What is the greatest need of man?
If he gains all that this world has to offer, yet loses his soul, his loss will be felt through all eternity.
Consider that for a moment. If one would gain all the wealth, fame, adulation, pleasure, and happiness possible in this world, but loses his soul, the tragedy would be beyond imagination.
Yet, those leading our churches have forgotten this foundational truth.
They’ve forgotten that we are eternal beings. We were not made for this world. We were not designed to seek our fulfillment here.
Nor to help others to find their fulfillment here.
A World Dying of Sin
The church is a supernatural group of people that God is preparing to spend eternity with Him.
This group is designed for one basic purpose. To glorify the Lord.
To do that, we must know Him deeply, through His word, in order to lead other people to Him.
We are not here to make the world a better place.
We are not called to help the world to be more comfortable in their lives. Nor to find solutions to the world’s problems.
This world is suffering from the effects of sin and death. And there is no solution that will alleviate that suffering except through individual souls knowing Jesus as their Lord and Savior.
Then, the Lord Himself will sort the problems out for those who trust Him. Based on His own infinite plan for every specific person.
We are called to save men from their sins. Not from their situations.
Granted, our compassion for others should move us to do things for others as our personal situations allow. But, that is a side issue. It is not our primary focus.
The church today is focusing on the side issues. It has allowed the old siren call, to solve the Social Problems of the world, to lure it away from boldly proclaiming the old gospel.
To preach the old message that men are lost in sin. That they are lost in iniquity. And that their destiny is the lake of fire if they will not repent and trust Christ.
Love cannot save them. Good deeds done for them cannot save them. Only the blood of Christ can save them.
Only the Truth of the word of God can save them.
Which is how Faith is created. By believing God’s words about His Son, Jesus Christ.
Men’s own good works cannot save them. Their own good intentions cannot save them.
All the other messages which we preach are distracting us from meeting the desperate need of this world for Christ.
A New “Love” Religion
Despite this sobering reality, what the church today wants to do is to focus on alleviating the sufferings of this world. Some Christians, perhaps, are doing this so that the world will then listen to the gospel. Supposedly because a Christian did nice things for them.
And some church people may do things just so they can feel better about themselves. Perhaps, so that they can present their good works to God. To earn their own salvation. Or to feel like they are a better disciple for doing so.
This is, actually, a kind of “love” religion. Trusting in ones own works “done in love” to earn ones salvation. As a variation on doing religious works to earn salvation.
Which is the New Way of salvation that is behind this whole Social Justice idea. An old false gospel in a new suit. The most recent style of salvation that men are following instead of trusting Christ by faith alone.
A New “Love” Discipleship
Then, there are the well-meaning pastors and leaders who think that this new focus on being a “missional” church is more in line what true discipleship is. By putting action behind ones faith. By Christians getting out of their “comfort zones” and getting out and helping people.
Which is, really, just a new kind of “hammer” these well-meaning leaders are using on their congregations. Whom they must regard with a certain level of contempt. Trying to shame their congregations into action. Why else would they teach such things?
Why else would they tell their people that true discipleship is this new way of social engagement; not the old way of individual salvation and having your doctrines correct.
Many Reasons for the Distraction
There are many motivations driving this new Progressive-Christian movement.
The spectrum runs from the full-blown Social Gospel of the liberal, religious unbeliever to the born-again believer that has been hoodwinked into believing that the Lord is really interested in making the world a better place. That the Lord is more interested in a disciple doing loving works than a disciple who is faithful and obedient to His word.
The old strategy was to give a man a bowl of soup and a sermon. Or to give someone shelter and a Bible. Which were not bad ideas in themselves.
And these were often effective if based on a solid, doctrinal foundation. And done by a diligent pastor and church willing to remain separate from spiritual compromise.
This compromise is simply a matter of course today. As churches trip over themselves to join with this civic group or that. Or this religious group or that. All to do “good works” in Jesus’ name.
But, how far can we go with all this? How far can the church or the individual believer go and still faithfully fulfill what the Lord has given him to do?
When does following this social-engagement distraction actually lead us astray? How much is the church willing to sacrifice in its obedience to Christ in order to fulfill this new “Love” religion?
Image by Matthias Wewering from Pixabay