It seems that much of the doctrine we find today with evangelical Christianity is incredibly shortsighted with our responsibility to the world. It seems that the major problem with evangelical mindset begins with what they believe the gospel truly is. As far as they are concerned the gospel or good news is that Jesus came to die for our sins and now we get to go to heaven. And while that is all good and well it is a shamefully small fraction of the gospel of the kingdom which Jesus and His disciples actually taught.
It seems to me that this un-biblical focus on escaping to heaven is due in large part to the current trends in “end times” theology.
Let’s think about it for a moment; if I believe that the Bible teaches the world is going to continue to get worse and worse until the Messiah returns and I’m raptured away just-in-time to miss the worst part of it then of course I’m just going to hide and wait to be taken to heaven.
It encourages us to increasingly remove ourselves from anything that we see as being of “this world.” After all why should we bother trying to make things better here if it’s all, if you excuse the expression, “going to hell in a handbasket” anyhow?
When all we teach about the gospel is that ‘Jesus came to die for your sins so you can go to heaven’ we essentially strip the gospel of its power to transform the world.
It’s true that restoration is first personal but that is only the beginning.
You see, when Adam and Eve sinned all of creation suffered.
The gospel, the complete gospel, is about the restoration of all things.
The apostle Paul makes it clear in his letter to the Romans that we are waiting for the fullness of our restoration.
Once we have that then the rest of creation which we had authority over will also be restored.
19For the anxious longing of the creation waits eagerly for the revealing of the sons of God. 20For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it, in hope 21that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God. 22For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now.
23And not only this, but also we ourselves, having the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our body.
As we can plainly see here the final stage of God’s plan is to restore all of creation and bring them together in unity and harmony as it was when He first created heaven and earth.
Our hope is not that we get to abandon this planet and escape to heaven. Our hope, our gospel, is that it will once again be “on Earth as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:10).
This is how we were commanded to pray; and this is the prayer whose answer we are hoping for and working towards.