By Sarah Kittle
Do you see wars, famine, human trafficking, terror, drug and alcohol addictions, abuse, families falling apart?
The Gospel of Jesus Christ is the solution to the problems of the world. Follow Jesus and you can help bring an end to suffering in the world.
Many of the world’s problems are problems of the heart.
Jesus tells us, “For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander,” (Matthew 15:19).
And if the “heart of the problem” is the heart, we need the Gospel. For only God can truly change the heart.
Why is there human trafficking? Because of lust and greed. Two things Jesus teaches against. If people refused to give into lust and greed, human trafficking would stop. No more sellers. No more customers. No more prisoners.
When the Gospel is spread and people come to know Jesus, their hearts are changed. Their minds are renewed. They change their way of thinking. And when people are true followers of Christ, they will follow His ways. After all, Jesus said in John 14:23, “If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching…”
So what did Jesus teach?
Jesus said: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments,” (Matthew 22:37-40).
Love your neighbor as yourself? Can you imagine the changes that would take place in the world if people did this?
Jesus teaches, “‘“Do not murder, do not commit adultery, do not steal, do not give false testimony, honor your father and mother,” and “love your neighbor as yourself.”’” (Matthew 19:18-19).
When people are truly believing and following God’s ways, they will live it out in their lives.
“We know that we have come to know Him if we obey His commands. The man who says, ‘I know him’ but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in him,” (1 John 2:3-4). “But if anyone obeys His word, God’s love is truly made complete in him…” (1 John 2:5).
The problems with drugs and alcohol is that many people use them to try to fix themselves, dull the pain, escape their problems or fill a void. But the problem with that is… they never can. They are used as an escape, when they are really only a trap. Used to fill a void, when they only leave one empty. Drugs and alcohol addictions don’t create solutions or make problems better… they only make problems worse. Drunk drivers. Abusive behavior. Lack of productivity. Only Jesus Christ can fill the void in our hearts. Not fame, not a relationship, not drugs, not sex, not alcohol. Jesus is the only one who can meet a person’s deepest needs. They may not know how to deal with fear, guilt, worry, pain or depression, but if they will look to Jesus, He will help them. He will bring healing. If drug dealers start following Jesus, they will stop selling drugs.
Jesus said, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full,” (John 10:10).
The problem with famine is not a shortage of food in the world. Our grocery stores are full in America. Eating at restaurants and fast food are an American past time. Can you count how many cooking shows there are on television? One of the reasons people are starving is because of selfishness. Many people don’t share. Many people don’t take the time to give or to reach out to those in need. They don’t make the effort. Jesus teaches His disciples to feed the hungry and to give water to the thirsty. If this instruction was followed, wouldn’t most of famine and dehydration cease?
“This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down His life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers. If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and truth,” (I John 3:16-18).
We see Jesus’ compassion for the hungry in Matthew 15:32:
“Jesus called his disciples to him and said, ‘I have compassion for these people; they have already been with me three days and have nothing to eat. I do not want to send them away hungry, or they may collapse on the way.’” Jesus then miraculously provided food for the people.
Jesus teaches the importance of feeding the hungry and providing a drink for the thirsty in his famous parable of the sheep and the goats: “For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in,” (Matthew 25:35). “The King will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.’” (Matthew 25:40). What are you doing for Jesus today?
Orphans. One of the saddest things in the world is children without caretakers and protectors. Children with no present father or mother. Children left vulnerable as prey to those who would hurt them. The Bible teaches Christ’s followers to take care of orphans:
“Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world,” (James 1:27).
Jesus also warns against harming children: “It would be better for him to be thrown into the sea with a millstone tied around his neck than for him to cause one of these little ones to sin,” (Luke 17:2).
Consider the breakdown of the family. The Bible teaches marriage to be with one person “till death do you part” and teaches against divorce. The Bible teaches “You shall not commit adultery” (Exodus 20:14) and “…You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife…” (Ex. 20:17). Such simple instructions followed would save a lot of marriages!
“Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others,” (Ephesians 2:4). Love and forgiveness is what’s needed.
The Bible instructs parents to teach their children the Word of God and for children to honor their mother and father.
And I could go on and on:
Do not steal
Do not lie
Do not murder.
For anyone willing to honestly look at scientific fact and evidence, abortion is taking a human life. Human life is to be protected, including the unborn, the disabled and the elderly. All human life is valuable because we are made in the image of God. The way you treat people says a lot about you. The way society treats its people – the unborn, the disabled, the sick and the elderly – says a lot about them. What do your actions say about you?
Following Jesus means dying to ourselves – to sinful habits and thoughts and ideas. It means renewing our minds to believe and think in accordance with Jesus’ teaching and live that out in our actions. And part of following Christ is teaching other people to do the same.
Jesus instructs us to “…go and make disciples of all nations… and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you…” (Matt 28:19-20).
“So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets,” (Matthew 7:12).
If everyone followed Christ and His teachings, wouldn’t the world be a better place?
Jesus tells us, “Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me…” (John 14:21). “He who does not love me will not obey my teaching…” (John 14:24).
“My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you,” (John 15:12).
How did Jesus love people? With compassion and understanding. With kindness. Good deeds and sharing the Gospel. By giving His life.
“Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends,” (John 15:13).
There are many needs and hurting people in the world. If we truly care about people, we will work to eliminate their suffering on earth and care enough about their souls to desire their eternal salvation.
After all, preaching the Gospel is also a command of Jesus:
“He said to them, ‘Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved…’” (Mark 16:15-16).
If we only focus on social justice issues without sharing the Gospel, we leave out the most important part.
So do what you can to help people. Love your families. Love your spouse and children. Raise your family. Help your siblings, grandparents and parents. Care for children. Help the hungry, thirsty, hurting and afflicted. Do it for Jesus. But don’t leave out the Gospel. The way to remove the darkness is to spread the light. Tell people about Jesus!
“In him [Jesus] was life, and that life was the light of men,” (John 1:4). “Jesus answered, ‘I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me,’” (John 14:6).
Tell people how much Jesus loves them and that He died on the cross for their sins so they can know God and have eternal life.
“Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent,” (John 17:3).
“But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name,” (John 20:31).
“that everyone who believes in Him may have eternal life,” (John 3:15).
Tell them to cry out to Jesus to save them and forgive them of their sins. Let them know God has a good purpose and plan for their life! That God can bring good in their life and there is a reason they are on earth. Their life has meaning and value!
If we try to fix the problems by works alone without sharing the Gospel, we’re not truly solving the problem. We’re not helping their deepest need or getting to the root: the heart.
The world needs a change of heart. It needs more Christ followers. People need Jesus to touch their hearts and heal their lives and families. People need to see how much Jesus loves them and just how valuable they are to God. And how valuable other people are to God. And positive change will happen in this world: in families and schools and neighborhoods, cities and countries.
Although we know from the book of Revelation in the Bible what will come. Not everyone will repent. Not everyone will turn to Christ for the forgiveness of sins. Not everyone will love like Jesus. But don’t let that be you.
As Jesus said in Mark 1:17, “Come, follow me…”
Come love like Jesus.
Sarah Kittle is Host & Executive Producer of Soul Check TV, a Christian television outreach show that focuses on sharing the Gospel, encouraging believers in their walk with Christ and bringing positive entertainment. Sarah works on the show with her family, who are also featured on the show. Soul Check TV features backstage interviews with Christian bands, artists and guests, along with music videos. The show airs Saturday nights on the NRB Network, DirecTV Channel 378. For more information, please check out soulchecktv.com.