Yesterday I mentioned what I think to be a major misunderstanding of the Gospel in the church today. Your life is about Christ in you; it’s not about you. You are not your own.
When I explain that, most believers nod their head in agreement. “Of course, yes, amen brother.” But I keeps it real. I don’t just like to say pithy statements, I like to show people what pithy statements mean.
There were two phrases this past week I heard from people who would nod their head to my assertion that life is about Christ and not you, and yet both said something that defies this notion. Here’s what they said:
Example One: In a discussion about politics and what can be done to get rid of our current president a person said, “We need to spread the Gospel so people quit voting for guys like him.”
Example Two: In a discussion against gun control a person said, “We need to spread the Gospel to reform society and save our world.”
I am not going to debate either statement, they may or may not be true, whether they are or not is completely irrelevant to me, because here’s my point:
Do you share the Gospel out of love for a person, out of concern for their soul, out of fear of God’s judgment on the sinner OR do you share the Gospel to reform society, get better politicians so your tax rates go down so you can enjoy a more comfortable materialistic life with the right to shoot people who take your stuff?
I keeps it real.
The believer in Christ who is solely looking to heaven, to living Christlike rather than selfishly, doesn’t really care about fighting for this world. He embraces and shares the Gospel out of concern for his fellow-man and in fear of God and because of the seriousness of sin.
I don’t want sinners to reform so I can enjoy peace on earth; I want them to reform so they can have peace for eternity.
Any time our “spirituality” has an earthly motive we are missing the point. I know this is nearly heresy in our day when we are supposed to be socially conscious and whatnot, but we must be careful here.
Jesus told us to love our neighbor; He did not tell us to reform society. There’s a big difference. As H. L. Mencken once said, “The urge to save humanity is almost always only a false-face for the urge to rule it.” I think that’s what most Christian want with evangelism–they want to rule the world.
Many reasons for evangelism sound more like a political party platform than they do a concern for eternity.
Christ is not running for office. He did not die so we could live our best life now. He died because this world is beyond saving. He died that the few, the remnant, would be saved.
Part of being saved is walking on the narrow road, not the broad road clogged with the majority. Do we believe this, or do we merely want to pretend our road is broader than Christ said it was?
I fear that many Christians want Christianity so they can have the earth now; when Christ told us to give up this life now so we might truly possess in the life to come.