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"Thou shalt not steal"
by Wayne Blank
The Eighth Commandment
While the Eighth Commandment specifically prohibits stealing, all of the last 6 Commandments are based on not stealing - not stealing the honor away from parents (the Fifth Commandment), not stealing someone's life from them (the Sixth Commandment), not stealing someone's spouse (the Seventh Commandment), not stealing the truth from someone (the Ninth Commandment) and not planning to steal a possession from someone (the Tenth Commandment).
"For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law." (Romans 13:9-10 KJV)
There is no such thing as "petty theft" in God's sight - the character of those who steal a little is the same as those who steal much:
"He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much: and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much. If therefore ye have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches?" (Luke 16:10-11 KJV)
The only recorded incident in which Jesus Christ resorted to violence is when He was driving out "white collar" thieves from the Temple:
"And Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves, And said unto them, It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves." (Matthew 21:12-13 KJV)
"Will man rob God?"
"Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed Me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed Thee? In tithes and offerings. Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed Me, even this whole nation. Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in Mine house, and prove Me now herewith, saith The Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it." (Malachi 3:8-10 KJV)
Unrepentant thieves, as well as all unrepentant sinners, will not enter the Kingdom of God. But with repentance, true repentance, comes forgiveness, as evidenced among the early church:
"Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God" (1 Corinthians 6:9-11 KJV)
Fact Finder: When the totally-innocent Jesus Christ was crucified, two actual criminals were also executed on crosses, one on each side of Him. What were they executed for?