Wednesday, April 6, 2011

The Esteeming of Social Justice and the Abandonment of Gospel Proclamation

If you pay attention to the news media, you'll realize that the world holds the Bono's and the Oprah's of this world in high regard. What I mean is, if you dedicate your life to giving to the poor, you'll gain the attention of the world and most people will like you. Everyone loves generous people.

Don't get me wrong, giving to the needy is a good thing. In fact, Christians should be the most generous people on the face of the earth and the world should know us by our good works (Matthew 5:16). I'm afraid though that while the church may be anxious to gain the attention of the world for the sake of a good reputation, the ministry of proclaiming the gospel is being neglected due to the fact that it is seen as foolish and weird.

The "bullhorn guy" on the ladder is ridiculed, not only by hecklers, but by Christians also. They say that we simply need to be "the hands and feet of Jesus" by giving with our hands and not preaching with our mouths. Afterall, the saying goes, "Preach the gospel always, and if necessary, use words." This has become the modern church's great commission. It's a commission that is void of persecution...the world will welcome those who will keep quiet but give good gifts, even if that person is a Christian.

Let me offer some encouragement to my fellow laborers who are seen as fools in the eyes of the world and the church because of their diligence to obey God and proclaim the Gospel. I know you're worn out...I know it's easy to become discouraged thinking it's all in vain...I know how your ministry can go completely undetected within the walls of your local church and spat upon outside those four walls.

But remember your Savior. Remember WHO it is that stirred your heart that first time you stepped out and opened your mouth to preach that glorious Gospel message. With our eyes fixed on Jesus, our faith, love and zeal will continue to fuel us to faithfully proclaim His message. And remember that you have been entrusted with this message, seeking not to please men but to please God (1 Thessalonians 2:4). We know for certain that men will continue to view you as foolish and out of your mind; afterall, this is how they viewed and treated our precious Savior.

So continue to wear yourself out. Get up on that ladder and preach bodly; step out into the crowds and hand-out your gospel tracts...Christ is worth it. In fact, He is worth more than we can and ever will offer. And in the meantime, pray that through your gospel witness, God would continue to stir up laborers just like yourself within the church so that they may take that first step that you once took and open their mouths to proclaim the Good News!