Bruce Collins, Evangelist

The personal website of Bruce Collins



(Matthew 25:40)  And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’

(Matthew 25:45)  Then He will answer them, saying, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.’


Getting to heaven is based on what Christ has done for us, not on what we are doing for Christ.  However, what we are doing for Christ reflects strongly on whether we really believe that Christ died for our sins, that He GAVE Himself, that He was willing to sacrifice all for us.  Ephesians 2:8-10 explains the relationship between faith and works clearly.  Verse 8 shows us God’s plan which is by grace through faith.  Verse 9 shows us Man’s plan which is by works.  Verse 10 shows us the results of entering into God’s plan.  People of faith are a poetic masterpiece, a new creation designed for good works.  While good works do not save, the lack of good works might indicate that a person is not saved.  I have been thinking about those good works in relation to the poor.


Our Responsibility

In Matthew 25, the hungry were fed and inasmuch as it was done to the hungry, it was done to the Lord.  I realize that the interpretation has to do with judging the nations before the millennium based on how they treated the faithful Jews during the tribulation period.  But the principle applies to us now.


In the following verses, the New Testament teaches that rich Christians should help poor Christians so that there might be an equality.  I know that sounds socialistic and enabling when it comes to the poor, but that is what Paul says.  He also says that charity begins at the house of God, but that our responsibility reaches out to others.  And sharing is always a sacrifice:


(2 Corinthians 8:13-14)  For I do not mean that others should be eased and you burdened; but by an equality, that now at this time your abundance may supply their lack, that their abundance also may supply your lack–that there may be equality.

(Galatians 6:10)  Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith.

(Hebrews 13:16)  But do not forget to do good and to share, for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.

(1 John 3:17-18)  But whoever has this world’s goods, and sees his brother in need, and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God abide in him?  My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth.


John is writing to those in the family but these “brothers” in this passage might be Jewish brothers instead of Christian brothers.


Old Testament Teaching

In the Old Testament, there was a year of release where debts were to be forgiven every seven years.  This applied only to debts of other Israelite’s but this was designed to give the poor in the nation of Israel a new start if they had fallen on hard times.  I have found Deuteronomy 15 to be interesting and instructive and convicting.  Blessing was associated with blessing the poor.


(Deuteronomy 15:11)  For the poor will never cease from the land; therefore I command you, saying, “You shall open your hand wide to your brother, to your poor and your needy, in your land.”



In the Unites States those who have worked hard and have enough of this world’s goods often look down on the poor.  There is a tendency to think that helping them enables then to stay poor.  I have always thought that.  While I have always tried to help someone who is hungry get a meal, I have never helped the poor get a fresh start.   But enabling the poor by helping them does not seem to be a concern of the Lord.  He teaches that (at least for poor Christians) if the poor and indebted are given a fresh start they will use it to better themselves.  While that may not be true of many that are unsaved, we should still help them anyway.   However, we need to be wise as to how we help them..  I think that is clear from Galatians 6:10.  I am personally reconsidering how much of my work should be with those who are poor spiritually and in need of the riches of God’s salvation and how much of my work should be with those who are simply poor.


I suspect that if we who are truly Christ followers helped the poor with a no strings attached type of help, that the Lord would use that to help the poor who are not saved believe that we believe what we say we believe.  I know that there are Christians who do this.  I am praying that I can be more personally  involved with a ministry to the poor in the future.


Bruce Collins


Meditation for the week of March 13, 2016

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