“Jesus didn’t come to address society’s woes. He came to die, to save.”
The following was written to a friend by a young man who attends a Nazarene church:
“I am so happy and hopeful to be a part of a generation that believes in social justice and change. Too often we look at the numbers and become pessimistic about the future of the world, totally forgetting that when we have The Lord on our side WE are the majority! We have so much power at our hands to change this world!”
My friend followed up with a question to the young man: “What is your definition of social justice and change?” Below is his answer.
“Simply put, look at Jesus’ life. He was all about social justice and change. He touched and healed people. He flipped tables over. He let a prostitute wash and touch his feet. He talked with women. He told his disciples to let the children come. He ate meat. He made a point to show how anti he was of the religious establishment in his day. Nowadays, there are so many social issues globally and nationally. For instance, the porn industry is one of the highest profiting industries in the whole world. I would LOVE to see those numbers plummet dramatically.
We need to raise awareness for how much damage porn causes in relationships, our brains, and our health to help break people out of those addictions. Human trafficking is another HUGE issue in the world today and not many people know what they can do to stop it. We need to be a voice to those who cannot speak up for themselves and in America we have so much opportunity to speak up and use this freedom we are always talking about. Also, buying things and supporting organizations that make sure that the employees / makers of the stuff we are importing to the States are being treated and paid properly. Racism, sexism, hunger and poverty, there are so many issues and people that need a voice and people praying for. God really laid a call on my life while in Ecuador to bring attention to these issues and that with Him, we are the majority! We have so much power to pull from and we can change this nation and even the world.”
It is so sad that this young man’s thoughts are probably not an aberration, but the norm from countless young people in today’s evangelical church. My friend Brenda has written a response below, which I pray is read by many more young professing Christians who have this same mindset. We need to pray for Nazarene and other Christian young people, because a false gospel is replacing the true Gospel in most of our Christian colleges and seminaries.
Response to the young man:
Dear young man, I appreciate your heart of compassion, but, would you be upset if I told you that you are absolutely wrong? Popular Christian culture today has remolded, and IS remolding, the gospel message of Jesus to fit a Social Justice Jesus paradigm.
The people who have been writing books and speaking on college campuses about their “Social Justice Jesus” are purposely turning hearts/minds AWAY from the gospel.
I’m sure that statement makes you angry, but, it is true.
Jesus came to SAVE mankind from their sins. He came as the perfect, unblemished Lamb. He was the foreshadow of ALL the temporary sacrifices which were a requirement of the Law to cover the Mercy Seat with His innocent blood.
He WILL come again, but when He does, it will not be because WE have brought social justice to the world to make it better for Him to return……no……when He comes, He will come as the Lion of Judah, to meter out true justice of those who rejected His merciful offer of salvation through His sacrifice as the Lamb.
Jesus warned many, many times of the fires of judgment that will last an eternity. He warned that justice WILL be thorough, complete, AND righteous.
Jesus warned that there would be those who thought they were doing good, but would be totally surprised when He says He doesn’t know them. Therefore, good deeds (social justice) are NOT the plumb line for being in the will of God. Social justice is not the mission, nor is it the gospel.
Stay with me now, dear one……. If you examine the Great Commission from Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, and Acts, you will note that the mission of the church is to
PREACH the gospel (Christ died for your sins, and was raised from the dead so that you may have eternal life);
TEACH from scripture (show people how the message of salvation, the scarlet thread, was woven throughout the Old Testament books);
teach REPENTANCE OF SIN (tell them to turn from their old life of rebellion);
BAPTIZING (as an outward sign, a public testimony of one being born again);
DISCIPLE new converts (equip, exhort, and encourage their new walk).
When the Kingdom of God gains a broken hearted, repentant sinner, many times families become better, which, in turn, effects communities in a good way then, perhaps a nation.
Saved, compassionate people have always benefited society. They know what is right from wrong based on God’s moral law written on their heart. They no longer live as self-centered humanists, but bless those around them.
The problem in our world is a darkened, sin filled heart problem, where evil resides. The mission of the church is to address the heart, first and foremost. Warring against societal evils is a benefit of a changed heart.
Jesus didn’t come to address society’s woes. He came to die, to save. He upset the money changers’ tables because of their dishonesty (sin). He was NOT against the ‘religious establishment'; He was against individuals within those ranks who were vile sinners.
Note: Not everyone who was part of the priesthood, were considered vile. Zachariah, John the Baptist’s father, performed his duties of the priesthood, and praised God for finally opening his mouth, after he believed and His heart was changed.
Jesus was buried in the tomb of a rich man, someone from the priesthood. That particular man’s heart was changed and he became a believer.
So be careful of those who spout that Jesus was against the religious establishment of His day. They do so, because it fits within their agenda to castigate the church, and paint organized religion as evil and ineffective, to be rejected. Please remember, Jesus went into the synagogues to teach (established religion) from scripture. Some rejected Him, but some did not, and seeds were planted in some.
Let me end by pointing out that scripture states that the world will get worse and worse, and men’s hearts will wax cold. Sin will abound. Romans 1 states that homosexuality, and all manner of sexual perversion will escalate. People will become more concerned about the earth and environment and even worship it. Children will disrespect their parents. Men will become centered on themselves and be arrogant boasters.
No, my friend, we will NOT be able to eliminate all those areas of heartbreak that you listed, though, it doesn’t mean we walk away.
Please don’t be taken in by those who are purposely leading people astray with a different gospel and a different Jesus.
Praying for you,