Do you think God's intention is to keep the church a holy place and if tickets were sold outside the church, would it be okay? I guess I am thinking more fully into the question. If tickets cannot be sold inside the church, why do television evangelists sell them? They would all be corrupt if we take that point of view. I do not know for sure. I think that God shows us the gray areas when He knows the intent of our hearts. God is more interested in the intent of the heart. If the intent is for the good of the church, then why not?
In answering your previous question about selling tickets, we indicated that the Bible does not provide a black and white statement. The conclusion said, “The selling of tickets motivates Christians to give in order to gain some material benefit. The selling of tickets does not motivate Christians to give to the Lord with pure motives. This approach appeals to greed in the heart and not to pure motives to give to the Lord.” We want to avoid making a statement that scripture does not make.
A Holy Place
No church building is a holy place. If cement, bricks, wood, glass, gold, cloth, and paint are not holy, how can a building made of these things be holy? Jesus rebuked the Pharisees who thought that the altar on which they sacrificed animals was holy. Jesus told them that the sacrifice which was on the altar was sanctified, or holy, and not the altar.
And, “Whoever swears by the altar, that is nothing, but whoever swears by the offering upon it, he is obligated. You blind men, which is more important, the offering or the altar that sanctifies the offering?” (NASB) Matt. 23:18-19
The same is true of church buildings. Church buildings are not holy. Christians are the ones who make a church holy because God considers Christians to be saints, or holy ones, and they are indwelt by the Holy Spirit. One great example of this occurs in a letter the apostle Paul wrote to a group of people in Philippi. They were believes in Jesus. In the letter he called them saints. The Greek word means “holy ones.”
Paul and Timothy, bond-servants of Christ Jesus, to all the saints in Christ Jesus who are in Philippi, including the overseers and deacons . . . (NASB) Philippians 1:1
No building is holy; buildings are neutral.
God does honor good intentions, but good intentions will not take you to heaven. Good intentions can be an excuse. An excuse for doing what we want. Individuals have told me that God will understand. But they miss the following verse.
Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. (NASB) Gal. 6:7
The real issue before us is not selling tickets or receiving money from non-Christians. In fact, Jesus tells the disciples to receive gifts from non-believers in Matthew 10:5-15. But there is a greater principle we discussed in the previous question and answer. The principle is simply this, “The Lord blesses His people and ministries when they are doing things His way.” How can God show us that a certain ministry should stop or that some event should not occur? There are a variety of ways, but one of the most obvious ways is that God motivates His people to give money to the ministries he desires to bless.
Here are three important questions that should be considered, “Are God’s people not interested in giving to the ministry or event?” If so, why? Is it necessary to sell tickets to motivate people to give? If the answer is yes, then you should ask, “Why is the Holy Spirit not moving the saints to give?”