Someone once said, “We do not really start living until we rise above the narrow confines of our own concerns and start dealing with the issues that concern all humanity.” This statement mirrors what the Bible says, “Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.” Even as Christians, however, we must admit that we often do not live this out faithfully. We easily get so caught up in our own life, our own pain, our own desires and dreams that we think little of our neighbor and even less about our enemy. The teaching of Jesus is clear: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” (Matt. 5:43) He also says, “Love your enemies….” (Luke 6:27)
What are the issues that concern all humanity? The most important problem that faces all humanity is their broken relationship with God (Rom 3:10-20). The gospel is the solution to the ultimate questions. We love our enemies when we preach the gospel to them. Proclaiming the gospel, discipling believers, and praying for God’s special saving grace in the life of our fellow man is our most important mission. (Matt 28:18-20)
We should also be concerned to imitate God in His common kindness or mercy that He has on all people. Christians must be those who plan noble things. We must care about our fellow man because God cares for them. God gives them food, health, rain, sun, science, government and much more that demonstrate His care. We should be concerned that children in poor countries sniff glue to ease their hunger pains. We should be concerned with corruption in government that leads to massive human suffering. We should care about the widespread Ebola crises or the thousands of Nigerians that were murdered by Muslim radicals. We should care about the empty grocery shelves in Venezuela because of socialist/communist policies. We should care about our neighborhoods that are often full of addictions to various drugs that leads to wasted lives, theft, and murder.
We are called to address these human issues with love and wisdom. Only Christians have a solid foundation for doing these works of mercy. We have been shown mercy. We know what is right because we have God’s Word teaching us. The world has a faulty view of ultimate reality (metaphysics), and therefore their attempts at helping their fellow man miss the mark. They worship the creature rather than the Creator. These are some of the reasons that Christians must be leading the charge on these noble issues. “To whom much is given, from him much will be required.” (Luke 12:48)
God’s revealed will is that humanity be reconciled to Him. That is our priority. When we are reconciled to God through Christ, then out of gratitude we live out His revealed will. We must love our enemies and show them the benevolence that God displays. We should live for a greater cause than our own personal wealth, health and prosperity. We cannot resolve the world’s problems, but we should do what we can to obey the teaching of Jesus. One of the great human needs we are endeavoring to meet here in Recife is the training of ministers of the gospel and future missionaries. Pray with us that we can send missionaries to Muslim lands from Brazil. —Rev. Doug Leaman