The Missing Church – Part 3

In part one we began to look at the fact that the true church of scripture is largely missing in North America.  We have lost our identity and become an apathetic and powerless faith that changes little and stands for even less.  I looked at the reasons why I felt this had happened.

  • We don’t understand the Christian Cause
  • We don’t understand what Christianity Costs
  • We don’t understand how Christianity is Communicated
  • We looked at the fact that we really don’t understand what the Christian Cause really is.  That it is supposed to be a deep, dynamic, intimate and ever-deepening relationship with our God and that we have turned it into a list of rules and requirements, and rituals.

    In part two we looked at the Cost involved with Christianity, and the fact the we have turned it into a free faith, promising comfort and ease and delivering nothing at all, and that Christianity cost Jesus absolutely everything and that it will cost us the same because a faith that costs little to nothing is worth little to nothing.

    Lastly I want to look at why we are not becoming the church shown in scripture.

    We don’t understand how Christianity is Communicated;

    Thirdly we need to look at the way we share and display our faith.  Once we establish our faith in the forgiveness of our Saviour and surrender our lives to His leadership, we then need to share our faith.  We become Christians in a supernatural way, as we are born again by the Spirit of God, so we need to continue to live our faith in a supernatural way.  Paul stated this in Galatians 3:3  “Have you lost your senses? After starting your Christian lives in the Spirit, why are you now trying to become perfect by your own human effort?”  We struggle to live our faith out and be the people that God wishes, and yet we try to do it without the One who started our faith, redeemed us and without His help, we cannot be who God designed us to be.  The church in scripture is a supernatural church.   And we see evidence of this church still today in places like China, Africa, Argentina and the former Soviet Union.  And we can see that church here if we will change our lives and allow God to do in us what He needs to do.  Because scripture says that “Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever” we can be sure that the works that Jesus did in the bible He is still willing to do today, and because the bible teaches that “God is no respecter of persons” what He is willing to do with and through one person, He is willing to do in and through us.  It is only us that holds back the hand of God.

    The bible states in Daniel 11:32 “those who know their God .. will do great exploits.”   Christianity is simply a relationship with God.  Knowing God and being known by Him.  Therefore according to scripture Christians should be “doing great exploits” and yet we simply do nothing.   Jesus said “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father.”  Again we find that Christians are supposed to do great things.  The works that Jesus did, heal the sick, raise the dead, give sight to the blind, hearing to the deaf, we are supposed to be able to do.  Jesus Himself said we should.  And Jesus hasn’t changed.  Now Jesus didn’t do the miracles He did because He was God.  Otherwise they would be impossible for us to do.  Jesus was completely man, that was empowered by the Holy Spirit.  ACT 10:38  “how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him. ”  

    And Jesus promised us that same power. Luke 24:49  “stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.”  And in Acts on the day of Pentecost the disciples received that power, and proceeded to give it to everyone who called themselves Christians.  But as a church here today we are powerless.  We are the same as the people Paul talked about in 2 Timothy 3:5  “having a form of godliness but denying its power.”  

    God gives us His power not for our gain but so that we will become witnesses to those around us, sharing with them what God has done in and for us.  But until we share the gospel fully we have not truly shared the gospel.  Paul states in Romans 15:18-19  “I dare not boast of anything else. I have brought the Gentiles to God by my message and by the way I lived before them. I have won them over by the miracles done through me as signs from God – all by the power of God’s Spirit. In this way, I have fully presented the Good News of Christ all the way from Jerusalem clear over into Illyricum.”  Unless we allow the power of God to flow through us we cannot fully proclaim the message God has given us, and we cannot become the church that God designed us to be.   We must fully know what Christianity truly is, and be fully and completely sold out to God, having Him as complete Lord of our lives, and properly display our faith to be the church of scripture.  Only then can we be who God calls us to be.  The decision is ours to make.  A wise man once said “you are as close to God as you choose to be”.  We have to decide how far we are willing to go. Vance Havner stated “I was born in the fires of revival, and I am not going to sit in the ashes.”  Only we can decide our destiny.

    But many churches teach the power of God moving in our lives, but there are extremely few whose teachings unfold into reality.  For them it is a concept that they teach that was found in scriptures.  But this needs to become a reality in our lives.  If we are to be the Christians and the churches we were designs to be, then this is an extremely important part.  Without it we will never become what we are supposed to be.  We are called to be a supernatural people, moving and flowing with God and changing our world.  And this is what the heart of God yearns for. 2 Chronicles 16:9  “For the eyes of the Lord search back and forth across the whole earth, looking for people whose hearts are perfect toward him, so that he can show his great power in helping them. ” The Message version states “God is always on the alert, constantly on the lookout for people who are totally committed to him.”  God is actively searching for people that He can display His power in and through.  So if God is actively seeking looking then why don’t we see His power displayed in our lives and churches?  Why aren’t we the supernatural people that we are called to be?  I think that it is because our hearts are divided among so many things.  We compartmentalize God to a small piece of time on one day a week and live our lives the way we desire the rest of the time.  But God was never meant to be compartmentalized.

    If we desire to be the people God called us to be it will require a major shift in our lives and behaviors.  Scripture teaches that God is a jealous God.  He is deeply passionate over us, and just like a husband is fiercely loyal and jealous over his wife, God is the same over us.  He will not share us with anyone or anything.  So we have to begin to look at our lives and evaluate what our destiny is worth to us.  Will we continue to compartmentalize God and live our lives the way we have been living, or will we undergo a radical change and commit ourselves completely and totally to Him and allow Him to show Himself strong?  That is what is required.  And the decision is ours and only ours to make.   But if we are willing to begin, God will show Himself in and through us like we never dreamed possible.  All it takes is for us to make up our mind and make a quality decision for God to begin.  He wants it more than we do, and if we will move an inch, He will move a mile.  Besides this is something we can never do without Him and He knows that.  So if we will make the decision, He will make up the difference.  Our destiny awaits us.

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