a lottery, give God any amount and he will double it in 7 days, or there are 10 people here who God said will give 10 million naira each and so on. Indeed giving is a powerful way to receive from God, but some people have clearly abused it for personal gain just like Judas Iscariot.
Do you notice witch doctors or medicine men are no longer popular, because there are so many prophets in the church that have taken their place and the business is booming.
I am not saying we should not give to God’s work and men of God, or that men of God should not be comfortable. I give most of what I earn to the work of God and men of God, but what I am saying is that give to genuine people and not just people who are more interested in making money than in saving souls. To know who is genuine find out how the church funds are used, any church that is not transparent with its finances should be avoided.
Unfortunately these people are the ones who Christ spoke about in Mathew 7.21 – Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ 23 Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’ The fact that God gives you the grace to manifest his power does not necessarily means you are saved. To be saved it is not enough to tell others about God, you also need to obey His word and believe in Him. Many people who preach God in open, disobey him in their personal lives, and think they are deceiving people. My prayer is that such people will repent in Jesus name before it is too late.
One of my friends was sending financial contributions to a ministry who will send her monthly letter telling her what God was saying about her and what He wanted her to do. One day she discovered that her friend was also contributing to the same ministry and was receiving personal letter from them. So she asked her friend to share her letters with her. She now discovered that it was exactly the same letter they were sending her that they were also sending her friend, so they both stopped since it was more about the money. Now I believe that God will still bless them because they gave sincerely, however since they knew the people were not sincere, then it is wiser to stop.
Jesus Christ deliberately lived a simple and moderate life not because he could not be rich and flamboyant, but he wanted to show that salvation is of the heart not by riches or money.