Sunday, November 20, 2011
“And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not” (2 Peter 2:3 KJV).
Remember when our Lord Jesus Christ drove extortionists from the Temple in Matthew 21:12,13 (cf. Mark 11:15-18; Luke 19:45-47)? Sadly, nothing has changed since then, beloved.
When asked about the wealth of the world’s largest church, one official smugly replied, “Only God knows!” Indeed, God does know and those church leaders will give an account to God for every single cent they extorted from their followers!
Mega-church leaders literally resort to wheelbarrows because their collection plates are too few and too small. Although exposed as false teachers and charlatans, some televangelists continue raking in millions annually. Note also the “unholy hands on God’s Holy Word,” continually revising the Bible and copyrighting it (thereby securing fame and fortune).
If you pay enough, churches will pray enough! Notice Jesus’ rebuke in Matthew 23:14: “Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye devour widows’ houses, and for a pretence make long prayer: therefore ye shall receive the greater damnation” (cf. Mark 12:40; Luke 20:47). Like religious leaders today, they hypocritically uttered “long prayer” (for money).
Certainly, a man of God should be paid his wages: “Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honour, especially they who labour in the word and doctrine. For the scripture saith, Thou shalt not muzzle the ox that treadeth out the corn. And, The labourer is worthy of his reward” (1 Timothy 5:17,18).
However, there is abuse: men who are “covetous” and “greedy of filthy lucre [extorted money]” (1 Timothy 3:3,8; Titus 1:7). Observe elaborate multimillion-dollar cathedrals, the “Christian” leader who “loves God” while claiming that she “deserved” her private jet, and the famous preacher who currently gives 90% (“reverse”) tithes. Just imagine being able to live off a mere one-tenth of your annual income! Outrageous.
In today’s Scripture, the Apostle Peter mentions false teachers (religious leaders) who covet their audience’s bank accounts. The damnation of these liars who speak “feigned [fake, hypocritical] words” is sure!