“FREELY YE HAVE RECEIVED, FREELY GIVE”
Mat 10:8 “Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give.”
Mat 10:9“Provide neither gold, nor silver, nor brass in your purses,”
The bible declares in the 10th chapter of St. Matthew that Jesus sent the disciples out with power to heal the sick, cleanse diseases, raise the dead cast out devils.He further told them not to carry any money with them.He had given them the gospel freely and they in turn were to give it to the people freely.They were to tell the people that the kingdom of God was at hand, here among them. They were to preach the good news; showing the people that the Saviour of the world was in the midst, ready to show them the way to enter the kingdom.The emphasis was in showing the people the way to salvation through Christ Jesus.
Similarly, when Jesus was going back to heaven, He told the disciples to: Mat 28:19“Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
Mat 28:20Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.“
In other words, they were to follow His original command.Continue going out and winning souls.Continue to teach them what I taught you.You will never be alone.I am going to be with you, all the way, to the “end of the world”.
Today, in many places, this script has changed.By the time you enter the house of worship, sing the opening hymn, pray, read the scriptures, hear another selection then the offering plates follow. Then there may be another musical selection, the word may be brought, there is a selection and then the offering plates follow.In some instances, offerings are collected as many as three times in the one service which last no longer than five hours.
Is this to say that offerings should not be collected; definitely not! In the book of Mal 3 verse 10 it records “Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.” So the people of God should support the work of God through tithes and offerings.As you derive the blessings from God, you are eager to give back to Him when you realize that you cannot out give God.You are eager to give so that others will be able to hear His words and be saved from the wrath to come.
The reason given for the collection plates going out so many times in one service is that “the people will not contribute if you don’t get it from them at regular intervals” or “they will return home with it, if one waits until the end of the service.”
People who believe and trust God will support His work.No matter how often the collection plate goes around, the man who will not support the work of God will not put anything in it.Yet the man who wants to support God’s work will give the envelope to the deacon or usher even if he has to leave early. The instruction given to the church by St. Paul was this: 1Cor 16:2Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come.
Considering that Paul kept the Sabbath; this offering was collected at sunset.Search the scriptures!