3) Christ and His Kingdom is characterised by the word GO.Mainstream Christianity is quite satisfied with the word STAY. Now, let me tell you this, I don't believe that going has a whole lot to do with locality necessarily. I believe going has to do with mentality. Going is not an issue primarily of locality, but it is an issue of mentality.
Tomorrow, most of you will be getting up and going to work. Do you see that in the forefront of your mind, do you see yourself as you go to work as fulfilling the mandate of God, the commission of God to go into all the world and preach the gospel, or are you simply going to work so that you can earn money for you and your family? There is a vast difference. Now I believe that it needs to go beyond that to the fact that we get a heart for our city, we get a vision for our nation and we get a vision for the nations of the earth, but essentially it is a mindset.
I was listening to a tape by Rob Rufus and he was telling the story of the Maravians, back in the 1600's or so. The Maravians were a group of believers who were absolute radicals in the context of today's Christianity. Rob told the story of two Maravians who developed a heart for some slaves in an African nation and they longed to reach out to these slaves. They were two ordinary Christians married with families and the only way they could reach these slaves was to sell themselves into slavery so that they could go and preach the Gospel.
I listened to that, and I became ashamed at the standard of my own Christianity - that it is a hassle for me to get out of bed on a morning and pray, or it is a hassle for me to stay up a little bit later at night and pray.
The early missionaries that went to Africa, were young men and women in their twenties who would go to Africa with the knowledge that their ministry would probably last a year to two years and then they would die because of disease. So what they would do, is they would pack all of their belongings, not into a suitcase but they would make up a coffin and they would pack all their belongings into this coffin and that would go with them as they sailed by ship to Africa. That coffin was their suitcase but it was there because they knew that they were going there to die. They were going to lay down their life so that the gospel could be heard. So, they would perform their ministry. Some of them would be there for days, some for weeks, some for months, but not very many of them lived beyond two years of ministry in the continent of Africa.
What a graphic picture. Can you imagine waving off loved ones as they go onto the ship and there is their coffin. They know that they are never going to see their loved ones again. What has happened to the Church where we are content to stay within the confines of nice middle class Christianity? What has happened to my life when the price becomes too hard to pay to see someone come to Jesus?
Did you know that 97% of Christians will never lead another person to Christ? What that tells me is that the majority of the work of evangelism, but I would say the majority of work in the Church, is carried by the minority. This adgauge of Christ and His Kingdom is opposed to mainstream Christianity.
4) Christ and His Kingdom is characterised by power.
Acts1:8, "You shall receive power..."I think some people have read that scripture and read, "You shall receive counselling skills when the Holy Spirit of God come upon you, or you shall receive a psychology degree when the Holy Spirit come upon you, you shall receive humanistic wisdom and knowledge when the Spirit of God comes upon you". No, the Bible says, "You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you".
1 Corinthians 2:4-5 and Luke 10: 17,19.What is our life resting on? What is our faith resting on? Is it resting on wise human ideas or is it resting on the reality of the power of God?
"My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit's power, so that your faith might not rest on men's wisdom, but on God's power".
I spoke to someone once about a conference they had attended on ministering deliverance to those with demonic bondages. One of the conference speakers, this well educated Christian man extolled, ministered deliverance by identifying all of the multiple personalities that a person has and then once he has identified all of those multiple personalities, he gets them all saved and once they are all saved, the person is set free.
My response was that I struggled with that because I would like to see where such ministry occurred in the Bible. His response was that he hadn't thought of that before. I then pointed out the Gerasene demoniac. If there was ever a man who had problems, it was this man. If there was ever anyone who had multiple personalities, it was this man!!! He had a legion of them. He had a lot of demons, he had a lot of problems and what did Jesus do? Did Jesus identify every one of those personalities? Did he have a conversation with everyone of those personalities? No, he deals with the root and then he sits down and spends a couple of days with the guy and the Bible says that he was left in his right mind.
What has happened to the Church when we delve into stuff that the Bible doesn't even talk about. The reason we sit down and have to do all of this junk is because we have lost the demonstration of the Spirit's power. We have lost sight of the fact that God is a powerful God, that he has the power to change lives. He has the capacity to come and re-orientate a person. They may have a drug problem. Well God can come in and turn that person around through a power encounter and re-orientate them so that they can live a whole and complete life. Somebody can have a sexual problem and God can come and by the demonstration of the Spirit's power, re-orientate that person so that they are healed and they are whole.
Why has the Church gone into tangents that the Word of God knows nothing about? Because we don't have the power of God. But Christ and the Kingdom of God is not a matter of wise and persuasive words, of humanistic ideas but it must be a demonstration of the Spirit's power and we in the Church must come back to that place where we see the power of God expressed and demonstrated. I don't just want to sing songs about the power of God until Jesus comes back. I don't want to pray for people and not see the power of God released over their lives. I don't know about you but I am desperate to see God release the supernatural in the midst of His Church and I believe God is more desperate that we are.
What is the secret to the supernatural? I believe the secret to seeing the power of God released is in the story of Jesus on the Mount of Transfiguration. Jesus was up on the mountain and some of the disciples were left down on the ground and they couldn't deal with a demonic problem that was before them. They get all upset and ask why they couldn't deal with it and Jesus says that there are basically three reasons; lack of prayer, fasting and faith. Three reasons, I believe if we commit ourselves to prayer, fasting and faith it will trigger the release of the supernatural power of God. Again, not to earn, but we provide the banks.
Go To Part 4
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Unless otherwise stated, all scriptures quoted in these articles are from the New International Version of the Bible, © New York International Bible Society, used by permission. Other versions referred to are: KJV (King James Version), NKJB (New King James Bible), TLB (The Living Bible), Amp (The Amplified Bible) and The Message. All versions used by permission.
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