Keeping the Faith: Answering the call

Published: Thursday, January 24, 2013 at 10:03 AM.

Is this really the gospel, having “no obligation to the bodies of those whose souls are going to hell?” Is it “Good News” when we reduce the love of God to simple statistics or counting the numbers who pray a specific, mechanical prayer? Can we, with any integrity, disregard the crushing misery of people today, if those needs are not spiritual in nature, and say we are following the way of Jesus? The answer to all these questions is an emphatic “No.”

The “Good News,” as Jesus proclaimed it, is not an evacuation plan to rescue people from earth, or an insurance policy for the afterlife. Rather, it is a revolutionary strategy to redeem the sufferings of this world by putting the rule and reign of heaven inside people, something Jesus called the kingdom of God.

Thus, any sharing of the gospel that ignores the needs of this current world is a distortion of the gospel.

Any profession of faith that focuses only on enjoying and living in a future heaven, rather than sacrificing for and serving people on today’s earth, is not Christian faith. And those who follow a Jesus who concerns himself only with the hereafter, and not bringing holistic change to the here-and-now, are not living out the transforming message of Jesus at all.

We have the chance, if we will take it, to become catalysts and conduits of the very real kingdom of God in today’s world, because the present – not the future – is where we follow Jesus. Today – not tomorrow – “is the day of salvation,” and the prayer “thy kingdom come” is more than words. It is our divine calling.

Ronnie McBrayer is a syndicated columnist, speaker, and author of multiple books. You can read more and receive regular e-columns in your inbox at www.ronniemcbrayer.me.


 



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