Despite the fact that Christians have been pursuing the same goal for 2,000 years, it seems quite a few people still do not understand what we are all about.
Recently, a friend of mine who is a minister told me a story of a man who came to the Church seeking financial assistance. He came back time and again, each time with a new story and a new “need”. The ministers tried to teach him about Christ each time, and encouraging him to come and visit the Church for services. He said that he would, but never came. Finally one day the man came in demanding a huge favor that would cost the congregation precious resources it could barely afford itself. When the minister refused, he flew into a rage. He accused the Church of not fulfilling its purpose, which was in his mind to help anyone who wanted it financially. He accused them of having some “hidden agenda” behind their assistance and always “preaching him up” whenever he came asking for money.
Well to those of you out there who share his sentiments and to some of the faith who have been led astray by social justice preaching, let me tell you now that the Church does have an agenda, though it is far from hidden, and it is not to simply line the pockets of people with money, nor even to feed the hungry or clothe the naked. These are means only, the end is something much different and much more wonderful.
This is the Christian agenda, Matthew 28:16-20,
Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them inthe name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
Our agenda, therefore, is to go out and make other people into disciples of Christ, so that they can share with us in the glory of Christ’s return and the eternal life he offers to those who believe on His Name.
Some will say that Jesus fed the poor and helped the needy. This is absolutely true, and Christians want to do the same! But though Jesus did these things, it was with the same agenda in mind. Read John 6. The chapter opens with the famous feeding of the five thousand, where Jesus took a happy meal and fed close to 10,000 people if women and children are included. The then people followed him all the way across the Sea of Galilee, even though Jesus takes the shortcut by walking on water. When they all meet up again, the people want to see Jesus, but not because they really believe in Him and want to be His disciples. Jesus knows this immediately and tries to preach to them about the eternal life they can have in Him, but they are not listening. They only want another hand-out. When Jesus realizes this, he preaches a harsh and difficult truth to them and most all of them depart and follow Him no longer.
Folks, Christ is our role-model. We are to do likewise as He did. So if you go to the Church looking for help you will get it, both physically and spiritually. But if you persist in seeking the physical blessing and spit on the spiritual one, do not be surprised if the Church, like Jesus, turns you away with harsh (but true) teachings. It is better for you to go away empty handed and think about your spiritual depravity than for you to go away filled and never come to Christ for forgiveness. If we satisfy your earthly desires but leave you to suffer endlessly in Hell, what good have we done?