Merchandising the Gospel

by Dr. Ken Matto
Recently, I have been receiving some offers via e-mail from Christians introducing their ministries to me. I read the e-mails and then all of a sudden I get to the bottom of the e-mail, and find that if I want to receive their ministry material it will cost me a sum of money. It is obvious they are selling, and not ministering. These e-mails got me to thinking that we are in the midst of a great "Religious Retailing Era." In these last days there is such a horrendous effort to sell the gospel. I believe this is due in part to another satanic plan to flood society with so-called Christian items, thus making the true gospel a common everyday matter to neutralize it. It is also being done by Christians who have so little regard for the holiness and reverence of God that they use the gospel to make money. This has been done in the music industry, as we see the charismatic long haired, bearded, earring wearing, tattooed freaks, trying to convince us they are "decreasing so Christ would increase." (John 3:30) Yes, and they are doing it all the way to the bank. If they were truthful in their witness, the men would look like Christian men, and not Black Sabbath wannabe’s.
 
WWJD
As we look around we see the "gospel gainsayers" everywhere. Just look at the WWJD marketing ploy. How can a mere human being know what the mind of God is in any situation:
 
(Rom 11:34 KJV) For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been his counsellor?
 
The WWJD movement is another attempt at bringing Christ down to the level of human thinking and reasoning and this is a sin. How can anyone make a decision concerning anything by merely placing a piece of jewelry on ourselves or looking at it? If we are going to discover God’s will for our life, then, we need to be saturated with Scripture not cheap, overpriced costume jewelry:
 
(Psa 48:14 KJV) For this God is our God for ever and ever: he will be our guide even unto death.
 
Christian Book Stores
There is probably no other place in Christendom which is more guilty than the religious charlatans who run these book stores. If you can stick the name of Jesus on anything, they will sell it. If you walk into the average Christian bookstore, you will see an ecumenical nightmare. You will encounter the following, and if you don’t, then the owner might be saved:
There will also be everything from pencils to precious moments figurines which you can spend several hundred dollars on while your church’s missionaries can’t raise support. I have warned Christians, both new and veterans, in the faith to stay away from these Midianite merchantmen unless you need to pick something up like a Bible cover, highlighters, or some other innocuous thing but stay away from all the corrupted theology. I bought a Bible carrying case for a new Bible I purchased and I paid $27 for it. For a Bible jacket!!!!!!!!!!!!
 
What is God’s Command about the dissemination of the Gospel?
(Mat 10:7-8 KJV) And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand. {8} Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give.
 
(Rom 3:24 KJV) Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:
 
(Rom 8:32 KJV) He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?
 
(1 Cor 2:12 KJV) Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.
 
(2 Cor 11:7 KJV) Have I committed an offence in abasing myself that ye might be exalted, because I have preached to you the gospel of God freely?
 
(Rev 21:6 KJV) And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely.
 
(Rev 22:17 KJV) And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.
 
What point am I trying to make here in giving all these Scriptures? I am not saying that those who publish books and Bibles are merchandising since there are legitimate costs involved in production and shipping of the materials. However, when a publisher prints, publishes, and markets books which obscure the gospel, or makes jokes about it, then that is merchandising. Anything that draws the real meaning of the gospel away is merchandising. Preachers can also merchandise the gospel.  The following I would classify as merchandising the gospel:
These are some of the ways in which the gospel is merchandised. Ever since the Charismatic movement has taken over or affected 98% of all churches, the name of Christ was never so profaned or bantered about. This movement has created the most false view of Christianity since Satan founded the Church of Rome. The Gospel is to be preached and taught in all its full counsel. What we see happening to the true gospel today, via publishers, and the so-called contemporary music scene, is an affront to what the gospel was meant to do and that is to search out God’s elect.
 
Our responsibility is to send out that gospel and we are not to charge anything for it. When you became saved, did anyone charge you? Then we better not charge others.
 
(Mat 10:8 KJV) Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give.
 
It is not just a suggestion, it is the Word of God.
 
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