Many Christians confuse involvement in social justice causes with extending the kingdom of God through acts of compassion in Jesus’ name.
There is a world of difference between the two.
I have a friend who serves an organization that works with the poor. He helps a lot of people. A lot. That is a noble thing, regardless of one’s faith persuasion.
But I fear that my friend often forgets that as Christians the reason we are called to do acts of compassion like feeding and clothing the poor is to do these acts “in Jesus’ name,” meaning, to further Jesus’ purposes in the world.
Social Activism and Jesus’ Purpose
What was Jesus’ purpose in coming to earth?
“The Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.” —Luke 19:10
Jesus came to die on the cross to save people like you and me from being cast away from God on the day of judgment because human sin cannot stand in the presence of a holy God.
Jesus didn’t come to save people from hell. He came to save people from God.
Friends, I get that you want to stop global warming.
I get that you want to fight for just immigration laws.
I totally understand that you want to let your voice be heard on behalf of the oppressed and marginalized in society.
But if we’re not doing these things in Jesus name—for the express purpose of shining a light in the darkness and helping those we serve come to faith in Jesus—we’re winning the battle and losing the war.
There will come a time when those we serve will ask, “Let me get this straight. You knew what was going to happen to me one second after I died, and all you did was give me a blanket and then walked away feeling good about yourself?”
As Paul said in Romans 10:14:
“How can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them?”
This article originally appeared on BrianJones.com.