We have not been called to just sit on this glorious news of freedom from sin and victory in Christ that is given in the gospel. This leads us to the second essential of being the church in culture – mission. Jesus left His followers with a mission which we have been exploring all month to “go and make disciples of all nations” (Matthew 28: 19 ESV). This should be the all-consuming passion and drive for all believers.
I want to note that the call is to make disciples. Disciples are Christ-followers who have placed their faith in Jesus Christ and His finished work on the cross. There is a tendency in today’s Christian environment to lose site of declaring this good news and to instead make the focus of our mission secondary issues such as social justice. These secondary issues are not negative things to do in and of themselves, but that is not the primary mission. Jesus came to earth and lived for about thirty years on the earth before His death on the cross and resurrection. During that time, He could have solved all of the issues with world hunger, cured everyone from all their diseases, and stopped the injustice of slavery. The very intersting thing is that He did not. So, does this mean that Jesus does not care about these issues that are pressing and cause pain and heartache for so many? No, He does care because we see Jesus meeting many people’s needs such as these. He is however focused on a single mission – to die on the cross and rise from the dead for sin. Jesus knew that everything is at its root a spiritual issue due to the fact that all social justice issues are ultimately a result of sin and the fall. We cannot merely address the symptoms and miss the disease itself. Jesus understood this.
We need to never remove the proclamation of the gospel from missions. We should also seek to show the love of Jesus to people by getting involved in social justice and other issues involving hurting people, but this should never be done without presenting the gospel.
Our mission calls us to be gospel-centered and intentional to share Jesus with others and also to show love and grace to others in Jesus’ name.