It’s official: the world around us is on fire. There is no shortage of hate and this hate is manifesting itself all around us. These are dark times.
So, how should we react? Specifically, how should a follower of Christ react? Whatever we do should be revolutionarily different than the rest of the world. Why? Because that was Jesus’ reaction to everything. He did something completely different. (Please keep in mind they crucified him for it.)
A world without hope has told us we must choose a side. We feel like we have no other option but to pick from a limited selection of viewpoints and argue passionately from that perspective.
If you are a follower of Christ, I want to assure you that Jesus is calling us to another option all together. In fact, our reaction in this critical moment is everything. The light shines brightest in the darkness. We can’t afford to waste our opportunity.
A specific kind of hope
First, we must react with hope. Our world is desperately searching for hope, and we have it! However, I want to be really clear about the specific hope we have.
- I am not talking about a positive optimism that everything is going to get better, because quite frankly it may not.
- I am not talking about praying that God will make everything better. Don’t get me wrong, we should always be praying for our leaders and for peace, but we need to go deeper.
- I am especially not talking about the kind of hope that puts our confidence in our national leaders. God never, ever, under any circumstances wants us to put our hope in a human.
No. Real hope, that does not change, comes only from looking beyond this world. Think bigger than your perspective. Think bigger than what’s going to happen in our nation. Think bigger than the impact this present situation might have on you and your family personally.
Paul gives us clear instruction for where our hope should be:
We are told to look beyond this finite world and place our hope in the infinite unseen truth. That our Jesus is really who he says he is. But he doesn’t just leave it there. He makes it clear that you can’t put your hope in two places. So, he very specifically tells us:
Your hope cannot be in two places at once. Yes, things feel a bit out of control right now, and that is devastating if your mind is set on the things of Earth. But if your mind is fully focused on the realities of Christ as Lord and what that means for the eternity of mankind, then nothing has changed. It’s just the same broken world it has always been.
In order to place your hope in Christ, you have to stop putting your hope in people, nations, and movements here on earth.
Our job is not to put out the fire, our job is to rescue people from it
All of us have a healthy reaction to a broken world. Naturally, we want to fix it. So we start scrambling for solutions. The problem is, there is no earthly solution. If what the New Testament teaches is true, then we are all deeply sinful people, broken from the inside out. This applies to everyone, regardless of their worldview. There are no possible solutions because they all carry with them a selfish, sinful bent.
Jesus didn’t come to this world to set up laws and rules. But he did say stuff like this:
The world around him was on fire. The Romans dominated the Jewish people with a heavy hand. Jewish rebellions were trying to overthrow the Roman oppression. Religious leaders squabbled about issues that didn’t matter. The people were lost and confused.
And Jesus talked about “his kingdom” and how you must be “born again,” a message that seemed irrelevant and was deemed by many as “too heavenly minded to be any earthly good.” But that was his message. Simply put: Jesus knew the only way to save the world, was to rescue people from it.
That’s our mission. When you see chaos and hatred and start looking for solutions, remember the only solution is the gospel. The only hope anyone has is to be rescued from this world.
If you were walking in your neighborhood and saw a house engulfed in flames with a family in it, you would have two options. Either grab a garden hose and try to put out the fire or, at great personal risk to you, barge in and try to rescue people from it. I can just tell you, there is no point in shooting a garden hose at a house on fire. You won’t be successful and the people inside have no chance.
This world is on fire and has been since the creation of the world because of our own sinfulness. There are no solutions here. If you try to “make the world a better place” you will not see success. I know that sounds grim, but we have so much more hope than that! The solution Jesus presents is perfect and eternal. It’s what we are all longing for deep down. The solution that we all desire is answered in the gospel.
Save the world, and go home
We have one hope and one job to do. It’s the same mission Jesus had: save the world and go home. We do this, not by condemning the world around us or getting caught up in their earthly agendas, but by:
- demonstrating the dramatic love of God to people around us. The kind of love that was beaten and crucified. The kind of love that sacrificed everything for an undeserving world. The kind of love that changed the world forever.
- Sharing the gospel. Building on the foundation of the love you demonstrate, share with someone vulnerably what God has done in your life. Initiate conversations about faith. Lead them to Jesus. Rescue them!
By doing these things, we are making the world a better place as we seek to rescue people one by one. We have what a world on fire needs. We should react with more determination and passion then ever!
Photo Cred: CNN