As we read the Gospels in the Bible, we can see that Jesus was compelled to meet the physical needs of the people. However, His greatest aim was to save their souls!
In Matthew 25:35-40 Jesus says in a parable, “I was hungry, and you fed me. I was thirsty, and you gave me a drink. I was a stranger, and you invited me into your home. I was naked, and you gave me clothing. I was sick, and you cared for me. I was in prison, and you visited me. I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these, my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!”
Jesus also says in Matthew 18:11, “For the Son of man came to save [from the penalty of eternal death] that which was lost.”
Our goal is for people we help to ultimately discover and be assured of their eternal salvation through Jesus Christ…and then share it with others.
In my lifetime I’ve seen horrific natural disasters, wars, calamity and plagues wipe out millions of precious people. While I draft this blog today in the comfort of my air-conditioned office, the reality is that there are people suffering, and many will die before day’s end. This breaks my heart and motivates me to the core.
Now, here’s a very sobering thought. The moment these people breathed their last breath and their heart beats for the last time, it did not matter to them whether they were sick, poor, uneducated, homeless, without food, without water or without medical care—all that really mattered to them at that moment was whether they were saved or not.
If we feed someone, but don’t share the Gospel of salvation with them, they die with a full stomach, but spend eternity in hell—what eternal good have we done?
If we provide a good home and education for a child, but don’t share the Gospel of salvation with them, they die having lived a good life with a good education, but are lost to eternal destruction—we have defeated our purpose!
Why would we help someone with an immediate physical need while neglecting their most urgent spiritual need of salvation?
God is great in mercy! This is why He sent Jesus to provide eternal salvation for all of mankind through His sacrifice. This is why Jesus willingly gave His life for us. This is why Jesus bore our sins through the sacrifice of Himself. This is why the Innocent willingly died for the guilty! This is why the One who had no debt was willing to pay a debt for one who could not pay his debt. This is why God raised Jesus from the dead!
This is why we must believe in and preach the Gospel of salvation. This is why we must empower emerging Christian leaders to succeed in their mission to reach their people for God! This is why we must invest our efforts and money in church planting, Bible schools, training leaders and evangelistic campaigns!
If we really believe in the Gospel of Salvation, then it will be evident because we will:
- Feed the hungry while preaching the Gospel of salvation to them.
- Clothe the poor while preaching the Gospel of salvation to them.
- Provide medical care while preaching the Gospel of salvation to them.
- Build orphanages while preaching the Gospel of salvation to them.
- Dig water wells while preaching the Gospel of salvation to them.
- Care for widows while preaching the Gospel of salvation to them.
- Rescue the abused while preaching the Gospel of salvation to them.
- Provide disaster relief while preaching the Gospel of salvation to them.
- Plant churches!
- Start Bible schools!
- Train Christian leaders!
- Support those who preach the Gospel of salvation!
Let’s remember that the Gospel is not only the Gospel of blessing, healing, prosperity and protection… it is also the Gospel of Eternal Salvation!
What we do and how we invest our lives should reveal to God and to the world that we believe in the Gospel of Salvation!
Let’s make this our focus! This is their GREATEST NEED.
Image courtesy of Naypong at FreeDigitalPhotos.net