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ARE YOU A PEDDLER OF THE WORD OF GOD? February 08, 2009 4:11 AM

Dearly Beloved,

ARE YOU A PEDDLER OF THE WORD OF GOD?

“Unlike so many, we do not peddle the word of God for profit. On the contrary, in Christ we speak before God with sincerity, like men sent from God” (2 Corinthians 2:17, NIV).

“For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear” (2 Timothy 4:3, NIV).

Proliferation of churches, ministries and “ministers” of God is so common today that it is difficult to know genuine churches and those really called by God to be His messengers. Many so-called ministers of the gospel now peddle the word of God for personal aggrandizement. They do not have the expansion of the kingdom of God on earth as their aim, but their aim is how preaching the gospel message will profit them financially and materially. Some do so unconsciously while some do so deliberately. This trend has made many unbelievers not to see any good thing in the word of God and the genuine ministers of God.

Interestingly, such fake ministers of God who peddled the word of God for personal profit abound during the time of the Apostle Paul. These fake ministers were referred to in many places in the Bible as “false prophets” or “false teachers” (see Matthew 7: 15; 24:11, 24; 2 Corinthians 11:13; 2 Peter 2:1; 1 John 4:1). They corrupted and adulterated the word of God for selfish purposes. A Bible commentator described the situation thus: “...by making merchandise of it; they huckstered the word of God, made gain of it, sought merely their own worldly interest and advantage in it, and so mixed it with their own vain philosophy, to please the carnal ears and hearts of men; they blended law and Gospel, grace and works, in the business of salvation; they did, as peddling merchants do, mix good and bad commodities together, and then vend them for sound ware; or as vintners, who mix their wine with water, and sell it for neat wine.”

This is a challenge to all ministers of the gospel: are you a peddler of the word of God, or its preacher? Why do you preach the word of God? Do you peddle it for personal profit or for the expansion of the kingdom of God on earth? Can you say like Paul, “...in Christ we speak before God with sincerity, like men sent from God”? Hear Paul again: “...we have renounced secret and shameful ways; we do not use deception, nor do we distort the word of God. On the contrary, by setting forth the truth plainly we commend ourselves to every man's conscience in the sight of God” (2 Corinthians 4:2, NIV).

It is also a challenge to hearers of the word of God: what do you want to hear from ministers of God? Do you really want them to preach the undiluted word of God or that which will suit you? Do not let the prophecy of 2 Timothy 4:3 be fulfilled in your life. Do not encourage peddling of the word of God.

In His service,

Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

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