In seeing to restore the New Testament church, one is made keenly aware of the attitude of charity that existed among early disciples of the Lord. “And all that believed were together and had all things common; and sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men as every man had need.” (Acts 2:44-45) We will never truly restore the church until we have restored the spirit of love and benevolence that characterized the Christians of the first century.
We are taught in the scriptures to help all men. “As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.” (Galatians 6:10) It has been maintained by some that the only ones that can be assisted out of the church treasury are saints. This hardly could be the nature of the case. A collection was taken to carry to the poor saints in Judea (Acts 11:27-30). It was distributed by the elders of the church, not only to the saints, but unto all men. “Whiles by the experiment of this ministration they glorify God for your professed subjection unto the gospel of Christ, and for your liberal distribution unto them, and unto all men.” (2 Corinthians 9:13)
God has always had a special concern for the poor and unfortunate. “He that despiseth his neighbor sins: but he that hath mercy on the poor: happy is he.” (Proverbs 14:21) Blessed is he that considereth the poor: the Lord will deliver him in time of trouble.” (Psalms 41:1) He that hath pity upon the poor lendeth unto the Lord; and that which he hath given will he pay him again.” (Proverbs 19:17)
We may restore the plan of salvation, worship, and other vital items of the New Testament church. But, unless we restore the attitude of benevolence and love that existed in the first century church, we have fallen short. A failure in this regard will result in our eternal ruin. “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.” (Matthew 25:41-43)
May the Lord bless you and keep you!
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