Can you be a saved Christian and not sacrifice for the poor?

“What is with millennials and orphanages?” “All these young people just want to feed the poor. I am more concerned about people’s spiritual needs!” “I’m so sick of this social gospel infiltrating our churches!” “We don’t need to help the poor in order to preach the gospel.”

“I give my tithe. Why do you keep asking for more money?” “If they’re so poor then why don’t they get better jobs or leave their country?” “I need to take care of my family first.” (the Same person will spend for 3 cars, computers, iPads, video games, sports, expensive meals, goes into debt for a vacation, oversized home, monthly satellite TV and entertainment subscriptions, but can’t give to help any charitable Christian works).

These statements are made out of ignorance for many, some out of a cold or selfish heart, and often with a misunderstanding of what God expects Christians to do with His money.

Believers will question a man’s salvation based on his outward appearance of “worldliness” or a besetting sin. I have heard a genuine, holy, separated from sin man’s salvation questioned because of his music and Bible version. I once heard a Christian accuse a leading IFB pastor of immorality because he didn’t like the church’s music.

Yet, I personally have never heard a message that teaches good works are necessary for a believer’s life. I have never been taught contextually from the much-debated verses implying good works provide evidence of salvation what they really mean. In a Biblical context “good works” or “works” often refers to charitable work, not church attendance and Bible reading.

This material applies to health and wealth frauds, judgmental fruit inspectors, and those who believe that gain is godliness. If you have been blessed financially it is to give. These verses and thoughts are for any Christian who wishes to please His Savior in the way he lives.

If we do not teach Christians to live with an eternal perspective concerning poverty for fear of being opposed, called liberal, or focusing too much on money, then we are failing to preach the whole counsel of God and what being a Christian really is. 

-Can you be a spiritually mature Christian and not care for the poor?-

NO! You can not. That is the Biblical answer. I could write a book on the verses, but I’ll just post a list of SOME below:

  1. God’s teachings about the poor (regardless of their spiritual condition or nationality):

Pro 14:21  He that despiseth his neighbour sinneth: but he that hath mercy on the poor, happy is he.

Eze 16:49  Behold, this was the iniquity of thy sister Sodom, pride, fulness of bread, and abundance of idleness was in her and in her daughters, neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy.

Pro 14:31  He that oppresseth the poor reproacheth his Maker: but he that honoureth him hath mercy on the poor.

Deu 15:11  For the poor shall never cease out of the land: therefore I command thee, saying, Thou shalt open thine hand wide unto thy brother, to thy poor, and to thy needy, in thy land.

Psa 82:3  Defend the poor and fatherless: do justice to the afflicted and needy.

Psa 82:4  Deliver the poor and needy: rid them out of the hand of the wicked.

Pro 19:17  He that hath pity upon the poor lendeth unto the LORD; and that which he hath given will he pay him again.

Pro 29:7  The righteous considereth the cause of the poor: but the wicked regardeth not to know it.

In the Old Testament God focused on the needs of those within the borders of His chosen people, both the Jews and non-Jews. In the New Testament, our focus is the world since we are citizens of heaven and pilgrims in this world.

We are to be lights that let our light shine through GOOD WORKS. 

Pro 31:20  She stretcheth out her hand to the poor; yea, she reacheth forth her hands to the needy.

Mat 19:21  Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me.

Gal 2:10  Only they would that we should remember the poor; the same which I also was forward to do.

2. God’s teachings on giving:

Eph 4:28  Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with hishands the thing which is good, that he may have TO GIVE to him that needeth.

Jas 2:14  What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him? 15  If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, 16  And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit? 17 Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone18  Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.

Oft-debated passages about soteriology are preached argumentatively but not contextually. If we understood and believed what these passages teach, the American church could have revival.

1Ti 5:10  Well reported of for good works.. if she have lodged strangers… if she have relieved the afflicted, if she have diligently followed every good work.

1Ti 6:17  Charge them that are rich in this world… 18  That they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate…

Mat 5:42  Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away.

1 Jn 3:17  But whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him

Mat 6:19  Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: 20  But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: 21  For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

I’ve heard it said, “IF YOU’VE GOT SIN IN YOUR LIFE THEN YOU’RE NOT SAVED!” Would it be honest biblically then to say “IF YOU’RE LIVING IN COMFORT WITHOUT SACRIFICING FOR THE POOR THEN YOU’RE NOT SAVED?”

I am not advocating that a person who is not as generous as they should be is not saved, but biblical expositional consistency will make us think about how important compassion is to GOD.

So, what do you think? If you would like to know of a few organizations you can begin supporting today feel free to message me on social media or through my email.

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Do We Need Evangelists?

This helpful article was written by Evangelist John VanGeldron:

http://churchleaders.com/outreach-missions/outreach-missions-articles/307189-3-reasons-evangelists-still-exist-john-van-gelderen.html

Some challenge the existence of the evangelist, and therefore, the legitimacy of their ministry today. But this minimization seems to be more from prejudice or misinformation than anything substantive. Let’s consider three reasons the gift of the evangelist still exists today.

1. The Precision of Ephesians

Ephesians addresses much concerning the church. Ephesians 4:11-12 states, “And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; for the perfecting of the saints for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ.” Obviously, this passage includes evangelists.

While this passage supports the existence of evangelists and pastors, what about the inclusion of apostles and prophets? Some argue they do not exist based on Ephesians 2:20, “And are built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ being the chief cornerstone.” If the apostles and prophets were part of the foundation, then the argument maintains their work was completed once the foundation was laid. Since evangelists and pastors are not named as a part of the foundation, this implies that evangelists and pastors would be the gifts building on the foundation.

While others debate this interpretation of Ephesians 2:20 regarding the place of apostles and prophets, what is clear is that evangelists are not a part of the debate. There is no biblical statement that can even be argued over as to the supposed cessation of the use of the evangelist. Therefore, evangelists are a part of God’s plan for the church age.

2. The Emphasis of the Evangelist in the New Testament

Since the word evangelist occurs only three times in the New Testament, some argue they probably don’t exist anymore. But this observation ignores the full picture which is quite otherwise.

Three words with the stem evangel are used throughout the New Testament. The noun for evangel or “gospel” occurs 77 times, the verb for evangelize or “preach the gospel” occurs 55 times, and the noun for evangelist occurs three times. The combined use of these words which all contain the same stem is 135 times. This greatly broadens the picture.

To get the full picture of an athlete, you would need to study athletics. To get the full picture of a singer, you would need to study songs and singing. Likewise, to get the full picture of an evangelist, you need to study the evangel and evangelizing.

It would be fair to assume that one who competes in athletics is an athlete, and one who sings is a singer. John the Baptist was literally called John the “Baptizer” because he baptized. Similarly, those in Scripture described as evangelizing (a word used of preaching to a group, not just personal witnessing) may be rightly understood as evangelists. Again, this greatly broadens the picture.

3. The Corroboration of Church History

Early church history records the use of evangelists and pastors in the first wave of ministry laborers who followed the apostles. Also, evangelists are referenced through church history. Throughout the centuries God has used evangelists in reviving the saints and in awakening the lost.

Both evangelists and pastors are still in existence today as a part of God’s plan for the church age. A church that refuses to use the gift of the pastor may be rightly questioned as to whether or not it is functioning as a New Testament church. Likewise, a church that refuses to use the gift of the evangelist may be rightly questioned as to whether or not it is functioning as a New Testament church. Since God’s plan includes both gifts, then an appropriate use of both gifts is a part of functioning as a New Testament church.