(All scriptures are quoted from the New International Version.)

In the New Testament we find no mention of "collecting firstfruits" from believers.  The word "firstfruits," when used, is as a picture of Christ or His church; e.g., I Corinthians 15:20,23 and II Thessalonians 2:13.

In Old Testament times, the Israelites were instructed to "bring the best of the firstfruits of your soil to the house of the LORD your God."  (Exodus 34:26)  There were several occasions on which this was to be done, including at Passover (Leviticus 23:10-14) and at Pentecost. (Leviticus 23:15-17)  Bringing the firstfruits was an act of worshipping God, acknowledging Him as their Provider, the Creator of all they had; and it was an act of trust, thanksgiving, and obedience. 

The offerings the people brought were given to the Lord – parts of them were actually placed on an altar, and parts were given to the Levites to live from, since the Levites had no inheritance in the land. (Deuteronomy 18:12)

Someone might wonder if this would mean Christians today should support their church leaders.  It is not wrong for a congregation to sometimes contribute to a church servant's needs.  For instance, the Apostle Paul writes in I Corinthians 9:11, "If we have sown spiritual seed among you, is it too much if we reap a material harvest from you?" This was especially true of those traveling evangelists of the early church.  The congregations did not build houses for them to live in, but they often provided "food and drink."  (I Corinthians 9:4)  However, in verse 12 Paul states, "But we did not use this right…” (In other words, Paul never used this right or privilege to ask for support.) In verse 18 he writes, "What then is my reward?  Just this:  that in preaching the gospel I may offer it free of charge." It wasn't only from the Corinthian church that Paul declined support.  He writes in II Thessalonians 3:7,8, "…We were not idle when we were with you, nor did we eat anyone's food without paying for it…  We worked night and day… so that we would not be a burden to any of you."

Paul instructs believers:  "When you were dead in your sins… God made you alive with Christ.  He forgave us all our sins, having canceled the written code, with its regulations…;  he took it away, nailing it to the cross."  (Colossians 2:13, 14)  When we accept Christ as our Savior and give our hearts to the Lord, we are under no special rules as to how to serve Him.  As the Israelites were to give God "the best of the firstfruits," we are to give Him our lives, our time, our talents, the "best" that we have.  If we see someone in special need, then we should be "cheerful" givers.  (II Corinthians 9:7)  But those who preach Christ should not "think that godliness is a means to financial gain."  (I Timothy 6:5)  Our Lord said, "Freely you have received, freely give." (Matthew 10:8)