Summary: Today, I'll be speaking on the topic of giving...

The offering plate has been given a bad rap. If an offering plate could talk I wonder what it would say:

* "Did you find that on the floor next to the bubble gum machine!"

* "It's going to take hours to count all this change!"

Perhaps the offering plate would say, "Why do so many people take their frustrations out on me?" If the offering plate could talk it would complain about the bad rap it's been getting as a result of some preachers and churches.

Shysters, con artists, swindlers, charlatans and thieves and used the offering plate to pad their pockets and extravagant lifestyles.

As a result, people have lost confidence in giving for the right reasons. Today it seems like it is not enough to tell Christians that giving is their "Christian duty", you have to promise them something. Some churches are using the "Carrot approach" to collect offerings. Like those who dangle a carrot before the eyes of a horse to get it to move, preachers promise, health and healing, prosperity and material blessings to their followers to get them to give.

For example, some have used Mark 10:30 to support their teachings:

(Mark 10:29 NKJV) So Jesus answered and said, "Assuredly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or lands, for My sake and the gospel's,

(Mark 10:30 NKJV) "who shall not receive a hundredfold now in this time; houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions; and in the age to come, eternal life.

To claim the promise of Mark 10:30, those in the “word of faith” movement explains the "hundredfold return" as:

Give $1 to their ministry and $100 comes back to you;

Give $10 and receive $ 1,000;

Give $ 1,000 and receive $ 100,000.

This is what they tell you but it begs the question, “Why are you having to ask me for the money when all you have to do is claim this promise yourselves.” All Kenneth and Gloria Copeland, Benny Hinn, Creflo Dollar and Fred Price have to do is claim this spiritual law for their own ministries and they would not have to make any more appeals for money. All they would have to do is give a million to our church and God would bless them with 100 million dollars.

Some may be getting a little upset if I've spoken the name of one of your favorite teachers but I am just doing what the Bible says to do in Ephesians 5:11:

And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them.

The devil uses these con artists to go after the spiritually naive and the new believer.

(Rom 16:17 NKJV) Now I urge you, brethren, note those who cause divisions and offenses, contrary to the doctrine which you learned, and avoid them.

(Rom 16:18 NKJV) For those who are such do not serve our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly, and by smooth words and flattering speech deceive the hearts of the simple.

Just imagine giving your money to God (which usually means their ministry) and receiving 100 times more. If the banks ever found out about this they would probably invest in this spiritual law.

The explanation to Jesus’ saying in Mark 10:30 becomes clearer as we read a parallel passage of Scripture in Matthew chapter 19:

(Mat 19:29 NKJV) "And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or lands, for My name's sake, shall receive a hundredfold, and inherit eternal life.

Jesus is saying that when you and I give up all that we have for the Gospel, He will compensate us a hundredfold. That is, if you are ostracized because of your faith—like the Jew was kicked out of the Synagogue when he or she became a believer in Christ, God will give you a new family, if not in this life then in the life to come.

These “word of faith” preachers and teachers are not challenging people to give up everything and follow Christ, it is just the opposite. They are challenging their viewers to give up everything to their ministry so that they might become recipients of their version of God’s “hundredfold.” In other words, you get poorer and they get richer.

Don't get me wrong. There are benefits for faithful giving but they are not always material, financial and healing. Remember, God looks at the heart motive of the giver and He doesn’t settle all His accounts in this life. Would you rather have a million dollars for 30 years or gazillion dollars for all eternity?

Biblical Giving.

If you have been with New Vision for only a short time you may have noticed that we do not "major" or "harp on" the subject of money as some churches do.

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