“We change into what we most adore about God.” Graham Cooke in Power Evangelism & God’s Nature
“We change into what we most adore about God.” Graham Cooke in Power Evangelism & God’s Nature
The question of tithing has come up in my household.
Below is a review of the book The Tithe Scam: Christianity’s Biggest Scam. The reviewer’s first few paragraphs were enough for me to get the answer to my tithing question.
THE TITHE IN THE NEW TESTAMENT:
Some say that the tithe is never mentioned in the New Testament. But this saying is actually false. There are three (3) places where the tithe is mentioned in the New Testament. Matthew 23:23, Luke 11:42, and Hebrews 7:8. We will look at all three of these passages. We will start with Matthew 23:23.
Matthew 23:23, “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices – mint, dill and cumin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law — justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former [Tithing].” (NIV)
Notice that Jesus did not fault the Pharisees for tithing. In fact, Jesus told them to not neglect tithing. Of course Jesus also emphasized not neglecting justice, mercy, and faithfulness. This is what Jesus was faulting the Pharisees about.
Now some say that Jesus was not talking to us in our New Testament dispensation, but to those of the Old Testament dispensation. When I first heard someone say this I was frankly taken aback by such a thought. Why? Because this is contradicting Jesus and as Malachi 3:1 says Jesus is the “Messenger of the Covenant.”
Malachi 3:1, “I will send my messenger, who will prepare the way before me. Then suddenly the Lord you are seeking will come to his temple; the messenger of the covenant, whom you desire, will come,” says the LORD Almighty.” (NIV)
So everything Jesus taught as recorded in the New Testament was for the purpose of ushering in the New Covenant. Also Jesus only did and said only what He saw His Father doing.
Also notice that when Jesus spoke Mat 23:23 He was not only talking to the Pharisees He was also talking to us. Yes us. In fact the passage from Mat 23 from verse 1 to 34 was specifically addressed to US. Notice that the Biblical passage in Mat 23:23 started with Mat 23:1, which clearly says: “Then Jesus said to the crowds and to His disciples” (Mat 23:1). So if you consider yourself to be a disciple of Jesus then He is telling you to NOT NEGLECT THE TITHE. So when anybody claims that Mat 23:23 was only addressed to the Pharisees and not us, then that is a damn lie from Hell. (Damn lie because it will damn you to Hell if you believe, live, or teach that lie.)
The Word of God explicitly states in Malachi 3:1 that Jesus is the “Messenger of the [New] Covenant.” Everything in the New Testament is declaring that Jesus is establishing the New Covenant. The whole reason Jesus came to earth, and taught His discriples, and us, and died for us, and gave us the New Testament was to establish the New Covenant. God the Father and Jesus did this at a very, very great cost because of His love for us.
Notice also what Jesus said in John 12:48-50, “He that rejecteth Me, and receiveth not My words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day. 49 For I have not spoken of Myself; but the Father which sent Me, He gave Me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak. 50 And I know that His commandment is life everlasting: whatsoever I speak therefore, even as the Father said unto Me, so I speak.”
So, since Jesus told us to not neglect the tithe, and if you are not paying the tithe then you are not receiving the words of Jesus, and Jesus promises that the same word shall judge him in the last day. This promise alone from Jesus should scare you – if it doesn’t then you don’t fear God and you are in extreme danger. (The New Testamanet explains that we are commanded, yes commanded to Fear God.)
It is also important to notice that if tithing were to be “done away with” then this would also mean that justice, mercy, and faithfulness (Mat 23:23) would also have to be “done away with.” As I keep saying you can’t have it both ways. The exact same scripture that declares that we should obey God about the tithe also commands us to obey God about justice, mercy, and faithfulness. And there is no way that justice, mercy, and faithfulness have “been done away with.” So here in Matthew 23:23 we have yet another scripture that says that the tithe has not been “done away with.” To twist the scriptures to mean anything else is false teaching (lying).
A parallel scripture that repeats what Matthew 23:23 teaches us is Luke 11:42. The fact that this is repeated two times in the gospels means that this teaching is very important and not to be rejected or neglected.
Luke 11:42, “Woe to you Pharisees, because you give God a tenth of your mint, rue and all other kinds of garden herbs, but you neglect justice and the love of God. You should have practiced the latter [justice, love] without leaving the former [Tithing] undone. (NIV)
In addition to the tithe, this passage (“without leaving the former [Tithing] undone”) emphasizes that we are also to render justice and have the love of God. So what is very significant here is that if the tithe is “done away with” then that would mean the love of God would also be “done away with.” But without the love of God none of us could be saved. Therefore there is no way that the tithe is “done away with.” God gives us these passages and repeats it twice to make sure that we know that He is very serious about the truth about these matters: justice, mercy, faithfulness, love of God, and the tithe.
If you choose to doubt such clear and re-emphasized Words of God then you are risking eternal torment in Hell due to robbing God of His tithe. It is utter foolishness (and rebelliousness) to doubt God’s explicit Word, especially when it is repeated twice. And actually three times if you include Heb 7:8 which we will cover next.
Before covering Heb 7:8 let us take a look at John 3:1-3.
John 3:1-3, “There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews: The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him. Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” (NIV)
What does being born again have to do with the tithe? Did you notice that in this passage Jesus was talking to a Pharisee (Nicodemus). Now did you recall that in the tithe passages of Mat 23:23 and Luke 11:42 that Jesus was also talking about and to the Pharisees. Now it is obvious that the John 3:1-3 passage about being born again is definitely a New Covenant scripture. So why would the other New Testament passages, where Jesus was talking to the Pharisees about the tithe, suddenly be about the Old Covenant?
The answer is Jesus was not talking about the Old but rather the New Covenant in Mat 23:23 and Luke 11:42. Again the whole purpose for Jesus to come into this world was to establish, teach, and die to usher in the New Covenant. It is the most twisted form of thinking to try to “explain away” anything that Jesus taught and say that it does not apply today. It is bad enough to say that the Old Testament laws have been “done away with.” (When they are not done away with.) But now some people (and false teachers) say that even passages in the New Testament have been “done away with.” Is there no limit to what people will stoop to, to deny Jesus’ clear teaching? Deception like this comes from satan – the father of lies.
Remember how satan deceived Eve. Don’t let yourself be deceived. Only satan wins by making you believe that the tithe has been “done away with.” Think about it. Without the tithe, the church is weakened, fewer people get taught about the Word of God, fewer people get saved, and as a result more people end up going to Hell. Many times churches are not established or maintained because of a lack of funds due to people not tithing and due to being deceived into thinking that the tithe is “done away with.” This lie about the tithe being “done away with” is satan’s attempt to weaken the churches and to drag more people to Hell with him. Don’t let satan fool you. Give God the full tithe, and help get more people saved as a result.
The tithe is the best investment you can make and will have rewards in eternity. Not only due to obedience to God but also because of the practical results of seeing many more people saved as a result of supporting the gospel.
Early in my Christian life I made it my lifetime goal to give God, not just the tithe, but 2/3 of my gross income. I have not reached that level yet, but someday I truly want to reach that goal.
And why is this? Because I know that the tithe & offering money will be used to further God’s kingdom here on earth.
• Because it’s the best use of my money on this earth.
• Because it’s the best investment I could ever make.
• Because many, many people will get saved and avoid Hell as a result of it.
• Because many, many children will get trained and as a result follow the Lord in their life.
And that’s why I will continue to give God His tithes and offerings, and teach others to do likewise.
In 1 Cor. 9:14 God says: “The Lord has commanded that those who preach the gospel should receive their living from the gospel.”
Yes he has commanded all of us to spread the gospel, but He has also commanded us to support His preachers – namely apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers — in the church. God mentions these in His Word in Eph 4:11-13. “And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:”
If people in general do not give tithes and offerings how are all these full time positions supposed to be financed? It is foolish to think that these preachers can be financed adequately without tithes and offerings.
I’ll tell you a true story. I once was part of a small church – about 40 members. When I joined this church I gave my full tithe and offerings. Since I am an Engineer my pay is pretty good and so this church started receiving some much needed help in it’s financing. (As I was paying my full tithe and a little extra in offerings. Total about 12% of me and my wife’s gross salary.)
Now the pastor was also working a full time secular job – like Walmart. Not a high paying job as you can imagine. He was also fulfilling the role of pastor in this church. He had a wife and son that was also going to college. So this pastor’s finances were not very high.
While I was going to this church, the church was making it financially – but only barely so. The meeting place for this church was not an expensive building. They rented a small space at a simple shopping center at a corner. Very humble and simple type of meeting place. Now as time went on I started going to another church that I felt God wanted me to go to so that my wife could fully participate more fully. (My wife felt more comfortable at another church.)
Well soon after I left the small church of 30 – 40 members the poor pastor quit because there was not enough money to keep the church going. With 40 members there should have been adequate financing for that little church. In fact if only 10 members were fully paying the tithe – that would have been enough to keep that little church going.
But as most Americans, the vast majority of the congregation were not paying the full tithe. And this resulted in one of God’s good pastors to quit the ministry and for less people to receive the gospel through him – a worker that God trained (in a very good Bible school) and provided for our benefit – but one that we didn’t support as we should have. (I knew most of the congregation was not tithing properly because once or twice I helped the church treasurer count the offerings that came in.)
Now who won in this battle? Satan is the one who won. And why did he win? Because so called “Christians” were not obeying God on tithes and offerings.
The only one who wins in promoting the teaching that tithes are no longer commanded is satan. And it’s foolish to claim that churches will still be supported adequately when the congregation is taught that they no longer need to pay tithes. Because of all the disobedient “Christians” out there it is even more important for people to pay the full tithe.
And people who teach that the tithe is no longer commanded only cause satan to win more battles and close more churches than he otherwise would. As a result more people don’t get saved and end up going to Hell – all because people refuse to pay their tithes. And so churches have to operate in very weakened conditions – many times to the point that the church has to close down. Also even if the church remains open they have little ability to help members and the lost in much needed counseling, preaching, outreaches, etc. (And definitely, not enough to help any widows or orphans – which is part of what the early church did and what the modern church is also supposed to be doing as well.)
And notice the pastor is not the only one ministering. A good functioning church will have street evangelists, and sunday school teachers, and youth leaders, and music leaders, and counselors – all which need adequate funding to buy music equipment, sunday school supplies, gospel tracts, bibles to give to those who do not have them, etc. etc.
Only a fool would believe that a church can function properly (and I’m not talking just about the building) without the people giving tithes to support it. And although non-tithers say we should give generously I find that very few – if any – even give a fraction of the tithe. So people who say 100% belongs to the Lord give very little – if any – to the Lord. And if someone doesn’t even give 10% they are lying and hypocritical in saying that “all” of it belongs to the Lord. If you don’t obey God on 10% – which God says is His – then you are NOT obeying God on the rest of your money. Faithful in little (or none) means faithful in little (or none).
No Where In The Bible Is The Tithe Abolished.
And another thing – There is NO WHERE in the Old Testament nor in the New Testament that the practice of the tithe is abolished. In fact, we have already seen where we are commanded to tithe in three passages in the New Testament. How anybody can say (essentially lie) that the tithe “has been done away” is a clear case of deception and falsehood.
It is also very significant to note that NO WHERE in the New Testament did the Apostle Paul , nor any other Apostle, tell believers to not pay tithes. NO WHERE! If God wanted us to stop the practice of tithing He would have clearly told us in the New Testament. But God did not command us to stop paying tithes. And in fact He commands us to tithe as we already discussed in Mat 23:23, Luke 11:42, and Heb 7:8. Also Paul was very clear about the change of practice about circumcision, and food and drink laws, and special festival days. But Paul nor any other Apostle never ever told us to stop paying the tithe. So the idea that “the tithe has been done away with” is a deception straight from the pit of Hell. Satan wants to weaken the church – including it’s finances and so he and his demons concocted the false deception to get rid of the tithe. It takes an evil rebellious heart to accept the deception that financially weakens God’s New Testament churches. Financially weakening the church only helps the devil drag more people into Hell. How anybody is fooled into thinking that doing away with the tithe helps the church is the epitome of utter foolishness.
It’s like thinking that voluntary governmental taxes would enhance government. And we all know that is utter foolishness. I know no one likes to pay taxes, but just think if we only had to pay government taxes on a “voluntary” basis. In such a case we all know that the government would quickly weaken and not have funds to operate, and we would quickly have enemies cross our borders and invade us and criminals would quickly assault citizens due to lack of military and police. How could anyone be so foolish as to not know the repercussions of telling people that “taxes have been done away with, and we don’t have to pay taxes anymore.” Absolute foolishness!
In similar manner, telling people that “the tithe has been done away with” only serves to weaken God’s church and results in more and more people being dragged to Hell – due to the gospel not being supported as much, and also due to the disobedience to God’s tithe commandment. God’s commandments are not suggestions. God’s commandments are given to us to help us discipline ourselves towards obedience. Remember disciple means “disiplined one.” So telling people they don’t have to tithe is opposing God’s working His loving discipline in His children. And I, for one, would fear God when you lead one of His children astray to disobedience. God will punish those who lead His children astray most severely.
As mentioned before don’t let satan nor false teachers deceive you and fool you into thinking that “the tithe has been done away with.” Not only is the church hurt but you yourself are also hurt and you even lose the salvation that Jesus worked so hard to give to you when you were first born-again. This is Illustrated most vividly in the book “Hell Testimonies” by Mike Peralta. Also only those who endure to the end will be saved, Mat 24:13. A good amount of detail about this is also in the book: “Backsliding to Hell” by Mike Peralta.
Don’t let satan, nor false teachers, steal your crown of eternal life. Support the gospel and obey Jesus wholeheartedly and pay the tithe and offerings from a willing and obedient heart (Isaiah 1:19). Jesus will be elated with you and bless you, as He PROMISES in Malachi Chapter 3, and most importantly we can bring many more people to the saving grace of Christ on this earth. What a privilege and honor that we can support the gospel and give our High Priest, Jesus, the tithe (Heb 7:8 is referring to BOTH Jesus and Melchisedek as Priest of the Most High God. (Notice also that Melchisedek is a “type or symbol” of Jesus).
In Heb 7:8, Jesus is said to be a High Priest in the order of Melchisedek. God honors BOTH Jesus (His Son) and Melchisedek as High Priests unto HIM. Don’t believe those liars that are claiming that Melchisedek was a Pagan High Priest. That is dishonoring BOTH Melchisedek AND Jesus our High Priest. (Remember Jesus is in the order of Melchisedek and so calling Melchisedek a pagan priest is also calling Jesus a pagan priest and is calling Jesus evil.) Again don’t be deceived by those False Teachers who are practically weakening the financial support of the gospel by teaching against the tithe. Robbing God of His tithe is a very hideous and awful sin to commit against the Lord Jesus who died a horrible death on the cross for you. It is an eternally serious sin and crime against God.
One last point: All Thieves & Robbers Go To Hell (According to the Bible)
As uncomfortable as it is to some, we all need to give heartfelt warnings to those who profess to be Christians about the eternal danger of stealing – especially robbing God in the tithe. Before getting into this, let me explain a couple of terms which Jesus and the apostle Paul taught about salvation and about who would and would not go to heaven.
The Term WICKED :
The first term we will look at is the term WICKED. To understand what the term WICKED means let us look at 5 scriptures (there are hundreds more but these should suffice):
“Now the men of Sodom were WICKED and were sinning greatly against the LORD.” Genesis 13:13
“The WICKED will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous.” Psalm 1:5
“You are not a God who takes pleasure in evil; with you the WICKED cannot dwell.” Psalm 5:4
“Salvation is far from the WICKED” Psalm 119:155
“This is how it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come and separate the WICKED from the righteous and throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” Matthew 13:49-50
As you can see, in the Bible, the term WICKED always refers to those who are enemies of God, those who are separated from God — that is those who are not saved and who go to Hell if they die without repenting.
The Term INHERIT :
The next term we will look at is the term INHERIT. According to Jesus, salvation or eternal life is INHERITED : “And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or fields for my sake will receive a hundred times as much and will INHERIT eternal life. Matthew 19:29 (NIV) In Hebrews 1:14, salvation is also referred to as being INHERITed: “Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will INHERIT salvation?” Heb 1:14 (NIV) Notice also in Mat 19:29: “And everyone who has left houses or brothers [etc.].. for my sake will.. INHERIT eternal life.” – Mat19:29
Now In 1 Cor 6:9-10 Paul states: “Do you not know that the WICKED will NOT INHERIT the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: NEITHER the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexuals nor THIEVES nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will INHERIT the kingdom of God.” 1 Corinthians 6:9-10. I realize that very few preach on these passages of scriptures but God’s word stands forever. God is faithful and His words cannot and will not be altered: “I will not violate my covenant or alter what my lips have uttered.” Psalm 89:34
Jesus does not give idle warnings and He does not exaggerate. He gives us clear and specific words and phrases so that we will know what the truth is. Notice again in 1 Cor 6:9-10, “thieves will not go to the kingdom of God.” Instead they will be thrown into the FIERY LAKE OF BURNING SULFUR. As hard as it is for some to believe, GOD WILL SEND THE THIEF TO HELL – even those who once came to Jesus in the past but now went back into the pollutions of the world.
There are many teachers telling people that their sinning – even gross evil sins such as fornication, and adultery, robbing God of His tithes, etc, will not send them to Hell. It is the same thing satan told Adam and Eve. ” ‘You will not surely die,’ the serpent said to the woman.” Genesis 3:4. According to Word of God, not only will the UNBELIEVING end up in Hell, THIEVES will also end up in Hell (as will the cowardly, the vile, the murderers, etc.) – whether or not they were previously saved or not. (Rev 21:8)
According to the Bible the following people are classified as THIEVES:
1. Thieves – Stealing from another person. (1 Cor. 6:9-10)
2. Swindler – Those who lie and cheat people out of their money or goods. (1 Cor. 6:9-10)
2. Robbing Tithes – Robbing God of His Tithe. (Malachi 3:8)
Notice that, as well as thieves and swindlers who steal from people, God will also condemn those who ROB HIM OF HIS TITHE. Although our present day church culture, may teach otherwise, or overlook or trivialize this sin, God does not and will not approve of this sin. (“Will a mere mortal rob God? Yet you rob Me. “But you ask, ‘How are we robbing you?’ “In tithes and offerings.” Malachi 3:8)
Because not paying the tithe is classified as robbery by God in Malachi 3:8, this sin will send you to Hell as God promises us in 1 Cor. 6:9-10. As already explained, this is true even if you gave your life to Jesus in the past but are now robbing God of His tithe.
In Luke 13:3 Jesus says “unless you repent you will likewise perish.” But God is not interested in sending you to Hell. God is calling you to repent from your sin – even if you gave your life to Jesus in the past.
If this describes you, you must do 2 things:
1. Confess your sin to Jesus and ask Him to forgive you.
2. Repent of your sin by immediately setting aside 10% of your total income and giving it to the ministry where you go to church and receive spiritual sustenance.
If you don’t truly repent then confession is worthless. You are merely giving lip service and it is an abomination to God. I realize that what I am saying here is very direct and stern but I want there to be no doubt about the decision and the consequence you are facing. I counsel you to believe God and repent — or face eternal torment in Hell when you die. And you can die on any day. You are free to choose. But you are not free to choose the consequence of your choice. And according to God, the consequence of robbery, especially of robbing God of His tithe, is eternal torment in Hell.
Believe God — He does not lie. ALL THIEVES GO TO HELL ! God is very clear about this. Believe God’s Word as written. Don’t risk eternity in Hell just to avoid paying God His tithe. And we are not talking about loss of rewards here. We are talking about eternal damnation in Hell.
Jesus says this very thing in Mat 7:21-23. “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of My Father who is in heaven. Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name cast out demons, and in your name perform many miracles?’ “and then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.’ ”
As hard as it is to believe that this will be the judgement for Robbing God of His Tithe, Jesus is very clear about those who He will tell to depart from Him. Jesus is NOT kidding. He says exactly what He means and He means exactly what He says. This is God’s warning to you to repent of stealing (which is lawlessness) – as it will very definitely land you in Hell – if you don’t repent of that sin. Other sins will land you in Hell also, so believe God in His Word.
Don’t believe man – you will land in Hell if you trust in man. And God will not accept the excuse that “this or that teacher told me that I didn’t have to give the tithe anymore.” God expects you to put HIS WORD above any man. Not only that, this is about your eternal life here. We are not discussing matters of only losing rewards. We are talking about your very soul. We are talking about everlasting damnation. We are talking about Heaven and Hell here. Are you really so foolish so as to put your eternal soul in the hands of fallible man? To believe some man’s word over God’s perfect, eternal, reliable Word?
Now you may try to be clever and try to out-debate me or out argue what I have to say here. But how will that help you? If you don’t pay the tithe or teach others that the tithe no longer applies – then you are going to Hell (if you refuse to repent of robbing God of His tithe) and it doesn’t matter how many people you convince of your “doctrinal” position. In fact teaching or convincing others to not give the tithe will land you into even hotter fires and punishments in Hell (teachers are judged more strictly). You have to understand that God is giving you this warning here to keep you out of Hell. (There are many Hell Testimonies of “Christians” who didn’t tithe that illustrate this. See “Hell Testimonies” by Mike Peralta. Also the link http://christiscoming777.com/2012/03/02/tithing-is-it-required-and-are-there-eternal-consequences-for-non-tithing )
Needless to say, God has given you a free will. And if you want to believe the lie that: “the tithe has been done away with.” Well that is your free will choice – but you will no longer be able to say that you were not warned. When you are in the fires of Hell you will remember this message and forever regret your choice. You will forever regret your choice
We were in a large room at church, attending a class called “Sensing God’s Presence.” Our table facilitator asked about our “experience of sensing God’s presence.”
Kim was slumped at our group’s table. When her turn came to talk, she sighed and said, “I don’t know…I want to feel God’s presence…but I haven’t lately….”
No one jumped in with a biblical bromide or painted word pictures of daffodils and bluebirds as evidence of God’s hand. I felt sorry for her and couldn’t understand how anyone couldn’t sense God here and there and over there!
I didn’t tell the table that even when I claimed to be agnostic, I knew God was omnipresent, that’s why I was too afraid to label myself atheist. (It was Jesus and all those bible stories – stories: a synonym for lies – that I doubted.)
Two years later I ran into Kim at another class at church. We did some quick catching up. She and her husband were to be officially divorced in a few weeks.
Her husband. I’d met him once right before a church service and felt as though I’d been introduced to a dry sack of resignation. He didn’t even try to fake being alive during the introductions. I knew then their marriage could not be good.
So, yeah, I understood, kinda, why Kim wasn’t feeling the big I Am’s presence. Because life stinks, she couldn’t sense God’s presence. And yet, the bible is full of bad things happening to people of faith who continued to sense God’s presence.
I call it the Lucky Charm God syndrome.
If life is good, God is present.
If life is bad, God is absent.
If God seems absent, it’s because He was not invited. He was puposefully excluded or thoughtlessly ignored.
If we act as though God is absent, then Satan is present.
But the universe God created is here and operating as He wills it, whether we SENSE Him or not.
God is present always. If we don’t know and act upon that truth, then what is it that we are sensing and responding to if not God?
There are only a few other choices. Flesh. Satan. Worldly culture.
Psalm 139 New International Version (NIV)
7Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? 8 If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. 9 If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, 10 even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast. 11 If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me,” 12 even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you.
Before the offering plate is passed along the rows of pews, the pastor always reminds us that we’re giving God’s money back to Him. . . to paraphrase a radio personality, we’re returning money “on loan from God-ah!”
If the money is God’s, why do buckets of it land in the hands of some very evil people. I’m not saying for one minute that rich equals evil. Good people, including Christians, get rich, are rich too.
Here’s my answer for now: Evil people can and do get rich because God chooses not to override the economic systems and free wills of people who created and use the systems.
Rich, evil people’s income is dependent upon others’ sins (desires) working in collusion with their own sins.
Men & boys, this is good reading…
Originally posted on Trevor Nashleanas:
When I was a kid being “a man” was measured by who could spit the farthest, run the fastest, burp the loudest and win the most. In high school, being “a man” was measured by the number of girls that liked you, your place on the popularity ladder and how rebellious you were. By college being “a man” was measured by who could drink the most, party the hardest and sleep with the most women. Now that I’ve graduated, it seems like being “a man” is measured by the job you work, the amount of money you make, how much weight you can bench press or the toys you have.
In ancient times, becoming a man was a right of passage. It wasn’t something that was assumed, it was bestowed. Masculinity wasn’t measured in age or accomplishments, it was measured in one’s willingness to assume responsibility for his family…
View original 933 more words
As I was driving toward my house, I saw a man on my porch. I didn’t want to tell yet another sales person, fundraiser, One World Government activist NO, THANK YOU, so I stopped and waited for him to leave.
After he left and was heading toward my neighbors’ house, I read the piece of paper he’d put on my front porch. It says:
“How to go to heaven when you die
Dear Jesus, I know that I am a sinner. I know that I deserve to go to hell because of my sin. Please forgive me of my sin. I am now trusting you as my Lord and personal Savior, and my only hope for heaven. Thank you for dying on the cross for me, and rising again the third day. In Jesus’ name I pray Amen.
Please pass this paper on to someone you know or anyone you have in mind so they can also go to heaven when they die.”
I crossed the line of faith almost 4 years ago, so I know now this tract is true and right. I’ve said the prayer. And I can also say that had I received that slip of paper the day before I’d crossed the line, I would have been turned off.
While I don’t condone sugarcoating the truth, I also doubt the success of converting non-believers with a you-deserve-to-go-to-hell approach. How did Jesus do it? While he was direct and hit hard (think of the Samaritan woman at the well in John 4), he engaged in conversation first.
God bless the guy who was on my porch, though, for going to the ends of the earth to spread the news. Maybe he was able to set the stage, as it were, before whacking people with “Hello! You’re going to hell!”
What we allow to happen to Israel will happen to us – U.S.
You can’t put God on “pause.”
If I truly grasped Who and What God is, my head would explode.
I don’t have a spiritual life, and a family life, and a work life, etc. My life IS spiritual. Period. (Based on Ortberg.)
Atheist, agnostic, Christian, Muslim…doesn’t matter what labels we choose. God is sovereign.
When I feel offended by something someone said or did, I can usually think of someone (and Someone) to whom I’ve said or done the same thing. Being offended is a built-in sin detector.
It’s like, ya know, our current culture in the U.S.A. is colluding to try to make evil seem OK and right seem weird or illegal, even. Ya know?
What Jesus said, he says.
I believe that being born again transforms us at the cellular level. How else can you explain this change in me? I think differently. Old synaptic trails have been re-configured. New ones installed.
I’ve been burning Satan’s biscuits! For me, that means I’ve been creating art. Satan hates it when I create. Nyuk, nyuk, nyuk. How do YOU burn Satan’s biscuits?