The Church has largely abandoned what makes it distinctive from the world; it is called to win for the Kingdom! It's long past time to return to the pillars of faith established in Scripture: the absolute necessity of heart conversion – being born again – and the baptism in the Holy Ghost. Unfortunately, these foundational principles have all but disappeared - or become “ghosts” - in many of today’s churches.
We cannot win the lost by being inclusive and relatable to the world, because Jesus wasn't. A return to the essentials of the Christian faith is required for the Church to once again become an agent of redemptive change. We must start by committing to a radical message of salvation through a relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ and absolute dependence on the Holy Spirit.
1 Corinthians 1:26-3
“Brothers and sisters, consider who you were when God called you to salvation. Not many of you were wise scholars by human standards, nor were many of you in positions of power. Not many of you were considered the elite when you answered God’s call. But God chose those whom the world considers foolish to shame those who think they are wise, and God chose the puny and powerless to shame the high and mighty. He chose the lowly, the laughable in the world’s eyes–nobodies–so that he would shame the somebodies. For he chose what is regarded as insignificant in order to supersede what is regarded as prominent, so that there would be no place for prideful boasting in God’s presence. For it is not from man that we draw our life but from God as we are being joined to Jesus, the Anointed One. And now he is our God-given wisdom, our virtue, our holiness, and our redemption. And this fulfills what is written:
'If anyone boasts, let him only boast
in all that the Lord has done!'" (TPT).
"The hand of the LORD was upon me, and He carried me out in the Spirit of the LORD and set me down in the midst of the valley which was full of bones, and He caused me to pass among them all around. And there were very many in the open valley. And they were very dry. He said to me, 'Son of man, can these bones live?'
"And I answered, 'O Lord GOD, You know.'
"Again He said to me, 'Prophesy over these bones and say to them, O dry bones, hear the word of the LORD. Thus says the Lord GOD to these bones: I will cause breath to enter you so that you live. And I will lay sinews upon you and will grow back flesh upon you and cover you with skin and put breath in you so that you live. Then you shall know that I am the LORD.'
"So I prophesied as I was commanded. And as I prophesied, there was a noise and a shaking. And the bones came together, bone to its bone. When I looked, the sinews and the flesh grew upon them, and the skin covered them. But there was no breath in them.
"Then He said to me, 'Prophesy to the wind; prophesy, son of man, and say to the wind: Thus says the Lord GOD: Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain so that they live.' So I prophesied as He commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived and stood up upon their feet, an exceeding great army” (MEV).
- Much of the Church today is a pale imitation of what God intended it to be. Instead of being called to appeal to the culture, God calls believers to be separated unto Him. Too many congregations today are striving to be inclusive of the culture, but the Church described in Scripture is exclusive. We must be born again!
- Worship services today are entertainment spectacles with a scriptural veneer – it looks spiritual, but it yields no fruit that will last. Let's commit to be about the business of de-populating hell and filling our altars with repentant sinners who have turned from all the world has to offer toward the promise of everlasting life.
- We must be about two foundational requirements for a Christian life:
Churches across America will turn the culture upside down when they return to the Gospel laid out in Scripture. People must be born again. They must be baptized in water as an outward symbol of an inward transformation. And they must be filled with the Holy Ghost, so they can be empowered by the Spirit of Jesus in all they do.
The problem with much of the 21st century Church is that they are full of people who are religious, without any true knowledge of God. Until we are burdened for the lost and committed to holiness, the Church will be ineffective in its mission to transform the world.
- The absolute necessity of heart conversion – being born again.
- The baptism in the Holy Ghost.
Thank You for Your Word which commands me to be separated from the world in which I live! Your Word is clear: that I must be born again and filled with Your Holy Spirit.
Move within me so that I may be all that You have called me to be and none of that which the world expects of me. Order my steps toward holiness unto You, so I may accurately reflect Your love and Your power to the people in my circles of influence.
Call me consistently to Your altar, that I may die of everything that keeps me from a closer walk with You.
Create in me a holy boldness that never stops calling others to the foot of Your throne, so they may be born again as well.
In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ – Jehovah Joshua Messiah– I pray. Amen!