Apologetics

Catching the Joy of Contagious Giving

I want to say a little bit about a biblical view of wealth. The first thing I want to mention is that I am persuaded — by the way, I am not just talking to you, but I am talking to myself — I am persuaded that the Bible teaches responsibility associated with wealth. I suppose from the standpoint of the broader globe — all of us, or the vast majority of those I am speaking to right now — are wealthy. God’s Word encourages us to use money for the sake of the Kingdom (Matt. 6:19–21; Luke 16:1–13).

It is not just money. I do not mean to trivialize everything to what you actually give, because the giving of your time and the giving of your talent are very significant for kingdom purposes. But, obviously, we ask that people would support this ministry financially as well. It is a very practical way in which you can continue to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with us in the battle for life and truth. Why? It is crucial to realize that the Earth is the Lord’s and everything in it (Ps. 24:1). The bottom line here, according to the text, is that God is the landlord, and we are just tenants.

We did not arrive with anything, and we will not take anything with us when we leave (1 Tim. 6:7). You know, I was thinking about that when I was in the hospital room the other day. I had a complication as a result of the Rituxan that I was taking — one of the chemo drugs. I went from uncontrollable shaking until I finally reached equilibrium to finally having the amount being pumped into me and the speed being pumped into me bumped up a little bit, and then I had a fever of 101o until it calmed down again. I had some complications. But, when you are lying there, you recognize this statement is very, very true. Every single breath is held in the hollow of the Lord’s hand. We did not come with anything, we are not going to leave with anything, so in those moments, you think, “When I stand before you, Lord, are you going to be pleased with how I used my time and my talent and my treasure?”

It is important to view wealth with eternity in mind and to lead our lives here down below as responsible stewards, whether we have a little or a lot, so that one day at the judgment, God Himself will reward us (Matt. 25:14–30; Luke 19:12–27). Ultimately, it is not a bank statement on Earth that counts; it is the one in heaven.

I want to share just one verse with you in closing, and that is this: the Bible chronicles the prayer of David. I love this prayer because David here is thanking God for the very privilege of being able to give to the work of the Lord. So, this is what David says, “But who am I, and who are my people, that we should be able to give as generously as this? Everything comes from you, and we have given you only what comes from your hand…now I have seen with joy how willingly your people who are here have given to you” (1 Chron. 29:14, 17 NIV). I think about that verse because as a result of the giving, that temple is built, and that temple contained the glory of God. That temple remained significant to the children of Israel because through that temple, the priest gave sacrifices pointing to an ultimate sacrificial lamb. So there was immense significance to the temple. It had a huge, huge impact on the world. In fact, only from the perspective of eternity will we fully know how huge that impact was. When Christ came, of course, there is no need for the temple, but that temple was the way-shower, as it were, to Christ. So, Christ comes, and that temple has made a huge difference in the meantime.

What I am saying here is that there is no telling what could be accomplished in our generation if we too catch the joy of contagious giving. We would be empowered to spread the gospel around the globe. We would be enabled to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, and care for the sick. Like our forefathers, our generation might yet leave an indelible mark on this world. As Solomon says in Proverbs, “Honor the Lord with your wealth, with the firstfruits of all your crops, then your barns will be filled to overflowing, and your vats will brim over with new wine” (Prov. 3:9–10). In other words, the arm of the Lord is longer than yours, and He will supply to you as you supply to ministries. God ordains the ends as well as the means. He does not need our money, but He is teaching us something through giving. Give as you can give, and give generously.

If you love this ministry, if this ministry has made a difference in your life, if you are seeing the difference it is making in the lives of others, in this last week, we are asking people to give and give generously.

For further related reading, please see the following:

Is the tithe for today? (Hank Hanegraaff)

What is the Biblical View of Wealth? (Hank Hanegraaff)

What Does the Bible Teach about Debt? (Hank Hanegraaff)

Tithing: Is it in the New Testament? (Revisited) (Elliot Miller)

Short-Term Recession of the Long Winter? Rethinking the Theology of Money (William F. High)

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This blog is adapted from the June 23, 2017, Bible Answer Man broadcast.

Apologetics

First Fruits, Tithes, and Revering the Lord

Hanegraaff, Hank-First Fruits, Tithes,

“Honor the Lord with your wealth, with the firstfruits of all your crops; then your barns will be filled to overflowing, and your vats will brim over with new wine” (Prov. 3:9-10)*

Q: Quite a few pastors today are asking for firstfruits, which is an offering that is above the tithe and regular offerings. Sometimes they ask for a whole week’s salary. I know under the Mosaic Law there was firstfruits, but is that for today?

Hank Hanegraaff: We should not understand firstfruits in the sense which it is being used by certain televangelists. You know the Rod Parsley and Paula White types of the world. That’s just sheer manipulation.

First of all, we do not go back to types and shadows when the substance has come. I think a lot of people have no clue about biblical typology, and how the types and shadows are fulfilled in Jesus Christ.

There is certainly is a sense in which we want to give our first fruits to the Lord as designated by the Apostle Paul (2 Cor. 9:6-15; 1 Cor. 16:1-4; Rom. 12:8). And we also have to realize that the tithe in the Old Testament meant something, it was a way of demonstrating your reverence for the Lord. And we are, according to Moses in the Old Testament to revere the Lord our God always. So learning to reverence the name of God is a timeless principle as crucial today as was in the days of Moses. And I think it’s very important to learn through tithing how to give.

Q: What about Proverbs 3:9-10?

Hank: I think certainly when you look at Proverbs 3:9-10 you see that if you give that God is going to reward you for your giving. I think that principle is important. Again, what you are doing when your honoring the Lord with your wealth and with the first fruits of all your crops, then “your barns are going to be filled to overflowing, you vats will brim with new wine.” It’s true. When you “trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight” (Prov. 3:5-6). If you do that, you will be blessed.

Now that blessing does not mean you are going to be rich. If you trust in the Lord, God will be your source and your provision. He will give you everything that you need.

For further study, please access the following equip.org resource:

Is the tithe for today? (Hank Hanegraaff)

What is the Biblical View of Wealth? (Hank Hanegraaff)

What Does the Bible Teach about Debt? (Hank Hanegraaff)

Tithing: Is it in the New Testament? (Revisited) (Elliot Miller)

Short-Term Recession of the Long Winter? Rethinking the Theology of Money (William F. High)

What is the Significance of Biblical Typology? (Hank Hanegraaff)

Christianity in Crisis 21st Century: Wealth and Want (Hank Hanegraaff)

Christianity Still in Crisis: A Word of Faith Update (Bon Hunter)

* All Scripture cited from The Holy Bible: New International Version (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1984) unless noted.

Blog adapted from Is the giving of first fruits for today?