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Summary: This is the 8th sermon of the series: The Ten Commandments. In this sermon we take a look at how this commandment is still very revelant for us today. We also look at various ways this commandment can be transgressed.

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SUBJECT: "THOU SHALT NOT STEAL"

SCRIPTURE REFERENCE: EXODUS 20:15

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INTRODUCTION:

THIS MORNING WE WILL TAKE A LOOK AT THE 8TH COMMANDMENT ---- JUST FOUR WORDS LONG, "THOU SHALT NOT STEAL." THIS COMMANDMENT IS REPEATED EIGHT (8) TIMES THROUGHOUT THE BIBLE. IT IS REPEATED 3 TIMES IN THE OLD TESTAMENT: (EXODUS 20:15 --- LEVITICUS 19:11 AND DEUTERONOMY 5:19) AND IT IS REPEATED FIVE (5) TIMES IN THE NEW TESTAMENT. (MATTHEW 19:18 --- MARK 10:19 --- LUKE 18:20 --- ROMANS 13:9 AND EPHESIANS 4:28.

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"THOU SHALT NOT STEAL"

DO YOU REMEMBER THE TIME WHEN THERE WAS NO NEED TO LOCK UP THE HOUSE? IT REALLY WASN’T THAT LONG AGO. I REMEMBER THAT OUR HOMEPLACE WAS LOCATED NEAR AN INTERSTATE EXIT AND WE WOULD GO TO BED AT NIGHT WITHOUT THE DOORS BEING LOCKED OR THE WINDOWS PUT DOWN IN THE SUMMER TIME. THERE WAS A CERTAIN THING PRESENT AMONG SOCIETY BACK THEN THAT YOU DO NOT SEE VERY MUCH OF TODAY ----- "TRUST" THEN AGAIN WE WERE SO POOR WHEN I WAS A YOUNG BOY, POOR PEOPLE USED TO DRIVE BY OUR HOUSE JUST SO THEY COULD FEEL GOOD ABOUT THEMSELVES. SO WE DIDN’T HAVE MUCH OF ANYTHING THAT PEOPLE WOULD WANT TO STEAL. BUT OVERALL, SOCIETY BASICALLY TRUSTED ONE ANOTHER.

HOWEVER, SADLY WE CANNOT AFFORD TO BE THAT CAREFREE IN THIS DAY! THERE IS VERY LITTLE TRUST IN THE GENERAL PUBLIC TODAY.

A RECENT GALLOP POLL REPORTED THE SAD INDICTMENT AGAINST THE KINGDOM OF GOD --- IT REVEALED THAT THE GENERAL PUBLIC DID NOT TRUST "THE CHRISTIAN" ANY MORE THAN THEY DID "THE SINNER" --- WHEN IT CAME TO BUSINESS TRANSACTIONS AND THINGS THAT REQUIRED "HONESTY" AND "INTEGRITY." THAT IS A SAD INDICTMENT AGAINST THE CHURCH AND THE KINGDOM OF GOD!

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I HAVE SHARED WITH YOU THE TIME MY WIFE AND I WENT TO KNOXVILLE TO VISIT OUR OLDEST SON, CHRIS. I ACCIDENTLY LOCKED OUR CAR KEYS INSIDE THE CAR. AFTER TRYING ALL WE KNEW TO DO, WE FINALLY LOOKED IN THE YELLOW PAGES AND FOUND A NEAR BY LOCKSMITH AND WITHIN 30 SECONDS OF HIS ARRIVAL HE HAD THE DOORS UNLOCKED. HE HANDED ME MY BILL AND I DID NOT HAVE THAT MUCH CASH ON ME SO I ASKED HIM WHO I SHOULD MAKE THE CHECK OUT TO. HE LOOKED AT ME WITH A STRANGE LOOK AND REPLIED, "I DO NOT ACCEPT CHECKS FROM ANYONE, SORRY." IN AN ATTEMPT TO GET HIM TO KNOW HE COULD TRUST ME, I SAID, "SIR, YOU CAN TRUST ME, I AM A MINISTER." HE SAID," I BY ALL MEANS WOULD NOT ACCEPT A CHECK FROM A MINISTER." AT FIRST I THOUGHT HE WAS ONLY JOKING, HOWEVER, I SOON FOUND OUT THAT HE MEANT EVERY WORD OF IT. HE RELAYED TO ME HOW THAT SEVERAL MINISTERS HAD WRITTEN HIM CHECKS FOR HIS SERVICES AND THEY WERE BAD AND HE WAS NEVER ABLE TO GET HIS MONEY. SO ALL I KNEW TO DO WAS HAVE MY SON TAKE ME TO THE NEAREST

A T M MACHINE AND I USED MY DEBIT CARD AND TOOK MONEY OUT OF MY CHECKING ACCOUNT AND WENT BACK AND HANDED HIM THE MONEY. HE MADE AN APOLOGY FOR THINGS BEING THAT WAY AND THEN HE DROVE OFF. I HAVE THOUGHT ABOUT THAT INCIDENT MANY TIMES SINCE THEN. BECAUSE OF A FEW DISHONEST PREACHERS, HE HAD NO RESPECT AT ALL FOR THOSE WHO HAVE BEEN CALLED TO CARRY THE GOSPEL OF JESUS CHRIST.

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I READ THE WORDS OF A MUSLUM A FEW DAYS AGO. HE SAID: "I APPRECIATE THE TEACHINGS OF JESUS CHRIST. AND I WOULD EVEN CONSIDER BECOMING A CHRISTIAN -- IF -- IT WERE NOT FOR THE CHRISTIANS." THE CHRISTIANS TURNED HIM OFF BECAUSE THEY DID NOT LIVE BY THE TEACHINGS THEY TAUGHT TO OTHERS. HE WENT ON IN THE ARTICLE TO SAY: "IN THE MUSLUM RELIGION PEOPLE WERE WHOLLY COMMITTED TO IT AND 99.9 % OF THEM WERE FAITHFUL IN PRACTICING THEIR DOCTRINE. THE DOCTRINE WAS NOT JUST A "PART" OF THEIR LIFE....BEING A MUSLIM WAS "THEIR WHOLE LIFE." EVERTHING IN THEIR LIVES CENTERED FROM THEIR DOCTRINE 24 HOURS A DAY. THEY CONSIDERED IT THE HIGHEST PRIVILEGE A PERSON COULD EVER HAVE EXTENDED TO THEM; BEING A MUSLUM." SHOULD NOT WE CHRISTIANS WHO SERVE THE TRUE AND LIVING GOD AND LORD AND REDEEMER, JESUS CHRIST, BE EVEN MORE FAITHFUL AND MORE DEDICATED TO THE TEACHINGS OF THE WORD OF GOD, RIGHTLY DIVIDED?

SADLY, THAT IS THE STORY OF MANY PEOPLE TODAY. THEY SEE FAR TOO MANY THINGS FROM THE LIVES OF PROFESSING CHRISTIANS THAT DO NOT MATCH THE TEACHING OF JESUS CHRIST. THEY SAY ONE THING AND DO ANOTHER THING.

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