Can we make poverty history?
...and when will it happen?
The “Make Poverty History” campaign is a good campaign, a worthy cause, and one which Christians should support in their quest to love their neighbour and show the same care and concern for God’s world that He does.
However, that being said… it is unrealistic that poverty will ever be made history in this world. It’s impossible from a mathematical point of view because the statistics are too enormous… It’s impossible from a human nature point of view because we are too greedy. It’s impossible from a Biblical point of view because even Jesus teaches “the poor you will always have with you.” (Mark 14:7).
And here there is subtle but important difference in how the Christian goes about the “Make Poverty History” campaign.
We cannot make poverty history. But… a time is coming when poverty will be history - not by our hand but by the hand of Jesus. The Christian strives to alleviate poverty not because they will see it fulfilled in this world, but in the new creation that Jesus commands. “God’s dwelling place will be among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”
This is the image that the Christian has in mind. Not that we will make poverty history, but that “Poverty Will Be Made History” in the new creation.
We see the picture clearly in Revelation 21:1-4:
"Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth,” for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”