3 John 1:5-8 Taking Nothing

3 John 1:5-8 (KJV)
Beloved, thou doest faithfully whatsoever thou doest to the brethren, and to strangers;
Which have borne witness of thy charity before the church: whom if thou bring forward on their journey after a godly sort, thou shalt do well:
Because that for his name’s sake they went forth, taking nothing of the Gentiles.
We therefore ought to receive such, that we might be fellowhelpers to the truth.

There is here a principle I was taught in Bible College and, though not often practiced these days, I have not been able to shake. Preachers ought not seek to receive benefit (especially financial) from those who are not saved.

It is pretty much a given among the missionaries to foreign lands. In order to be welcome in most foreign fields the missionary has to prove he can provide enough income from other sources so he will not require them from the country to which he is called for ministry. I was taught the reason we support foreign missionaries and not home missionaries[1] is the home missionary can get a job while the foreign one cannot[2]. It just makes sense to me.

This also applies, I think, to what amounts to Christian panhandling. A Christian, because of his particular convictions, experiences need.

  • Maybe he refuses to work so he can devote himself to ministry
  • Maybe he refuses a job because it will require him to compromise his own convictions
  • Maybe he has overextended himself for what he believes is the cause of Christ

For whatever reason, he is in perpetual need and, just like the panhandler, has come to not mind constant begging. He even asks financial favors of the unsaved. Favors, by the way, that they don’t take kindly to granting even if they do give in to pressure to give.

Our God supplies for his own.

  • We ought therefore to live within the provisions He gives, asking nothing of the lost and
  • We ought to generously give to those preachers of the gospel who practice this sort of responsibility.

 

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3 John 1:5-8 Taking Nothing

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[1] To the same extent as we would the foreign missionary.

[2] The preachers who conceived of this concept, I remind you, were aggressive and successful home missionary church planters.