The average conservative, evangelical church has done a great job of pursuing evangelism – that is, seeking to ensure that everyone gives their lives to Jesus, the Christ. Additionally, they go all over the world to preach salvation through Jesus in honor of Matthew 28:19,20, “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.
As a result, they do well with providing opportunity for humanity to live with Jesus after He returns (Eschatology = the study of the end times which includes the return of Christ, resurrection of the dead, judgment and the final destination of humanity) .
Unfortunately, these churches have not done as great of a job in providing opportunity for humans to live before Jesus returns.
Additionally, the Black Church once operated out of this theology. It preached the Gospel of Jesus, the Christ, and encouraged everyone to accept Him for salvation, as it also provided food, clothing and shelter; established schools and colleges to educated people; advocated for the marginalized and vocalized for the voiceless.
At a point in the history of the Black Church became a platform for supporting social gatherings (teas, baby contests, fashion shows, annual days, etc.), and social clubs (Masons, Eastern Star, fraternities, sororities, etc.).
While not negating nor diminishing the church’s role of supporting social gatherings and social clubs, I am challenged to consider how the church can reestablish its role of feeding, clothing, housing, educating, advocating, vocalizing, etc., while encouraging everyone to receive Jesus as their Lord, Savior and Friend.
“Teaching, Preaching and Reaching the world for Transformation and Liberation”
At the beginning of Jesus’ ministry, He revealed that His ministry was about transforming and liberating the lives of humanity. Luke 4:17-21 is Jesus’ first public message. Notice what He said that He was anointed to do
And He was handed the book of the prophet Isaiah. And when He had opened the book, He found the place where it was written: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, Because He has anointed Me To
Then He closed the book, and gave it back to the attendant and sat down. And the eyes of all who were in the synagogue were fixed on Him. And He began to say to them, “Today this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.”
At the end of Jesus’ ministry on the earth, He spoke these words in Matthew 25:31-40. Notice here the criteria that Jesus will use to determine those who are considered His sheep. Notice that it is based upon what we have done for the least of these in this world. The love that we show to humanity is the evidence that we possess the love of God, and have relationship with God.
“When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory. All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats. And He will set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left. Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: for
“Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’