Tonight I realized that the world is doomed. Many people have been saying this since the global pandemic hit earlier this year. Not me. Some say we are living “the end times” and have been for quite a while. Not me. My instinctive response to comments like “the world as we know it is ending” is to think “then we need to preach louder and harder!” My soul screams “if the world is ending, then we need to reach as many people with the Gospel as possible!” But, not any more. That part of me died this evening.
There is a global pandemic going on all around us. “No biggie” I thought. “It’s a great opportunity to share God’s love with a world who is hungry for the hope of the Gospel” I thought.
There is hate and violence all around. “This has been true for centuries” I thought. “This is nothing new” I thought. “I will pray for those affected” I thought.
There are riots and looting and mayhem; our cities are being shut down. “It is too much” I thought. And it is. It is too much. The world is doomed. There is no amount of preaching more, or working harder, or going farther, that is going to save this world. There is no turning it around or rescuing it. The world is doomed.
That’s when I broke down in tears. I wept for the world. I wept for the lost souls in the world. I wept for my own sin in thinking that there was anything I could do to save it, and them.
You see, the world has been doomed since Adam and Eve ate the fruit of the tree in the garden of Eden. There has never been anything we could do to save it. There has never been any amount of spreading of the Gospel, or teaching, or preaching, or good humanitarian works that we could do to save it. Jesus came to save the world. [John 12:46] He is the only one who can save it. [John 14:6]
It would be easy to feel overwhelmed and throw up our hands saying “what’s the point then!? If what I do doesn’t matter, then what’s the point in trying?”. The Starfish Story1 immediately comes to mind. “It mattered to that one” he said as he threw the starfish back in the water. We are here on this earth to glorify God. Everything we do, every moment in time, should join the battle to bring glory to God.
We, as followers of Christ, are called to spread the Gospel. [Mark 16:15] We are called to be in the world but not of the world. [John 15:19, John 17:15-18] We are called to be set apart, different than people who don’t believe in Christ. [1 Peter 2:9] We are called to serve others. [1 Peter 4:10] We are created to glorify God. But we are NOT called to save the world.
Who has been receiving the glory in your life? Are you more focused on saving the world, or changing the world, than you are on following Christ? Are you more focused on the world falling apart around you than you are on Christ’s judgment raining down on people around you? Are you more grieved by the brokenness of this world than you are by souls spending eternity in hell?
One may read doom and gloom in a post titled “The World Is Doomed”, but I encourage you to see hope instead. We have hope because Jesus Christ died on a cross and resurrected three days later for our sins. Where this world is doomed, we have the promise of eternal life in heaven to all who believe in Him because of His sacrifice.
THEOLOGICAL CLARIFICATION: The burning desire to tell the world about Jesus transformed into a burning desire to be obedient in serving God, however He may call.
1 Peter 4:12 – “Beloved do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal among you, which comes upon you for your testing, as though some strange thing were happening to you; but to the degree that you share the sufferings of Christ, keep on rejoicing, so that also at the revelation of His glory you may rejoice with exultation.
Hebrews 13:8 – “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.”
Romans 12:19 – “Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.””
2 Timothy 2:15 – “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth.”