I read the Bible from cover to cover, and I walked away from that experience troubled and concerned.
I realized that the church today is not even close to “church’ then. Which begs to question, where did we get this version of church from? And why do we accept it as the norm.
Here is the definition of church: And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned.
And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.”
So then, after the Lord had spoken to them, He was received up into heaven, and sat down at the right hand of God. And they went out and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them and confirming the word through the accompanying signs. Amen. (Mark 16:15-20).
Now, hear me good; There is more to Christianity than even this, but I believe strongly that this is what basic Christianity looks like. At the very least, we should be able to do the things listed in this Scripture. At the very least, we should be trying.
I get it; it is what it is. If you are satisfied with what church looks like today, cool. But please, release those who desire more because there is more.
So now, here is my real concern. Our greatest spiritual experience seem to include tongue-talking, body- flashing, ground-rolling, noise-making and tear-jerking, and we walk away saying the Holy Ghost showed up.
How many people received a confirmed miracle? Did the Lord perform any signs or wonders in your midst? Did anyone have an open vision or an out of body experience? Was anyone translated to heaven, or to another location on earth to do something for God?
All I’m saying is, we need more than just the stuff we can conjure up on our own. A lot of us are just faking it anyway so we don’t stand out too much in the crowd or become a likely target for some ignorant, emotion-filled believer to come attack us and try to cast a demon out of us. I mean, when did it become a demon-possession issue, if you are NOT enjoying church?
Most churches seem to be dead or dying spiritually. How can you test this? The next time you stand at the podium, pause and say, “I am waiting on God to see or hear what He wants to do next.” If someone takes the microphone from you so “church” can continue…I rest my case.
I believe we need more than a revival or a reformation. We need an encounter with Truth that will shift our mind-set because out thoughts keep us bound to religious practices that bear no fruit. Unless we “renew our minds” we will be incapable of receiving fresh manna from heaven or even identify it when its sitting on a table before us.
Unless we renew our minds, we cannot: Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature…cast out demons…speak with new tongues…take up serpents…lay hands on the sick, and they will recover or experience the Lord working with us and confirming the word through the accompanying signs.