Must I give it back?

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by saved by grace, Aug 7, 2010.

  1. saved by grace

    saved by grace
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    If I stole a million dollars from a man and the next day accepted Christ as my Lord and Savior would I have to give the money back to be forgiven by God and be saved.
     
  2. Zenas

    Zenas
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    If you decapitated a man and the next day accepted Christ as your Lord and Savior would you have to give him his head back to be forgiven by God and be saved? That being said, God expects us to rectify whatever wrongs we can. Remember Zaccheus?
     
  3. Martin

    Martin
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    Luke 19:1-10
     
  4. Jim1999

    Jim1999
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    My opinion, if you were truly redeemed it seems to me you would want to give the money back,,not a question of are you saved or can you be saved if you don't.

    The beheading comparison does not fit for obvious reasons. That would be like a soldier wanting to restore all the lives he took in war.

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  5. billreber

    billreber
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    This is my over-simplified way of explaining salvation. Hope it helps!

    Steps that "we" follow:

    1. We sin. That is (of course!) all of us.

    2. We accept Jesus as our Savior. It is at this point that we are "forgiven" and are "saved".

    3. We learn what Jesus and the Father would have us do. It is during this lifelong timeframe that God reveals to us what we must do. One thing is to repay ill-gotten gains (the million dollars that was stolen in the OP example). This could involve many other sins that we must continue to reject. It is during this process that we are "sanctified", or made more like Jesus. In other words, we are "being saved". Another area we must "do" is the ministry/ministries that God wants us to do. I, for example, am a Sunday School teacher for grade-school children.

    4. We go to heaven after death. It is at this point that we are fully "saved", since it is here that we are transformed into our eternal bodies.

    Bill :godisgood:
     
  6. Gina B

    Gina B
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    There's really no answer to that. There's only one way for you to find the answer...do it. Then come back and let us know how it went. :tongue3:

    That said, I don't know why that would even be a thought. I joined this board VERY soon after realizing Christ, and one of the things I asked early on from members here was what to do about money I had stolen years and years before. It was a relatively small amount, but it had been from a church and I never really felt guilty until later! Then it ate at me, so I asked advice here, Dr. Bob actually gave me the answer...and it was a tremendous relief to get that right in my life. I wonder if that got archived? Hopefully all that stuff is too old...I've seen some of my older posts and felt SO ridiculously stupid over stuff I said or talked about as if I had a clue...

    Anyhoo, if you stole the million, yeah, give it back. Or send it to me and for a 10% fee, I'll return it for you. :thumbs:
     
  7. Zenas

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    Jim, I'm talking about murder, not justified killing as in war. And I used it to make the point that if you always had to make restitution there are some sins that would prevent you from ever being saved. I may be wrong on this but I think the Mormons believe murder is unforgivable.
     
  8. rbell

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    seemed to work well for Zaccheus...
     
  9. Ruiz

    Ruiz
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    I worked with a ministry where this lady was saved and God worked in her life. She remembered that years prior she had burned down her house to collect the insurance money. She went to the company, told them of her wrongdoing, and paid back the money in installments. I am certain God was glorified as she went to them and confessed that God has allowed her the opportunity to make this right.

    You have a tremendous opportunity to show the great grace of God to others. You have an opportunity to preach God better than most any preachers. Yes, God has given you one of the greatest opportunities... to preach the glory of God and to show forth the fruit of the Spirit.

    You don't have to give back the money. You have the most wonderful privilege of giving back the money as a deep expression of your love for God. While this may be difficult and the ramifications may be tough, it is a true expression of your love for God.

    Go forth and show how much you love God.
     
  10. saved by grace

    saved by grace
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    So if I the man doesn't give it back then he's not really saved. Correct?
     
  11. saved by grace

    saved by grace
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    Zaccheus said "and if I have defrauded any one of anything, I restore it fourfold." And Jesus said to him, "Today salvation has come to this house."

    What if the man who stole the million dollars doesn't rectify what he has done? Is he still saved if he keeps the money?
     
  12. saved by grace

    saved by grace
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    =
    What if the man cannot repay the "ill-gotten gains" because he gambled it all away. And what if the man he stole the million dollars from lost his house, his business and ended up in prison because he began stealing money to make ends meeet.

    I agree that his sin of theft has been forgiven but how does he repay the man for everything that he has lost.
     
  13. canadyjd

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    What you are asking goes beyond the ability of human beings.

    We can't look at a person's actions and declare them to be saved (or unsaved for that matter).

    The best we can do is say that the person's actions are consistent with the expectations Jesus Christ and His Apostles articulated in scripture, under inspiration of Holy Spirit, for all those who claim the name of Christ.

    If their actions are not consistent with those expectations, then that person should have no assurance of salvation and we should give them none.

    peace to you:praying:
     
  14. saved by grace

    saved by grace
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    What was the advice?
     
  15. saved by grace

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    I have gotten different answers. You say I don't have to give the money back to be forgiven by God but it would be nice if I do to show my love for God.

    It seems to me that I would have to give the money back to be forgiven.

    How do you interpret Matt. 5:22-26
    But I say to you that whoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment. And whoever says to his brother, ‘Raca!’ shall be in danger of the council. But whoever says, ‘You fool!’ shall be in danger of hell fire. Therefore if you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar, and go your way. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift. Agree with your adversary quickly, while you are on the way with him, lest your adversary deliver you to the judge, the judge hand you over to the officer, and you be thrown into prison. Assuredly, I say to you, you will by no means get out of there till you have paid the last penny.
     
  16. moral necessity

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    The answer, in my opinion, is emphatically "no, you would not have to give it back in order to be saved." Salvation has to do with trusting alone in the imputed righteousness of Christ, which allows you to stand before the Father. Afterwards, love for Christ will often compel a believer to try to make restitution for wrongs he has done to others, where he can. The verse regarding being reconciled to your brother before you offer your gift, in my opinion, has nothing to do with initial coming to Christ, but rather is about the ungodly way the Jews were interpreting the Law of Moses, to allow them to love God and hate their fellow man. They were being shown to have evil hearts, if they could allow themselves to remain angry with their brother while trying to love God.

    That's how I tend to see it.

    Blessings!
     
  17. Ruiz

    Ruiz
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    Saved,

    You missed the nuance of that sentence and the point of the entire post. In America we see things as "have to", rather than a privilege. If you approach giving it back as a "have to" then you have failed to be fully obedient to God.

    A Pastor friend of mine visited Romania in the midst of communism. Visiting the church, my Pastor friend realized that the church would be sparsely attended that night because Romania was experiencing their worst blizzard in years. To his shock, the place was standing room only. When my Pastor friend asked the Romanian pastor how he could get his people to sacrifice like this, my the Romanian Pastor responded, "In America, you all think it is a sacrifice. We think it is a privilege."

    I say the same in this situation. Everyone talks about "you have to" give it back. I think we should think of it as a privilege to give it back so we may glorify God. The "have to" people seem to think it to be a drudgery to give it back. I think the Christian is so enamored by Grace that they can't way to give it back.

    So, yes, I do not think you have to give it back; it should be a privilege. Yet, you may be like Zacchaeus that you are so excited to give to the Lord that it is such a privilege that you may even give back more than you have taken... much more.

    To say "have to" implies you do not understand grace. To imply privilege implies a better understanding.

    The problem I have with how some may use the verses is that we think giving the money back justifies us or puts us in good standing with God. This, however, is not necessarily true. We are not trying to make ourselves more "justified." Rather, the fruit of what God has accomplished is that we have joy in the Lord and such opportunities like these are privileges, not a form of debtors ethic. I don't, for instance, have to abstain from other women. No, I get the privilege and honor of sharing the most intimate parts of my body with the most precious person in my life. I do not "owe it" to my wife to abstain. No, I gladly abstain because I have a great wife. As well, I don't have to give the money back to be justified. I gladly give the money back because I am justified by God.

    I think the verses show that a person more concerned with the money really does not love God. Yet, even if I were to give all I had to the poor but have not love; I am nothing. I am focusing on the love.
     
    #17 Ruiz, Aug 8, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 8, 2010
  18. Gina B

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    I can't remember it word for word, but the idea was that since I couldn't locate and repay the church I took it from, that I take it and give that money to my local church or Christian service in my community or, absent the cash, to work it off.
    I believe I tried to donate more than I gave, but didn't have the total and ended up also donating time at a Goodwill type place, washing new donations and tagging them.
    It's been quite a long time. The details of it all were vivid at that time, but once I did what I was supposed to, it faded fast. It's amazing what a clear conscience will do!

    There were a number of people who offered advice, but since at the moment I'm a little mad at Dr. Bob, I took the opportunity to remind myself what he's done for me in the past and he gave me the main advice on that one, and I know he really is one of the good guys. :tonofbricks: (I didn't like an answer he gave me in another thread today, although his frank honesty in expressing himself is also why I appreciate him. Go figure...)
     
  19. freeatlast

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    No, but you would certainly be convicted too and if you were not it would be evidence that there was no salvation.
     
  20. rbell

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    Zaccheus was not saved because he made restitution...but because God redeemed him, God gave him the desire to do so.

    It's not the reason for his salvation...but one evidence of it.
     

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