Study to show thyself – Personal Gain Christianity

For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;

And they shall turn away [their] ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.

2 Tim 4:3,4

I do apologise well in advance if I sound a bit judgemental with this post but I assure you, that is in no way my intention.

Naturally, I have a very inquisitive mind and because of this I like to know about things and how they work. When I first became a Christian, I was led to believe that being this inquisitive and trying to validate everything taught from the pulpit with God’s word was a sin. So as not to keep ‘sinning’, I accepted everything taught from the pulpit without asking any questions but there were too many inconsistencies. And the time came when I could no longer ignore these inconsistencies and was left quite confused for a period of time before God intervened with the truth of His word.

My past experience made me see that there are some Christians who rather prefer to be lied to than to be told the truth. They would much rather believe the lie that has no scriptural backing just as long as it makes them feel comfortable than believe the truth even when it is presented with overwhelming evidence from scripture. Some are very zealous for God no doubt but this zeal is not at all backed up with knowledge. Others are just simply ignorant and do not know any better.

In the past few days, I have been having a series of conversation with some pro-tithers and discovered something really interesting – a lot of them believe the doctrine because it makes them feel comfortable and not because it can be proven from scripture. It doesn’t matter that the mere logic of the doctrine goes against the very grain of grace which the new testament preaches but they are fine with the twisting and wresting of scriptures by these new age preachers. And instead of adapting to suit the gospel, they adapt the gospel to suit themselves. Was this how it was in the early church? Not at all!

My study of church history made me see how today’s church differs from the early church. People did not become believers because of what they stood to gain. Their faith was not anchored on the false promises of bigger houses, bigger cars, wealth and power. When Peter addressed the crowd on the day of Pentecost, scriptures say they were convicted and asked what they should do and the answer was simple

Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord; Acts 3:19.

And the people gave their lives to Christ. There was neither promise of wealth nor promise of physical blessings. Even though a lot of them lost their lives for the sake of the Gospel. In all of this, the church still forged ahead because their love for God was not based on the promise of receiving any physical blessings.

Things changed when the Roman emperor, Constantine became a Christian. Christianity was made the official religion and people were promised white robes and a piece of gold if they joined the church and of course people joined in droves. And the gospel was adapted to suit the pagan practices of the people in a bid to make it more appealing. And it does not appear to have changed much today.

During the reformation, the Protestants left the Catholic Church and more Orthodox Church denominations were formed but still took with them elements of the Catholic Church they protested against.

Over time there was another mass exodus from the orthodox churches when the Pentecostal churches arrived on the scene. These churches were very dynamic and vibrant. They brought with them their own brand of the gospel and for the first time people saw Christianity as means to financial gain. No thanks to the Word of Faith movement! Pure bible doctrine was replaced with personal convictions, personal opinions and personal revelations. And like my brother Lionel at gospelin3d says, many churches nowadays have become more like business enterprises. With every church promoting its own USP.

Sermons are no longer delivered to change lives but are repackaged to appeal to everybody. And just like 2 Timothy 4: 3 says, many people are more interested in hearing fables than endure sound doctrine, so they troop en mass to these churches to hear words that tantalise their ears. Sweet nothings leading nowhere!

Now what do we have? A completely rewritten gospel! A pseudo gospel completely devoid of biblical doctrine but filled with personal opinions.

If they knew the true gospel, why would anybody believe that God is up for sale? Why would you believe that a mere mortal that decides to give God a 10% tithe could control Him? When will we ever learn that we are not the ones in control, God is! That is why there is no power in what is preached today because it is merely enticing words of man’s wisdom.

Com’on, giving tithes and offerings does not change God’s attitude towards you. Attending every church service does not make God love you more than He already does, that is legalism. Who has known the mind of God that he may instruct Him? Why are you trying to justify yourself before God with your works instead of accepting Christ’s justification?

You can never have a successful relationship with anybody by observing a set of rules; God is no different. The bible enjoins us to come boldly into His presence. The sacrifice of Jesus has paved a way for us into the Holy of Holies.

1 Corinthians 13: 1 teaches us to do things out of love and not for personal gain. Do not give offerings with the intention of getting back but give because you love to. Do not attend church services because you have been told an angel moves around distributing blessings to only those who attend but because you love to fellowship with the brethren.

Reject this gospel of personal gain and embrace the gospel of selfless love.

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