Home Outreach Leaders Articles for Outreach & Missions If You Don’t Care for the Poor, You Don’t Understand the Gospel

If You Don’t Care for the Poor, You Don’t Understand the Gospel

I recently heard a great example of this attitude. The first American missionary was an African-American named George Lisle. He had been born a slave in Virginia. When his master became a Christian and liberated him, Lisle could have simply sat on his newfound freedom. Instead, he sold himself back into temporary servitude to board a ship to Jamaica, where he became a missionary to the slaves there.

If there were ever anyone who might have said, “I have a right to be at ease in Zion,” to turn the attention back on himself and use his freedom to make something of himself, it was George Lisle. But Lisle realized that hearing the gospel had made him an extremely privileged person, and with the privilege of hearing the gospel came the responsibility to take it to others.

Every saved person this side of heaven owes the gospel to every unsaved person this side of hell. The way you can tell you have understood this gospel truth is that you see people in need—physically, emotionally and spiritually—and you instinctively pour yourself out for them.

This article about the need to care for the poor originally appeared here.
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J.D. Greear, Ph.D., is the President of the Southern Baptist Convention and pastors the Summit Church in Raleigh-Durham, NC. Tagged by Outreach magazine as one of the fastest growing churches in America, the Summit has grown in the past 8 years from 400 to over 5,000 each weekend. The Summit Church is deeply involved in global church planting, having undertaken the mission to plant 1000 churches in the next 40 years. J.D. has authored Breaking the Islam Code and the upcoming Gospel: Recovering the Power that Made Christianity Revolutionary.