Remember the Poor

In Matthew 7:21 Jesus tells us, "Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven." So what is the will of God for the church and Christians in regard to benevolence?

It is mandatory for Christians to practice benevolence. Paul wrote in Galatians 2:10 that the apostles extended the right hand of fellowship to him and Barnabas and told them they should remember the poor. Paul forwarded the same to the churches of Galatia. Paul then later in Galatians 6:10 reinforces the requirement by telling them, "As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith." In fact, pure religion and being undefiled before God, according to James 1:27, is to visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction and to keep oneself unspotted from the world. This definition of pure Christian religion leaves one to wonder its input on the arguments involving separation of church and State. Can it be said that the welfare work of the Government is influenced by the requirements of Christianity and is the definition of pure religion as defined some 2,000 years ago? Could it not be said that this practice of the Government is pure religion?

The failure of the Christian to provide for his own, especially for those of his own house, we are told has denied the faith and is worse than an infidel (1 Timothy 5:8). This individual requirement allows the church to relieve those that are widows indeed (1 Timothy 5:16). There can be no doubt that Christians are expected to help those who are in need. In fact, in Ephesians 4:28 Paul tells the Ephesian Christians, "Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth." Please note that this is one of the reasons we work so that we will be able to give to those that are in need.

In conclusion, our benevolence is directed towards those truly in need. In 2 Thessalonians 3:10 Paul told the church of the Thessalonians, "For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat." In I Thessalonians 4:11 as Christians we are commanded to be quiet, to do our own business, and to work with our hands. As Christians, we are not to drop out of the work force nor are we expected to support those who do drop out of the work force.

 Charles Royal, Decatur AL