“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:
- 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 alone. 18 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.
Mat 5:42 Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away.
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.