Unfortunately, the “take-over-the-world-for-Christ” advocates find themselves in direct conflict with the Lord’s specific commands. Of course, they could argue that none of us follows the [previous] admonition to the letter. Even those who believe in Christ’s imminent return and expect to leave it all behind any moment nevertheless have savings accounts, buy homes, and build churches and Christian schools.
There is, however, a great difference in attitude and incentive between those who are motivated to live for Christ and eternity by the realization that statistically—for a very small percentage of the population—death could come prematurely and unexpectedly and those who sincerely believe that Christ could take all Christians home at any moment. The latter hold the things of this earth far more loosely.
Paul wrote: “If (since) ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth” (Colossians:3:1,2). Our hope, our ambition, our desire, our passion, and our dreams for the future are all to involve our eternal home in heaven and not what we can achieve or accumulate on this earth. To call that impractical is to deny the inspiration of Scripture. We are in this world but not of it, using it but not abusing it, considering everything in this life of transitory worth.
This does not mean that we have no concern for the poor or that we do not actively seek to improve the moral and social climate of our world. Yet everything we do to benefit others on this earth must be done not for its social value alone but for the sake of Christ and for the glory of God. Furthermore, rescuing souls for heaven must always take precedence over providing people with earth benefits. The old saying that a person can be “so heavenly minded as to be no earthly good” is popular but false. Clearly no one could be more heavenly minded than Christ, nor could anyone be of more earthly good than He is. His life is our model in keeping the proper balance.
It is because there is so little appreciation of what the New Testament teaches, that heaven (and hell as well) seems so nebulous and of such doubtful importance alongside the great plans we have for “changing the world for Christ.” Could this also be why so much that is presented as Christianity today is simply a sanctification of worldly desires in the name of Jesus? The same selfish ambitions and longings which motivate the world, the same fleshly goals, and the same kind of success are offered as enticements to get people to “come to Jesus”—a “Jesus” who never rebukes sin but only heals, prospers, and “positively reinforces” one’s self-esteem.