I believe there is a dramatic change taking place in the Kingdom. This change is coming directly from the heart of the Father. It is being revealed to His Church in a number of ways. First, we have become aware that some of the activities we have been involved in have not been producing the fruit that we thought they would. A good example of this is Bill Hybels and Willow Creek’s admission that their programming and approach has not been producing mature, reproducing disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ. Secondly, leaders and people are sensing a subtle yet definite frustration with the life of the Church as it currently exists. This includes noting some weaknesses such as a lack of in-depth fellowship; a disconnect between the people – sometimes caused by living in a world that demands a great deal of our time but also due to not seeing the fellowship and relational sharing as beneficial to our ongoing daily life. This is obviously not as it should be or as it was in the early Church as seen in the scriptures.
Thirdly, many are becoming concerned over the flood of “prophetic revelations” being pumped out of well-known media ministries. E-newsletters, teaching CDs and DVDs, magazines and on-line sites are spewing forth revelatory teachings that are based on personal experiences and not based on a proper understanding or application of the scriptures. In some cases the revelations, visions, appearances, and dreams are in serious violation of scriptural teachings, principals and concepts.
There are other signs indicating that an imminent change is being planned by the Father for His Church. A shift away from learning for the sake of learning almost to the point of conferences becoming a subtle form of Christian entertainment that neither changes the believer nor impacts the darkness resulting in people being saved. A shift away from the individual believer seeing the Church as a place to receive help – to believers asking what they can do for the Church so that the Church can impact the city, district, and nation for Jesus. A shift away from being contained within the “four walls” to being salt and light in the world relating and connecting in a substantial way with non-believers to influence them and inform them of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
For some time now I have been hearing the Father ask me two questions about His Church. The first is: “What business are we in?” The answer is, of course, the business that Jesus was in. Jesus came to ‘seek and save the lost’ (Luke 19:10) And, a number of the current programs of the Church and activities of believers do not have this as their focus. God is speaking to His Church about this and bringing a sense of imminent change to leaders and followers alike. We are now beginning to think differently about our busyness and involvements – looking, at least, for what is of eternal significance.
The first question is” “What business are we in?” The answer: seeking and saving the lost! The second question: “How’s business?” Well, to be honest – not good! Statistics show that we are losing ground and that, in spite of many mega churches, the basic gospel message is not being heard and many other ‘gospels’ are being preached and proclaimed that are not biblical.
I believe that the Lord of the Church is saying:
“It is time to return to the basics and to begin again to proclaim and live out the fundamental message of the Church and the Gospel. It is time to examine and adjust the spiritual foundations of the Church so that it begins, once again, to focus on its calling and mission. It is time to understand the reason that I, the Lord your God, have enabled and empowered the believer with the Baptism of My Holy Spirit – that you may be “My witnesses” to those around My world who do not believe in My Son. (Acts 1:8) It is time to be about your Father’s business of seeking and saving the lost. For this My Son came and for this My sons and daughters were commissioned and sent.”