10 Ways The Church Might Change!
When birthed, the Church appeared as another Jewish Sect with a rabbi, Jesus, whose teachings they adored, but the winds of the Holy Spirit led the Pharisee of Pharisee, Saul, renamed Paul, to take the gospel to the gentiles, and today the Church is primarily a gentile religion and to the Jew a cult. The Church was originally centered in the Middle East, then in Rome, but today is universal. It has been interpreted through Jewish eyes, Westernized eyes, and today through the eyes of the Holy Spirit. It started in Jerusalem, and like technology, it has gone world wide. The Church has faced change, and is about to do so again as it truly functions globally rather than regionally.
What might some of these changes look like? Here are some that I foresee:
Like the current technology explosion, the Holy Spirit, and the way the Church sees revival will no longer be looked upon as a local phenomenon (revival to hit my congregation) but globally. The next Great Revival will be world wide in an effort to prepare the Bride, the Church, for the Groom, the Lord’s return.
The Church has worked hard on its vertical relationship with God through worship and praise (John 3:16). Now it will be forced to work on the horizontal relationship of brother/sister to brother/sister in redefining how the family of God functions (IJohn 3:16). Where those two planes intersect is at the center of the Cross, thus reinforcing that the Cross is the center of the Christian experience. There is where the Church will find the Presence of God!
Prophetically the Bible depicts the Spirit of the Lord as having many eyes looking in all directions, like being different creatures with different functions pulling in different directions, yet in unity as one being. His Spirit is not stagnant, but always moving. In other words it is fluid. Just as water covers the earth in all directions, the Holy Spirit covers the earth globally, and it is fluid, moving in ebbs and tides. Satan is losing his domain, because every time he wins a battle and thinks he has gain territory, the Holy Spirit flows back in from all directions to retakes the land. This domination by the Holy Spirit is again God’s plan to prepare the earth for the return of the Lord.
Relationships will replace religion. Religious programs, westernized theology, and methodology will be challenged, torn down and replaced by the global movement of the Holy Spirit bringing unity, not division. Denominations and religious sects will vanish, being replaced through relationships with the Holy Spirit and between brothers and sisters in the Lord. The Apostolic will return ushering unity in theology, purpose, direction, and doctrine. Truly there has been and is only ONE Church, the body of Christ, the priesthood of believers in Jesus Christ.
Church offices will be replaced by leadership built on relationships, not position. Because of what one does, will one be respected or rejected. This will not be based on works, but on grace, mercy, and obedience to the leading of the Holy Spirit. Leadership will be established by those who are willing to listen to the voice of the Holy Spirit and be obedient to that voice.
Plurality will replace individualism. The New Testament emphasizes “the priesthood of believers”. No where does it edify the individual priest (except Jesus as our High Priest). In America, we emphasis the Bill of Rights, the rights of each individual, but that is not the case in the Bible. In the kingdom of God we have no “rights”. We under the loyal service, the Lorship, of our King and High Priest, Jesus Christ, thus a member of a “royal priesthood”. Instead we live under the “grace” and “mercy” of our Lord Jesus Christ, always “serving” others. The Great Commission is always outward, not inward. Change is coming in the way the Church understands the doctrine of “the priesthood of believers”.
“Laying Down One’s Life”, vertically in our relationship to God and horizontally in our relationship with each other, is central to the gospel. On the Cross, Jesus “laid down his life” for us! On the Cross, we must “lay down our life” for God and for each other. Without understanding this principle, we cannot function in plurality, nor as a priesthood, nor as an unified body.
“To obey is better than sacrifice” the Bible says. We need to learn and exercise “sacrifice” in our Christian lives and learn to exercise “obedience” to what the Holy Spirit and the Word of God, the Bible, is saying to us as believers. America’s churches today live in abundance, losing the essence of the principle of sacrifice. America’s churches need to learn “obedience”, not only to the written Word of God, the Logos, the Bible, but to the living Word of God, the Rhema, through the Holy Spirit.
Empowerment by the Holy Spirit will trump positions and offices. The Holy Spirit fell on ALL, men, women, & children in the Upper Room on Pentecost in fulfillment of the book of Joel. On that day the royal priesthood of believers was established and the Church, the body of Jesus Christ, was birthed. With revival comes empowerment by the Holy Spirit producing radical change in individual lives and corporate structures. The only way the Church will see revival is through empowerment by the Holy Spirit. The Sanhedrin, the Jewish governing body, knew these Galileans, these disciples, were different. They were not educated but were empowered from on high.
God has been reestablishing the evangelist, pastor, teacher, prophet, and apostle back into the Church. They are in the Church now! This generation has to be open to allowing the Holy Spirit to bring them together through submission and releasing one another to operate in their passions, callings, and voices to bring unity to the body of Christ and being effective.
Change is in the future. The question is: How will the Church respond? If they listen to the leading of the Holy Spirit, exciting days are ahead. In the next 10 blogs we will look at these 10 points more in detail.