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‘Pastors Should Not Force Members To Give Offering’- T.B. Joshua

Prophet TB Joshua

On Sunday 18th January 2015, Nigerian Pastor T.B. Joshua
cautioned pastors against trying to compel people to give offerings in
the church and politicians against trying to force people to love them
through wild promises made during elections.

“It’s scriptural to ask for offering and tithes but it has to come
from the heart,” the cleric told his congregation in an impromptu
message.

“Anything that does not come from your heart becomes a curse to the
person you give… We ministers of God should allow the congregation to
bless us, not curse us with their possessions.”

He cited the case of people who attain wealth through bribery and
corruption, insisting that the repercussions are severe. “If you collect
a bribe, you can’t get anywhere with it. You may be rich now but at the
end of your life, you will cry,” he admonished in a message televised
live on Christian television station Emmanuel TV.

“Let me suffer now and laugh tomorrow. Let me be poor now and blessed tomorrow. That should be the life we live,” he added.

The known philanthropist counselled people to consider history to
learn lessons from those in the past who lived big through corrupt
means. “If somebody becomes so rich, if what he is having that made him
to be rich is not from people’s hearts – it’s by corruption or bribery –
you will cry for the person someday.”

“If people that are collecting bribes know all of this, they will
stop collecting bribes,” he continued.  “The repercussions are not
midway. They come at the end when we have no strength again to do the
right thing. The money, mansions and possessions will collapse… The
beginner is not the owner but the finisher. Whatever you do – remember
where you are going.”

He further decried politicians trying to coerce love from people,
especially during the period of elections. “You can’t force someone to
love you. In elections, you see political parties campaigning, saying
they will build mansions, bring constant electricity and water… Love
should be given voluntarily – without being forced.”

Joshua also spoke scathingly of pastors who always emphasized money
in their sermons, to the point that they would even fight members who
stopped paying tithes or attending services. “I did not know when you
came here, so when you are going, it is unnecessary for me to know. You
want to fight a member because he left your church. Whose church? God’s
church. Christianity is a thing of the heart,” he said.

“If you give something from your heart, it will bless you that gives
it and also bless the person you give. But if you give something that is
not from your heart, you that gave has nothing to gain and you are
giving a curse to that person,” he reiterated.

He then challenged the congregants to examine their lives. “Count how
many curses you have received to build your mansions, have your
possessions and enjoy your fame and popularity,” he told them.

The cleric revealed this is the reason behind his extensive
philanthropic endeavours and non-emphasis on money during his sermons.
“Why would I not give freely when I know if you give something from your
heart, you will receive a double portion of it? That is the secret of
giving.”

He advised the faithful to help the less privileged in their own area
in order to enjoy the blessings of God. “Sell those properties and
possessions you don’t use, open a charity account, put that money there,
sit down and begin to bless the needy. See what God will do for you.
The finger of God will stand to fight for you,” he advised.

He also encouraged Christians to remember they are undeserving of
God’s blessings, an understanding that should reflect in their
attitudes. “God is giving you another chance. Don’t abuse it,” he
warned. “If you know that you are given another chance, you must
treasure it. We treasure things when we know we are undeserving but
today, we live as if we deserve things.”

He admonished people to remember that God would ultimately ‘mark
their work’ “If you know you are undeserving of the life you are living
now, whatever you attempt to do, after you finish doing it, you should
wait and let God mark it. He may say it’s wrong; He may say it’s right.
If God says it’s wrong, we shouldn’t lament because you live a life of
grace.”

He reminded them that ‘God had the final say’. “You have been
allowing challenges to destroy you instead of you to destroy challenges.
When challenges come – my God has the final say, not my ability or
knowledge.

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