“This-World Christianity”

As Christians, we believe in a spiritual realm, a place where God, angels, demons, the afterlife, etc., all exist. Belief in the supernatural realm is a biblical belief; it’s not something we just made up. Moreover, when we say “spiritual realm” what we mean by that is a realm that is very real and very active. But this realm is invisible; we can’t see it, touch it, or taste it.

Because we believe in a “spiritual realm,” sometimes we Christians tend to forget about this world—the visible world. Sometimes, non-believers (like atheists, for example) wrongly think that all there is to reality is the visible universe, and so they live as if the physical universe is all there is. But that is wrong, for there is also an invisible realm. But all-too often, Christians make the same mistake, only in the opposite manner. That is, some Christians, with their focus upon the invisible realm of the spiritual world, often live in such a way that they forget God also created this world—the physical/visible world. Scripture says that there is both a physical realm and a spiritual realm. And God created both: “For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him” (Col 1:16 ESV). Thus, Scripture teaches that there is a spiritual and physical realm. Furthermore, when God created this world—this physical realm made up of trees, animals, bodies, planets, stars, oceans, lakes—he called it “good” (Gen 1:31)

What does this mean for us as a church? As Christians, we need to live out the biblical worldview, namely, that this physical world matters, too; it’s a good creation, after all. And as God’s people, we are to tend and keep God’s good creation (Gen 2:15). We are promised that, one day, God will recreate the heavens and earth, making all things new (Rev 21). In the meantime, Christians are called “exiles” in this world (1 Peter 1:1). But that doesn’t mean we should sit around and do nothing. For example, when God sent his people, Israel, into exile, He told them to “seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the Lord on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare” (Jer 29:7 ESV).
I believe we can “tend and keep,” and “seek the welfare” of, our own community by helping the children of McLoud and the surrounding area learn about King Jesus. One way we are doing this is by putting on our annual Vacation Bible School. And our REACH Groups have a part to play in this (click here for more information about our REACH Groups). Here’s what we are going to do: Our REACH Groups will come together next Sunday (May 31) at 5pm at the church for the purpose of taking flyers/information to the community about VBS. We have designated areas of the community for each REACH Group to take flyers to. Your REACH Group leader will have a plan as to how your specific group will accomplish this (pairing up people two-by-two, for example).

In the end, let’s use our REACH Group ministry to help the people of our community by telling them about another ministry we have called Vacation Bible School. In this way, we will be taking Jesus to our world. We may be heaven-minded Christians, but we are also this-world Christians.

Let’s seek the welfare of the city!