Should true Christian believers take part in helping the world solve the varied and complex social issues of our present day?
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Answers to Bible Questions
Scriptures are from the KJV of the Bible
(Q) Should true Christian believers take part in helping the world solve the varied and complex social issues of our present day?
(A) According to the majority of our mainline churches today, the thinking is that, yes, Christians should be helping to bring about “social justice,” “social reform” and a “new world order.” But is this what the Bible teaches?
The scriptures that I am going to quote in this article go against what most mainline churches are teaching, but I am here to teach the truth, not to teach what men want to hear.
This site agrees that we are living in a time with very complex social and ethical problems. However, does that mean we as Christians should join hands with men of the world, helping to promote social justice, to make the world a better place to live in?
Before we consider what the Bible says about our world system, I will tell you up front, one thing stands out clearly in the scriptures: our present world system is ALWAYS viewed as AGAINST GOD and it is rejected and condemned by Him.
Beginning in Galatians 1:3-4 God calls our world evil: 3 Grace be to you and peace from God the Father, and from our Lord Jesus Christ, 4 Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father: This is God’s appraisal of society and our world today.
The book of James has more to say about this subject, James 1:27; James 4:4: 27 Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world. 4 Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.
As we begin to see, anyone who loves the world and is a friend of the world is the enemy of God.
True Christian believers should be setting examples for others to follow, doing good works, doing those things which are pleasing to God, helping and serving others, but not trying to help save this planet, because God has already condemned this world and its social system.
A NEW HEAVEN AND NEW EARTH:
II Peter 3:7-13: 7 But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men. 8 But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. 9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. 10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. 11 Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, 12 Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat? 13 Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.
THE WHOLE WORLD IS CORRUPT AND FULL OF WICKEDNESS:
II Peter 1:4: 4 Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.
I John 5:19: 19 And we know that we (believers) are of God, and the whole world lieth in wickedness.
What should the believers attitude be then toward the world? II Corinthians 6:14-18: 14 Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? And what communion hath light with darkness? 15 And what concord hath Christ with Belial? Or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? 16 And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? For ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 17 Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, 18 And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.
Are the above verses saying that believers are better people than unbelievers? No, but because those who have put their faith in the shed blood of Christ for forgiveness of their sins, have received the free gift of salvation and are no longer unrighteous, because now they have the righteousness of Christ. This free gift is available to all unbelievers just by belief. Christ does all the saving and we do all the believing. The believers did nothing to deserve salvation except believe. II Corinthians 5:17: 17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. Believers now belong to Christ and their new home is now in heaven where there is no evil or corruption. Believers did nothing to deserve salvation, but because they believed in Christ who is Lord and Savior, they received the free gift of salvation by faith in Him.
The Church is not here to improve the world. She is here to testify that the world cannot be made acceptable to God, indeed, that as the age progresses the world will grow “worse and worse,” morally and spiritually, until Christ returns from heaven to put down the rebellion and set up His reign.
The present futile attempts of world leaders to establish lasting peace are but another confirmation of the predictions of Scripture that this age of Christ’s rejection would be marked by “wars and rumors of wars,” and that lasting peace will not be established until the “Prince of Peace” returns to take the throne (Isa. 2:4; 11 :1-5; Jer. 23:5; Zech.14 :1-4; Matt. 24 :3-7,27; Acts 1 :9-11; Rev. 1 :7).
The Church is not here to promote world betterment, but to testify that God will judge it as it grows more and more materialistic, more given over to self-gratification and self-exaltation.
But even though “the gospel of the kingdom,” which our Lord proclaimed while on earth, was basically a new way of life, He did not make an issue of social justice or lead crusades for social reform. He did not proclaim the “rights” of the poor. Rather He declared that He was anointed of God “to preach the gospel to the poor” (Luke 4:18). When a man asked Him merely to “speak” to his brother about dividing an inheritance with him, our Lord replied: “Man, who made Me a judge or a divider over you?” And then He warned all of His hearers to “beware of covetousness,” Luke 12:14-15.
The Apostle Paul lived in days of great injustice, including slavery, yet he did not go about proclaiming human rights or championing social reform. Rather he exhorted Christian slaves to be faithful and devoted slaves for Christ’s sake. The apostle did make it clear that before God all men are equal; that God is no respecter of persons. He also taught that in Christ all believers are one, but it is a sad perversion of this glorious truth to teach that just because we are one in Christ we should recognize no distinctions between men in human relations, or preach the social equality of all.
But no amount of preaching will improve the old Adamic (Adam) nature, which lies at the root of all social injustice and wrong. Thus our Lord came to provide a payment for sin and to create a new humanity. Again, we see this new humanity talked about in II Corinthians 5:17: ”Therefore if any man be in Christ, he Is a new creature.
The Church has always exerted its greatest influence in the world in an indirect way, by keeping close to Christ, separate from the world, and so keeping spiritually strong.
The Church is to testify to the world in such a way that none will be deceived or lulled to sleep as to God’s judgment upon sin. It is here to warn men in no uncertain terms that this world-system (society) is condemned by God and doomed to destruction; that its best systems of civilization will be swept away at the coming of the Lord, and that the individual’s only hope of salvation is in Christ.
The Church is here to save men out of this world system and from “this present evil age.” Our Lord prayed for His disciples the following: John 17:5-18: 5 And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was. 6 I have manifested thy name unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world: thine they were, and thou gavest them me; and they have kept thy word. 7 Now they have known that all things whatsoever thou hast given me are of thee. 8 For I have given unto them the words which thou gavest me; and they have received them, and have known surely that I came out from thee, and they have believed that thou didst send me. 9 I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine. 10 And all mine are thine, and thine are mine; and I am glorified in them. 11 And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are. 12 While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name: those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the scripture might be fulfilled. 13 And now come I to thee; and these things I speak in the world, that they might have my joy fulfilled in themselves. 14 I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. 15 I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil.16 They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. 17 Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.18 As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world.
The Church is not here to save the wreck which man has made of society, but to save perishing souls from the wreck, which is already doomed to destruction. Don’t fall for the “liberals” line that we (Christian) are supposed to somehow save, or help save, the wreck.
The teaching that the Church is here to bring in social justice or moral and political reform can produce a devastating reaction. It can act as a boomerang, for if we are God’s instrument to improve the world, and under our ministry, conditions become worse rather than better, may not the world justly turn on us to destroy us?
Here it is relevant to point out that our mainline churches have had decades, with the most elaborate organization, the most abundant finances and the greatest outreach of all time, to demonstrate their power to “crack the social situation challenging the Church,” and to “solve the varied and complex social issues of the day,” but without avail, for today society is in far worse condition than ever before.
Let the world fight its futile battles over capital and labor, civil rights, social justice, etc. We have a far greater battle to wage against the principalities and powers in the heavenlies, against the god of this age, who would blind the minds of unbelievers and confuse and divide the saints, II Corinthians 4:3-4: 3 But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: 4 In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them. Ephesians 6:12: 12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
The whole world has, and is been deceived by our adversary, Satan the devil, who is trying his best to destroy the whole human race, Revelation 12:9:9 And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him. II Corinthians 11:14-15: 14And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. 15 Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works. The world has fallen for Satan’s deception and because of man’s free will, God has allowed it. God is not out to save our world, but only to save the believers (out of our world.)
The very word church, in our Bibles, comes from the Greek ekklesia, which means “called out from the world.” Thus “A Bible-believing Christian and a Bible-rejecting world have no more cohesion than iron and clay.”
The Church is in the world to be a living protest against the claims of the old nature and a constant witness to the claims of the new. It is to deny that the natural man can ever please God, even by being more just, kind and good, Romans 8:8: 8 So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God. To endeavor to please God while rejecting His Son is absolute nonsense.
The Church, then, is not here to improve the world, but to build herself up, by diligent study of God’s Word and by faithfully presenting Christ to the lost, Romans 12:2: 2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
I John 5:4: 4 For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith
I Corinthians 11:32: 32 But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world.
Our conclusion is that all true believers are left here on the earth, not to be part of its worldly system, but to bring lost sinners to Christ before it’s too late. God is not willing that any should perish, II Peter 3:9, but at the same time God is not going to save this world, but He wants to save all the lost sinners in the world. We all have free will to choose. God will not force anyone to come to Him, but He wants you to willingly seek Him out and receive the free gift of eternal life through the shed blood of His Son.
Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, and will be your God.
Everything we do as true Christian believers should be done for the glory of our GREAT GOD.
We are looking for the time when God will take us out of the world so we no longer will be part of the world.
Maranatha, (Lord come)