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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God uses weird ingredients too!

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I usually look at every ingredient of each item I eat or drink. It bothers some people because they assume I am overly health-conscious or believe I am trying to make them look bad. I just really want to know what I’m putting In my body!

I’ve found it’s impossible to pronounce half of the ingredients in our food! And when I can, I still have no idea what it is! I found this information online for example:

1. Carmine, or cochineal (as it is perhaps more commonly known), consists of a mixture of … crushed beetles. More specifically, these dried insects are boiled in water to extract the carminic acid they contain (or did contain). Typically, due to the fantastic red hue the resulting potion gives off, this ingredient is used to artificially dye foods red, purple and pink; however, you can taste these little buggers in some fruit juices, berry punches, ice cream, yogurt and candy (so ya know, all the good stuff).

2. Xanthan gum, which gets its name from Xanthomonas campestris (a strain of bacteria present during the fermentation process), contains bacteria similar to rotting veggies. We wish that was a joke and/or exaggeration, but it’s totally not. In fact, when you think of molding veggies, it’s fairly easy to imagine the film of slime forming. Yep. Like that layer of decay, xanthan gum acts as a thickening agent or a gel. Yum!

You can see xanthan gum in dairy products, sauces and salad dressings. As if the previous paragraph wasn’t enough to put you off of salad forever, now you have the perfect excuse to order that burger instead.

3. Jell-O’s main ingredient, as I’m sure it’s easy to imagine given the name, is gelatin. But gelatin, for those who don’t know, consists of the collagen extracted from an animal’s skin and (mostly) bones. So if you’ve ever been told Jell-O is made of “horse hooves,” you’re partially correct (though actual hooves are not used in the production process). And also probably partially nauseous.

But if you think it’s just Jell-O shots you should be avoiding, you’re sadly mistaken … you can find gelatin in everything from Gummy Bears to those marshmallow Peeps you get on Easter Sunday. Now perhaps it seems a wee bit less ridiculous when your vegetarian friends turn down the pastel-colored cuties, because (to your thinking) they’re “animals.” Uh, well. Yeah, they are actually.”

These are just a few of the odd and weird ingredients in our food! (I will post the link to “Top 10 Common Ingredients That Are Just Plain Weird” at the bottom of this post.)

Why do we eat this stuff? How does it make food so delicious even though its origins are so disgusting? I don’t know the answer. But if it doesn’t kill you it makes makes you stronger, right… Right?

The Bible explains that God uses weird ingredients to bring His plan of Salvation to the world. Most Baptists don’t believe this, sadly. I’ve often heard pastors say, “That young man has a great personality! God could really use him!” Or, “She is a lovely young lady, and so talented, if she would surrender to The Lord He would do amazing things with her life!” These statements are common. But they are flawed.

When God was looking for a king he rejected the “best of the best.” Samuel looked at Eliab and saw strength, good looks, and potential. But God was not interested. Then came Abinidab, the genius, and Shammah, the athletic, but God rejected them too. Seven more healthy, hard working, musical young men impressed Samuel, but were rejected by God. Why?

1 Samuel 16:7 …the Lord said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him:for the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart.

God is not looking for external flare, but rather internal faithfulness. God can still use good looking or talented people, but only if their heart is surrendered to Him. Pride pushes the hand of God off of a life. A tender heart, though, can be molded into exactly what God needs to bring about His glory and the furtherance of the gospel.

This is good news for me.
I sing, but not above average.
I preach, but it’s inexperienced at best.
I witness, but I don’t have all the answers.
I teach, but I’m not the most talented or dramatic.

Yet, the Bible promises:
1 Corinthians 1:26-30 For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: That no flesh should glory in his presence. But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption:

I’m so glad God uses weird ingredients. He can take sinful, messed up, selfish people and turn them into amazing heralds of the gospel. He can change anyone into a new creature. It’s all because of Jesus. His sacrifice on the cross makes this transformation possible! How? By recreating us into the image of Jesus when we place our faith and trust in His death, burial, and miraculous resurrection that paid for our sins.

I want to be used to share the love of God with thousands, and there’s hope for me because God can use anyone! Yes, even you!

Link: science.discovery.com/life-earth-science/10-common-weird-ingredients.htm