By Johnie Edwards
There is a money problem facing the people of God. Paul said, “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 Tim. 6:10). People misunderstand how they are to obtain their money, how to use it, and sometimes folks get their money and the Lord’s mixed up-thinking whatever they can use their own personal money for, it can also be used by the church in the same way.
(1) The Bible makes a distinction between the money of an individual Christian and the Lord’s money. In reference to the money of Ananias and Sapphira, Peter said, “While it remained, was it not thine own? and after it was sold, was it not in thine own power? why hast thou conceived this thing in thine heart? thou has not lied unto men, but unto God” (Acts 5:4).
(2) The individual must obtain his money right. Paul said, “Provide things honest in the sight of all men. . .” (Rom. 12:17). “And that ye study to be quiet, and to do your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you; that ye may walk honestly toward them that are without, and that ye may have lack of nothing” (1 Thess. 4:11-12). Thus we see that the Christian may engage in any honest occupation.
(3) The individual must use his money right. Proper use of one’s money involves at least four things: (a) A liberal contribution to the Lord (Matt. 3-8-10; Lk. 6:38; 1 Cor. 16:1-2, 2 Cor. 9:6-7); (b) Pay our taxes (Rom. 13:6-7; Matt. 17:24-27); (c) Provide for our own (Eph. 4:28; 1 Tim. 5:8, 16); (d) Maintain good works. Some too often think that when they have given to the Lord for the work of the church, that this should also take care of all good works-not so! Notice: (Gal. 6:10; Tit. 3:1, Luke 10:30-36; James 1:27; 1 Tim. 6:18; Matt. 5:1416; Eph. 4:28; 1 John 3:17). All of the passages have reference to the individual using his possessions for good works among those who are in need and to take care of his own family and those who might become his charge.
(4) The Lord’s money is to be used for the Lord’s work. After I have given my money into the treasury of the Lord, then I have no control of it. It must be used as the Bible directs. The church has been given three works to do: (a) Preaching the gospel (1 Thess. 1:18; 1 Tim. 3:15; Eph. 3:10-11; 1 Cor. 9:14, 2 Cor. 11:8; Phil. 4:15-17); (b) Building up the local church (Eph. 4:16); (c) Assisting needy saints (Rom. 15:26; Acts 6:1-7; Acts 11:27-30; 2 Cor. 8:9; 1 Cor. 16:1-3).
After reading all of these passages, there is found no reference to the church buying camp sites, building human organizations through which the church works, contributing to schools, furnishing entertainment, or any social activity. Let’s learn where the individual’s responsibility lies and respond to it and let the church do the work the Lord assigned her.
Truth Magazine XXII: 48, p. 778
December 7, 1978