Go

Marshall Baptist Church

A God who Cares: For the Hungry and the Poor

 

A God Who Cares: For the Hungry and the Poor

Matthew 25:31-46

 

Intro: Hurricane Hugo.  Handing out tracts.  We don’t waste time giving people food or shelter.  They just need the love of Jesus.

 

Proposition:  We proclaim our love for Christ by caring for the hungry and poor.

In Matthew 25 Jesus says some things that might shock you about how we are to treat the hungry, poor, and needy.

 

I.                Christ is coming as a judge to bless his own and show wrath to others. (31-33)

There is a lot of talk and speculation out there about the end times.  But here Jesus himself gives us a picture of what will happen in the end of days.  Jesus will return in glory, surrounded by angels, and He will come as a judge.  All the people of every tribe, tongue, and nation will be before Him.  And as judge He will separate the wheat from the chaff, those who are His from those who are not.  And those who are His will enter into eternal life and those who are not will enter into eternal death.

 

Our image of Santa has changed.  Used to be nice kids got gifts and naughty kids got coal or switches.  The song Santa Clause is Coming to Town made sense:

You'd better watch out!  You'd better not cry!
You'd better not pout!  I'm telling you why,
Santa Claus is comin' to town.
He's making a list and checking it twice.
He's going to find out who's naughty and nice.
Santa Claus Is Comin' To Town.
Refrain
He sees when you are sleeping.  He knows when you're awake.
He knows if you've been bad or good.  So be good for goodness sake!

Today Santa comes to give gifts to everyone.  Ex. Fred Clause.

 

We’ve watered down Christ the same way.  Many think He will come as the suffering, sacrificing servant again.  Oh no, He is coming to town.  Watch out!  Some will be rewarded, but some will receive wrath.

Ex. Dad – ice cream or “wait till your father gets home.”

So how do you make sure you are one of the ones rewarded?

 

II.             Prove your faith and sonship with actions of love and grace. (34-46)

Jesus is very clear about something a lot of us are confused about.  He says that He will be able to identify those who are His by their actions.  His children are the ones who feed the hungry and help the poor.  If you have helped the helpless then you will enter into eternal life.  If you ignore the helpless you will enter into eternal damnation.

 

“Wait a minute.  Saved by faith not by works.”

For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from observing the law.  Romans 3:28

Clearly no one is justified before God by the law, because, "The righteous will live by faith."  Galatians 3:11

 

Core Protestant doctrine: Soli Fide’

But what about James?

You see that a person is justified by what he does and not by faith alone.  James 2:24

 

Contradiction?  Luther said James not as good.

Define terms- Paul: Law – Outward legalism as if it earned righteousness.  Faith- A real faith that proves itself.

James: Faith – Saying you believe but not showing it.  Being a hypocrite.  Works – Backing up your words with action.

They actually preached the same thing.

For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision has any value. The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.  Galatians 5:6

 

14 What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save him? 15 Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. 16 If one of you says to him, "Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed," but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it? 17 In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead. 18 But someone will say, "You have faith; I have deeds." Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by what I do. 19 You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that--and shudder.  James 2:14-19

 

Contrary to popular belief: Scripture teaches time and time again that you will be judged by God by a faith that proves itself with works of love, mercy, and grace.

Ex. Kroger.  Newlyweds?  Shopping together and having fun.

Real love is obvious. 

Our love for Christ should by obvious to the world by the clear fruit we produce.

Today people try to be obvious by what they are against or by the clothes they wear.  But we should be obvious by the people we serve.

Hymn: They’ll know we are Christians by our love.

10 In this the children of God and the children of the devil are manifest: Whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is he who does not love his brother. 11 For this is the message that you heard from the beginning, that we should love one another.  1 John 3:10-11

 

III.           Realize you serve Christ by serving those in greatest need. (40)

Jesus makes it painfully obvious that when we serve those in the lowest of low we are actually serving Him.  And when we mistreat or ignore those same types of folks, we are mistreating or ignoring Him.

 

That mother you called a lazy welfare mother.  That was Jesus.  That person you wrote off as not being worth helping.  That person was Christ.  That immigrant you mocked – that was our Savior.  When you ignored opportunities to give to a clothing drive or a world hunger offering – you were ignoring opportunities to serve our Lord!

 

Ex. Youth doing a mud out and Bob said this.

 

7 Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not men, 8 because you know that the Lord will reward everyone for whatever good he does.  Ephesians 6:7-8

 

So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.  1 Corinthians 10:31

 

We’re more interested in why we aren’t being blessed more by God or served more by the church.  What about you?  What are you doing for others?

Asleep in the Light by Keith Green

“Cause He brings people to you door,
And you turn them away
As you smile and say,
"God bless you, be at peace"
And all heaven just weeps
Cause Jesus came to your door
You've left him out on the streets

Open up open up
And give yourself away
You see the need, you hear the cries
So how can you delay”

 

Our record as SBC: #3 Disaster Relief.  10,000 missionaries.  Since the early 1970s:
• More than $222 million has been provided for human needs projects.
• More than 6,900 human needs projects have been implemented by IMB personnel.

First on the ground in most disasters: Tsunami.

First group to help aids victims in Africa.

 

3 'Why have we fasted,' they say, 'and you have not seen it? Why have we humbled ourselves, and you have not noticed?' 4 Your fasting ends in quarreling and strife, and in striking each other with wicked fists. You cannot fast as you do today and expect your voice to be heard on high. 5 Is this the kind of fast I have chosen, only a day for a man to humble himself? Is it only for bowing one's head like a reed and for lying on sackcloth and ashes? Is that what you call a fast, a day acceptable to the Lord? 6 "Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke? 7 Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter-- when you see the naked, to clothe him, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood? 8 Then your light will break forth like the dawn, and your healing will quickly appear; then your righteousness will go before you, and the glory of the Lord will be your rear guard. 9 Then you will call, and the Lord will answer; you will cry for help, and he will say: Here am I. "If you do away with the yoke of oppression, with the pointing finger and malicious talk, 10 and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness, and your night will become like the noonday. 11 The Lord will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail.  Isaiah 58:3-11

 

There is a world hunger crisis going on right now.

IMB: “Poverty and famine are nothing new to the world, but as demand rises for fossil-fuel replacements like soybeans and corn, many struggle to find, much less afford, even basic food items. Political strife and natural disasters in recent weeks have only compounded the problem in some countries.”

I tell you the truth, anyone who gives you a cup of water in my name because you belong to Christ will certainly not lose his reward.  Mark 9:41

The world is in desperate need of a cup of water right now.  While we complain about gas prices they are worried about finding a well.  While we complain about how many restaurants we have, they wonder about how many meals they will get this week.  We live in a country where people are hurting.  But we need to help those who are dieing. 

 

Conclusion: Starving Russians in the cold.  Come across frozen fish.  Prehistoric and worth hundreds of thousands.  They ate them.

 

When you are starving or barely surving all that matters is survival.  They were right to eat them.

 

As Christians we try to give the world a lot of stuff.  But many people in this world first need a loaf of bread or a helping hand.

 

 

World Hunger offering: The World Hunger Fund ministers to millions around the world through food distribution, agriculture training, vocational skills, water and medical clinics.  The World Hunger Fund is not supported by either the Cooperative Program or the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering.  World Hunger Funds are available to our Southern Baptist missionaries to meet food-related needs such as assisting people with receiving food, buying food, growing food and/or using food properly.

 

Read More
Amen

0

Amens

AMEN'd this Sermon: