Friday, September 26, 2014

God of this City

Yesterday I wrote my thoughts on the book "A Timeless Place" and on land conservation and urban cancers.

This made me think about the song "God of this City."  Chris Tomlin's version of the song is more known, but it was written by an Irish group called Bluetree.

Apparently, this group went to play worship music in Cambodia.  They ended up playing for a brothel.  Sex slavery is very strong over there.  It made Aaron Boyd, the lead singer, wonder what more Christians could do to stop this.  Why do we still let this happen?

From their website: “We went back home asking, ‘How does this all work? Whose responsibility is it to see these girls released from prostitution and transformed…because if I just pray over the city and nothing happens, then it’s God’s fault, right?’ It’s very easy to push that over on God, but Scripture tells us to go into the world and love people.”

I think this is a sign of me going back and forth between amillennial views and postmillennial views.  They are both postmillennial, but it depends on if I believe the millennium has already happened or not. I still think it has and that we are in the last days.  If I did not think that Jesus was going to come back for another 1000 years, I would despair.

But just the same, he's going to create a new heaven and a new earth.  And I'll never stop being shocked over this: he does it through us.  He saved his elect through the substitutional atonement of Jesus on the cross.  We anticipate resurrection because Jesus came back to life.  But now that we are considered one body with Christ, Jesus commands us to not only spread the Gospel all over the world, but to also help make this place more like heaven with each step we take.  The eternal kingdom will be on this earth, and God honors us by commanding us to help.  We don't even deserve to be alive, but he calls us to help.

And that means helping young girls and boys come out of prostitution.  It means influencing women to not get abortions and letting people know the freedom from homosexual attraction.  It means we should have healthcare sharing programs and land conservation, and we should also build cities and buildings but still maintain the original beauty of God's creation.  We should care for all life, human and animal.

Sometimes, I worry about people taking a Charles Finney view of Jesus.  The view that he was more of a great moral example for us instead of our payment for our sin.  They are wrong.  Jesus's perfect life has been imputed to us and our gross sins all piled onto him.  He took your hell if you believe in him and will never experience it.  And you will rise up with him because Jesus could not stay dead.

All the more James's words in the second chapter of his epistle ring true: "What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? 15 If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, 16 and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good[b] is that? 17 So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead."

Our works don't save us.  And we have faith that our contributions will be successful.  But because of our faith, we should strive to bring people to justice and Jesus.  We can do this knowing that Jesus finished the job.


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