“Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.
Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?
When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?
Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?
And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.” Matthew 25:34-40
I used to attend a church that was heavy on overseas missions. I spoke to the pastor one day about how many they support here at home, and while there are a few, they are all either established church or those who have been from that particular church.
There really seemed to be no desire to plant churches outside of their, for want of a better term, comfort zone. (I don’t say this to be harsh, I’m trying to get to a point.)
The missionaries they support are, by all accounts, doing a great job, and I’m not trying to detract from what they are doing, because generally they do it really tough and have their work cut out for them.
My concern, after reading a couple of things the last few days, has turned to those who are inside the church. How many churches focus on evangelising/witnessing to the unsaved, and making programs for them, tracts for them, sending ‘love packages’ to them, soup kitchens etc, but what about those who are doing it tough within the Body of Christ? They seem to be forgotten.
These verses above are about Jesus’ brethren, not the unsaved. I think we tend to get so comfortable in our status quo that we forget there are those within the Body who are suffering and need help.
From what I’ve seen, it’s generally only when there has been a tragedy or dramatic event in a person’s life that the Church rallies together and prepares meals, helps them in their homes etc. But what about day to day living for those who are disadvantaged in the Body?? There are those who are poor/broke, depressed through circumstances, having trouble with their families etc etc, but they seem to be forgotten or ignored.
This leads me to the next verses after the ones above.
“Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels: For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not.
Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee?
Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me.
And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.” 41-46
I’m not saying all this to ‘bash’ anyone, just to raise awareness that, while missionary programs are great, witnessing/feeding programs are great for the unsaved, we also need to remember that there are large numbers of our brethren that need help also.
It’s very convicting to me the next lot of verses, because I too have been guilty of not seeing the need within the Body of Christ. I don’t have much, but I would help how and when I could.