Tag Archives: Revival Issues

-Revival Implications: The Kingdom and The Church

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We continually pray for the Kingdom to come and yet many of us ignore the implications. Jesus did not come to build a mega church or start another religious system nor will he be coming again to establish a new one on the earth. The Kingdom of God is already established.

During his life on earth he was constantly bucking up against and challenging the religious organizations, leaders, and the latest theologies of his day. I believe that one of the major characteristics and goals of the current and coming world revival is the shaking and realignment of the church and leaders toward actually reflecting the Kingdom rather than religious traditions of the past and the current popular thinking of the day.

Many of us who are looking for revival and a new awakening are trying to relive the glory of past revivals wanting God to do the same thing to us all over again. Those are actually lessons that the church should have already gotten and incorporated in our DNA along the way and should have prepared us for the coming Kingdom on earth.

There is nothing wrong with drinking from the wells of past revivals and we should incorporate and take serious every past move of God. But they are suppose to be like an oasis that supports us and helps us on our current journey. We are called to move on. When we stay at those wells and glory in the past we may end up limiting what God can do in our midst today. Some have actually camped out at one well and have established churches and religious systems and theologies that reflect that particular move of God and refuse to move on and question anything different.

The Reformation was a major move of God that brought major changes to the church. A major emphasis of that move was on the logos Word of God, the Bible and true theology. There are many churches and denominations today that have refused to move on from that major well.  When it comes to Azusa Street, there are many Pentecostals camped out at that oasis questioning the water everywhere else. One of the major problems of the Charismatic movement is a tendency among many to seek out only the rhema and the newest ever more radical ‘spiritual’ thing while ignoring what God did when he inspired Luther and Calvin and others to seek and nail down the foundational teachings of the Bible.

We continue to pray- “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.

What if we really got what we prayed for? What would happen? Any move of God that brought the Kingdom into the midst of our churches today would bring radical changes. The church is called the ‘Body of Christ’ and is called to do what he did. Now that would be radical and that is what we are facing in the move ahead. It will not be about building mega churches or organizations or making new religious systems or establishing theocratic political powers. It will be all about bringing the good news of the Kingdom of God to all of the world before the coming of the Lord.

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.  -Matthew 24:14 (ESV)

The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me,
because the Lord has anointed me
to bring good news to the poor;
he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim liberty to the captives,
and the opening of the prison to those who are bound;
2 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor,…Isaiah 61:1-2 (ESV)

Here’s a link to a great article that got me thinking about this issue in Ministry Today:  “16 Contrasts Between Kingdom Age and Religious Systems

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-Is Churchianity Getting in the Way of Revival?

First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) o...

(Image-Glenn Thomas Franco Simmons-flickr)

Is Churchianity getting in the way of revival? I believe that it is.

We all have pre-conceived ideas about how God can move among us and bring revival. For most Christians it is confined to the 4 walls of a church building or maybe a special tent or conference. Even when we go to the streets we take our Christian culture, language, and music with us.

But what if God really wanted to do something different in our midst?

Well we have a myriad of ‘heresy hunters’ to take care of that unfortunate turn of events. After all, we might want revival but most American Evangelicals expect it to come during a 20 minute sermon surrounded  by 3 hymns and a couple of prayers with an offering in the middle. Plus it better be over in exactly on the hour cause the next service starts when the big hand strikes 12.

Of course I am being ridiculous but mix in your own form of worship and church structure or denominational traditions and see where God is really allowed to move.

What if he wants to move downtown on main street or in the neighborhoods, or maybe at your work or business? what would that look like?

Here’s a good article on this issue by Nicki Pfeifer: The Next Move of God

She writes about how God was moving unseen in the Greek and Roman culture of the 1st century and how Apostles like Paul responded to what they found and how a real move of God followed.            *Top

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-Revival Issues: America is Like Nazareth? It’s a Matter of Honor

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“And he could do no mighty work there, except that he laid his hands on a few sick people and healed them.” -Mark 6:5  (ESV)

“…for those who honor me I will honor, and those who despise me shall be lightly esteemed.” -1 Sam 2:30-31 (ESV)

Is America like Nazareth? So much of the time we get excited when a few sick people are healed while blind eyes see and the dead are raised in Africa and the lame walk in other places around the world. It reminds me of the ministry of Jesus and all of the miracles he did except when he went home to Nazareth. There he was only able to heal a few sick folks.

We send missionaries to India and they lay hands on folks and the blind see and the lame walk but the minute they come back home it no longer works in the same way. Why it that? It is obviously a different faith atmosphere and jurisdiction.

We live in a secular culture that no longer honors Jesus and it even rubs off on those of us who are Christians. The church in America thinks we know all about Jesus and we even have him clearly boxed up and defined in 1,000’s of books that have been written over the years.

There are even many Bible teachers here that have taught and have theologically concluded that miracles ended in the first century when the Bible was completed and the Apostles died out since they personally never saw any. Since they rarely happen here we have concocted all sorts of theological reasons for it. The only problem, around the world for nearly 2,000 years folks continue to be healed in the name of Jesus and in every generation the miracles have continued.

Intellectually we think we know Jesus and what he can do and in our case not do. We even pray- “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth” and have no clue what that might really involve.

Whereas major healings and miracles seem to be a natural part of the Gospel in the 3rd world here in America and much of the West we assign them to the separate category of  the ‘supernatural’. Then Western philosophers seriously argue over whether there is even such a thing or not.

However, any evangelist or minister that travels to India, Africa, or the 3rd world will confirm that major healings and miracles still take place all the time even if they cannot duplicate them when they get back to the states.

It is all matter of expectations and world view –but ultimately it is really about faith and honor. Jesus is no longer honored in the public square in America – guess where revival must go. Jesus is no longer honored in our schools and colleges -guess where revival must go. Jesus is no longer honored in our businesses –guess where revival must go. Jesus is no longer honored in our neighborhoods –guess where revival must go. Jesus is no longer honored in many of our homes in America –guess where revival must start.

Jesus is honored in our churches for a short time on Sunday –guess when revival must happen in America –Monday through Saturday.            *Top

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