Emerging concerns - Kingdom now

One of the concerns and, subsequently, emphasies of the emerging church is the neglect of evangelicalism to address the social wrongs people are facing now. i don't think this is a new concern in the history of the church. the word needs to go hand in hand with the deed. caring for the sick, feeding the poor, clothing the naked, providing for the widow and the orphan, visiting the imprisoned, opposing injustice, protecting the abused are all mandated biblically. but the needs are so great, its easy to be so consumed with these things that we neglect the proclamation of salvation. Jesus encountered this issue in Mark 1.

35 Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed. 36 Simon and his companions went to look for him, 37 and when they found him, they exclaimed: "Everyone is looking for you!"
38 Jesus replied, "Let us go somewhere else—to the nearby villages—so I can preach there also. That is why I have come." 39 So he traveled throughout Galilee, preaching in their synagogues and driving out demons.

There are so many physical needs just in our neighborhoods, that if we had the healing power of Jesus, we'd never be able to drie down tot the store to buy a gallon of milk. But Jesus' priority was bringing dead hearts to life. his priority was to proclaim the arrival of the kingdom. and he modeled the method that he later instructed his missionary task force to use.

Matthew 10:6-8 (KJV)6 But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. 7 And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand. 8 Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give.

but the goal didn't seem to be to make earth heavenly. rather he seemed to be preparing earthlings for heaven.

John 18:36 (KJV) Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence.

all the physical stuff is only to awaken hearts where the kingdom exists.

Luke 17:21 (KJV) Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.

as a benefit, good stuff happens in society, but the goal, his intent was on eternal results. if he healed someone today, they would get sick again. if he raised someone to life, they would die again. if someone's poverty was remedied, another person would find themselves in poverty. none of these situations can be remedied permanently in this world. there is still slavery in the world. there is still political corruption in the world. there is still exploitation of widows and children. there is still famine. there are still disabled people. there are still wicked regimes. there are still massive natural disasters, and God knows all this, and ordains this.

Exodus 4:11 (NKJV) So the LORD said to him, "Who has made man's mouth? Or who makes the mute, the deaf, the seeing, or the blind? Have not I, the LORD?

so we serve because He served us but we also proclaim the Kingdom as that's the only long term solution to anyone's problems. if we give them the world and yet they lose their souls, what have we done for them?

Matthew 16:24-27 (NKJV) 24 Then Jesus said to His disciples, "If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. 25 "For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. 26 "For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? 27 "For the Son of Man will come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and then He will reward each according to his works.


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