Societal Issues

Most churches in America today are focussed primarily on the society around them, “Winning their community for Christ,” “Reaching the lost with the gospel,” and “Ministering to the needy with the love of God.” The church I attend has that as the final third of its mission. Allow me to quote a summary:

“Our Vision is to raise up Godly generations of believers who are:

•  Learning to follow Jesus

•  Living as the family of God

•  Engaging the World as Disciple-makers”

There is a key here that a few of you might have missed. If the primary focus is on reaching people with the gospel or meeting the needs of the poor, it quickly becomes nothing more than a social gospel. That is “good works,” “dead works,” and “eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.” I call it religiosity.

Look again at our Vision Statement. First we must “learn to follow Jesus,” learn to know His voice and follow His Holy Spirit, and even dwell in Christ and He in us so we become intimate with the Heavenly Father. Second, we must put it into practice, “Living as the family of God.” When those around us see us truly loving and caring for each other, when they see the nature and character of Christ being developed in us, they will get interested. Then and only then can we “Engage the World as Disciple-makers” and address those societal issues.

Those who put the last step first, are trying to accomplish it in their own strength. Jesus warned His disciples to wait in Jerusalem until they were baptized with the Holy Spirit, assuring them that “You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you shall [then] be My witnesses…” (Acts 1:3-8)

One of the reasons I attend the church assembly that I do, is that they get the order right. Our focus is not on bringing the lost into the church so the pastor can get them saved! It is on maturing the believers in the church, so that every one of them can go out and lead others to the Lord.

Too many churches are full of lost people! They come because it’s fun, like a social club or a show, and because they are made to feel welcome, loved, “just as they are,” with no condemnation for their vices or worldliness. They may even call themselves Christians, because they go to church. They happily claim the promises of God – heaven and it’s delights – even though they remain quite comfortable in their sins. But you will note that all those churches preach a secret pre-tribulation rapture, where their church members will be instantly made holy and snatched up to heaven before God’s judgments fall. You cannot have a church full of lost people without the secret pre-trib rapture; otherwise you might have to tell the truth about sin, and all those lost people would either leave or repent.

I hit the pre-trib rapture heresy pretty hard in my book, and summarize it in this controversies section in a separate essay. I also discuss the correct approach toward sinners, which is to neither condemn them nor excuse their sin, but rather to introduce them to Jesus “who takes away the sins of the world” and His Holy Spirit who empowers us to walk as He walked. It is only the light of His holiness that exposes sin for what it is. As you focus on Jesus and His power to change lives – as you learn to love what He loves and hate what He hates – the sins drop off behind you. There’s no sense criticizing the sinner; He doesn’t know Jesus! Of course he sins. But show him the Savior and watch in delight as the Holy Spirit does His work of convincing, convicting, and judging. That should not be controversial.



Page 1 of 13 All Pages

< Prev Next >