Don’t Let the Devil Get Your Eye Off the Prize

Oftentimes I receive new listeners and members from more liberal churches who say the same thing, “All that church did was talk about causes and politics.” I am not surprised, because that’s what happens when a church no longer professes or believes that Jesus’ death and resurrection is the center of all hope, joy and peace for all humanity. Once Christians on the left began to teach doubt about Jesus’ words, let alone His real death and resurrection for sinners, they have to find something else to do that sounds kind of Christian-y. Social causes fill the vacuum. 

Not to say these various causes are all bad. They sound really good. Doesn’t Jesus want us to make the world a better place? Some of these churches look like a college freshmen orientation with their walls full of petitions, volunteer sign-up sheets to adopt-a-highway, and, of course, 20 different recycling bins proudly lining the kitchen. Lots of causes and lots of talk about what Jesus would want. But no Jesus. Instead, He sounds like a dead guy with an endowment named after him.

Not to be outdone, however, the so-called Christian right sometimes looks like reversed mirror image! No, there are not “save the whale” initiatives, but there are petitions to be signed for senators to preserve marriage. There are sign up sheets for picketing the abortion clinic. And so-and-so’s candidate materials are splashed all across a table promising to return us to our Judeo-Christian values.

If a visitor didn’t know any better, she might think this church, like the terrible libs, was hellbent on making the world a better place (or great again). And she will never hear how God has already made the world a better place in Christ for her, and how He will make it a perfect place in the resurrection on the last day!

Like the liberal churches, the conservative churches can too easily come across as promoting a joy, hope, and peace that is found in improving our world and changing our behavior. For whatever reason, Trump brought out the worst in Christianity. The left churches hung the future of the world on his defeat, but so did the right, upon his victory. No doubt it is tempting to either flip out over Trump’s uncivilized and barbaric behavior or the left’s inane and blatantly anti-religious freedom agenda. While there is nothing wrong with fighting for good and just laws in this country, sometimes they reveal us deeper problems.

The Devil has pulled a brilliant move on us for the last 12 years or more. Just like Jacob sold the richness of his birthright for the immediate pleasure of a bowl of soup, we are just as easily fooled today. He has drawn the eyes of many leaders in our churches to peasant prizes and anthill victories. He has stolen the focus away from Jesus, His cross and resurrection.

There is no conspiracy ruining God’s plan, His church, or mission. Absolutely nothing has changed. God has set emperors and presidents where He sees fit, according to Peter and Paul. (Their emperors killed to get where they got!) Kingdoms come and kingdoms go but the Word of the Lord, His promise, His church lasts forever! 

As people’s hope in America and mankind crumbles, they need to hear about a greater kingdom, a greater destiny, a greater city, and a greater King who died and rose for them!