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In last week’s post, we investigated the crazy interpretations we Christians have brought forth from Malachi 3:8–12. We discovered that we have taught that Christians should bring their tithes into what the Lord through Malachi called the “storehouse,” which we have somehow morphed into the word “church.” However, the New Testament clearly teaches that the “church” is people—not a building. So, the problem we need to solve is, how can we with integrity and honesty instruct people from Malachi 3 to bring their tithes to the church using this passage of Scripture?

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What is one of the crazy things Christians believe?

That their church is a storehouse—you know, like for grain.

Here’s my story and then some common sense Bible refutation of this unbiblical belief.

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Would a Christian pastor or leader ever deceive people in order to accumulate wealth for his church?

For many of those reading this, that has probably already happened.

But what did Jesus and the New Testament authors teach about riches?

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In this series of articles, we are looking at the issue of how to pray for a Church that will, according to Scripture, fall into apostasy. How is a Christian to pray? In order to help us, we have been studying Daniel’s prayer for his people, who had fallen away from God, in Daniel 9.

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In the last post, I brought up the problem I experience about praying for the Church during the Last Days. How does one pray for a Church that will, that must, go into apostasy or rebellion—because that is what will happen before Jesus returns (2 Thessalonians 2:3-4).

When one intercedes for a Church destined for apostasy, a tendency may arise in us to pray in terms of “us” and “them”—the apostate folks and those who are not. The pray-er, of course, does not consider himself an apostate. However, this presents a problem. Who are these apostates, after all? What criteria must they meet?

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Confession time. I have been perplexed about how to pray for the Church in these last days.

Please allow me to explain.

The Lord’s Prayer, which Jesus told us to pray, includes this statement of agreement with God’s will:

“Your kingdom come. Your will be done.”

We are to pray for God’s kingdom to come.

How do we do that? What I mean is, when I pray “Your kingdom come,” I am praying for Jesus to return, because He must return for the Kingdom of God to be established on the new earth. In order for God’s Kingdom to be established, many difficult events must occur.

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To me, Ezekiel is one of the strangest books in the Bible. The only one stranger is Revelation. When I use the word “strange,” I do not mean that in a negative way at all. It’s just that when I read these two books, my response is, “Wow. What? Really!?”

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The reason for this post—and all the posts on this site, I hope—is to challenge Christians to give their lives fully to the loving Lord God of the universe; to be willing to give up their own lives for the One who sacrificed His, our Savior, Jesus. With that in mind, we have been looking at the letters that Jesus wrote to the seven churches in the Book of Revelation. In this post, we will be looking at Jesus’ letter to the Christians at Sardis in Revelation 3:1-6.

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P1030504The last post ended with this question: “Why do Christians give to churches?” I think most church-goers cannot provide a clearly thought-out biblical answer to this question. The minds of my brothers and sisters, sincere and faithful believers in Jesus, are infused with a mish-mash of misapplied beliefs and traditions, patch-worked together with vague biblical statements they have learned through the years—from churches using a mish-mash of misapplied beliefs and traditions, patch-worked together with vague biblical statements. After reading this post, I think you will begin to understand why Christians’ perceptions about giving to the church are so clouded.

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P1030504The questions asked throughout this series on Christian giving have been along this line: “Since Jesus taught that riches are deceitful and actually make it extremely difficult for people to enter His kingdom, why do our churches present themselves as prosperous? Isn’t that a dangerous thing to do?” These are very good questions and should be asked. After all, James asked a good question himself about wealth: “Listen, my beloved brothers, has not God chosen those who are poor in the world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom, which he has promised to those who love him? (James 2:5).1 This gathering of wealth is a peculiar response for God’s people to make in light of these biblical truths, and it becomes more peculiar the deeper we dig into Scripture.

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