What Do You Think Of The Social Gospel?

When our daughter Rebecca came home from school for spring break she as us for our opinion about the story about Parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus

Luke 16:19-35 (NLT) 19 Jesus said, “There was a certain rich man who was splendidly clothed in purple and fine linen and who lived each day in luxury. 20 At his gate lay a poor man named Lazarus who was covered with sores. 21 As Lazarus lay there longing for scraps from the rich man’s table, the dogs would come and lick his open sores. 22 “Finally, the poor man died and was carried by the angels to be with Abraham. The rich man also died an was buried, 23 and his soul went to the place of the dead. There, in torment, he saw Abraham in the far distance with Lazarus at his side.24 “The rich man shouted, ‘Father Abraham, have some pity! Send Lazarus over here to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue. I am in anguish in these flames.’25 “But Abraham said to him, ‘Son, remember that during your lifetime you had everything you wanted, and Lazarus had nothing. So now he is here being comforted, and you are in anguish. 26 And besides, there is a great chasm separating us. No one can cross over to you from here, and no one can cross over to us from there.’ 27 “Then the rich man said, ‘Please, Father Abraham, at least send him to my father’s home. 28 For I have five brothers, and I want him to warn them so they don’t end up in this place of torment.’29 “But Abraham said, ‘Moses and the prophets have warned them. Your brothers can read what they wrote.’30 “The rich man replied, ‘No, Father Abraham! But if someone is sent to them from the dead, then they will repent of their sins and turn to God.’ 31 “But Abraham said, ‘If they won’t listen to Moses and the prophets, they won’t listen even if someone rises from the dead.'”

Dale and I both told her that there will be many people who will be sad on judgment day because they had turned their back on the “social” gospel. If we want to live the life that Jesus lived and listen closely to what He preached, it would be what we know as the “social” gospel. Jesus was with the poor, the needy, and the outcast of his day. He could have stayed clear of them and with the nice “spiritual” people of his day but he did not. He went to those who needed him the most and before He could save their souls He had to take care of what they needed first. So if we want to follow in Jesus example sometime we have to get a little dirty and get close to the smell to follow Him. Jesus gave us only two commandments – To love God with all of our heart, mind, soul and strength, and to love our neighbor as ourself.

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