Does God Want You to Change the World?
Does God want you to change the world? Rule #1: God does not want for anything. Rule #2: Consider the Bible’s view of the world and this present age.
For those persuaded by positivism psychology, the answer would be an unequivocal, “Yes, God wants to change the world because it is so messed up.” For those persuaded by the Bible, the answer would be “No, God does not want for anything, and His plan for the world is to leave it as it is, until the appointed day when the end shall come.”
The world has been rebel territory since the fall of man in the garden of Eden (Gen 3). The Bible assures us that there is nothing new under the sun (Eccl 1:9). Things are, as they always have been. Man has found innumerable ways to sin against his Creator (Rom 1:18–32; Gal 5:19–21). Today, the promotion of sin is a multi-trillion-dollar industry.
Because we are all sinners (Rom 3:23; 5:12), and our tendency is to enjoy many of the sins we witness around us, there is little hope for changing the world, save for a Miss America pageant contestant named, Polly Anna. We like, maybe even love, the world, too much (1 John 2:15–17).
In fact, many people think that if we had freer access to sin, the world would be a better place.
If the world would rather sin more, then who is restraining the world. That would be the Holy Spirit (2 Thess 2:6), who occupies the church (Jn 14:17; Rom 8:9, 11), and whether one be a Pharisee or an Antinomian, the track record for the church does not look much different from the world. The Spirit must have a different agenda than changing the world.
So, if one claims to be a Christian world-changer, then a chuckle is warranted. The church has as much trouble getting its own act together, as does the world. In fact, the world tolerates the church, but, it too chuckles when the church tries to be cool, hip, and relevant. Is the world ready to be changed into the church? Everybody chuckles because we all, Christian and non-Christian, know that is never going to happen.
Some of the most motivated in our midst are more likely to employ the philosophy and practices of the world than obey the Scriptures, however. Using the ideas and pragmatism of the world, in order to change the world, is also a bit ironic. Thinking one is going to change the world with those things that make the world worldly is folly.
If God’s purpose is to display His glory, and the world’s objective is to deny God glory, then Christians must stop trying to change an unchangeable world. We must point people to the three persons (Trinity) and works of God. When we preach Christ, we bring glory to the name of our God…that the world might know.
The world is destined and doomed to destruction (2 Pet 3:10–12; Rev 6–18). The signs are everywhere in nature and in the schemes of man. The Jews call Jerusalem, their eternal home, and yet, it is the Bible that declares the ruin of earthly Jerusalem. God’s people, like Abraham, look for another city, one built by God (Heb 3:4). This heavenly Jerusalem is our eternal home (Eccl 12:10; Gal 4:26; Heb 12:22).
Christians should be preparing to move out of this world, not work to make it a better place. (Author’s note: I am aware that the practice of Christianity does make better, but that is not our goal or mission).
In conclusion, to change that which is consigned to destruction is misguided. Christians must learn from the day of their baptism, that God’s purpose in redemption is a people in the world, who are not of the world, and who are very soon leaving the world. The world is merely a staging area for extraction, like a refugee camp for immigrants to be received into a new country.
The world is a temporal reality, but eternity holds the destinations of permanence. Thus, our investments should be in a kingdom other than the kingdoms of this world (Lk 16:9). Our minds should be focused on the world to come (Col 3:2). Our affections should be for those who will travel and eventually abode with us there.
Change the world? It will not change. Change the world? It is not our task. Change the world? The only change coming to this world is reserved for the day of judgment. On that day, God will change the world.
Spokane Valley, Washington
February 11. 2022