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Thou Shalt Not STEAL

M.G. Blankenship
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THE 8th COMMANDMENT
Exodus 20:15 Thou shalt not steal.

No other Gods
No graven images
Name of Lord in vain
Honor the Sabbath
Honor father /mother
Not kill
No Adultery
Not Steal
Now I know what your thinking.. CLEAR AS CRICK WATER RIGHT? no talk needed?
Well, this is a pretty universal law… even the most primitive tribes believe this…
—-> CONCEPT: “Taking something that belongs to someone else” IS WRONG!

**** Some PRIMITIVE cultures allow fornication because adultery is “STEALING.” – You would have to pay: cows, goats, money etc…

IN GOD’S EYES:
Commandment #6 (murder) SAFEGUARDS = Life
Commandment #7 (adultery) …………………… = FAMILY
Commandment #8 (stealing) ……………………. = PROPERTY

AS USUAL: THE N.T. EXPANDS THIS COMMANDMENT TO FIT OUR COMPLEX SOCIETY
——->>> #8 is broken so often, we hardly think about it anymore!
Read the crime stats:
Thievery, hold ups, breaking and entering….
car thefts (get the club)
(Crime ,if theft, is fed by addicts to sustain a habit)

THEN THERE IS HUGE WHITE COLLAR CRIME
then there is the government! ha ha!

WE EVEN NEED TO HEAR THIS IN THE CHURCH: <>

BUT THE N.T. HITS IS RIGHT BETWEEN THE MICRO CHIPS!
Ephesians 4:22 “That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts;”
:28-31 “Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with [his] hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth. Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers. And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: ”

NOW IS THAT PLAIN OR WHAT? <>
I Corinthians 6:9-10 “Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.” —> clear as a bell!

LET’S LOOK AT A STORY:
Luke 19:1-10 “And [Jesus] entered and passed through Jericho. And, behold, [there was] a man named Zacchaeus, which was the chief among the publicans, and he was rich. And he sought to see Jesus who he was; and could not for the press, because he was little of stature. And he ran before, and climbed up into a sycomore tree to see him: for he was to pass that [way]. And when Jesus came to the place, he looked up, and saw him, and said unto him, Zacchaeus, make haste, and come down; for to day I must abide at thy house. And he made haste, and came down, and received him joyfully. And when they saw [it], they all murmured, saying, That he was gone to be guest with a man that is a sinner. And Zacchaeus stood, and said unto the Lord; Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor; and if I have taken any thing from any man by false accusation, I restore [him] fourfold. And Jesus said unto him, This day is salvation come to this house, forsomuch as he also is a son of Abraham. For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost. ”

ZACH WAS A NOTED TAX COLLECTOR… (no doubt over time he had abused people)
—–> But he demonstrated GENUINE repentance! some wrongs have got to be made right (used duress in the woods)

**** BE CAREFUL THAT WE DON’T GET A REPUTATION FOR BEING THE HARDEST TO DO BUSINESS WITH IN THE CITY ****
—->>> Some Christians don’t think anyone should make any money off them! ( EX: Tipping a waitress ) etc…
Some Business Men can take unfair advantage: PRICE HIKES (like a turnpike)
BUT TAKING UNFAIR ADVANTAGE IS WRONG…

Matthew 21:13 “And said unto them, It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves. ”
**** JESUS WAS NOT UPSET THAT THEY WERE SELLING… THEY WERE GOUGING! ****

HOW ABOUT THE FINE ART OF “TAX EVASION”
(There’s nothing wrong with proper Tax avoidance) — It’s good business!
—– >> It is foolhardy to pay more tax then is needed.
Luke 20:25 “And he said unto them, Render therefore unto Caesar the things which be Caesar’s, and unto God the things which be God’s. ”
Proverbs 22:29 ” Seest thou a man diligent in his business? he shall stand before kings; he shall not stand before mean [men]. ”
((( all the others stand before judges & bill collectors)))

HOW ABOUT GAMBLING: From a Christian perspective (it is wrong). One of the biggest problems with gambling is that it is taking advantage of a compulsive behavior. (ponies, dogs, sports, casinos, lotteries)
These become issues of propriety for us…

Is there a connection between gambling and crime? FBI say yes!
One study said: “Raising funds is a myth. For every dollar raised, several more are spent on : POLICE, JAILS, MEDICAL, RELIEF AGENCIES”
EX: Las Vegas Police Dept. is 3x’s that of a typical size city.

GAMBLING IS NOT A VICTIMLESS CRIME EITHER: (council on compulsive gambling)
— 68% of women gamblers used crime to do so: (bad checks etc…)
— 30 – 40% prisoners were compulsive gamblers in (MI, NJ & DC)
— 13% of ALL prisoners ADMIT that gambling put them in! — In NJ – there are 400,000 active compulsives
——— which affect 350,000 spouses & 700,000 kids
— Attempted suicide rate is 20% higher in NJ & spouse is 15% higher

STEALING IS GETTING A REWARD W/O PAYING A PRICE! (cheating on exams etc..)

LIFE IS FOR PUTTING SOMETHING INTO… Stealing is a short cut philosophy!
Remember Matthew chapter 4? Satan tried to TEMPT Jesus into being King w/o paying for it! – (( but he refused ))

*** BOTTOM LINE: GAMBLING IS A SUBSTITUTE FOR HARD WORK, RESPONSIBLE LIVING AND … TRUSTING IN GOD’s CARE!

OH.. = SPEAKING OF GOD
Malachi 3:6-11 “For I [am] the LORD, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed. Even from the days of your fathers ye are gone away from mine ordinances, and have not kept [them]. Return unto me, and I will return unto you, saith the LORD of hosts. But ye said, Wherein shall we return? Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings. Ye [are] cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me, [even] this whole nation. Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that [there shall] not [be room] enough [to receive it]. And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground; neither shall your vine cast her fruit before the time in the field, saith the LORD of hosts.”
FAILING TO DO PROPER STEWARDSHIP IS STEALING : I can’t over rule the Bible

O.T. = 10 % N.T. = it’s ALL God’s! (10 % minimum)
I have been concerned because of how many pay a tithe, but no offering
THE TITHE BELONGS TO THE STOREHOUSE… and keeping whats not yours is thievery at it’s height!

—–>>> IT IS A DISGRACE HOW LITTLE SOME GIVE IN PROPORTION TO WHAT GOD HAS BLESSED THEM WITH… << IT’S NOT JUST MONEY WE HOLD BACK EITHER:… Talent, abilities, time !!!

THANKSGIVING is our annual cultural “Nod to God”
Then after turkey dinner… we go right back to forgetting him!
Prov 3:6 “In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.”

GREATEST JUDGEMENT IN THE BIBLE WAS IN A PARABLE…
Luke 12:37-48 “Blessed [are] those servants, whom the lord when he cometh shall find watching: verily I say unto you, that he shall gird himself, and make them to sit down to meat, and will come forth and serve them. And if he shall come in the second watch, or come in the third watch, and find [them] so, blessed are those servants. And this know, that if the goodman of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched, and not have suffered his house to be broken through. Be ye therefore ready also: for the Son of man cometh at an hour when ye think not. Then Peter said unto him, Lord, speakest thou this parable unto us, or even to all? And the Lord said, Who then is that faithful and wise steward, whom [his] lord shall make ruler over his household, to give [them their] portion of meat in due season? Blessed [is] that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing. Of a truth I say unto you, that he will make him ruler over all that he hath. But and if that servant say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming; and shall begin to beat the menservants and maidens, and to eat and drink, and to be drunken; The lord of that servant will come in a day when he looketh not for [him], and at an hour when he is not aware, and will cut him in sunder, and will appoint him his portion with the unbelievers. And that servant, which knew his lord’s will, and prepared not [himself], neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many [stripes]. But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few [stripes]. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more. ”

the greatest judgment in the Bible = WHERE MUCH IS GIVEN… MUCH REQUIRED!

BOTTOM LINE: —– the greatest N.T. expansion of the 8th Commandment
I Corinthians 6:19-20 ” What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost [which is] in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s. ”

THE GREATEST THEFT OF ALL… IS AN UNREPENTED, UNSURRENDERED LIFE!
Oh Pastor, you really stretching it… AM I?

PERHAPS IT’s TIME FOR SOME OF US TO GRASP THE REALITY OF GOD’S OWNERSHIP!

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