People need help. That’s why there are almost 4,500 aid agencies around the globe, collecting over $27 billion in funding every year. The same United Nations report that presents these figures also explains that about 140 million people need humanitarian aid each year, 65 million are forcibly displaced by violence and conflict, and the number affected by natural disasters each year often reaches into the 100s of millions.
While millions are suffering physically, the spiritual impoverishment of billions is still worse. Unless something changes, man’s spiritual problems will lead to the physical destruction of all mankind.
Jesus Christ prophesied, “For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved …” (Matthew 24:21-22). Unless God intervenes, man will destroy himself.
And why would God intervene? Because of one “humanitarian” organization. Verse 22 concludes, “[B]ut for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened.”
“One of [God’s] reasons for having called you, now, is to save humanity alive!” Herbert W. Armstrong wrote. “Brethren, do we fully realize the magnitude of that—the great, tremendous purpose for our having been called to salvation now?” (member letter, Nov. 2, 1972). All humanity needs aid. This is why God puts people in His Church: to save humanity alive!
God has a time order for salvation. God the Father does the calling (John 6:44) and is not trying to convert the world today. Ultimately, however, He will offer salvation to all mankind (1 Timothy 2:4).
However, we do have a part in saving humanity alive—even today! God’s Work is the ultimate altruistic project. We are not waiting until Christ’s return and the establishment of His Kingdom on Earth to start caring about humanity. We are working to point people to the beautiful future God will create—by setting an example in that way individually and as a spiritual nation, by supporting God’s Work that is warning the world of its wrongful ways and publicizing the advance good news of God’s coming Kingdom. We are representatives of God and should be mindful of this in all our dealings with our bosses, co-workers and neighbors, working to make a positive impression on people. We should be subject to authorities, good citizens, pure in speech, and showing “all meekness unto all men” (Titus 3:1-2). We should be lights to the world in all that we do! (Matthew 5:14).
God’s command is that we love this world! The two great commandments that summarize God’s whole law are these: “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself” (Luke 10:27). Yes, God commands us to hate the satanic things in this world, but He also commands us to think beyond ourselves, to stretch our minds and have the same outflowing love for this world that He Himself has! God offered His only begotten Son for all people (John 3:16).
What we do, we do for humanity. This tremendous understanding infuses our lives with real purpose. We are not here to save the self. We are called to ultimately help save everyone!
Mr. Armstrong wrote, “How many of us become unmindful of God’s purpose and assume we were called and put into God’s Church only to get our personal salvation—and to enjoy the fellowship and social life of our local church?” (member letter, Feb. 21, 1974). We must think big. The humanitarian project that is God’s Church should help expand our thinking and help us get our minds off ourselves.
“When most of our brethren begin pouring their whole hearts into this Work, in zealous prayer, in faith in what our God can do … we’ll all be far more happy and joyous! We will come to fuller realization of the magnitude of the good we have been called to do for humanity!” (member letter, Nov. 2, 1972).
Our minds need to be stretched by our Work today because of what God wants us to do in the near future. We are preparing today to teach all humanity tomorrow.
“In boundless love and mercy the Supreme God has chosen and called you and me and all our brethren in Christ out of this unhappy and futile world. Why? Not only to give into our lives His happiness and joy and blessed hope, but to prepare us through His Spirit and His spiritual knowledge to rule over and teach all humanity during the coming thousand years and the following Great Judgment to have their lives transformed into vigorous happiness, joy and accomplishment with the gift of eternal life—when we all shall live happily, gloriously, vigorously, productively for ever and ever!” (member letter, March 23, 1984).
God calls people to His one true Church today to help save humanity alive and to prepare to teach mankind tomorrow. Embrace this purpose and realize the magnitude of the good we have been called to do for humanity.