I heard a preacher say the other day that Christians need to respond to the AIDS crisis by helping people with AIDS (especially in places like Africa). But why should we? Doesn't the Bible say that if people sin they have to pay a price? — H.J.
The Bible doesn't make a distinction between "good" sins and "bad" sins, because in God's eyes all sin is wrong. That's why we all need God's forgiveness, "for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23).
If God only cared for good people, then none of us would ever know His love. But God loves sinners—including you and me. Yes, He hates the sin—but He still loves the sinner! He loves us so much that He sent His Son into the world to die for us so that we could be forgiven and spend eternity with Him in heaven. The Bible says, "God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us" (Romans 5:8).
If God loves us this much, shouldn't we love others also, and do what we can to help them? Of course. My son Franklin has been deeply burdened by the plight of AIDS victims in Africa and elsewhere, and his organization, Samaritan's Purse, is doing all it can to relieve their suffering and point them to the hope we have in Christ.
Yes, sin has consequences—and sometimes those consequences are terrible. But one of the greatest sins we can ever commit is to turn our backs on someone in need. Ask God to help you see others the way He sees them, and to reach out to them with Christ's love.