The 2021 Church!
When Christ showed up on the scene, God’s Church had become something other than what God had intended it to be. Jesus was furious with the leadership and began describing them for what they had truly become and what their actions had dictated. Christ called them hypocrites for preaching one thing and doing another; He also called them blind fools for misinterpreting the scriptures and causing others to follow. On occasion, the Lord called them poisonous snakes and a brood of vipers for their intentional desire to mislead the people for their own gain. He also called them whited sepulchres, declaring that they seemed clean on the outside but were actually dead and evil on the inside (in their hearts). Christs’ indignation seemed to reach a fever pitch when He saw people taking advantage of faithful servants by charging them inflated prices for the offering, so He flipped over the tables and whipped them until they left; declaring: You’ve made My Fathers house a den of thieves.
I wonder how Jesus would feel if He showed up today in our American churches and heard what we are preaching and see how we are living? I think Christ would be furious by the twisting of scripture from some denominations, the ungodly living of others, and the financial manipulation of yet others. I believe that Christ is going to show up in a manner of speaking, and all of these ungodly issues in the Church are going to be seen for what they truly are and be judged. I believe that the 2021 Church and the years to follow will look drastically different from what we see now. I’m not even sure if this new church will have a building. I see a return to the Book of Acts Church. The Church is not a building, but it is the people of God.
Christ showed us what His church would look like by His actions; He lived by God’s principles and spoke about them as He went about doing good to people that He came in contact with. This was the prototype of God’s new church. Throughout the Book of Acts, the disciples simply followed Christs’ example; emulating the way He lived and the words He spoke. Christ told His disciples to “follow Me”, and that is exactly what they did. Acts 10:38 says: God anointed Jesus…who went about doing good, and heling all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with Him. This is what the first church looked like; the miracles and healings were the divine proof that Jesus was sent by God; and a sign to the unconverted/ unbelieving, that these supernatural and miraculous events were done by the hand of our Heavenly Father! The disciples were witnesses of what Christ did, and simply followed His pattern. Acts 10:39 says: And we are witnesses…And Christ commanded us to preach and testify. This is the Church that Christ created and the disciples continued. Church today has become a far cry from that. There is relatively no divine healings and miracles as in the day of the Apostles, and consequently no divine proof of any ministry; just a bunch of people going to seminary school learning how to make a church profitable and suitable for each community (sorry). Many of the major denominations are not even biblically based and are consequently speaking false doctrine. This can’t continue, and this will not continue!
The Church is not a building or a denomination; the church is walking with God and sharing the Gospel. It is not a place that we go to but it’s who we are. When Christ appeared, the leaders of the church had become like rock stars; They dressed fancy, enjoyed being admired in the marketplace, loved being seated in front of everyone. They laid heavy burdens upon the people while living in the lap of luxury. The Church through the Book of Acts was different. The leaders were servants to the people. The Apostle Paul worked a job making tents while he travelled about proclaiming Christ. Leadership was a step down into servanthood like when Christ washed the disciple’s feet as an example. When money was brought in, it was dispersed to all those who needed it; not for bigger buildings, bigger staff and bigger pay checks. These men simply preached the Gospel and people either accepted or rejected it, period. God then confirmed His word with signs and wonders. This is what God’s Church looks like; Christ wants to live in us and through us.
Christ did away with the old dead religion and taught of a relationship, where we live godly and God answers prayers. It was our actions which determined our faith, not our words! This is what the Great Awakening in America preached; the “Born Again” experience- A change of our behavior and attitude. It’s time to do away with these foolish denominations which separate the Church and come together in unity of faith. One Faith; Christ! The church in America and across the world has become like the established church of Christs’ time. We glorify the leaders making them larger than life; they become set apart like Icons who exalt the church over the individuals. They build organizations with inner circles and become untouchable. They ask for your money and have finance boards distributing it to increased staff, programs, buildings and salaries thinking very little about the needs of the people. They are careful not to preach anything to offend the big tithers or the areas political views for fear of losing them. This is not how God designed Church leadership to act, it’s the opposite!
The original Pastors were Christ, Apostle Paul & Apostle Peter along with others. They lived to serve the people and humbly preach the Gospel. They were shepherd’s that cared for their flock; like Christs’ example of leaving the 99 for the 1. The Church was not the priority, the people were! The truth of God’s word was all that mattered. The Church was built upon the truth of God’s word. This was the mindset of these great leaders of faith; Acts14:15 says: Why do ye these things? We also are men of like passions with you. These people tried to lift Paul and Barnabas up like god’s and exalt them, but these Christian leaders said don’t do this, we are just like you. This is the Spirit of true Christian leadership. Acts 3:7 says: Neither is he that planteth anything, neither he that watereth, but God that gives the increase. These people were acting carnal according to Paul with envy, strife and division; saying I am of Paul, and I am of Apollos; very similar to the attitude of the different denominations today. The Apostle Paul’s response was simple; I’m nothing, Apollos is nothing, but Jesus is everything. This is how true Christian leadership thinks and acts. In 1Co 1:12, Paul is dealing with the same pride & division and says: Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Were you baptized in the name of Paul? What a riot! Paul clearly shows how ridiculous division in the Church is, and the foolish things it is based upon. So, this is true Christian leadership and this is what is coming to the Church in 2021.
It’s time to get back to Godly principles and lifestyle with Church leadership. God wants to show up in our midst and show forth His power & dominion. It’s time to stop playing Church, and start being the Church! When God had Israel construct the Tabernacle, it was so that He could dwell among His people; And when Solomon finished construction of God’s house, it was so that God could dwell among His people. God just wants to live among us and in us; “The tabernacle of God is with men”.
Ex 25(8&9)- Let Israel make me a sanctuary that I might dwell among them; according to all that I show thee.
God wanted Israel to build Him a home so that the Creator of all things might dwell among His people. He goes on to give exacting details for construction of the tabernacle and Ark of the covenant. God is making it obvious to us all; there is nothing he would rather do than spend time with us. God is showing us that if He is going to take up residency somewhere it must be built a certain way; His way! Then upon completion of God’s new house something amazing happened.
Ex 40(33-35)- The glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle.
They finished building God’s house according to God’s plan and the Creator shows up and makes Himself at home. It was the same thing with Solomon’s temple.
1K 8:11- The cloud filled the house of the Lord, so the priests could not stand…for the glory of the Lord had filled the house of the Lord.
With God it’s always been about being comfortable hanging out with His kids; but just like Adam & Eve, it’s not always easy doing what God wants us to; and subsequently, it’s not always easy for our Father in heaven to feel comfortable living with us. One day God is walking in the cool of the day with Adam, then suddenly everything changes. That’s what it’s like for our nation that was established on God’s word and now, not so much!