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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

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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This means that conditional promise like this one found in Malachi, have been replaced by the New Covenant.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).

The World Celebrated A Full Tomb

Resurrection Easter

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

Author: Howard Harden
7

ILLUSTRATION

In 1922, Howard Carter made what is probably the greatest archeological discovery in history. He found the ancient tomb of the Pharaoh, known as Tutankhamun or King Tut. This was significant because, unlike other tombs that had been emptied by grave robbers, this tomb was full of priceless artifacts, as well as the body of King Tut himself.

It took eight years to remove and document the contents of the tomb. The mummified remains and his treasures were sent all over the world. Millions upon millions of people stood in line for hours just to catch a glimpse of a dead king. The whole world celebrated because that tomb was NOT empty. 

APPLICATION

As Christians, we celebrate because of the tomb that WAS empty! When the tomb of Jesus was discovered by women two thousand years ago, they expected to find his body. But instead, an angel said, “He is not here. He is risen!” (Matthew 28:6). 

The empty tomb of Jesus Christ is filled with more reason to celebrate than the full tomb of King Tut!

Living In Glass Houses

Criticism Golden Rule

Source: Words To Live By

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

Scripture: Matthew 7:12

Author: Charles Panati
2

ILLUSTRATION

"People who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones." Lexicographers have traced the proverb back to Geoffrey Chaucer's poem Troilus and Criseyde (c. 1385), written when glass windows were extremely rare. Most windows, depicting biblical scenes in "stained glass," were found in churches.

Based on a Greek legend, the 8,239-line poem is the tragic love story of Troilus, son of the Trajan King Priam, and Criseyde, the widowed daughter of the deserter priest Calchas. Tolerance and sympathy are major themes of the tale, for many people want to keep the lovers apart--and in the end succeed (p. 210). 

APPLICATION

At some point, the saying came to mean that those who are vulnerable should not attack others (ibid.). Truly, in the broadest sense, the fact we are all sinners should keep us from hypercriticism with the faults of others (Romans 3:23).

But, a proper sense of our own faults, in marriage, childrearing, and Christian living, should cause a humility that addresses the faults of others not with stones but with prayer and compassion, "considering ourselves lest we also become tempted" (Galatians. 6:1). 

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

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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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Faith in the Father

Faith

Contributed By: Dontorrio Armstrong | Date Posted: 0000-00-00

Scripture: Luke 22:31

Author: Dontorrio Armstrong
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