10 Ways The Church Might Change:
Point 4 – Part 2
[In previous blogs I have outlined 10 possible changes the Church may face in the future. This is point 4 in the series: 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.]
I believe that the “apostolic” is the ability to “see over what the Holy Spirit is already doing!” It is seeing “the big picture” of the Church as a whole. It is not the apostle that is bringing the “big picture” together, for he does not “oversee” by controlling it; he just has the privilege of “seeing over” what is already happening by the Leading of the Holy Spirit before his eyes and helping to facilitate that picture through releasing others in the Body of Christ towards its fulfillment. Any believer in Jesus Christ can be apostolic in vision, passion, and point of view if their heart’s cry is the Church as a whole, as a body, as a total functioning entity.
The 21st Century Christian with an apostolic leaning will have to be above the fray of sectarian divisions within the body of Christ over doctrine, theology, and traditions. Saul, later named Paul, who was a Pharisee of Pharisees, a member of the Sanhedrin, the Jewish Religion’s governing body, who debated against the Sadducees, another Jewish sect, had to be reprogrammed, rewired, re-theologized by the Holy Spirit upon his conversion to Christianity in order to have the proper apostolic vision that he would need to take the gospel to the gentiles. Those 21st Century Christians with an apostolic view, passion, and point of view are currently under the same scrutiny that Saul/Paul faced in his time.
Although this infant first century Church looked upon itself almost as another Jewish sect with Jesus not only as its leading rabbi but Messiah, it took Paul challenging them with apostolic insight at the Council in Jerusalem (Acts 15) for them to recognize the error in their theology toward gentiles, repenting, and not only accepting gentiles but writing letters of encouragement towards their progress. “Circumcision” was the issue debated in the first century Church, not just tolerance, but “acceptance” of gentiles (people unlike themselves) was the key to the Church’s massive growth after their decision. The Church has gone from a Jewish sect to basically a major gentile religion. Today the church must not be just tolerant of other Christian sects, but “accepting” of them as brethren if the 21st Century Church is to move forward in unity, power, and purpose. That message of “unconditional acceptance” among brethren is an apostolic theme for today! In fact the 21st Century apostle takes it further: I John 3:16: You know love by this that you lay down your life for your brethren. The 21st Century apostolic teaching will be about “laying down your life for your brethren” just as Jesus did for us on the Cross.
So part of the World-Wide-Revival of the Church in the 21st Century will be the restoration of the apostolic passion, vision, and point of view, re-establishing apostolic doctrine to bring unity in the Body of Christ, the Church, to fulfill Jesus’ own Priestly Prayer of John 16 before he was to return to his Father in heaven. “Seeing” the workings of the Holy Spirit toward that fulfillment will be the joy of the 21st Century Christians with an apostolic calling on his/her lives.