Sometimes the craziest stories are true and recently there have been a number of crazy stories in the news headlines. Stories about notorious prisoners escaping from prison through tunnels, Donald Trump leading a presidential nomination bid, NASA completing a fly-by of Pluto,Bill Cosby’s secret life as a sex predator, two more mass shootings with one seemingly over race and another seemingly over religion, shark attacks, nuclear deals, Confederate flags and cyber attacks. If a group of fiction writers were sitting down to brainstorm headlines, they could hardly come up with a series of events that span from saddening, to concerning, to purely bizarre like recent real-life news events. It makes one wonder what could be coming next and I can understand the fear that people have about what the future could hold. What I don’t understand, however, is Christians who live with a “sky is falling” mentality.
What I don’t understand is Christians who live with a “sky is falling” mentality.
I don’t want to be misunderstood as saying that I don’t see areas of concern; I do. Seeing areas of concern and holding a pessimistic view, or worse an “evilistic” view, of the world are two different attitudes. If you and I, as followers of Jesus, see the world as being beyond hope, what we are really saying is that the people of world are beyond hope. We can’t sit in judgement of “the world” apart from sitting in judgement over the people who make up “the world.” When we sit in judgement over the people of the world or believe that the people of the world are beyond hope, then we have cheapened the gospel.
I don’t think we cheapen the gospel on purpose, we just forget. We forget that the gospel found us when we were just as hopeless. We forget that we can’t hold people who don’t know Jesus to Jesus’ standard. Mostly, we forget that this world and all the people in it have a king, even if they aren’t aware of it, and that king is Jesus.
When Christians live with a “sky is falling” mentality, it’s the same as believing that Jesus really isn’t king and that kingdom of God really isn’t worth living, working, and perhaps, even dying for. Too many Christians see their mission as trying to be guerrilla warriors against an evil establishment. Instead, we are called to be ambassadors for Lord Jesus Christ as we spread the good news (literally the word “gospel”) that the true king has come and outline his agenda. True, it is not a message everyone is eager to hear but it is message we are called to herald.
Over the next three posts, I hope to unpack this idea in more detail. We will look at how we herald the kingdom message, how we live the kingdom message and how we await for the ultimate fulfillment of the kingdom. Until next time, think about this question: If I only had 15 second to tell what I believe about Jesus, what would I say?