The Church is in a desperate age. The signs that the return of Christ is imminent are becoming increasingly visible and, almost in the same breath, the message of repentance has been buried beneath the debris of an often self–centered gospel of prosperity as an end in itself.
The Church of Jesus Christ needs to awaken to the reality that we are not here forever. Heaven should be our goal. It’s tragic that some preachers have obsessively driven their congregations into amassing obscene wealth here—to the point of creating their own little heavens—so much that even when Christ returns, they will probably opt to remain here!
Scripture, however, confirms that we are living in perilous times where “people will not tolerate healthy doctrine, but with itching ears will surround themselves with teachers who cater to their own desires” (2 Timothy 4:3).
I am not saying that earthly blessings are wrong, no, but these should be the extras of seeking first God’s Kingdom and his righteousness.
My argument is that evangelism should be the main priority of the Church in this age. Time is running out and we need to proclaim the gospel more and lead many to righteousness. Life is not paradise. Earth is not heaven. The tragedy of our times is that many preachers are promising their followers heaven on earth: a life built around mansions, Lamborghinis, fat bank balances etc.
Many in the Church are giving—tithes, offerings and seeds—so that they can “purchase” these promises. For most of them, however, these promises remain illusions! This is so because the motive of the giving is wrong in the first place. We are to give not so that we can get. We are to give primarily because we love the Lord.
With a greater sense of urgency, we need to get the good news about Christ out into the world because, by virtue of being evangelists—especially in our own spheres of influence—we are dispensers of the gospel. God’s purpose is to use his people to proclaim his plan of salvation in his power to lost people everywhere.
The message that we should be getting out into the world is that there is a better life, a better way. We need to be proclaiming the gospel regularly not as a duty or obligation but as a way of life.
A lot of times the fear of rejection often sends us cowering into our shells. It is not our responsibility to make sure that people accept our message when we speak to them. Our obligation is to proclaim the gospel in its totality. This is the command that God gives through the Prophet Ezekiel: “Son of man, I am sending you to the children of Israel, to a rebellious nation that has rebelled against Me; they and their fathers have transgressed against Me to this very day. For they are impudent and stubborn children. I am sending you to them, and you shall say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD.’ As for them, whether they hear or whether they refuse—for they are a rebellious house—yet they will know that a prophet has been among them… You shall speak My words to them, whether they hear or whether they refuse, for they are rebellious” (Ezekiel 2:1 –5, 7).
So, clearly, election is God’s business. He is the one who knows the elect. Our business is evangelism, giving the whole counsel of the Lord.
In a nutshell, God desires that we prosper and be in good health. But this is just part and parcel of the gospel, not the full gospel. Let us beware!