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June-July 2022

Congregation on Call


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brown on green, A Regular column about finances


And He Died...

In Genesis 3, we find the fall of man as the devil, in the guise of a serpent, tempted Eve. Satan questioned Eve about whether God forbade them from eating of certain trees in the garden. Eve quickly confirmed God’s command not to eat from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil; if they did, they would die. Contradicting God, the devil told Eve she wouldn’t die, but that her eyes would be opened, and she would be wise. Not to mention—the fruit was both beautiful and desirable. Unfortunately, Eve believed his lie, ate from the tree, and shared with Adam, who also ate the forbidden fruit.

Only two chapters later in chapter 5, we see the results of their action. The chapter lists and briefly describes the lives of Adam and his descendants from Adam to Noah. Except for Enoch, each short inscription ends with the same phrase: “…and he died.”

It appears to me that Moses, under the inspiration of God, was driving home a point. In chapter 3, the devil says you won’t die, but God said they would die. It’s a powerful contrast between characters. The devil is the father of lies, and God never lies. God promised if they ate the forbidden fruit, they would die. And they did!

This list of Adam and his descendants (again with the exception of Enoch) all died just as God said. It should drive a point home to all of us as well. Unless the Lord returns, we too, will all die.
We must be prepared for death. Most importantly, we must be prepared spiritually by accepting Jesus as our personal Savior. However, we also need to be prepared for death legally and morally. We need to take care of those we leave behind, and we need to honor our Lord with our estates.

Around 60-70% of Americans do not have an estate plan. Fortunately for Free Will Baptists, you can plan your estate through the Foundation Estate Planning Program. More than 2,200 families have allowed us to help plan their estates. The total value of all these estates is nearing $1 billion, with almost $42 million left to benefit Free Will Baptist ministries so far.

We have a big job to reach the world for Christ, and it is going to take the gifts of the living and the dead to accomplish the goal. If every family tithed on their estate, it would go a long way toward reaching the world, especially if everyone left their gift as an endowment. The Foundation’s endowment program makes it possible to give that estate tithe over and over until Jesus returns.

Our endowments pay out 5% annually, but we try to earn 8-10% annually, so the endowments grow. This means a $300,000 estate that tithed $30,000 in an endowment will pay out more than the original amount over 20 years. Over a 100-year period, that $30,000 tithe will pay out more than $150,000 to ministry, yet the remaining endowment will be worth more than the original amount.

Why not set up an estate plan today through the Foundation? Be sure to set aside a tithe to the Lord’s work. Remember Psalm 116:12: “What shall I render unto the Lord for all his benefits toward me?”

About the Columnist: David Brown is director of Free Will Baptist Foundation. To learn more about the grants program, visit


©2022 ONE Magazine, National Association of Free Will Baptists