Social Justice and the End Times
David Neff, the editor in chief of Christianity Today wrote an excellent piece in the August issue concerning social justice and its implications for the last days. Of his six points, I found one in particular to be insightful. Neff reminds us that, “Our work for justice announces the Kingdom’s arrival.” Taking up on the theme of faith and works from James’ epistle, Neff argues that good deeds (works of justice) are an indication that the Kingdom of God has come.
“When Jesus acted miraculously to bring healing or justice, people saw his kingdom foreshadowed. Take the miracle of Zacchaeus’s conversion, for example. When Jesus came to his house, Zacchaeus announced that he would correct the abuses he had committed as a Roman tax collector. He promised to reimburse many times over those he had ripped off. Jesus responded by announcing that “this day” salvation had come to Zacchaeus’s house.
“What did Jesus mean? Certainly not that Zacchaeus had earned salvation by good works. Instead, Jesus was affirming that Zacchaeus’s actions demonstrated that the kingdom and its values had entered this particular place and household.”
As we live out our faith by doing works of justice, let us remember that we are not simply trying to “fix” a problem. But rather, we are giving the world a glimpse of what Christ’s fully inaugurated Kingdom will look like at the end of time.