We are learning about giving at Powerhouse Church this season. This teaching always manages to ruffle the feathers of the roosters and hens in the coop. They’ve been nesting, keeping their eggs warm and they feel like the snake is coming in to steal it. People have been known to WALK OUT of the church during this message. Yep…that’s all it takes to send them packing down the wide road.
Seriously, let’s consider some of the reasons that people don’t tithe. Let’s correct some wrong thinking with sound and biblical truth. Ready? Here we go…
1. No faith in God. ~ Where do we put our faith? The answer to that can be found on our bank statement. When we get paid, where does the first penny go? Is our money redeemed or cursed? God redeems…we are already under a curse because of Adam [yeah…thank HIM when you get to heaven!]. Check out this nugget of biblical wisdom:
Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be. ~ Matthew 6:20
2. Lack of Knowledge. ~ We are responsible for what we know. That being said, we cannot be responsible for what we DON’T know. And yes, there is a verse for that…
My people are being destroyed
because they don’t know me.
Since you priests refuse to know me,
I refuse to recognize you as my priests.
Since you have forgotten the laws of your God,
I will forget to bless your children.
~ Hosea 4:6
3. Rebellion ~ A pattern of disobedience comes from a root of rebellion. We are innately rebellious. WE don’t have to be taught to do wrong, we must be taught to do RIGHT. Believing that we don’t have to submit to anyone or answer to authority is rebellion. Wrong thinking leads to wrong behavior. Read this story in Ezra 4 and let me know what you receive:
The enemies of Judah and Benjamin heard that the exiles were rebuilding a Temple to the Lord, the God of Israel. 2 So they approached Zerubbabel and the other leaders and said, “Let us build with you, for we worship your God just as you do. We have sacrificed to him ever since King Esarhaddon of Assyria brought us here.”
3 But Zerubbabel, Jeshua, and the other leaders of Israel replied, “You may have no part in this work. We alone will build the Temple for the Lord, the God of Israel, just as King Cyrus of Persia commanded us.”
4 Then the local residents tried to discourage and frighten the people of Judah to keep them from their work. 5 They bribed agents to work against them and to frustrate their plans. This went on during the entire reign of King Cyrus of Persia and lasted until King Darius of Persia took the throne.
6 Years later when Xerxes began his reign, the enemies of Judah wrote a letter of accusation against the people of Judah and Jerusalem.
7 Even later, during the reign of King Artaxerxes of Persia, the enemies of Judah, led by Bishlam, Mithredath, and Tabeel, sent a letter to Artaxerxes in the Aramaic language, and it was translated for the king.
8 Rehum the governor and Shimshai the court secretary wrote the letter, telling King Artaxerxes about the situation in Jerusalem. 9 They greeted the king for all their colleagues—the judges and local leaders, the people of Tarpel, the Persians, the Babylonians, and the people of Erech and Susa (that is, Elam). 10 They also sent greetings from the rest of the people whom the great and noble Ashurbanipal had deported and relocated in Samaria and throughout the neighboring lands of the province west of the Euphrates River. 11 This is a copy of their letter:
“To King Artaxerxes, from your loyal subjects in the province west of the Euphrates River.
12 “The king should know that the Jews who came here to Jerusalem from Babylon are rebuilding this rebellious and evil city. They have already laid the foundation and will soon finish its walls. 13 And the king should know that if this city is rebuilt and its walls are completed, it will be much to your disadvantage, for the Jews will then refuse to pay their tribute, customs, and tolls to you.
14 “Since we are your loyal subjects and do not want to see the king dishonored in this way, we have sent the king this information. 15 We suggest that a search be made in your ancestors’ records, where you will discover what a rebellious city this has been in the past. In fact, it was destroyed because of its long and troublesome history of revolt against the kings and countries who controlled it. 16 We declare to the king that if this city is rebuilt and its walls are completed, the province west of the Euphrates River will be lost to you.”
17 Then King Artaxerxes sent this reply:
“To Rehum the governor, Shimshai the court secretary, and their colleagues living in Samaria and throughout the province west of the Euphrates River. Greetings.
18 “The letter you sent has been translated and read to me. 19 I ordered a search of the records and have found that Jerusalem has indeed been a hotbed of insurrection against many kings. In fact, rebellion and revolt are normal there! 20 Powerful kings have ruled over Jerusalem and the entire province west of the Euphrates River, receiving tribute, customs, and tolls. 21 Therefore, issue orders to have these men stop their work. That city must not be rebuilt except at my express command. 22 Be diligent, and don’t neglect this matter, for we must not permit the situation to harm the king’s interests.”
23 When this letter from King Artaxerxes was read to Rehum, Shimshai, and their colleagues, they hurried to Jerusalem. Then, with a show of strength, they forced the Jews to stop building.
24 So the work on the Temple of God in Jerusalem had stopped, and it remained at a standstill until the second year of the reign of King Darius of Persia.
4. “That’s OLD Testament, girl! We are under the NEW covenant!” ~ I want to show you something that was revealed to me. The Lord says in Malachi 3:8
“Will a man rob God?
Yet you have robbed Me!
But you say,
‘In what way have we robbed You?’
In tithes and offerings.
We are robbers, according to the OLD testament, if we do not tithe and offer. Now read THIS Scripture:
“For I am the Lord, I do not change;
Therefore you are not consumed, O sons of Jacob.
~ Malachi 3:6
He is the Lord. He does not change. He does not change means He does not change. Doesn’t matter if it is written in the OT or in the NT. But, if you still need a little more understanding, let’s go to the NT. Jesus came to save sinners, yes? We can agree on that? Save us from what? Short version, the wrath of God…eternity in hell. For those who make Jesus Lord of their life, the gift of salvation promises eternity in heaven or everlasting life.
“He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.” ~ John 3:36 [NKJV]
The New Living Translation reads a little differently:
“And anyone who believes in God’s Son has eternal life. Anyone who doesn’t obey the Son will never experience eternal life but remains under God’s angry judgment.” ~ John 3:36 [NLT]
Did YOU know this? Really? Now read what Jesus said about our treasure and our heart, in context:
19 “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; 20 but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” ~ Matthew 6:19-21
There are no thieves in heaven. God does not change and He says that if we don’t tithe, we are a thief…a robber. Jesus said that whoever obeys Him receives everlasting life but those who do not will remain under God’s wrath. Jesus told me to lay up my treasures in heaven. A treasure in heaven is not money…it is SOULS. The currency of heaven is souls. It takes money to do outreach, to feed the homeless, to keep the lights on at the church, to bus in people who don’t have rides, to pay a preacher so he can dedicate his time to prayer and study so there will be meat in the house. Don’t be coy. This is obvous. Someone has to pay the way for others to hear the Gospel. Cutting off finances to the local church is robbing God of souls in heaven.
For “whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
14 How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? 15 And how shall they preach unless they are sent? ~ Romans 10:13-15