Good Works and World Missions

Have you ever done a blind blessing before? Have you ever given an anonymous donation or done a ding-dong-dash and left groceries? That is a great way to bless a family in need and often a great way to point someone to or back to God; however, some people apply this approach to evangelism and world missions.

That’s a very interesting concept to me. I think it’s a good thing to remain anonymous when giving a donation or something like that.  Think that comes from what Jesus said in Matthew 6…  “Beware of practicing your righteousness before men to be noticed by them; otherwise you have no reward with your Father who is in heaven.” (Matthew 6:1 NASB) On the other hand, there’s another scripture that I think we sometimes neglect. “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.” (Matthew 5:14-16 NASB)

I was touched by a story that K. P. Yohannon shared in his book Revelution in World Missions. He spoke of a country in Southeast Asia that had been blessed with missionaries for the past hundred years. These missionaries had brought all kinds of social improvements to the country. They changed most of the country from not being able to read to proficient literacy. The problem was, in all of their “social gospel”, they forgot the Gospel. They didn’t preach with words, only with actions. Consequently, after 100 years of missions work in that country, there are barely any Christians anywhere.

Here’s my point – Jesus didn’t come to make our lives better here on earth. He came to pay for the way and show us the way to Heaven, to knowing God, to a better life in Eternity. He expects us to be about the same mission. If all we do is give someone a more comfortable ride to Hell, what good is all our good works? Jesus emphasized the Gospel as our mission in his last few addresses to the disciples.

Matthew 28:18-20 says, “And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” (NASB)

Mark 16:15-16 says, “And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. He who has believed and has been baptized shall be saved; but he who has disbelieved shall be condemned.” (NASB)

Again, in Luke 24:45-49… “Then He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, and He said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Christ would suffer and rise again from the dead the third day, and that repentance for forgiveness of sins would be proclaimed in His name to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things. And behold, I am sending forth the promise of My Father upon you; but you are to stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high.” (NASB)

Jesus wants “repentance for forgiveness of sins would be proclaimed in His name to all the nations.”

Jesus tells His disciples in Mattwew 5:46-47 to go beyond what he world does. There are charities started by other organizations, etc. we are the only ones with the true answer to the Eternal Question. Why wouldn’t we give that away? I’m not ever trying to say that we are supposed to stop any charitable opportunities. What I am saying is not to neglect the Gospel. It’s not intolerance. It’s love. If you truly love them you will give them the real truth.

Picture a little boy that has been clothed, fed, and loved by Christians, but he was never told the Gospel. He dies and goes to hell. You and I, who clothed him and fed him, pass by on our way to the Glorified Gates, and he says, “I know you gave me a good life in the past, but why didn’t you tell me about where you’re going now?”

Ok… I don’t mean to guilt trip everyone one into caring, but I hope that gets my point across. Please – lets get the Gospel out. They’re depending on us, Jesus is telling us, and the Holy Spirit is empowering us… What more do we need?

“…but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.” (Acts 1:8 NASB)

Please don’t misunderstand me. I want to help people with their physical needs as well. We should. Jesus did this. However, His chief mission was to save sinners (1 Timothy 1:15). Let’s share the Gospel in a way that feeds others, in a way that clothes others, in a way that truly shows them we care… but let us never loose sight of the whole purpose of the Gospel – saving mankind from sin, Hell, death, and the grasp of the devil!

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