Jesus went up to Jerusalem at Passover and entered the temple (John 2:13-17).
What he saw appalled him. Merchants had taken over the house of God! He came
seeking a house of prayer and what he found was a preoccupation with the
promotion, display, and sale of religious merchandise. The religious leaders
were counting their profits. What busyness! Men of God had become hucksters of
religious merchandise, running about promoting their goods.

Tables had been set up everywhere in God’s house to promote and sell sheep,
oxen, doves, candies, incense, and other merchandise for religious purposes.
Money changing hands made the loudest noise in the house—money that was being
made on God and religion.

What terrible pain caused our Lord’s compassionate heart to boil with holy
anger? His great suffering caused his meek spirit to rage with righteous
indignation.

Can you picture that moment? With whip in hand, our Lord stormed into the
temple and began flailing in all directions, overturning the tables piled high
with merchandise. He scattered the promoters, the pitchmen, the hucksters.

“Out!” he thundered, “Out of my Father’s house! You have desecrated this holy
place, turning the house of prayer into a commercial market!”

It was one of the most painful experiences in all his ministry but he could not
stand by and permit his Father’s house to become a den for religious thieves.

Are we willing to fellowship with Christ in this aspect of his sufferings
today? Do we share his hurt at seeing God’s house once again being turned over
to merchandisers? Will we be outraged by the horrible commercialism of the
gospel? Will we feel his rage against spiritual hucksterism enough to withdraw
from all such activities? Do we feel his hurt enough to renounce ministries
that grind out merchandise just for the sake of making money?

Can we share his suffering at this point enough to stand against those who
would turn God’s house into a theater or entertainment center for promoters?
Can we grieve over all the profiteering on the name of Jesus? Can we get our
eyes off the cash and back on the cross?

That merchandising of the gospel is anything and everything where men and women sell their wares under the guise of being a blessing to you. The real truth can not be bought or sold. Just as God overturned the tables back in His day, He will do it again. It will be by an economic collapse and the thieves and hucksters within the church will still try to sell you their goods. Instead of buying their books, CDs, I would make a simple suggestion: find someone in need to give to. Not to liars and apostates. The real truth can not be bought or sold.

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