Don’t Say “It Doesn’t Matter”!
We live in a dangerous world.
We live in a polluted world.
Can things get better? Does it matter?
Not long ago I was in a lively conversation about global warming with a brother in Christ. We disagreed on a number of things, which is fine. We are still brothers. And I am glad he didn’t repeat a phrase I have heard from other Christians make: “It doesn’t matter. Everything is going to be burned up soon when Jesus comes.”
My thoughts here are not about global warming, so I will leave the subject to move on to the point I wish to make: Christians need to stop saying, “It doesn’t matter.”
Hear me out, please! I wholeheartedly believe Jesus is coming again, and we must be ready when He does. The end will come like a “thief in the night”, and it will not go well for those who have chosen to reject the Lord’s grace. Jesus said, “It will be good for those servants whose master finds them watching when he comes” (Luke 12:37).
We must be ready to meet Jesus! That matters!
Did I say being ready for Jesus matters?
But so does the earth. So do a lot of things.
I have also heard believers in Jesus lament world politics, speculate about the possibility of nuclear war, then say, “Oh well. It doesn’t matter. Jesus is coming soon anyway.”
What? How do they know when Jesus is coming? By the way, He might not just come “soon.” He might come before I finish writing this blog. However, this doesn’t mean world politics and nuclear war don’t matter.
I am concerned that people who don’t know Jesus, or even young people who are still trying to establish their faith, will distance themselves from believers who don’t think worldly concerns matter. Chances are, I will see Jesus long before people in their 20s. But just because I am leaving before they do doesn’t mean I should flippantly disregard the world I leave behind.
And if we care more for the earth and work for a more peaceful world in the meantime, what’s wrong with that? Would it be so bad if the earth was clean when Jesus came? If He didn’t have to worry about burning His feet on toxic waste when He walked on water, or circumventing mushroom clouds on His way down?
He will have to dodge bullets as it is (I know they won’t hurt Him).
I’m just saying “our home here matters because it is the only home humans have until Jesus comes”. Shouldn’t we be the ones who pick up trash, clean up the bay, pray for peace everywhere and work to reduce the suffering of marginalized people in our society?
I am aware the world is an hypocritical place and the ones who criticize others for neglecting the environment and world politics are not always what they claim to be. If you don’t believe me, ask me about a car full of out-of-town concert goers, with clean earth and world peace stickers on their car, who dumped all of their fast food garbage in our church parking lot. I talked with them about their stickers, and they picked up the trash. They didn’t argue. They just did the right thing. Everyone makes mistakes.
Which is all the more reason why followers of Jesus who understand the meaning of stewardship should care about what happens here as they wait for Jesus.
Stop saying, “It doesn’t matter.”
It matters what we do. It matters how others perceive Christians.
Most of all, people who don’t know Jesus matter.
If sharpening my focus on things that matter can make Jesus more attractive, then I am willing to give it the thought it deserves.
Otherwise, nothing else I say will matter to the people who matter to God.