(Luke 16:20 KJV) And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores,21 And desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man's table: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores. 22 And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried;
That was the verse God directly gives me about poor Christian persons, and there is not one condemnation about them being poor as well.. but the rich man was condemned.
(Psa 49:1 KJV) Hear this, all ye people; give ear, all ye inhabitants of the world:2 Both low and high, rich and poor, together.
EVEN ABOUT THE CAUSES OF POVERTY...
(Mat 7:1 KJV) Judge not, that ye be not judged.2 For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. 3 And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? 4 Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye?5 Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye.
(Prov 27:23 KJV) Be thou diligent
to know the state of thy flocks, and look well to thy herds.
24 For riches are not for ever: and doth the crown endure to
Prosperity is often as a result of one's OWN past family wealth and MOST poor people generaly come often from a poor family
Also many people are poor because they have lost their jobs, and/or lost their health as well.. DO suffer a MAJOR heart attack and see how quickly you ALSO DO become poor.
There is also no question that most Christian churches, people do people abuse the tithes, evangelical churches and pastors included and they do also steal from the tithes by not giving the local poor people in their local church their applicable portion of the tithe.
(Luke 16:1 KJV) And he said also unto his disciples, There was a certain rich man, which had a steward; and the same was accused unto him that he had wasted his goods. 2 And he called him, and said unto him, How is it that I hear this of thee? give an account of thy stewardship; for thou mayest be no longer steward.
(Luke 9:25 KJV) For what is a man advantaged, if he gain the whole world, and lose himself, or be cast away?
(Mat 7:20 KJV) Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.
(Mat 7:21 KJV) Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? 23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
Deuteronomy 26:12-15 (NIV) 12 When you have finished setting aside a tenth of all your produce in the third year, the year of the tithe, you shall give it to the Levite, the alien, the fatherless and the widow, so that they may eat in your towns and be satisfied. 13 Then say to the LORD your God: "I have removed from my house the sacred portion and have given it to the Levite, the alien, the fatherless and the widow, according to all you commanded. I have not turned aside from your commands nor have I forgotten any of them. 14 I have not eaten any of the sacred portion while I was in mourning, nor have I removed any of it while I was unclean, nor have I offered any of it to the dead. I have obeyed the LORD my God; I have done everything you commanded me. 15 Look down from heaven, your holy dwelling place, and bless your people Israel and the land you have given us as you promised on oath to our forefathers, a land flowing with milk and honey."
(1 Cor 16:2 KJV) Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come.
(Luke 16:9 KJV) And I say unto you, Make to yourselves friends of the mammon of unrighteousness; that, when ye fail, they may receive you into everlasting habitations.
(Luke 16:10 KJV) He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much: and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much.
(Luke 16:11 KJV) If therefore ye have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches?
(Luke 16:12 KJV) And if ye have not been faithful in that which is another man's, who shall give you that which is your own?
(Luke 16:13 KJV) No servant can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.
(1 Pet 4:11 KJV) If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.
(1 Pet 4:8 KJV) And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins.
(Psa 9:18 KJV) For the needy shall not
always be forgotten: the expectation of the poor shall not
perish for ever.
(Psa 10:2 KJV) The wicked in his pride doth persecute the poor: let them be taken in the devices that they have imagined.
(Psa 10:8 KJV) He sitteth in the lurking places of the villages: in the secret places doth he murder the innocent: his eyes are privily set against the poor.
(Psa 10:9 KJV) He lieth in wait secretly as a lion in his den: he lieth in wait to catch the poor: he doth catch the poor, when he draweth him into his net.
(Psa 10:10 KJV) He croucheth, and humbleth himself, that the poor may fall by his strong ones.
(Psa 12:5 KJV) For the oppression of the poor, for the sighing of the needy, now will I arise, saith the LORD; I will set him in safety from him that puffeth at him.
(Psa 14:6 KJV) Ye have shamed the counsel of the poor, because the LORD is his refuge.
(Psa 34:6 KJV) This poor man cried, and the LORD heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles.
(Psa 35:10 KJV) All my bones shall say, LORD, who is like unto thee, which deliverest the poor from him that is too strong for him, yea, the poor and the needy from him that spoileth him?
(Psa 37:14 KJV) The wicked have drawn out the sword, and have bent their bow, to cast down the poor and needy, and to slay such as be of upright conversation.
(Psa 40:17 KJV) But I am poor and needy; yet the Lord thinketh upon me: thou art my help and my deliverer; make no tarrying, O my God.
(Psa 41:1 KJV) A Psalm of David. Blessed is he that considereth the poor: the LORD will deliver him in time of trouble.
(Psa 69:33 KJV) For the LORD heareth the poor, and despiseth not his prisoners.
(Psa 72:4 KJV) He shall judge the poor of the people, he shall save the children of the needy, and shall break in pieces the oppressor.
(Psa 72:12 KJV) For he shall deliver the needy when he crieth; the poor also, and him that hath no helper.
(Psa 72:13 KJV) He shall spare the poor and needy, and shall save the souls of the needy.
(Psa 82:3 KJV) Defend the poor and fatherless: do justice to the afflicted and needy.
(Psa 82:4 KJV) Deliver the poor and needy: rid them out of the hand of the wicked.
(Psa 109:16 KJV) Because that he remembered not to show mercy, but persecuted the poor and needy man, that he might even slay the broken in heart.
(Psa 109:31 KJV) For he shall stand at the right hand of the poor, to save him from those that condemn his soul.
(Psa 112:9 KJV) He hath dispersed, he hath given to the poor; his righteousness endureth for ever; his horn shall be exalted with honour.
(Psa 140:12 KJV) I know that the LORD will maintain the cause of the afflicted, and the right of the poor.
Distribute all the wealth equally in the world and within 2 years 80 percent of the wealth will likely be in 20 percent of the hands of the people who lied, cheated, stole it, abused others to get it. Sad isn't it.
1. The early Christians demonstrated great liberality toward the poor,
a. The church at Jerusalem - Ac 2:44-45; 4:34-37
b. The church at Antioch - Ac 11:27-30
c. The churches of Macedonia - 2 Co 8:1-4
2. Paul in particular was engaged in helping poor Christians...
a. He was asked to remember the poor - Ga 2:9-10
b. He instructed churches on how to take up a collection - 1 Co 16:
c. He accompanied such a collection to the needy saints in Jerusalem
- Ro 15:25-26
-- It can truly be said that the early church did "remember the poor"
3. Today, some are more likely to revile the poor than remember them...
a. If someone is poor asking for help, they are assumed to be lazy
b. If inclined to help, the poor are expected to earn what they are
4. Yet God has chosen to bless the poor...
a. In the words of Jesus - Lk 6:20
b. In the words of James - Ja 2:5
[Therefore a Biblical study on the subject of the poor and poverty can
be beneficial, lest we fall short in our duty to "remember the poor".
Let's start with...]
I. UNDERSTANDING THE POOR AND POVERTY
A. THOSE WHO ARE POOR...
1. Includes those who may have absolutely nothing, or very little
- cf. Mk 12:41-44
2. Also those who have enough to offer meager sacrifices - cf. Lev
-- One does not have to be completely destitute to be considered
B. CAUSES OF POVERTY...
1. Sometimes but not always it is due to sinful actions on the part of the
a. Laziness - Pro 6:6-11
b. Refusing to heed correction - Pro 13:18
c. Pleasure seeking - Pro 21:17
d. Drunkenness, gluttony - Pro 23:21
2. Other times it is due to sinful actions of other men
a. Usury and extortion - Pro 28:8
b. Greed - Isa 3:14-15
c. Unfair labor practices - Jer 22:13
d. Oppression - Amo 4:1
e. Persecution - 2 Co 8:1-2; He 10:32-34
3. It can also be due to natural disasters
a. Plague, economic depression, war
b. Hurricane, earthquake, tsunami
4. It may be due to God's chastisement
a. As was the case in Haggai's day - Hag 1:5-11
b. Again in the days of Malachi - Mal 3:8-12
5. It can be due to voluntary choice
a. As in the case of Jesus - Lk 9:57-58
b. As in the case of His apostles - Mk 10:28; 2 Co 6:10
-- One cannot assume that poverty is due to laziness or wickedness
[Poverty has many causes, and both Moses and Jesus taught the poor would
be with us (Deu 15:11; Mt 26:11). God hears the cries of the poor (Psa
69:33), and it is interesting to note how He made provision for them in
both the Old and New Testament...]
II. PROVISION FOR THE POOR IN THE LAW
A. AS CHARGED BY MOSES...
1. The poor were not to be charged interest - Exo 22:25; Lev 25:
2. The fruit of fallow ground during the seventh year was for the
poor - Exo 23:10-11
3. They were allowed to glean the fields after the harvest - Lev
19:9-10; Deu 24:19-22
4. They could satisfy their hunger in the vineyards and grain
fields- Deu 23:24-25; Lk 6:1
5. The tithe for the third year was reserved for special groups of
the poor - Deu 14:28-29
6. Debts were to be canceled every seven years - Deu 15:1-4
7. Hebrew slaves had to be set free after six years - Deu 15:12-15
-- Israel was charged to be careful in their attitude toward the
poor - Deu 15:7-11
B. AS COUNSELED BY SOLOMON...
1. Happy is the one who shows mercy to the poor - Pro 14:21
2. He who oppresses the poor reproaches his Maker - Pro 14:31
3. He who mocks the poor reproaches his Maker - Pro 17:5
4. He who has pity on the poor lends to the Lord who will pay him
back - Pro 19:17
5. Whoever shuts their ears to the cry of the poor, will cry and
not be heard - Pro 21:13
6. The person with a generous eye will be blessed, having given to
the poor - Pro 22:9
7. He who gives to the poor will not lack, But he who hides his
eyes will have many curses - Pro 28:27
8. The virtuous woman extends her hand to the poor, and reaches
her hands out to the needy - Pro 31:20
-- Such concern for the poor is a mark of righteousness and
wisdom - Pro 29:7
[If the Law of Moses displayed such concern and provision for the poor,
we should not be surprised to find a similar concern and provision in
the gospel of Christ...]
III. PROVISION FOR THE POOR IN THE GOSPEL
A. AS COMMANDED BY JESUS...
1. In His sermon on the mount - Mt 5:42
2. In His sermon on the plain - Lk 6:34-36
3. In His words to one who invited Him into his home - Lk 14:12-14
-- Jesus taught we should be willing to help the poor
B. AS CHARGED BY HIS APOSTLES AND PROPHETS...
1. Paul, in several of his epistles - Ro 12:13; 1 Ti 6:17-19
2. The writer of the epistle to the Hebrews - He 13:16
3. James, in describing pure and undefiled religion before God
- Ja 1:27
4. John, in describing the love of God, exemplified by Jesus
- 1 Jn 3:16-19
5. For needy Christians, churches were charged how to provide aid
a. With a weekly collection, as one prospers - 1 Co 16:1-2
b. With thoughtful purpose, and a cheerful heart - 2 Co 9:1,7
6. Yet the local church most not be burdened (for its mission is
spiritual, not social)...
a. Individuals are to fulfill their familial duties - 1 Ti 5:16
b. Individuals have their duty to be a 'good Samaritan' - cf.
-- As we have opportunity, we have the duty to do good unto all
men - Ga 6:10
1. Can we not see why the early Christians were so diligent to help the
a. They were not only obeying the commandments of Jesus and His
b. They were also displaying compassion that has always characterized
the people of God
2. There are certainly good reasons to "remember the poor"...
a. Those who do are blessed by the Lord - Psa 41:1-3
b. God has chosen the poor to be rich in faith and heirs of the
kingdom - Ja 2:5
3. What can we do to remember the poor...?
a. Give liberally to the church, for the benefit of needy Christians
b. Give liberally to charitable organizations, to help others who may
be in need
Let's honor God and glorify Christ by remembering the poor...
"Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially
to those who are of the household of faith." - Gal 6:10
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