Saturday, 23 August 2014

May Your Money Perish With Thee!

Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money.Thou hast neither part nor lot in this matter: for thy heart is not right in the sight of God. Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee (Acts 8:20-23).
Such is the the rebuke of Simon by Peter in Acts 8 who thought he could purchase the power of the Holy Spirit, and desired it through money. The rebuke was made on the grounds of thinking that the gift of God may be purchased with money. That thought alone is damnable. It is a damnable heresy to think that the gift of God may be purchased with money, or that it can be bought in any way other than the gift God gives to sinful, wicked people when they come to Him in repentance, and cry out to Him for mercy. 

Many in the modern church think that as long as a church does not teach such damnable heresies regarding salvation, no more needs to be said about such a church. This is true, but a half-truth. It is a very dangerous half-truth that has deceived many and that many Christians are asleep to. Having the right doctrines is one thing, and it is absolutely important. However, cleansing the church from filth and unclean spirits is also absolutely important. 

The spirit of mammon has crept into the modern church and many in the church do not realise this. Many think that a person is under the spirit of mammon only when they are trapped in careerism and materialism. This is a great and dangerous misunderstanding which indicates that it is in a deep long slumber, unaware of what is happening before its very eyes. The disciples of Christ are warned: Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour (1 Peter 5:8). 

We live in an age full of deception and one that takes appearances at face value.  We live in a very visual age where what is visual is everything. That which is not visual is not to be regarded as valuable or helpful in the pursuit of knowledge. It is too easy to be seduced into looking at appearances and judge them on that basis "for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart" (1 Samuel 16:7). This is the stark reality, especially in the modern world. 

Likewise, the many in the modern church look at those who volunteer their time to church work, ministry and mission, and those who give much of their money to be godly, and therefore, not under the spirit of mammon. The equate those who are under the spirit of mammon solely to those in the secular world who are careerist, or in pursuit of 'having it all'. All of those in the secular world are no doubt under the spirit of mammon, because they are possessed by the desire to sin. However, the spirit of mammon tempts all of us, whether saved and unsaved, everyday through daily anxieties for our material needs. 

Jesus made it clear that no one can serve both God and mammon. One will be devoted to one and hate the other. This means that not only is materialism hostility against God, but the yielding to the seducing voice of mammon and embracing his voice is hostility against God. There is absolutely no middle ground. A person either serves God, or serves mammon. Those who try to do both, as many Christians are trying to do are being lead by satan to the broad road, but God is there to stop them from stepping onto the broad road that leads to Hell.  They are trying to step onto the broad road, but God is holding them back if they are true converts. 

However, that God holds back the true Christian from stepping onto the broad road to Hell does not in any way provide an excuse to even attempt to serve both God and mammon. The thought that one can serve both God and mammon alone is to disregards the words of Jesus as such a thought directly contradicts Jesus' words that "If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me" (Matthew 16:24). This means to completely surrender own's life for Jesus. It is a continuing process that is to be renewed at the start of each day - to give up one's rights, interests, aspirations, freewill, dreams and visions to follow Jesus. It is to cut oneself from anything that can tie oneself to mammon, the spirit behind all earthly things.

To serve mammon is to cut oneself off from Christ because mammon is a spirit that tempts people to serve the flesh. Such things which serve the flesh are earthly things which will rot, and which have no Eternal value. The value of all earthly things are non-existent in reality,  and existent only to the eyes of the beholder. Such things, including all earthly duties, tempt people to serve themselves first, and lure them into the Pits of Hell. 

Anyone who does not count all earthly things as rubbish (Philippians 3:8) and is not prepared to face persecution is not committed to Christ. Such a person is headed for Hell. Jesus said that: "No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God" (Luke 9:62). For one to think that it is possible to serve both God and mammon is on the verge of having put his hand to the plough, and looking back.

Money is a danger to the soul in and of itself. The physical object of money is not evil. Rather, it is the spirit which works behind it, that is, mammon that is the way to Hell. May your money perish with thee. May you throw away your money and count it as rubbish.