20/20 Vision 

We have entered a new year – 2020
And, we have also entered a new decade – 2020 to 2030
God has been very active bringing us to this point
In our personal lives
In our corporate life as a local church
In the worldwide Church as the Kingdom continues to expand
He has been very active
He is very active
He will be very active as we enter a new year and a new decade
Often we don’t see Him at work. But the Bible states that He is bringing everything forward to completion

I want to take just a few minutes to paint the big picture and touch on a few of the highlights we will see in the coming months and years
These are things the Lord has shown to me and, as we know, He has 20/20 vision
And, these few items, among many, will give us a sense of the vision for the future
I remind you that we are living in Bible days…
Matthew 24:3-14 “Later, when they arrived at the Mount of Olives, his disciples came privately to where he was sitting and said, “Tell us, when will these things happen? And what supernatural sign should we expect to signal your coming and the completion of this age?” Jesus answered, “At that time deception will run rampant. So beware that you are not fooled! For many will appear on the scene claiming my authority or saying about themselves, ‘I am God’s Anointed,’ and they will lead many astray.
“You will hear of wars nearby and revolutions on every side, with more rumours of wars to come. Don’t panic or give in to your fears, for the breaking apart of the world’s systems is destined to happen. But it won’t yet be the end; it will still be unfolding.
“Nations will go to war against each other and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be terrible earthquakes—seismic events of epic proportion, horrible epidemics and famines in place after place. This is how the first contractions and birth pains of the new age will begin!”
Could have been written about today what is happening globally today
In the year 2020 there will be a series of adjustments
In the decade starting in 2020 (to 2030) there will be many changes – major changes
These changes will take place in the world and within the world order
These changes will impact society and culture as we know it today
These changes will impact the Church – big and small ones – in every nation
Looking at the Church
In the midst of everything that is happening in the world there will be a major shift in the Church
If you were to summarize the shift…
Focus will shift from “me and you” totally towards the Lord Jesus
Church as we know it will fade – Shift of focus to the Church Jesus is building
Shift from the Church being the focus and center of activity to the Kingdom
“Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness all these things will be added unto you” Matthew 6:33
Shift from ministering to each other to touching the hearts of the lost with the love of God
Shift from maintenance to ministry
Shift from the natural to the supernatural
Shift from faithful to fruitful
Shift from flesh to faith
In the first 2 to 3 three years of the new decade there will be serious foundational changes…
Changes in the foundation of the Christian faith and the Church
These changes, like the foundation of a natural building, will not be highly visible but they are extremely important nonetheless
As time passes these changes become more visible as we begin the work on the above ground structural changes that will be on-going in the Church
By the end of the new decade the Church that Jesus is building will become very visible and very powerful
And, the church that man has build and is building will be in a battle with the true Church for the hearts and souls of people
This man-made church has and will join hands with the culture of the day and abandon the teachings of Jesus
Example (full article is my blog for January 17th, 2020):
The Church of England has appointed Stephen Cottrell as Archbishop of York, the second most senior position.
Bishop Cottrell has … warned that the Church’s stance on same-sex relationships means that it is ‘seen as immoral by the culture in which it is set’ and has suggested that prayers of thanksgiving for these relationships — ‘perhaps a eucharist’ — should be offered.
 In a diocesan-synod address in 2017, he warned of the ‘missiological damage that is done when that which is held to be morally normative and desirable by much of society, and by what seems to be a significant number of Anglican Christian people in this country, is deemed morally unacceptable by the Church…
The soon to be archbishop’s approach to sexual ethics is an example of why movements fall. They become more concerned with being out of step with the culture than faithfulness to the Scriptures.
At its best, Christianity is often out of step with whatever culture in which it finds itself. That’s the example of Jesus, the Apostles and early church, and the martyrs down through the ages.
Movements rise and fall as they move towards, or away from, the life and ministry of Jesus — obedient to the living Word, dependent on the Holy Spirit and faithful to the core missionary task.
Changing to suit and embrace the culture and societal Norns and neglect and reject biblical morals and values
Let me give you ten major emphasis in the coming decade…
1> There will be a very visible fight (war) regarding the truth
Church will be fighting society and the culture
Church will be fighting the church as noted above with Archbishop Stephen Cottrell
Church will be fighting other religions and philosophies for the hearts of men
John 14:6a “Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life…”
John 16:13 “When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come.”
John 17:17b “… your word is truth.”
John 8:32 “…and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
Jude 1:3 “appealing to you to contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints.”
The Passion Translation:  “to challenge you to vigorously defend and contend for the beliefs that we cherish.”
2> There will be a major shift in leadership within the Church
There will be a decline in the role of ‘pastor’ and “teacher’ as key leader
A shift from “pastor/teacher” as leader
Stronger than that: There will be a removal of the pastor-teacher as leader
We will see a foundational shift to apostles and prophets as key leaders
Ephesians 2:20 “(The Church) built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone…”
Apostles and prophets teach, lead, and care for the people of God differently than pastors-teachers
Different anointing – Foundational
Different focus – the Kingdom not the needs of the people
Different purpose in leading … equipping and releasing
We will need to guard again the many false prophets and apostles that will be released by the Devil upon the church
Matthew 24:24 “For false christs and false prophets will arise and perform great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect”
2 Corinthians 11:13 “For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ.”
They will be within the Church – wolves in sheep’s clothing
Acts 20:29-30 “I know that after my departure fierce wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; and from among your own selves will arise men speaking twisted things, to draw away the disciples after them.”
The Passion Translation:  “I know that after I leave, imposters who have no loyalty to the flock will come among you like savage wolves. Even some from among your very own ranks will rise up, twisting the truth to seduce people into following them instead of Jesus.”
3> Teaching will be done by revelation
Apostles and Prophets teach by revelation
Teachers and pastors teach line-upon-line, precept-upon-precept (Isaiah 28:10)
Rhema word for the people  – a now Word
A Word that releases life and transforms the heart and changes lives
Pastors and teachers teach information so that you know more
Their purpose is to teach the mind so that believers will know the truth
Prophets and apostles touch the heart with a now Word from the Spirit that can change lives if received and applied
Examples:
I have noticed two little words that change everything and bring tremendous hope … “but God”
Peter denies the Lord three times and then the Lord dies on the cross
Peter senses it is all over and he will never lead again
Jesus appears to Mary in the Garden and says, “Go and tell My disciples and Peter…”
Instilling hope and a future once again to Peter
4> There will be a steep decline in ‘stability’ and life in the Church will be much more ‘messy’
This will be the result of the fight for the truth and our stand for that truth
This will be the result of the number of cultural Christians leaving the Church
This will be the result of many new converts coming into the Church
They come in with their baggage and get cleaned up once they are with us
This will be a result of the outright hatred the culture and other religions will have for those who hold to the truth
Jesus said, “Just remember, when the unbelieving world hates you, they first hated me. If you were to give your allegiance to the world, they would love and welcome you as one of their own. But because you won’t align yourself with the values of this world, they will hate you. I have chosen you and taken you out of the world to be mine.”    (John 15:18-19 The Passion Translation)
This will be the result of the Church engaging the culture and society graciously speaking biblical truth to current-day issues and no longer being quiet
However, in spite of the messy nature of the Church God is still in control and things, from His point of view, are good
1 Corinthians 14:40 “But all things should be done decently and in order.”
5> There will be a decline of religion as younger generations will look for meaning and purpose elsewhere
Mainline denominations
Independent churches
Charismatic churches
So called Spirit-filled churches
There will be many opportunities and open doors to speak to religious people sharing the truth of God’s Word in the hope they will see the truth
They leave the Church but are “spiritually restless” and so they are open to hear the true Gospel of the Kingdom
There will be many looking for Jesus but not looking in regular churches for Him.
Relationships built with them will open opportunities to share the love of God with them
There will be many looking for real purpose in life – wanting to be challenged to make a difference
We need to build relationships with them and then share the challenge Jesus has left for us to embrace
They will not be looking to the church for what they want and need … So, we need to be there to help point them to Jesus
6> New expressions of Church life will replace existing dead churches (religion)
Churches focused on winning the lost…
House churches where people can experience family and acceptance
Marketplace expressions of the life of Jesus (churches)
Churches that no longer hold to the status quo and tradition but hold to biblical truth
Churches that engage the culture and the spiritual darkness
7> The emphasis will be on training and equipping the saints – releasing them to multiply
Multiply by winning the lost and making disciples
Multiply by planting new expression of the Church
John 14:12 “Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father.”
8> There will be a new and fresh emphasis on the Gospel of the Kingdom and the Baptism in the Holy Spirit and tongues (basic Christianity)
Matthew 24:14 “And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.”
Acts 1:5, 8a “for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now… But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses…”
9> New unexpected doors will open to hearing the Gospel as hearts become hungry for the truth
This hunger being the result of worldwide economic and social turmoil, terrorism and war which will continue to grow and become much worse than what we see today
10> A change in the Gospel
The gospel of salvation – the Gospel of the Kingdom
We make decisions for Christ – Should be making disciples of Christ
We see decisions – Should be seeing conversions
We have a salvation culture – We should have a Gospel culture
The Gospel is far greater than one element within it – salvation
So, that is a quick glance at 2020 and beyond…
And, what is it that you and I should be doing in the midst of these massive social and spiritual changes?
The big picture: Revitalize and deepen your spiritual life – Admit that something needs to change
New life
New wind in your sails
New ways to see and understand life (Kingdom perspective)
New understanding of Jesus, the Church, the Kingdom
1>  Discover the wonder of knowing Jesus all over again (or for the first time)
Sometimes things become too familiar and thus lose the dynamic that brings life and changes your life
I deeply believe that we are missing a dynamic in our relationship with Jesus
This would be the biblical Jesus – a real person – Not the Jesus of our own design and making
That we have missed knowing the depth of His heart and His love for us
His grace, mercy, forgiveness, acceptance
We think we know these things and have experienced them but…
Might mean demolishing your current understanding of Jesus
Might mean moving a lot of things from the head to the heart
Might mean new insights and a fresh understanding
2> Focus in 2020 on the four Gospels and the book of Acts
Watching specifically for the way Jesus lived His life, spoke to people, engaged with issues of His day, ministered to the lost
Daily asking the Holy Spirit to guide you into new truth or seeing old truths in new ways and greater depth
3> Understand that being born again is not a destination but a journey and jump on the journey
It is not “heaven when I die” = Destination
It is constant change in character, heart issues, and the way we see life and live our lives
It is fulfilling God’s plan and purpose for our life while here on the earth
Use 2020 to discover more of His plan and purpose for your life
It is ‘being’ and the ‘doing’
4> Learn to accurately hear the voice of God
There are many ways that He speaks – expand your view
And then do what He says to do… join His adventure
Most believers do not hear God’s voice accurately
Look at your life and tell me is it the result of accurately hearing and then following God’s voice
5> Reintroduce the Baptism in the Holy Spirit into your life
The Baptism in the Holy Spirit is more than an event or experience
It is an every day reality in your life empowering and enabling you to be a witness for Jesus
Release the power that comes with the Baptism
Use the nine gifts that move the power from you to others
Let the “rivers of living waters flow” (John 7:37-38)
6> Invite the Holy Spirit to change your prayer life
Routine kills life – routine often becomes a rut
Let the Holy Spirit stir things up… change what you do and how you do it
7> Leave the “passive” approach to the faith and become aggressive on all levels
Matthew 11:12 “…the violent take (the Kingdom) by force”
Aggressive
Enthusiastic
Excited
Anticipating
Embracing
Involved
Expectant
This is a choice we make on a daily basis
You can stand and let life pass you by or you can engage and embrace what is happening
Release the Holy Spirit who lives within you engaging with all that is happening in and around you….