As Christians it is very easy to get distracted from our purpose and calling as a people who have been redeemed by God for His glory. This is certainly easy to see as we look at the church today. So much of the church is focused on self. This is why we see so many books and messages that focus on how Christians can be happy and successful. Jesus did not come to make sure we are prosperous in our jobs. He did not come to make sure that our marriages are happy and fulfilling. He did not come to make sure that we are well respected in the eyes of our peers. I’m not saying our identity with Him won’t bless us in any of those areas, but that was not His purpose in coming, and that is not our purpose as Christians.
What should our Focus Be?
I would humbly suggest that we need to adopt Satan’s priorities. Now obviously, I need to qualify that statement. I am not saying we need to adopt Satan’s priority of deceiving people, leading them astray, or any other sinful activity he takes part in. What I am saying is seen in 2 Corinthians 4:3-4, which says:
3 And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled only to those who are perishing. 4 In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.
Here Paul talks about how sometimes the Gospel of Jesus Christ is veiled to people. They do not see the truth, and can not understand the truth. In their case, Paul says, “the god of this world” which is a description of Satan (John 12:31; 14:30; Ephesians 2:2), blinds the minds of unbelievers to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
I do not think Satan is very concerned about blinding people to the message of the health and wealth gospel. I don’t think it bothers him to have you hear messages about thriving at work, raising good kids, and having a happy and fulfilling marriages. Actually, I think he is quite happy that the church is focusing so much on these transient things. His focus has more eternal significance. His focus is on blinding people to the truth that God has provided the Way for sinful man to be reconciled to Himself, the Holy God. His focus is on obscuring the cross of Jesus Christ and the sinless blood that was poured out there, which serves as a substitute for humanity’s sin. He does not want man to see God’s love on display at Golgotha, where while we were still sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:8).
That is the message that Satan is trying to hide, and sadly, that is the message that many in the church are trying to hide as well. We can’t hide it…we can’t be ashamed of it…we must proclaim it faithfully and be centered upon it.
16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. -Romans 1:16