I have become all things to all men, that I might by any means save some. – 1 Corinthians 9:22
Imagine a small rescue ship approaching the Titanic as it is sinking. Then imagine the men on that little ship ignoring all the people struggling in the water. Instead of rescuing them, they jump on to Titanic with their tool boxes! They are trying to fix the ship!
Fixing the ship would indeed be a noble thing to do. Many could be saved if the ship was fixed. But there comes a certain point where one has to look at all the situation with a sober mind and say, “It’s not fixable.”
The Titanic was not fixable, and neither is this world. It’s going down.
I hate to say that. I really do. I don’t like being pessimistic, but I’m with good company when I say these things.
Jesus said that this world was going to be ‘thrown into the oven.’ The apostle Peter echoed this sentiment when he said that this world would be soon destroyed by fire (2 Peter 3:7). He likened it very much to how the world was once destroyed by a flood. Just as it was destroyed then, so it will be destroyed again. Why will it be destroyed? For the same reason it was destroyed last time: because the world will be such a wicked place.
Now, I’m not saying this simply because I see that things are getting bad. Don’t get me wrong, things are getting bad, but that’s not the reason I say these things. The reason I say these things is because it is precisely what scripture teaches. The Bible says that in the last days ‘perilous times will come’ and ‘evil men will grow worse and worse’ (2 Tim 3:1-13). Jesus said that ‘lawlessness will abound’ and ‘the love of many will grow cold’ (Mat 24:12). The Bible also says that there will be a ‘falling away’ and that ‘some will depart from the faith’ (2 Th 2:3, 1 Tim 4:1). In other words, things are going to get bad and worse for this world–and all the more so as the end approaches.
Most Christians know this, but they don’t live like they know it. It’s more of an abstract thought than a concrete reality. Many see it as some far off thing in the future. But it’s not. It’s happening right now. All the signs are there.
But even if it were far off, we still shouldn’t be trying to change the world. Whether the world sinks now or later matters little. It’s going to sink–and all those who embrace it will sink along with it.
Let me say something to make this clear: nothing you, nor I, nor anyone else can do, can save this world. Nor can we keep it from getting worse and worse: it’s. going. to. happen.
Now, either that last statement is true or Jesus is a liar. You have to take your pick.
“So, what’s your point?” you may ask. Should we just climb into a hole and wait for the world to go to hell? Of course not.
What we need to do is to recognize that we are not maintenance men, but a rescue crew. We should not be looking to save this world or this country, but to rescue people out of this world. This is precisely what Jesus came to do:
For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost. – Luke 19:10
We often get so upset about the terrible things that are happening in our world as if we didn’t know they were going to happen. Jesus said these things were coming. Did we forget to read that part? Christians often take up noble causes, seeking to change minds in the political arena. But this is a losing battle. Sure, we may be able to keep things from getting worse for a little bit of time, but is that what we are really called to? Are we called to win in politics and lose the souls of men? I tell you, we will lose both unless we change course.
Jesus didn’t seek to change the Roman government. He didn’t tell his followers to go to the halls of government in Rome to petition for change. He told them to go preach the gospel.
Some of you may be upset that I say such things. You may think quite the opposite, that we need more Christians to be engaged in the political arena. Let me say this about you: you’re short-sighted. You don’t really believe that Jesus is coming to set up His kingdom. You don’t really believe the words of Jesus when He spoke of these last times. If you did, you wouldn’t be fighting the ‘enemy’ of the other political party, you’d be in tearful prayer for their souls.
Should we be trying to patch up the Titanic, or should we be trying to save souls from the water? Trying to patch up the holes will just leave you angry and frustrated. Trust me, I know. Instead, let’s focus on pulling as many souls out of the fire that we possibly can (Jude 22-23).
Now, this doesn’t mean that Christians are never called to politics. Of course, some are. But those that are must recognize that they are steering a sinking ship. They also must recognize that the command of Christ comes first. Let them govern to the best of their abilities, but let them remember that the great mission is to ‘preach the gospel to every creature.’ To have a great country, but fail to do that, is to fail greatly.
We also must remember that we can never make the world godly through political change. It’s been tried before–it doesn’t work. Josiah used his governmental power to bring about great change in the nation of Israel. He got rid of the pagan worship and pagan priests. He commanded everyone to keep the laws of the Lord. What did he get? He got a bunch of people who did what they were told for fear of punishment. After he was dead, they went straight back to their old ways (See Jer 3:10). The only real change that happens is when a person’s heart is changed–and only God can do that through the power of the gospel.
So what am I saying? Completely disengage with politics? No. (I’m a firm believer that we all must vote and that it is important to choose the lesser of two evils.) What I am saying is that we need to engage in soul-winning. Let politics be a side-issue. Work to change hearts. If the world could be saved, changing hearts would be the only way to save it. But the world won’t ultimately be saved. It will be cast into the oven, just as Jesus said it would. But don’t fret if you are a follower of Christ, for not a hair of your head shall be lost. The present world will perish, but a new world will arise. It won’t be like this world–it will be perfect and beautiful in every way. This is why we fight for souls over country; because a new country is coming, and we want as many people as possible to be a part.
So stop trying to change the world. It’s not going to work. Instead, be like Paul, who said, “I become all things to all people, that I might by any means save some.” Jump into the water and snatch as many as you can from the jaws of death. You can’t save them all, but you can save some.
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