Friday, December 27, 2013

Good works

What works are acceptable to God?  

In Galatians 6:10 Paul says, “Let us do good unto all men…” (working in a soup kitchen, for example).  I have a hard time understanding what good it does to help someone by basically polishing the banisters on the sinking Titanic – i.e., helping someone have a more comfortable ride to hell.  Or, is the good in keeping them alive long enough to hear the gospel?

Galatians 6:10
As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.

That type of good work is not good [i.e., meeting physical needs only]. 

Mark 8:36
For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?

That is where charities miss it.  Look at their names:  Salvation Army; Red Cross; Goodwill.  The original intent of a charity was to take Christian love and show Christ to others, and to also choose to give them the gospel.  I’ll use the example of when I was back in Chicago:  I was learning the grace of God and I always kept tracts with me.  I was outside the White Castle on 71st and there were some guys sitting out there asking for money to buy a sandwich; but I knew they wanted to get something [alcohol] to drink.  I went and bought sandwiches and pop and I sat down and told them, “I could give you this food that would help you today, but I know you really wanted me to give you money so you could go get some Wild Irish Rose.  I’ll give you this food, but I’ll also give you this tract because what you need is beyond the physical.  You also need the spiritual [food].”

1 Corinthians 10:3-4
and did all eat the same spiritual meat;  and did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ.

That’s what charities used to do.  Now, our government takes care of [poor] people’s needs; but in Paul’s day the Roman Empire didn’t take care of people.  It was up to the saints to not only take care of one another in the body of Christ first, but if there was a person who was outside of the faith, a lost person who desired food or drink, they were supposed to, out of their love for Christ and if they could, they were to minister food and drink to that person.

Romans 12:20
Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head.

People are more inclined to hear what you have to say about Christ if you feed them.  Charities used to be about fulfilling a need for someone as a Christian.  When they gave the people food they would tell them it was because of the Lord Jesus Christ, and they would tell them about him and give them the gospel.

I have issue with the social gospel of so-called Christians who go out and feed the poor and the needy, but they don’t try to evangelize.  What’s the sense then?  Should you just make them more comfortable on their way to hell?  No!  Use the power God gave us; we can minister to them, not only in food and clothing, but with the gospel!  That’s what you do.

So you’re right.  The purpose of soup kitchens used to be Christian organizations sharing the gospel, but they’ve left that now and have made it a social thing.  It has been secularized so as not to offend.  Offend how?  You’re loving them by telling them they’re going to hell!

2 Corinthians 5:20
Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.

You’re being gracious by giving them food, drink and clothing.  That is good will.  Think about Good Will.  That is what good will is. And it’s about your motivation.

1 Corinthians 13:3
And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.

God never intended saints to deal with the lost and not share Christ.  A church near us had a thing on Halloween and invited the community to a safe place for children to come and have some candy and a party.  A big expensive shindig.  I went there and I waited for someone to hand me a tract.  They didn’t say anything about the Lord; they didn’t give out tracts; nothing.  I was disappointed.  They gave out all that stuff and they could have at least handed out tracts.  If we had the money to do that and we wanted to do something like that, believe me, we would give out tracts and share the Lord.  They didn’t do that.  It was kind of sad because here was a church that claimed to be Christian but they weren’t even talking about the Lord Jesus.

2 Corinthians 9:8
And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work:


Transcribed from a Q&A session:  What Works are Acceptable to God?

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