WASHINGTON - The new film "58" -- named for Isaiah 58 -- is part of a global initiative to end the world's worst poverty by the year 2035 and supporters of the effort say if the church gets involved, this is an achievable goal.
"[Isaiah 58] is a chapter of scripture that really embodies the key themes of God's heart for the poor and what he's asking his people to do," Scott Todd, with the "58" coalition, explained.
The poor have always been among us, but Todd said trends show that extreme poverty can actually be ended in this generation.
"In 1981 we had 52 percent of the world's population living in extreme poverty, so half the planet," Todd said. "And as of 2005, that's 26 percent."
Under those numbers, global poverty has already been chopped in half.
Tim Neeves, who co-directed "58" with his father, showed the film at the White House this week with Todd.
"The church has the resources available. We have the call from God. We've got to do this," Neeves said.
The film screens in 53 theaters this week. Free screening kits are available through the movie's website Live58.org.
Todd gave up a lucrative medical career to work full time on the cause. A coalition of 10 major anti-poverty organizations are highlighted in the film.
"Christian organizations that are world class, have experience, [are] trustworthy. They get it done," Todd said.
He stressed that while organizations alone can't end poverty, God's Church can.
"It's not bigger than His Church. God has given His people, His Church, not just the resources and the people and everything else, but He's given this ordained promise that the Church will overcome the very gates of Hell," Todd said.
Neeves added that Christians must realize revival will come out of obeying Isaiah 58.
"We all sing in our churches 'Lord, send revival,' but unless we have concern for the poor, that's not going to happen," he explained. "So we feel really passionately about this, that when people get on board, we're going to see God move so powerfully."
"Not just releasing people from extreme poverty," Neeves continued. "But I think we'll see God moving powerfully in our own lives."