There is a problem in the church of North America today. The problem is, for the most part, she isn't hungry for God.
We have a name that we are alive, but I am afraid that if the Lord were to judge us He would say as a whole we are really dead on the inside.
The New Testament church looks very different from the church today. We have replaced preaching with conviction into sermonettes that do little other than motivate people to have a successful life of comfort and ease. We have given up on miracles of power and healing for bigger buildings and greater fame. This, my friend, is not the gospel Jesus came preaching.
Jesus came to heal the sick, forgive sin and give us an abundant life in fellowship with our Heavenly Father. He also commissioned us to the same works He himself did. This was not a suggestion but rather a command. If we are His disciples we are commanded to do the same works He himself did.
The first expression of the New Testament church was a group of 120 people in a prayer meeting that lasted for days. That prayer meeting ushered in the first experience with the Holy Ghost that caused fiery tongues to rest on top of each of their heads. They experienced a wind that blew in that room and shook them to their core.
The result of this encounter with the Holy Ghost caused them to appear drunk to all the unbelievers that were watching them spill out of that room baptized in fire. I love how the first-century church was not ashamed. They didn't try to hide their experience.
Instead they used it as fuel to win the lost, which was God's idea all along.
As long as we are trying to impress the world and hide our flame hoping it won't offend them we will never accomplish the task Jesus left for us. If we always try and put the Holy Spirit in the back room and don't allow Him to move in our services out of fear of what people will think, we are an offense to God.
I have heard some pastors recently say that they don't want tongues or any of the gifts of the Spirit for that matter in their Sunday morning services because they don't want to scare away the seekers that are checking things out. They call this an evangelistic tool.
What they are really communicating is they have a better idea than God to win the lost.
God's idea for His church has always been a burning person filled with the fire of His holiness and love and manifesting the Glory of God everywhere they go. If you find yourself worried that this may offend God you should really get back in the book of Acts and let that become your model for church, discipleship and the all around Christian life.
The answer for America today isn't another mega church that sings three songs and has a 15-minute teaching. The answer for America is for every pastor and church leader to seek the face of God for a fresh baptism of fire that would cause them to be fiery revivalists and not just an inspirational speaker. We need revival in America once again!
Chris Mathis is the lead pastor of the Summit Church in Crestview, Florida. He oversees several churches, ministries and serves on the leadership team of New Breed Revivalist Network. He travels extensively around the world teaching, training and equipping the church in conferences, revivals and church services and is the author of Thy Kingdom Come.
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