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According to the Foundation Center, there are more than 1.5 million nonprofit organizations in the United States. That number includes churches and church-related groups. When they follow certain rules, our government exempts them from taxes, because they do what the government would otherwise have to do to assist people. By making them tax-exempt, our country encourages us to help meet the social and spiritual needs of others. Looking out for the spiritual needs of people is not new. God gave specific instructions to ancient Israel to guide them in how to help their people. Hezekiah was one of the kings who took serious God’s instructions. We read in 2 Chronicles Chapter 31, that after urging his people to turn from their evil practices, he reinstituted the spiritual activities that would foster their obedience to God. He recognized that without worship and the teaching of spiritual values, people would soon fall away from God. They would indulge in sinful practices that incur God’s discipline and judgment. He knew that what David wrote many years before (in Psalm 9) was true and is still true today: “The wicked will go down to the grave. This is the fate of all the nations who ignore God.” What God said of nations also applies to individuals. Unless we worship the true God, we will perish.

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