Socialized Gospel vs. Eschatology
My church is involved in the Way of the Master Evangelism training program, created by Kirk Cameron and Ray Comfort. I have to say that I have never quite understood the actual process of evangelism provided by Jesus Himself.
I have witnessed, or shared my faith with many people throughout the years, but like most of Christians, we often feel like we’re pushing it on others who usually don’t want to hear it. It’s either this, or we are afraid to share, or simply aren’t quite sure of working the Gospel into a conversation, so that we continue to appear normal, not as a zealot.
Understanding how Christ approached evangelism is extremely important. He is the Master of evangelism, which is why Cameron’s and Comfort’s program is titled “Way of the Master.”
Today, the Gospel is often either trivialized by making it sound as if we simply “accept” Jesus into our heart, He will make our life WONDERFUL! Our life will be stylin’ from that point on! Yeah!!
However, the truth of the matter is that this is not what Jesus ever promised. He never promised to give us a rose garden. He in fact, promises trials and persecutions in this life, simply because the world hates (and continues to hate) Jesus, and if we become His followers, they will hate us as well.
If this is true, then why are some (maybe it’s “many”) trying to literally bamboozle people into thinking that if they receive Jesus now, they will get their best life? Others are so involved in pushing a social action plan, that the only that connects with Jesus at all is the fact they are part of a physical church.
Tonight, the news was filled with Martin Luther King Jr. celebrations, due to the holiday named after him tomorrow. I do not at all want to take away from, or minimize what King accomplished in this nation. Without his efforts, God only knows what life would be like for minorities in America.
That said, why is the emphasis on society? Why is there so much emphasis from pulpits today on the socializing of the Gospel, or on a social Gospel? It appears that too many pastors and professing Christians are more concerned about changing society, than introducing people to the Person who can change the outcome of their lives.
The labels “false prophet,” or “false teachers” are bandied about often in today’s society. Tossed from one group to another, people accuse others of being false prophets seemingly as often as they buy bread. The most interesting thing is that often, those on the launching and receiving end of these labels are found within the arena of Eschatology. It is incredible to me how often I read or hear someone from one end of the Eschatological pool, lob name-bombs at another individual at the other end of the pool.
You see, our society has gotten to the point that we have forgotten what actually constitutes heresy, prompting them to be duly noted as a false prophet, or false teacher. In the Bible, every time someone was referenced as a false teacher, a wolf in sheep’s clothing, a false prophet, or something similar, it always had to do with the area of salvation. Paul fought against those who attempted to pervert the Gospel. Their mission was to pull people away from the true Gospel of Jesus Christ, and they normally attempted to do this by adding things salvation, which is grace only, through faith.
In fact, salvation (in spite of what some individuals believe), is still by grace, through faith. There is nothing a person can do to earn salvation. It was deliberately completed by God in Christ so that no one would have to try to find a way to purchase it. It is a free gift; always has been and always will be.
Unfortunately, the problems within society continue and many within the visible Church are trying to deal with the problem by changing society instead of giving people the information they need that will allow them to change within.
But the question is, why are so many within the visible Church ready, willing and able to dismiss or ignore the actual heresy that occurs regarding the representation of the true Gospel, yet seem to reserve their ire for the perceived heresies within the the realm of Eschatology?
What is more important, making sure people hear the true Gospel, so that people know that they need a Savior, and learn the way to find that Savior, or quarreling over what this person believes, or that person espouses regarding Eschatology?
The Emergent Church has quietly, and consistently moved into the visible Church, displacing the true Gospel in the process, with another gospel, which as Paul would say, is really not another gospel. It is heresy, because it removes Jesus from the throne, replacing Him with a social gospel that teaches people how to change society, learn to have their best life now, and more besides! Jesus will “improve your ride” through life, isn’t that cool?
If you consider that this is taking place, while at the same time, verbal volleys are shot from one cannon to another within Eschatology, we have to wonder, gee, has the Church become sidetracked?
It would certainly appear so, because it seems as though professing Christians are involved in changing society, or attempting to correct what they feel is aberrant End Times theology. In either case, does anyone actually hear the authentic Gospel? It does not appear to be so.
Authentic Christians need to learn the process of evangelizing. We need to learn how Jesus fulfilled the Great Commission. We need to realize that discussing topics which are peripheral to the area of salvation, should not be given as much time as salvation.
When we look at the visible Church today, we should not be seeing two main themes; a socialized Gospel and an overemphasis on Eschatology complete with all the differences within.
Whether we think the PreTrib Rapture is true, and will occur imminently or not, one thing that is sure, is that our death is imminent. We can quarrel about whether we believe the PreTrib Rapture is true, the Mid-Trib, the Posttrib, or the no-Trib, and we can argue about them until the cows come home, but we will not be doing one thing to fulfill the Great Commission.
The Great Commission was the order that Jesus gave His followers, and that is what Christians need to be doing. If we are discussing Eschatology without using it as a springboard into an evangelistic effort, then why are we placing such an emphasis on Eschatology?
Just something to consider…
Entry filed under: Atheism and religion, dispensationalism, Life in America, Posttribulational Rapture, Pretribulational Rapture, Religious - Christian - End Times, Religious - Christian - Prophecy, Religious - Christian - Theology. Tags: christianity, end times, social gospel.