I've heard it before, YES, the Lord has said that those who preach the gospel should live of the gospel. That's where 99.999% of pastors stop. So THERE they say...get off my back. Of course, they conveniently DONT READ and care NOT to take counsel of everything else written...Here, read for yourselves:
1 Corinthians 9:13 Do ye not know that they which minister about holy things live of the things of the temple? and they which wait at the altar are partakers with the altar? 14 Even so hath the Lord ordained that they which preach the gospel should live of the gospel.
15 But I have used none of these things: neither have I written these things, that it should be so done unto me: for it were better for me to die, than that any man should make my glorying void. 16 For though I preach the gospel, I have nothing to glory of: for necessity is laid upon me; yea, woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel! 17 For if I do this thing willingly, I have a reward: but if against my will, a dispensation of the gospel is committed unto me. 18 What is my reward then? Verily that, when I preach the gospel, I may make the gospel of Christ without charge, that I abuse not my power in the gospel.
Paul was very wise. He did'nt offer 'services' for money as todays hired hand pastors do, but why? THAT I ABUSE NOT MY POWER IN THE GOSPEL. Yep, Paul was onto something there. He 'got it.' He understood...FULLY...what this meant:
Matt 7:21"Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22Many will say to me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?' 23Then I will tell them plainly, 'I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!'
Prophesy? Drive out demons? Many miracles? Do todays hired hand servants claim these things? You bet they do....and what does Jesus say to them? Away from me you evildoers....
Paul worked jobs IN ADDITION to preaching so as not to be a burden to the flock, Paul came as a giver, he had the word of life in one hand and regular work in the other. What a stark contrast to todays pastors. They ALL (pastors) demand not only to live off the gospel, but 99.99% are also criminals. Criminals? How so you ask? You ever heard of FRAUD before? What is FRAUD?
In a broad strokes definition, fraud is a deliberate misrepresentation which causes another person to suffer damages, usually monetary losses.
These 'pastors' all demand that you tithe...yet NOT ONE OF THEM IS A LEVITICAL PRIEST. The tithe was a very specific requirement to sustain the levitical priesthood. These 'pastors' don't talk about that. There's LOTS of information on the net written by a variety of people that exposes this fraudulent scheme of todays hired hand pastors. Will criminals inherit the kingdom of heaven? Will those who extort money by misrepresenting the royal law make it into heaven? Re-read Matt 7, all of it and answer that question for yourselves.
Here's the bottom line on this issue, the Lord clearly says that men who preach the gospel should be able to live off the gospel, no question there, very straightforward. HOWEVER, we then see Paul looking at what was written, including Matt 7 and saying to himself...hmmm "I think I'm going to preach AND get a day job" It appears that Paul knew something about money and what it does to men. Something like:
1 Timothy 6:10 For the love of money is a root of all
... For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, theyhave erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows
He saw the trap set for those who are greedy for gain. If I was going to preach the gospel, I can tell you that out of FEAR of what's written in Matt 7 and Paul's own example, I would be VERY CAREFUL what I accepted from the flock. Fear? Yea, thats what I said..the FEAR of God is the beginning of wisdom..remember?
Psalm 111:10 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do his commandments: his praise endureth for ever.
Prov 1:7 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction
Prov 9:10 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.
All this is just one more reason, out of many that only a FEW will make it through the narrow gate (Matt 7:14) grace and peace