Well, that depends. Will Jesus be there?
At one time or another, most of us have been invited to attend a friend or relative’s Sunday morning church service. So the next time you get invited, simply respond, “Well, that depends. Will Jesus be there?” Their immediate response will be, “Of course, He will be there.” And they may, or may not, quote a passage from the New Testament. Usually it’s either Matthew 18:20, “For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.” Or Hebrews 10:25, “not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.” These are both fine references, but without evidence, they are just words. And they don’t really answer the question, “Will Jesus be there?” You see if Jesus is there, there will be evidence that He is there. If there is no evidence that He is there, then there’s a real good chance He’s not.
Here’s what we mean by evidence. Let’s say you go on vacation, and when you get to the airport they will require evidence you are who you say you are. After they verify your proof, you are allowed to get on the plane. When you arrive at your destination, and you go to rent a car, they also require evidence of who you are. When you arrive at your hotel, they also require evidence of who you are. In all three of these instances, you MUST produce evidence, or proof, that you are who you say you are. Does that offend you? I mean, why don’t they just take your word for it? You’re an honest person. But just because you SAY you are who you are, they will not take your word for it. They require tangible proof.
Now you may be saying to yourself, “What in the world does this have to do with going to church?” It has everything to do with going to church. You see in the meetings that Jesus was in, according to the four gospels and the meetings throughout the book of Acts, there was tangible proof. What do we mean by tangible proof? The power of God showed up in a tangible way. People repented (they stopped running their own lives), people were baptized in water, there were actual physical healings, demons were cast out, and lives were changed. People actually fell on their knees and cried out to the Lord. It’s all right in there, in the New Testament. And of course you know that because you are a Bible believing Christian.
Now we know that there is a mindset out there that God doesn’t do that kind of thing anymore. The main passage to defend this viewpoint is found in 1 Corinthians 13:10, “But when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away.” The idea is that the Bible is perfect so we don’t need anything else. If they really believe that then why are they spending so much time writing commentaries and books. Oh, they will be the first ones to loudly proclaim that God never changes. It’s kind of odd, God is a God of power in the Old Testament, Jesus is a God of power in the New Testament, at least until the Apostles died. After that, He must have changed because we don’t need proof anymore. Just take their word for it. We need proof now more than ever. And why are they so quick to point to the book of The Revelation, which is filled with miraculous occurrences. Oh I get it, when God gets mad then He displays His power. How twisted is that?
There is also another mindset, which starts off with, “Well, in my experience I’ve never seen any miracles that come from God. No, all supernatural occurrences, if they are even real, are from the Devil.” WOW. Be careful. Attributing the works of Holy Spirit to the Devil is blasphemy (Matthew 12:22-32, Mark 3:22-30). And it also make the Devil look bigger than God. And of course a person with this mindset is the final authority on all things that have to do with God. Just ask them and they will tell you. I mean, if they’ve never seen it, it must not be so.
So whenever someone invites us to their church we ask them if this is going on in their church. They will get an uncomfortable look on their face and more often than not, their response will be, “Well I don’t know a church in the Greater Cincinnati area that has that going on.” Hmmm, maybe it’s about time that those who are in the “pews” step forward and pick up the ball that has obviously been dropped.
If you are truly dissatisfied with what is NOT occurring in your local church, start your own. It’s not really that difficult. Maybe that restlessness you feel in your heart just might be the Holy Spirit of God calling you to get off your blessed assurance and get in the battle. You can’t have a great victory without a great battle.
WHAT GOES ON IN YOUR CHURCH ON SUNDAY MORNINGS? HEALINGS? NEW BIRTHS? WATER BAPTISMS? HOLY SPIRIT BAPTISMS? PLEASE SHARE WITH US YOUR EXPERIENCES AT YOUR CHURCH.
With Love, Cincinnati Christian
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