Freely you have received, freely give

January 29, 2016

And as you go, preach, saying, 'The kingdom of heaven is at hand.' Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out demons. Freely you have received, freely give.

Matthew 10:7-8

Over two thousand years ago, Christ came to earth, preached the Good News of the Kingdom of God, healed the sick, cast out demons… And died on the cross to pay the price for our sins… FREE of charge.

To those who believe in His name, He has given the right to become children of God (John 1:12), inherit eternal life (John 3:16), receive the Holy Spirit (Mark 1:8, Luke 24:49, Joel 2:28), and enter the New Jerusalem (Revelation 22:14)… All these again, FREE of charge.

Today, we can all attest how the love of money and the pursuit of world-based organizational systems have brought confusion and great error in the Church of Christ.

As examples:

  • Ministers of the Gospel, not a few, called to feed the flock of God, do so, not as serving the Lord, but as a paying job. They charge speaking fees, collect ‘love offerings’ (tax-free cash donations that go directly to their pocket), and use every opportunity they get to promote books and other materials they produced.
  • The Bible – which contains all the Scriptures pertaining to the love of God for us – is also sold for a price.
  • Gospel teachings, testimonies, movies, music, and educational materials are sold as well, if not ‘offered’ in exchange for monetary ‘gifts’.
  • Conferences, seminars, and concerts aren’t free either.
  • Moreover, many churches have embraced a paid-membership model where congregants are required to ‘support’ church expenses (mortgage, staff, church anniversary, etc.) on top of their regular donations under penalty of suspension or excommunication.

Few weeks ago, my wife and I attended a two-day prayer meeting in Damascus, Maryland.
It was outside church walls – in a venue paid-for by fellow Christian brothers and sisters – away from the usual Sunday morning fluff and hypocrisy.

At this meeting, we: (1) met and prayed with other disciples of Christ, (2) heard and were encouraged by wonderful testimonies, (3) praised and worshipped God in one accord, (4) received true and undiluted teachings of the Word of God, etc.

The cost to attend was… ZERO dollars ($0.00).
We neither had to RSVP nor pay anything at the door. Plus, all participants received:
– A FREE study Bible,
– FREE Teaching CDs,
– FREE beverages and a hot meal between sessions,
– FREE Individual prayers and exhortations.

At this meeting we saw:
– Sick people get healed,
– Demons get cast out,
– People get saved,
… All these for FREE.

At no time were offering envelopes or baskets circulated.
At no time was a man or a denomination put in the spotlight.
It was all for Christ and about Christ, done with simplicity, love, and in obedience to the Scriptures which states: “freely you have received, freely give”.

Isn’t this how the true Church should be?

Steven A.

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