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Is Tithing a Salvation Issue?

Somebody might look at the title and say, “Olu! How could you? How could you even consider the tithe a salvation issue?"

Well, believe it or not, there are some who staunchly hold this view. I have personally heard it taught from the pulpit. A while back, one of my favourite teachers at the time said, "If you don't tithe, you will go to hell." Pretty strong, isn’t it?

In fact, when I heard him say it, I was stunned. Trying to process what I’d just heard, I stopped the tape and scrambled for the rewind button. I played his statement again, and again, just to be sure I heard him right.

During this period in my walk with the Lord, I was an ardent proponent of, “If you don’t tithe, you are under God’s curse. Malachi 3:10 was my battering ram. It was God’s insurance policy. If you don’t comply, your finances and other facets of your life will fall apart. God always gets paid. He will extract His money from you, one way or another.

Talking of insurance policy, if you are a young couple with a family, get your life insurance in order. Don’t come up with, “I’m a tither, nothing can ever happen to me. My tithing record speaks for itself.’ News flash, over the years, I have seen wonderful, selfless, generous, tithing saints pass on unexpectedly. Anyway, I’ll leave that for another time. I better get back on track.

Another concept I find disturbing is people calling the tithe the covenant connector. When it is labelled a covenant connector, we are inadvertently making it a salvation issue or a prerequisite for salvation. The supposition is, if you don’t pay, you are outside the covenant. You are not connected to the blessing. You are an outsider.

Biblically, tithing is not a salvation issue at all. The gospel accounts never said it was, nor did the writings of Peter, Paul, James, Jude, John, Luke or the unknown writer of Hebrews.

The fact that a writer mentions the tithe in the New Testament, does not mean he is asking his audience to give it the same way it was given in the Old Testament. Nor is he implying, they would perish, if they don’t. The New Testament writers did not give it the same credence it was given in the Old.

The truth is, it is the blood of the everlasting covenant that connects us to the covenant (Hebrews 13:20). It is the sacrificial work of the Messiah that reconciles us to God (2 Corinthians 5:21). Our security in Christ is based on what he did, not what we can do for ourselves. Scripture clearly shows, man’s rejection of God’s grace is what brings condemnation (John 3:16-21), not the tithe.

Should the work of the gospel be kept afloat by the generosity of the body of Christ? Yes! Should the saints be laden with guilt and fear to support the work? NO!

Tithing is not a salvation issue. God loves you whether you tithe or not.

Have a blessed week!

Ps O

Originally published 25 November 2015

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