My dear readers, two weeks ago, I set out to describe a New Testament Church by looking at the history of Church revivals. At different times, as the Holy Spirit of God decided to pour out special grace upon His Church, God added so many souls, so those entire nations were moved significantly toward Christ. Such was the case in The Great Awaking, which impacted the United Kingdom and the United States.
Therefore, there is the Church of Pentecost and the Apostolic era, and there is the Church during normal times. The ordinary Church tends to wind down. As it does, it depends more and more upon human methods and less and less upon the Holy Spirit of God for the dynamics of Christianity. Jesus taught us through the disciples what the dynamics of the Church would be, on the night that He was betrayed. “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will also do; and greater works than these he will do; because I go to the Father. “Whatever you ask in My name, that will I do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. “If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it.” (John 14:12-14) The dynamic of the Church is the prayer of faith. The central area of attack by the enemy of our souls is our faith and in particular, our prayer life.
Dear believer in the Lord Jesus Christ, please take a step back and think about the Church as it is at present in America. We can place all Churchgoers into one of four basic Church scenarios. One, we will call a conservative, Arminian group that depends upon the free-will of man and an old style of Sunday morning worship service. In each case let us consider what worship looks like during the rest of the week. No Christian should ever judge himself by what he looks like for one to three hours a week.
In the second group we see a contemporary style of worship on Sunday morning, where entertainment carries the service. The third group is made up of people who emphasize the sovereignty of God in salvation and who may or may not emphasize a contemporary style of worship on Sunday morning. The fourth and last type of Christian Church goer we will call the Charismatic or Pentecostal. Within this group, there is emotionalism that is meant to simulate the work of the Holy Spirit. True revival cannot be manufactured by human means, it is the work of God, and it happens when He decides and Him alone.
The fundamental elements in true revival are a turning from sin and faith toward God, unity among believers through a correct understanding of the Bible, and a reliance upon God through long and sustained prayer; both privately and corporately. The point before us is not to question God’s viability in His Church but where there is reliance upon God by the Church? At this point, you can take a defensive posture and come out swinging for your particular Church, or you can take a step back and consider what it is God wants.
My dear readers, next week we will discuss why the American Church is a disappointment to God and why it grieves the Holy Spirit. I do not speak as one that is above the short-comings of our Church life, but one who cannot help but be a part of it. The best that I can do is pray for the state of our beloved Church. The point is, do you see the Church for what it is, or what you want it to be? What is your prayer life like?