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Churches Offer A Money Back Guarantee

Giving God's Promises Testing God

Source: “Should churches offer a money-back guarantee on tithes?” By Greg Garrison, June 28, 2016

Link to Source: Click here to view source

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2016-10-29

Scripture: 1 Corinthians 13:4

Author: Illustration Exchange
5

ILLUSTRATION

Greg Garrison, with AL.COM, writes:

Many churches are picking up on a trend of getting people to donate to the church by offering a money-back guarantee if God does not bless them, according to Christianity Today.

NewSpring Church in South Carolina is one of hundreds of congregations across the country that have offered 90-day tithing challenges, the magazine reported.

. . . "Participants sign up with a commitment to give 10 percent of their income or more, and if 'God doesn't hold true to his promises of blessings' after three months, they can request their money back—no questions asked. It's the church's version of 'satisfaction guaranteed,'" CT said.

The idea is backed up by a Bible verse in the Old Testament Book of Malachi: 

"Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this," says the Lord Almighty, "and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it." (Malachi 3:11, NIV).

"God literally says, 'Test me out, see if I'm God,'" NewSpring Pastor Perry Noble said in a sermon. "You and I cannot out-give him."

APPLICATION

Try to imagine the “Oh, ye of little faith” looks received by those with the nerve to ask for their money back! After all, aren't they impugning God’s reputation, suggesting He hasn't fulfilled his part of the bargain? But that's where the problem lies, theologically speaking. These churches are appealing to a conditional promise made to the adherents of Judaism, under the Old Covenant . 

The Book of Hebrews tells us that The New Testament, or New Covenant, is a better agreement than The Old Covenant, being based on better promises.  The New Covenant is based on unconditional promises, on heavenly promises, as opposed to conditional, earthly ones. The New Covenant is not only better, it also happens to be the one currently in effect in this, the Church Age. 

This means that conditional promise like this one found in Malachi, have been replaced by the New Covenant. The New Covenant does not demand a tithe (the concept never appears in the Epistles where The New Covenant is explained) nor does it threaten a curse on those who fail to offer one, not does it promise blessings based on the giving of said tithe.  Those who push this conditional promise cherry pick from the Old Covenant, ignoring many other laws and regulations laid out under the contract between God and the nation of Israel. 

Under the New Covenant the blessing is found in the giving itself, as Jesus promised when He said, "It is more blessed to give than to receive" (Acts 20:35). That's because at the heart of The New Covenant is a New Command; "Love one another. As I have loved you" (John 13:34). The love of Jesus doesn't worry about whether there will be earthly gains that come for its efforts.  Agape love, being selflessly motivated, doesn’t ask for a money back guarantee. It just loves. 

"But in fact the ministry Jesus has received is as superior to theirs as the covenant of which he is mediator is superior to the old one, since the new covenant is established on better promises" (Hebrews 8:6).

We Cannot Control Our Enemy

Preparation Enemies

Source: History Is Fascinating and I Can Prove It

Link to Source: Click here to view source

Contributed By: Thomas Bevers | Date Posted: 2020-10-22

Scripture: Ephesians 6:10 ; Psalms 23:4

Author: Homer Adams
4

ILLUSTRATION

During the meeting of the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia, one of the members moved “that the standing army be restricted to no more than 5000 men at any one time.”

George Washington, being the chairman, could not offer a motion, but he turned to another member and whispered [sarcastically], “Amend the motion to provide that no foreign enemy shall invade the United States at any time with more than 3000 troops."

APPLICATION

As Christians, we find ourselves engaged in a great, cosmic battle for souls. We can know the strategy of the enemy. We can study his tactics. We can see what he does in the lives of others and we can see the path of destruction that is left in the lives of those who follow him. What we cannot do is control him.

But we can put on the whole armor of God so that we are prepared for the fight. 

What's Your Favorite Pair Of Shoes?

Christlikeness

Source: preacherpollard.com

Link to Source: Click here to view source

Contributed By: Neal Pollard | Date Posted: 2020-03-08

Scripture: 1 Peter 2:21 ; 1 Corinthians 11:1

Author: Neal Pollard
1

ILLUSTRATION

Growing up, I heard my dad preach a sermon comparing different types of shoes to various people’s religious attitudes. You can imagine the application of such shoe types as the slipper, the loafer, the work boot, the Sunday shoe, the combat boot, etc. It was a clever illustration to encourage everyone to live a faithful Christian life and avoid a mentality that hurts the church.

Do you have a favorite kind of shoe? I’d venture to guess that you even have a favorite pair or couple of pairs of shoes. Usually, you’ll find me either in a pair of cowboy boots or in a pair of running shoes. What goes into why you favor a pair of shoes? Quality? Style? Comfort?

APPLICATION

To make a spiritual point by referring to footwear is more ancient than my dad’s efforts to do so. No less than the apostle Paul referred to “having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace” (Eph. 6:15). Indirectly, Isaiah and Paul give attention to this very idea by complimenting the “beautiful feet” of those who bring good news of good things (Isa. 52:7; Rom. 10:15). 

You would think, to borrow dad’s analogy, that some “shoes,” figuratively, shouldn’t be adorned as part of our Christian armor. Flip-flops aren’t good (Jas. 1:8). Neither are skate shoes (Rom. 12:11; Col. 3:23). Camouflage boots can be a liability (Rom. 12:2). It would seem counterproductive for a preacher or teacher to favor tap dancing shoes (2 Tim. 4:3), since our responsibility is to stand firm (Eph. 6:11,13,14). 

Staying with the analogy, some shoes are excellent if used according to their design. Running shoes are essential to running the Christian race (1 Cor. 9:24,26; Heb. 12:1), but not to run in vain (Gal. 2:2; Phil. 2:16), run with sinners to sin (1 Pet. 4:4), or run after false teachers (Luke 17:23). Work boots can be misused in prioritizing occupation and career over the kingdom, but when used in the exercise of our talents and resources to grow the kingdom they are worn well (Mat. 5:16; 9:37-38). 

You get the idea, and you can no doubt add to the analogy with your own ideas. But, spiritually, what is your favorite pair of shoes? John the Baptist suggests that Jesus, like most all others of His day, wore sandals (Mark 1:7). John felt unworthy to even untie them. Yet, Peter, later on, would say “follow in His steps” (1 Pet. 2:21). Jesus’ shoes carried Him to Samaria to minister to the woman at the well. They presumably walked on water. They took Him to Lazarus’ tomb. He doubtless wore them as He ascended the mountain to preach the greatest sermon ever delivered. Was He permitted to wear them as He carried His cross to Calvary? 

We aren’t qualified and worthy to be in His shoes, but, as the song suggests, we must be “trying to walk in the steps of the Savior.” Another hymn avers, “Where He leads me, I will follow.” Our favorite shoes should be the ones revealing the footsteps of Jesus. We follow Him and anyone can follow us (1 Cor. 11:1). They will help us walk in good works (Eph. 2:10), in a worthy manner (Eph. 4:1), in love (Eph. 5:2), and carefully (Eph. 5:15).

The World Celebrated A Full Tomb

Resurrection Easter

Contributed By: Howard Harden | Date Posted: 2019-10-06

Author: Howard Harden
13

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Living In Glass Houses

Criticism Golden Rule

Contributed By: Neal Pollard | Date Posted: 2019-09-15

Scripture: Matthew 7:12

Author: Charles Panati
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Giving Quotes Part 2

Giving Quotes Part 2

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2017-09-19

Author: Various
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Forgiveness Quotes Part 2

Forgiveness Quotes Part 2

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2017-06-16

Author: Various
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Temptation Quotes

Temptation Quotes

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2015-04-18

Author: Various
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Good Friday Quotes

Good Friday Quotes

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2015-04-18

Scripture: Various

Author: Various
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Forgiveness Quotes

Forgiveness Quotes

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2015-04-18

Scripture: Various

Author: Various
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