Oftentimes, when the word, evil comes to mind, we readily think of Satan, killings and so on. But that isn’t the case. The Old and New Testament meaning of the word doesn’t necessarily mean bad.
_*Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is.*_
*1 Corinthians 3:13 KJV*
The word, “evil work” as used by Paul in the above scripture, actually means a work done outside pure/perfect love.
_*If I speak with human eloquence and angelic ecstasy but don’t love, I’m nothing but the creaking of a rusty gate.*_
*1 Corinthians 13:1 MSG*
Without love, we are nothing but the creaking of a rusty gate, even when we speak with tongues of men and angels. The Amplified Classic (AMPC) translation of this scripture says that we are useless nobodies without love—noise makers.
Forgive me, the Christianity practiced today seems to be that of gain and not of selflessness. True Christianity is that of selflessness.
_*Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.*_
*Matthew 6:31-32 KJV*
The Father, in His will, takes charge of everything that you need. For example, God knew I needed a vacation and someone opted to pay for my flight fare without me even asking.
I am passionate about His will. I wasn’t even planning to travel and everything just miraculously fixed itself.
True Christianity isn’t, “If I do like this, I am going to get this or that.” Some people even go to Church and say, “I am coming, Pastor pray for me.” They are always looking to receive blessings from God and not servitude—the character of working for God.
We readily forget that scripture says that he that wants to be the greatest must serve and not the one that seeks to receive (Matthew 23:11).
That is why I put a structure in my explanation of love to say, “True love is not gain/request, but an offering.” These expressions are very important if we must get our Christianity right.
_*But Peter said unto him, Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money.*_
*Acts 8:20 KJV*
Jesus and the disciples expressed great concern about the “gain gospel.” They frowned at it a great deal.
When someone expressed interest in making a business out of the power of the Holy Spirit by requesting to purchase it from the disciples, he was openly rebuked. Can we say the same for today’s Church?
In Matthew 21, Jesus took a whip and flogged people in the temple for selling in His Father’s house and He said it is a house of prayers (which means a house of fellowship with God in order to strengthen ones relationship with Him) and not a place of business.
But today, the Church has become a place of business. Even in seed sowing, people do because they want to get something in return and not because of their love for God.
But if you look at Acts 4:18-34, you will understand that they gave not because they wanted to get from God but out of a heart of love. What they gave was even distributed to all according as they had need.
_*Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him.*_
*Matthew 6:8 KJV*
God also knows that He needs to prosper His children. Before you request anything of Him, He knows.
When we give, God also gives to us. This is good, but something is better: we give because we love Him and then He gives back to us in His love. That way, we won’t be running a gain gospel.
_*They are doomed and their fate is eternal misery (perdition); their god is their stomach (their appetites, their sensuality) and they glory in their shame, siding with earthly things and being of their party.*_
*Philippians 3:19 AMPC*
For some, their stomach have become their gods. They labour for their stomach and not for eternity.
In 1 Timothy 6:6, Paul admonished Timothy on the value of godliness and contentment—it is great gain after all.
_*For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many*_
*1 Timothy 6:10 KJV*
When Paul made the statement, “The love of money…” he wasn’t trying to say that when you love money, it will produce evil on everything. Of course, the love of money does not produce cancer, not any kind of sickness.
So, what did he mean? “Love,” as used in the scripture is from the Greek word, _philarguria_ which means avarice or greed. Our Greed for money will always cause us to do evil.
Read through the epistles and there was no write up that speaks about a Christianity of gain; it is a Christianity of eternity.
_*Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses.*_
*1 Timothy 6:12 KJV*
Watch what Paul said in the above scripture. He said: Fight the good fight of faith—lay hold on eternal life and not materialism.
Jesus says that the kingdom of God suffers violence and the violent in spirit takes it by force (Matthew 11:12).
It is the kingdom of God that the violent takes by force which is righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Ghost (Romans 14:17) and not prosperity/wealth because the truth is, all that we need for life and godliness has been freely given to us (2 Peter 1:3).
Therefore, all we need to do is to use the wisdom of God to grab them for ourselves. When they seem difficult to come by, as an attack by the devil, we can clear the way by the Spirit. But that’s not our motive for serving God.
We have not been called to live the gain gospel but to serve. As we truly serve, we gain. If Christianity was the gain gospel, Paul wouldn’t have counted all as dung to follow Christ (Philippians 3:8).
Like Paul, will you count all as dung for the course of Christ? Think on this!
*Pastor Preston Idoro.*