“No man can serve two masters: for either he will HATE the one, and LOVE the other; or else he will HOLD to the one, and DESPISE the other. Ye CANNOT serve God and mammon.” (Matthew 6:24)

In its own right, money is good. Very good. Money is also very powerful. In the extraordinary passage quoted above, money is DIRECTLY pitched as an alternative to God! In this sense of usage, we can either serve God OR serve money. Please think about this.

The day that unrestrained funds begin to flow into any church, is the day that church ought to start taking great caution. This is because, through its deceitfulness, the GOAL OF MONEY is to supplant itself in the heart of man - in the place of God. We’ll come back to the issue of the deceitfulness of money later.

Meanwhile, let’s look at some background. In His teaching, Jesus clearly highlighted the danger posed by money. To drive the point home in a way that would not be easily forgotten, Jesus made the audacious statement that it would be easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter heaven (Matthew 19:24).

This statement was not just a proverb-dropping exercise by Jesus – it was a call to cause us to pause, to stop, and to think. To think deeply about the danger that may be associated with money.

To any God-fearing person, Jesus’ warning here will ring loud alarm bells. But, rather carelessly, many believers think that it is easy to deal with the danger posed by money. Many think they will always be able to tame and control money.

This approach radically underestimates what the Bible describes as the ‘deceitfulness of riches’ in Matthew 13:22 (a phenomenon that has the capacity to CHOKE THE WORD OF GOD in the life of a believer, and render him unfruitful to God). The deceitfulness of riches is multi-faceted, but here are a few highpoints of its deception, particularly as it relates to money:

(1) Money promises to give much, but in reality it delivers little. This is why man always wants more and more and more money.

(2) Money promises to be a loyal servant, but then turns out to be a wicked tyrant. This is why the rich, young ruler that loved God right from his youth could not give up his wealth to follow Jesus (Matthew 19:16-26). And he forfeited his soul in the process! That is the tyranny of money.

(3) Money promises to be an abiding companion for ever, but money does not stay forever. Here is the testimony of the wise man about money: “…for riches certainly make themselves wings; they fly away as an eagle toward heaven.” (Proverbs 23:5)

This is the subtlety that money uses to deceive and capture the heart of mankind. This subtlety has captured the heart of many men of God, and this is why most churches are today like a money-generating enterprise. Many will tell you that the church of today is all about money, money, money. It is very true.

To further cement the deception, the church has coined a very curious phrase – “Money is the vehicle of the Gospel”. This is both a lie, and a product of a depraved and blind heart.

Image result for money is the vehicle of the Gospel picture
Photo by G Craige Lewis
The truth is that money is NOT the vehicle of the Gospel. The real Vehicle of the Gospel is the Holy Spirit of God. And where the Holy Spirit of God is TRULY in charge, He knows how to ALWAYS raise the resources that are needed to advance God’s purpose and God’s Kingdom on the earth. When the Holy Spirit is FIRMLY in the driving seat, He knows how to channel money into fulfilling God’s purpose.

But, in the vain belief that ‘money is the vehicle of the Gospel’, many General Overseers/Pastors have taken the driving seat from the Holy Spirit, and money is now in control. This is why the church of today is both quick and financially empowered to embark on myriad projects/initiatives that are NOT in alignment with God’s purpose. Think about this.

As a matter of fact, a lot of these projects/initiatives are COMPLETELY OPPOSED to the will of God, and frustrate His purpose.

The more a church has money, the more it is open to the grave danger of allowing money to deceptively ascend, and dictate the direction the church goes, and the projects it undertakes. This is why God has today withdrawn from a lot of such churches. God is no longer in control, money is in control – and there can be no two captains in a boat. A man CANNOT serve two masters – he either HATES one or the other. It is either God, OR money.

In the New Testament, the Apostles of Christ demonstrated God’s wisdom. You’ll barely read about them putting any strong emphasis on raising money in relation to the Gospel. The most prominent passage about the collection of money in the New Testament is 2 Corinthians 9. And that collection was meant to be given, 100%, to the suffering Christians in Jerusalem. It was NOT for ministry expansion, or a special physical project – IT WAS FOR THE POOR. But, today, the emphasis is no longer about the poor in our midst – however much they are suffering. Our focus has changed. Money has become the king.

New Light Christian Church I.V. Hilliard Prosperity Pimp Word of Faith Apostasy
Bishop Hilliard, center, claims God told him it was 
time to upgrade his helicopter.
In highlighting the danger of how money can steal the hearts of men from God, the New Testament gives us at least two clear examples – an example of a man and an example of a church. There is the story of the rich, young ruler that was mentioned earlier in this article. He went AWAY from Jesus with deep sorrow. 

There is also the story of the Laodicean church in Revelation 3:14-22. Jesus turned AWAY from that church, and promised His fellowship to those that could still hear His voice as He knocked on the doors of their hearts. In both cases, repentance was difficult/impossible because “… no man can serve two masters”. When money ascends the throne, God withdraws from the picture.

In a way that is difficult to understand, money has a peculiar way of tricking and capturing the hearts of men – even the heavily anointed men of God! THE TRICKERY OF MONEY IS NOT A RESPECTER OF THE ANOINTING!

Image result for money is the vehicle of the Gospel picture
Bishop Hilliard’s Mansion
This is not to say that a church does not need money. It sure does! But the point is that every true church of God that will survive the treachery of money MUST find ways of relegating the influence of money to the background, while allowing the Holy Spirit to be the rightful Vehicle of the Gospel.

 “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 sorrows.” – 1 Timothy 6:10.

When resources are needed, God knows how to raise such – as His servants depend solely on Him by faith. Even if it will take God to cause a fish to vomit money, He will do so. For, indeed, it is His work, and He is able to provide the necessary resources to accomplish His purpose on earth – when He is truly allowed in the driving seat.

This is how to give God His rightful place in the church. And this is how to guard the door of our hearts against the love of money and the treachery that lurks behind it.

As this principle is applicable in a church setting, so also is it applicable in our personal lives to avert the danger of money taking the place of God in our lives. As believers, many of us claim not to love money (in line with1 Timothy 6:10), but we love the luxury that money can buy! Can you spot the danger of the trickery involved here? This is why we need Jesus Christ.  

This is why we need the fullness of His wisdom and teaching on the subject of how to handle money. It is a difficult teaching, but it will help our souls against the snare of the devil posed by the attractiveness of money.

Money is indeed good. But let us also remember that money can be very, very treacherous. Please, brothers and sisters, do not underestimate the danger of money. “No man can serve two masters: for either he will HATE the one, and LOVE the other; or else he will HOLD to the one, and DESPISE the other. Ye CANNOT serve God and mammon.” (Matthew 6:24)

If we choose to come to Jesus, and abide in His presence, He will challenge our love for money. He will challenge our dependence on money. In this challenge, He will give us a cross to carry, and urge us to seek the Kingdom above everything else.

It is only those that still have an ear that will hear and yield to this challenge of The Master of our soul and The Captain of our salvation. Please, be one of the disciples that have an ear to hear what the Spirit is saying to the churches.

God’s grace is abundantly available to the willing.

Thanks for reading, God bless you

Credit: Church watch in Nigeria

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