Monday, October 17, 2005

God, is it lonely at the top?

To believe in God is to believe in the salvation of the world. The paradox of our time is that those who believe in God do not believe in the salvation of the world, and those who believe in the future of the world do not believe in God.

Christians believe in “the end of the world”, they expect the final catastrophe, the punishment of others.

Atheists in their turn…refuse to believe in God because Christians believe in Him and take no interest in the world…

Which is the more culpable ignorance?

…I often say to myself that, in our religion, God must feel very much alone: for is there anyone besides God who believes in the salvation of the world? God seeks among us sons and daughters who resemble Him enough, who love the world enough so that He could send them into the world to save it.

- Louis Evely, In the Christian Spirit

I thought this quotation was pretty meaningful considering how I feel the focus of the church sometimes seems to be skewed so much towards winning souls for the world hereafter, that it neglects the pressing needs of the world today.

Is God's salvation and His ultimate victory over sin, sorrow, suffering, hatred and corruption, limited to the end-times, when God supposedly restores everything to perfection?

Or did God intend His saving grace and His redemptive work to be alive even today, moving to re-create this world into the world that He had planned it to be?

Have not Christians already been called to be the very agents of God's salvation "to the ends of the earth" - to flavour the world with our "saltiness", and to bring "light" to its darkest nooks and crannies?

I'm reminded of the delightful skit we did about a month back in church...the one in which I was the letters "U" and "O" haha... ;)

We are the CHURCH...
The BODY OF CHRIST...
Created to MAKE A DIFFERENCE...
To make a difference IN THIS WORLD...
We GATHER TO WORSHIP...
And we SCATTER TO MINISTER...

2 comments:

Er Lern Loh said...

hmmm... the only thing that you will need to reconcile is Jesus' words concerning the increase of lawlessness and corruption as it nears Judgment Day and of course, the general direction from the book of Revelation. Jesus never meant that the 'world' (the general usage of it) will be restored, brought back to what it was. Rather, the imagery in Revelation is that of a new state. One that is better than what was or ever was. The focus of the salvation of His people will be part of the Christian's fruit bearing trait. God is never lonely :)

jv. said...

To start, the title of my post was merely a figure of speech and was not meant to be taken literally. It also wasn't my intention to debate whether a "new" kingdom would be established (as in totally separate and distinct from the "old"), or whether it will be a "re-creation" of the world into what God had originally intended it to be (of which the "re" in "re-creation" can also be read in the context of God making all things new ;) ). These deal with semantics and are in my view non-core issues.

Yes, I agree that it is quite clear that we have seen the increase of lawlessness and corruption over the years. And yes, I guess I could also agree with you that these are probably some of the things that we will experience before Christ returns. I've got a question to ask though. As Christians, what then shall our response be?

For me, it is the lackadaisical response of Christians to the injustices in this world that I am against. To be a little controversial, may I even suggest that these are the ones who sit back in their chairs and merely say "Come, Lord Jesus", while barely lifting up a prayer for this dying world.

To know God and have a relationship with Him is a real blessing. But a city on a hill cannot be hidden...a lamp belongs on its lampstand.