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Ask The Pastor

Dear xxxxx, 

Most of the time when a believer gets confused, it has to do with lack of Scriptural understanding. I'll respond to your questions accordingly. 

> Last year I was up on the altar at church and my pastor asked me
> what do I want the Lord to do for me? I said that I wanted to go
> to a specific school for free. He told me that I had to bless the
> church or I would be cursed. 

I don't want to question your pastor since I don't know the full story,but I find it odd for a pastor to use the term 'curse' with regard to thenew covenant. Every child of God under the new covenant has been blessed in Christ Jesus. 

Paul says, "Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus." (Rom8:1) That statement literally means that there is not now, nor can there ever be a damnatory sentence against a believer. A damnatory sentences would certainly include a curse. Paul says, "[nothing] will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord." (Read verse 31-39) 

I assume the pastor is alluding to Malachi 3:8-11, that if the tithe is not brought to the storehouse, the people "are cursed with a curse." This Scripture is often misunderstood. 

The curse in Malachi is not merely an issue of the tithe. It has to do with the entire Law of Moses. (Don't misunderstand what I am about to share for tithing is a holy principle, and God's people can be blessed if they do it in faith. But not because it is a law, nor is a child of God blessed if they think tithing will make them righteous before God.)

To help you understand this, Moses placed a curse upon anyone who did not obey 'all' the law. Deuteronomy 27:26, says, "Cursed is he who does not perform the words of this law by doing them, 'And all the people shall say, "Amen."'" 

How does this transfer into the new covenant? It doesn't. Paul said that God, "[has] canceled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us, which was hostile to us; and He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross." Paul is speaking of the entire Law of Moses. (You can read Colossians 2:13-23)

The curse of the law wasn't simply upon the tithe. Anyone who dishonored his father or mother in any way, or at any time, placed themselves under the same curse. Anyone who ate pork placed themselves under the same curse. Anyone who failed to worship on the Hebrew Sabbath, which began at sun down Friday and ended at sun down Saturday, placed themselves under the same curse. The list goes on. (There are 613 commandments in the Old Testament. If a person under the former covenant broke any one of them, they placed themselves under the curse.)

What's wrong with this picture being applied to the tithe? First of all, we are under a new covenant. It is called a covenant of the spirit and not of the letter. What happened to all those laws of Moses? Most of them have little or nothing to do with us, in that they were laws of temple sacrifice or laws of the land. But the moral laws are laws that the Holy Spirit writes in our heart. And this is where the tithe becomes simply a spiritual principle that the Holy Spirit helps us apply in our walk with God. (In no event is there a curse attached. It simply becomes a matter of sowing and reaping. If we don't sow, certainly we can't reap.)

Hope I haven't been too technical in this. 

> I haven't been making much money to give above and beyond
> offerings. My problem is If I am suppose to be going to this school for
> free I had received some scholarships and good financial aid, but this
> school semester I owe $1,000. My mom is going to pay that for me. Am I
> cursed because I did not give above and beyond offerings

You aren't cursed in any regard. The Bible says, "Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law, having become a curse for us."

> also I had been going through some trials and giving into
> temptation. But, recently I have been forgiven by the Lord and have
> rededicated my life to Him. Does this have anything to do with it?

We all face trials and temptations, and even fall into failure, or have lapses in our spiritual life, but none of this places us under a curse. Sin is its own reward. But the truth is that no child of God can continue for long in a sin pattern, simply because it is against his or her nature. The Holy Spirit always brings us back to the blood of the sacrifice for our forgiveness and cleansing. Jesus died for your sins, and that means 'all' of them. Accept your forgiveness and face the future with peace. God is not holding anything against you. 

> Am I being cursed? I know that I must not have any fear, doubt, or
> unbelief, but when it comes down to the mistakes I have made
> throughout this school year, How does God see me now even though I
> prayed for forgiveness? What do I do? 

Put the past where it belongs. The sins or failures or mistakes you have made are not part of your record anymore. John said, "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." 

God sees you through the righteousness of Jesus Christ. This is what John meant when he said, "As He [Jesus Christ] is, so also are we in this world." John includes in this thought, that the person who fears [punishment] does not understand God's perfect love or His perfect forgiveness. John perfectly agrees with Paul in that there is not now, nor can there every be any condemnation to anyone who is in Christ Jesus. 

Hope this helps. 

Bro. Buddy Martin - Ask the Pastor

Lawrence "Buddy" Martin

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