(something I wrote in 2010)

I read a quote the other day that made me think of what the Emergent Church, and those who champion social justice, try to do. It said:

       “We often think of how we may change this world. However, God’s intent is not to change this world, but 

       to judge this world and give us a new one.”  - W. Nee

That is so true. So much of what is promoted as Christianity is filled with people who are trying to “change the world in the name of Christ.” They take up causes like ending poverty, ridding the world of AIDS, getting nations to forgive each other of their debts, keep people from buying those evil Chinese goods, and all kinds of other social justice causes. They say they want to transform this world in the name of Christ. They want to rid the world of injustices and make it a better place. But like Nee’s very true quote says: God’s intent is not to change this world but to judge this world AND give us a new one.”

The fact is, if you look at the life of Jesus or of one of the disciples, like Paul, you do not see them trying to end the social injustices of the world to make it a better place. Jesus clearly stated His mission when He said: “Luke 19:10 For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.” Christ came to provide the means of salvation for all who would believe the gospel. He didn’t come to end poverty or reconcile nations or end global trade. He came to save sinners from their impending doom – the coming judgment and suffering the eternal wrath of God, by provide a way for them to be adopted into God’s family. He came to give them eternal life and prepare them for the life and kingdom to come.

It’s the same with the Apostle Paul. Paul called himself an ambassador for Christ. What did Paul do as an ambassador for Christ? Did he set up soup kitchens and try to end world hunger? Did he encourage people to buy green products and save the earth? Did he seek to partner up with world governments to eradicate AIDS or similar diseases? Absolutely not! Paul clearly said:

       “2 Cor 5:20 Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in   

       Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.”

Paul poured out his life so that men might be reconciled to God, and that’s really where the difference is. Today, so many who are involved in so-called good works and social justice no longer believe that men need to be reconciled to God. After all, how could such a loving God condemn such poor, helpless, and innocent people to hell?! They fail to see the heart of man as desperately wicked (Jer. 17:9) and are unable to comprehend the righteousness of God as revealed in the scriptures. Because they don’t understand, or more accurately don’t want to see, the sinfulness of man and the character of God; they create a God in their minds who is more concerned about changing this world, by ridding it of social injustices, instead of reconciling men to God that they may have eternal life. They remove from their vocabulary (and Bibles if they could) those negative and outdated scriptures that speak on repentance, hell, judgment, condemnation, wrath, punishment…etc. Instead, they then focus on the selective scriptures, rarely taking them in context, that speak on defending the poor and needy. They divorce these passages from the rest of the Bible and make them into their new gospel. It’s a gospel that would never bring reproach or persecution, because it doesn’t speak the truth and offers nothing different than what you can get from organizations like the Red Cross. The gospel that Jesus preached is absolute foolishness to them. They are so intellectually wise in their own eyes that they understand God more than God Himself! After all, they’ve rewritten the message that God gave and worked up a new one that’s more appealing to their personal ideas about God. The fact is, the god that the Emergent and social justice crowd promote is much like the Hindu gods in India. You can search far and wide, through all the depths of the universe looking for this god, and you will never find him, because he doesn’t exist.

So is God trying to change this world? Well, not like the emergent, spiritually-enlightened, “progressive” intellectual crowd would have you believe. God certainly changes people. That’s for sure. God is ever working to bring people to saving faith in Jesus Christ and to add them to His glorious church. He gives them good works to walk and abound in. Yet these good works are not so that we might make the world a better place and end every injustice. They are to demonstrate God’s character and to lead others to saving faith in Jesus Christ and ultimately bring glory to God. We seek, as the apostles of Jesus Christ sought, to save people “from this perverse generation” (Acts 2:40).

Believers don’t spend their days trying to find a cure for all disease and end world poverty. Why? For one, Christ never commanded it. And second, because disease is part of God’s judgment. It’s part of the curse and was brought into this earth through sin and rebellion. We can cure every disease on earth and more will spring up. What about poverty? Well, Jesus’s own words tell us that “we will always have the poor with us.” These are the results of a world that is under the judgment and curse of God and a world that is filled with unregenerate men who do not know God. Not that we ignore these things, but Christ has not called us to dedicate our lives to solving these problems “in His name” (Mark 16:15, 16) and calling it the gospel. We are to certainly care for the poor, especially among the brethren, and care for those who are suffering; BUT the main focus of believers is to share the good news that God has provided a way for us to be reconciled to Him and have eternal life through Jesus Christ. Truly, many today who promote these things as “real” Christianity have erased the great commission from their Bibles.

       “Mark 16:15-16 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. 

       He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.”

The fact is, God is not seeking to preserve this present earth and neither should we. God is not seeking for everyone to go green, to combat global warming, or to protest Chinese goods. God’s plan is to redeem a people unto Himself, judge and destroy this earth (and the wicked in it – 2 Thes. 1:8, 9), and give His people a new one. Here are a few scriptures that speak on this very thing:

       “2 Peter 3:7 But by the same word the heavens and earth that now exist are stored up for fire, being kept 

       until the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly.”

       “2 Peter 3:10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass 

       away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that 
       are therein shall be burned up.”

       “Rev. 21:1 And I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth did pass 

       away, and the sea is not any more;”

God is not seeking to redeem this world. God is redeeming men, bringing this world into a final judgment, and then giving His people a new and glorious world. If people would sincerely read the book of Revelation, they would soon find out what God thinks about this present world and how God plans to rectify the problems here. If you’ll allow God to truly show you His thoughts and plan regarding this present earth, you will not spend your time on the foolish pursuits of the Emergent Church and of those who champion changing the world through social justice. You’ll be compelled to give people the one thing they truly need…reconciliation with God through faith in Jesus Christ. Instead of making this dead world that’s under the judgment of God a “slightly” better place, you’ll lead people to an imperishable inheritance found in the eternal life that God gives in Christ. Those who find this life in Christ will be prepared for the new and glorious earth that God will give when He’s done destroying this one that so many are trying to save.