Jack Carroll - The True Ministers

The physical needs of the “true” ministry.and the false are exactly the same. “True ministers” need food, clothing, shelter and as a means of exchange, they need money. False preachers” need food, clothing, shelter and money.

 

The question is asked, "What is the difference between your ministers and ours?" Well, their needs are the same we admit, but the difference lies in how those needs are supplied. Your preachers preach for a salary, ours don't. Your preachers appeal for money, ours don't. Your preachers have a home, ours don't. While these differences are true and help to distinguish the false from the true ministry, none of them or all of them together, give us the actual fundamental difference between the true ministry and the false.

 

The Old Testament is very clear with regard to how the priests and Levites were cared for in Old Testament days. The New Testament is equally clear with regard to how God's servants are taken care of today. Jesus taught, the laborer is worthy of his hire. I Corinthians 9:14.

 

The Lord hath ordained that they which preach the gospel should live by the gospel. We make no secret of the fact that, as God's bondservants and handmaidens, we live by the gospel and are justified in doing so, because we have fulfilled the conditions that Jesus laid down in the gospels. No man is justified in living by the gospel apart from fulfilling these con­ditions; and it is a pleasure to minister to them food, clothing, shelter and as a means of exchange—money—in His Name.

 

Jesus labored as a carpenter and lived by the work of His hands as a car­penter for 18 years; but for 3 years, He lived by the gospel and got His bread as a preacher of the gospel, just as honorably as He did when He was a carpenter. Jesus did not live on charity--giving nothing in return. Jesus always gives more than He receives. He accepted hospitality from Matthew the Publican, from Simon the Pharisee and from Lazarus. He always gave more than He received and in this He left us an example, that we should follow in His steps.

 

We do not live on charity. If any of God's professed people come to us in His name and as an expression of their love and interest in the furtherance of the Gospel, recognizing we have fulfilled the conditions that justify us in living by the gospel, it is our duty to accept; knowing even a cup of cold water given to God's servants will in no wise lose its reward.

 

What are the conditions Jesus laid down in the New Testament which He expects those to fulfill, who want to have a part in this ministry? I hope we are clear on what it costs our brothers and sisters to go forth into God's great harvest field. I will present these conditions in the form of questions.

 

1.       Are you prepared to sell all? Are you prepared to make yourself poor? Are you willing, as the very first condition, to have fellowship with Jesus in His poverty? In connection with the New Testament ministry, there is a very real equality--no one of us make a greater sacrifice than the other. We each sacrifice ALL. We are all placed on the same level.

 

2.       The second condition has to do with being homeless. Are you willing to be homeless for life? Jesus said, "Foxes have holes and the birds of the air have nests but I, the Son of Man, hath no where to lay my head."

 

3.        The third condition: Are you willing to put the preaching of the Gospel before the claims of your own flesh and blood, living or dead? Luke 9:59-62. Instead of Jesus bribing men to enter the ministry, it would almost seem as though He were trying to prevent them. Instead of making it easy for them, He made it hard, for He wanted to test the depth and sincerity of those who expressed a wish to have a part in the ministry. Do you appreciate that?

 

4.       The fourth question is: Are you willing to go forth without having any in­dividual or group pledged to take care of you and to preach the gospel without money and without price, whenever you have opportunity? We are glad to know that throughout the whole world, God's servants have been able to go forth in His Name and are preaching the Gospel as it was in the New Testament days, without money and without price.

 

5.        The fifth question is: Are you willing to be as a corn of wheat which falls into the ground and dies? Are you willing to let death work so that life may be wrought in others? Are you willing to be dead to what is honorable and legitimate for others?

 

6.       The sixth question is:  How far are you willing to go in preaching the Gospel? There is no such thing as a settled or fixed ministry in the New Testament days. None of us are in any one state for life. Jesus said to His disciples, "Go ye forth into all the world, teaching all the nations and baptizing them in the name of the Father, Son, and the Holy Ghost.

 

We often ask.those who are desirous of going forth, "Are you willing to go with any of your brethren?" We do not lightly undertake the arranging year after year of those who labor together. Those who have this responsi­bility seek for the wisdom of God and His guidance.

 

Only those who have fulfilled the conditions which I have enumerated are justified in living by the Gospel. They earn their bread just as honorably as when they worked with their hands at their different trades. They are worthy of their hire and it comes to them in God's appointed way.

 

Money, as a means of exchange, is used to enable God's servants to live, to travel to foreign countries, and it comes as the spontaneous, unsolicited, freewill offering of God's children. If you don't love to do it--the Lord doesn't accept it.