The ultimate poverty is spiritual poverty.  The ultimate slavery is spiritual slavery.  If we help improve a person’s physical state (prosperity, justice, political freedom) without improving their spiritual state, we have ultimately, from eternity’s perspective, accomplished nothing.  I am not saying that we shouldn’t work for justice or feed the hungry.  We should.  We must.  I do!  What I am saying is that feeding a person’s physical stomach should never be our ultimate goal — feeding his spiritual stomach should be our ultimate goal, because there will be many well-fed, well-dressed people spending forever without God.

There is a serious danger that we will become “Christian Materialists”.  By that, I don’t refer to church-goers who are into nicer and nicer cars and clothes and houses, although that is a symptom of true materialism.  Materialism is the philosophy and belief that the physical universe is the only real reality, and that spiritual things are mere metaphors or ignorance.  And when you believe this, of course, you will see only physical, psychological and political problems and issues, not spiritual realities.  And, in a practical sense, you will be useless to a God who came to this planet as a man and sacrificed Himself so that humanity could one day be truly free, spiritually, and be with Him in Eternity.

“By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible.” (Hebrews 11:3)

“He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by Him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by Him and for Him. He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.” (Colossians 1:15-17)

“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Me.  Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matthew 28:18-20)


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