The Church

Acts 2:17-“In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophecy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams.”

Typically, we go to churches because we agree with what the church believes. For the most part, we all agree that faith in Christ and His sacrifice as being our only source of salvation is non-negotiable. “It’s by grace that we are saved, through faith. And you cannot take credit for this; it is the gift from God” (Ephesians 2:8). Faith to believe in Christ is given to us from God Himself, we can’t even take any credit for our willingness to believe the gospel. It’s all from God. That’s what makes it grace. But since we are in the last days, there should be more than we are believing to unite us. What we should be believing for in addition to salvation in Christ, is the power of the Holy Spirit!

Just about every preacher will agree that we are in the last days. So, I ask – why don’t we all believe what the Bible says is to be happening in the last days? Since God said He is pouring His Spirit out (and He can’t lie), that means the power of the Holy Spirit should be here. The Book of Acts is the blueprint for the church. The Holy Spirit is the architect of the church. God gave us Jesus and the Acts of the Holy Spirit (Book of Acts) as our model and example to follow. If we really believe that Jesus is the same yesterday, TODAY and forever, shouldn’t we be believing for the works of Jesus to be manifested? Jesus did say that the works that I do, you shall do and greater works (quantity) shall you do because I am going to the Father (John 14:12). Jesus left us the assignment of doing what He did. Heal the sick, cast out devils, set people free, love the sinner (Luke 4:18, Luke 19:10). Signs, wonders, and miracles were normal and frequent in the ministry of Jesus. The Book of Acts proved that Jesus’ followers could do what He did. Anything less than doing what Jesus did is a bad representation of who He is.

Jesus left us the assignment of doing what He did.

If we just read the Bible without experiencing it, it is nothing more than a history book. That is the problem with the majority of the church, they are just having history class every week. The world doesn’t want or need another history lesson. People I talk with outside of the church are looking for the Real Jesus – not the religious, historical Jesus. They are looking for the Jesus of love, forgiveness, with power to save, heal and deliver. This is the vision for the church that we should be attracted to. Vision brings unity. Doctrine and denominations alone will not bring unity. The Word and the power of the Spirit that brings Revival to peoples’ lives is the only thing that should matter – because God is all about Revival (2 Corinthians 5:19). The word Revival means to revive or bring back to life something that was lost. So, ask yourself, “What has been lost?”

“Jesus was the expression and the image of the Father, and upholding (proving) everything by the word of His power“(Hebrews 1:3). Everything that Jesus did was to express the heart and love of the Father. Every sign, wonder, and miracle were proof of the Father’s heart. So, what has changed? What has been lost? Jesus hasn’t changed, the Father hasn’t changed. God wants to revive us with the expressions of who He has always been.

Jesus hasn’t changed, so why doesn’t the church look like Him?

The majority of the church, for the most part, has placed its focus on the wrong thing, teaching. Don’t get me wrong, I study for hours every week. But teaching is not the only thing I desire. The Apostle Paul said, “My teaching and preaching was not with wise and persuasive words, but with demonstrations of the Spirit’s power.” (1 Corinthians 2:4). Good teachers of bad theology might sound good but it’s still wrong. Compromise can never bring deliverance and freedom to people’s lives. You can make something that’s wrong sound right by teaching it well, but that does not make it right. And that is the condition of most churches. Doctrine was never intended to cause unity. Vision is the only thing that has the power to bring unity. The original apostles did not agree or see eye to eye on doctrine, but they ministered in the power of the Spirit with signs, wonders, and miracles. I have friends who go to churches where no one is ever saved, no one is ever healed, no miracles ever happen. I’ve asked them why they go to that church. Their answer was, “I have friends there and I like the pastor”. I love these people, but I lovingly let them know that isn’t why Jesus gave His life for the church!! The Apostle Paul dealt with teachers in the church that were teaching bad doctrine by correcting it, he wouldn’t let it go, he would “speak the truth in love”(Ephesians 4:15) correcting them.

Any church that doesn’t look like Jesus: loving the sinner (that means the lost will come because they are loved), healing the sick, signs, wonders and miracles is a dysfunctional church. It’s not doing what Jesus did or gave His life for. A vision of the last-days church should be the basis for our unity – not whether we like the music, the way they take up the offering, or the frequency of communion. Those are negotiable. The only non-negotiable issue is, “Is Jesus showing up?” And if He is, He will do what He has always done. It is the last days and God is pouring His Spirit out, but the religious will miss it because their focus is on the wrong things rather than allowing Jesus (the head of the church) to do what He wants to do.

Compromise can never bring deliverance and freedom to people’s lives.

My prayer for you today is that you will not miss out on what God is doing in these last days, position yourself for the power of the Holy Spirit.       

Pointing People to Jesus,

Rocky Byers

“On Earth as it is in Heaven!”