THE MISSION OF THE LOCAL CHURCH #2

THE MISSION OF THE LOCAL CHURCH #2

Caring for the Needy, Widows, and Orphans

INTRODUCTION

A. One of the important works of the church is the caring for
the needy, widows, and orphans.

1. Those who are in need, of course, benefit from this

2. Also, the church benefits

B. It is interesting to note that every time the growth of the
Jerusalem church is mentioned, it is mentioned in
connection with doing good and helping those in need

1. Acts 2:44-47

2. Acts 4:32-35

3. Acts 6:1-7

C. We may not realize it, but this work of the church is very
important to its growth

DISCUSSION

A. GOD HAS ALWAYS BEEN A PROTECTOR
OF THE POOR AND NEEDY

1. This is obvious from the institution of the sabbatical
year

a. Exodus 23:10-11

b. Deuteronomy 15:4, 7-11

2. Note also that God prohibits oppressing the poor and
needy whether they are brethren or strangers

… Deuteronomy 24:14

3. God promises the needy that He will:

a. Not forget them (Psa. 9:18)

b. Deliver them (Psa. 35:10)

c. Raise the poor and lift the needy (Psa. 113:7)

d. Not forsake them (Isa. 41:7)

4. Notice the compassion that the Almighty has for the poor
and needy  – Psalm 146:5-10

5. It is also crucial for us to understand that God places a
woe upon them that oppress the poor.

a. Isaiah 10:1-2

b. Isaiah 3:13-15

B. INSPIRATION INSTRUCTS US TO CARE
FOR THE POOR AND NEEDY

1. In the Old Testament

a. Proverbs 31:9

b. Psalm 82:1-4

c. The Scriptures teach that it is the wicked who neglect
the poor

1) Psalm 37:14

2) Proverbs 30:14

2. In the New Testament

a. Ephesians 4:28

b. Luke 3:11

c. 1 Timothy 6:17-19

3. However, we are not obligated to help professional
beggars

a. 2 Thessalonians 3:10

b. 1 Timothy 5:8

c. 1 Thessalonians 4:11

C. WE ARE NOT RESTRICTED TO ONLY
HELPING CHRISTIANS

1. We are authorized to assist other congregations in caring
for the needy  –  Acts 11:28-30

2. We may also help those who are not Christians

a. Galatians 6:10

b. 2 Corinthians 9:12-13

c. 1 Thessalonians 5:15

d. Romans 12:20

e. Illustration: Members house burns down … spouse not a
Christian … Is this one not allowed to eat the food the
congregation brings, or wear the clothing? – inconsistent
actions

D. HOW CAN WE ASSIST THE POOR AND NEEDY?

1. First of all, such is determined by the character and
circumstances of those involved – every situation will be
different

2. We can assist in the following ways:

a. By providing shelter in our homes or through rentals

b. Providing clothes

c. Providing food

d. Paying utility bills

e. Providing medicine

f. Furnishing transportation

g. Helping to secure employment

h. Providing child care during distress

I. Personal visits showing care and concern

E. WIDOWS AND ORPHANS ARE ALSO
AMONG THE NEEDY FOR WHOM WE
SHOULD HAVE CONCERN

1. God has always been a friend of the fatherless and
widow

a. Deuteronomy 10:18

b. Deuteronomy 24:19-22

c. Deuteronomy 26:12-13

d. Deuteronomy 27:19

2. What is the church’s responsibility to the fatherless
and the widow?

a. Under normal circumstances, certain ones are charged
with the responsibility of caring for those depending
upon them

1) Parents are to care for their children (2 Cor. 12:14;
1 Tim. 5:8).

2) Relatives are to care for the widows who are their kin
(1 Tim. 5:4-16; Mk. 7:10-13)

3) However, there are some who are unable or unwilling
to do so

b. When widows and orphans cannot care for
themselves, or be care for by relatives – certainly the
church may assist in this effort

1) Acts 6:1-8 is an apostolic example of the early church
caring for the widows

2) 1 Timothy 5:1-16 teaches that the church has an
obligation to care for widows, and since caring for
widows is associated with caring for orphans (Jam.
1:27) – the church has an obligation to care for both

3) James 1:27

3.  Caring for widows and orphans is not just an
individual obligation

a. The “church” (collectively) acted in care of the needy in
Acts 11:27-30

b. Some say that Galatians 6:10 is authorizing
“individuals” to help the non-Christian, but if that is true
then only individuals can help “the household of faith” –
that which proves too much proves nothing

c. 1 Timothy 5:1-16 teaches that the “church” has an
obligation to widows, and because the care of widows is
connected with the care of orphans (Jam. 1:27), the
“church” also has an obligation to help orphans

d. Notice also that when God speaks to an individual, He is
also speaking to the church  – Revelation 2:29

CONCLUSION

A. Ezekiel tells us that one of the reasons Sodom was
destroyed was because she did not “strengthen the hand of
the needy” (Eze. 16:49).

B. One reason God poured out His indignation upon Israel was
that they had “vexed the poor and needy” (Eze. 22:29-31).

C. God promised to bless Israel if they would help the need
(Jer. 22:16).

D. One reason the rich man was lost, was that he neglected to
care for the poor and needy (Lk. 16:19-31)

E. Those who are in heaven will have fed the hungry and will
have clothed the naked (Mt. 25:31-46).

 

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About from the Preachers PC

Gospel Preacher for the Park Heights church of Christ in Hamilton, TX. I stand for and defend the truth of God's word. All other degrees and diplomas mean very little in comparison.
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