The mission of the Seventh-day Adventist Church is the proclamation of the everlasting gospel, salvation provided by Jesus Christ. This mission includes a desire to share all that God has been pleased to reveal about Himself in the Bible.
God’s call includes healing the sick, caring for widows and the fatherless, and binding the wounds of the brokenhearted. Caring for the physical needs of humanity is closely connected to the proclamation of God’s Word. It is the right arm of the gospel, for it has the potential of opening recipients to the message of the gospel.
But it is all too easy to retreat into a social gospel, where caring for physical needs becomes an end in itself, a mission without a message. In this view, mission is complete when the physical needs of individuals are cared for.
This view may come from a fear of intruding into the lives and cultures of others, or a fear of rejection. It may also come from loss of belief in the relevancy or truth of God’s Word.
God invites each individual to enter a personal relationship with Him based upon a knowledge of Him as the only true God (see John 17:3). God has chosen to partner with us in sharing His love with the world, both in ministry and proclamation. We have the privilege of teaching all the world the message of the everlasting gospel before the return of Christ (see Matt. 28:19, 20; 24:14; Rev. 14:6, 7). Why would we desire to bring only physical healing, which is temporal, when it is within our scope to share the gospel of eternal life?
Jesus said, “If anyone is ashamed of me and my words . . . , the Son of Man will be ashamed of them when He comes” (Mark 8:38).