Two thousand and seventeen marks the five-hundred year anniversary of the protestant reformation. It is time that we experienced another one. The end-time church should move forward in destiny to be the church God planned. That kind of change requires a drastic shake-up and most Christians have no idea what could possibly be missing or be out of place in church life. The Biblical book-of-Acts church was very different from what we have today. While technology, culture and methods of communication have changed, the plan for God’s church has not. Unfortunately, the practices and behavior of the church have changed since those early days, but another reformation is coming. Martin Luther nailed ninety-five doctrinal grievances to the chapel door in Wittenberg and I am confident that we could find just as many desperate concerns in church life today.
Reformation is Coming
The end-time church must change to be more like the New Testament church if the revivals and victory prophesied in the Bible are to be fulfilled. Such scriptural prophecies as international revival, unity among God’s people, maturity and extraordinary miracles will not happen on a large scale without reformation. I encourage you to expect more, for those Biblical prophecies must be fulfilled; they are edicts from heaven. Therefore, at some point, a new reformation will come and we should move in alignment with it.
At this time, pastors and five-fold ministry leaders should look to the Lord for fresh revelation. What church activities and what ideologies need to change if we are to look like the New Testament church? We cannot make everything happen. Symbolically speaking, we can build an altar and put the wood on it, but only God can bring the fire.
Faith or Denial
Many areas of church life need adjustment and faith is one of those areas. It is not a matter of having an outgoing personality or being part of a certain denomination; this is for every church. God’s plan for His church includes extraordinary faith. Every church should have a vibrant culture of power focused faith. That culture believes the church will be victorious before the return of the Lord, that world-wide revival is certain, that miracles are for today and will happen frequently, that Holy Spirit prayer will change the world, that unity and maturity will come to the church, and that God’s people will shine in the day of His power. The Lord insists on this kind of faith in His church. The Bible says, “There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be … lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them.” 2Ti. 3:1-5
The form of godliness we adhere to may be based on the music we like, the people we like, the noise level at meetings, or the high-tech spiritual entertainment in a congregation. The culture of one’s church may deny the powerful manifestation of the Holy Spirit. The culture of some churches may be so politically correct that God’s miraculous power is only for salvation and some do not even emphasize that faith. If you are part of that then pray and fight for change or leave as scripture says you should.
A Church of Faith
Don’t you want to be part of a congregation that believes in the amazing power of God, miracles, revival, unstoppable blessings, answers to prayer, Christ-like character and unity?
Leaders, I encourage you to be part of the solution. Line up with God’s plan for His church. Teach and lead by example until the local church lives in her God-intended faith culture.
Teach faith speaking. It is not lying to speak the word of God even when you don’t feel like it. Speak, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” And do not speak, criticism, evil reports, failure or doubt. Encourage the words of life.
Teach faith singing. Some songs do not fit in a faith culture. I am reminded of an old hymn we used to sing when I was a young boy. Now when I look back on it, I realize how terrible it was. It was titled, Farther Along. Here are two verses and the chorus.
Tempted and tried we’re oft made to wonder,
Why it should be thus all the day long,
While there are others living about us,
Never molested though in the wrong.
Farther along we’ll know all about it,
Farther along we’ll understand why,
Cheer up my brother live in the sunshine,
We’ll understand it all by and by.
When death has come and taken our loved ones,
It leaves our home so lonely and drear,
And then do we wonder why others prosper,
Living so wicked year after year.
What a terrible faith-lacking song to sing in church, yet some still do. You may not sing this song during your worship service, but if this attitude is part of your church culture then reformation is drastically needed. Without faith it is impossible to please God. We must believe that He is, and that He rewards us when we seek Him.
Teach faith praying. Many churches do not pray, and some who do, pray with no faith or expectation. Prayers that start with, “Lord if it is your will, please heal or help this situation.” That kind of prayer is safe, but it does not expect a miracle and one is not likely to follow. Some just pray for comfort or support for a sick person when scripture instructs God’s people to pray the prayer of faith and the Lord will raise them up. Jesus never called anyone to the ministry without instructing them to heal the sick and cast out demons. The miraculous results of prayer is not our business, but how we pray is. Pray the prayer of faith, and leave the consequences up to God.
Preach faith. My grandfather, Derek Prince used to say. “Never preach doubt, guilt, or condemnation, that’s the devil’s job.”
Over the years I have heard Christians say they had no interest in attending their church anymore because they felt worse when they left the meeting than when they came. They felt beat up or drained of any strength they had. A church without a faith culture will drive people away– except for a loyal few who do not know any better. Our preaching should be inspiring, positively instructive, spiritually uplifting, and extremely encouraging. Only faith preaching will do all of that.
A Church Self-test
This article cannot cover all the details necessary for a cultural faith change in your church. But wouldn’t it be great to come to a church service where the atmosphere is charged with faith? That is God’s plan for His church.
Let’s get started. Faith is substance. Reach for it in everything you do. Be intentional. Train your speech, your singing, your praying, and especially your preaching. Equip God’s people to do the work of the ministry by leading them forward into a life of faith.
The early church saw miracles, signs and wonders, and revival. They experienced amazing fellowship, prayer and study, and no one lacked what was needed. The Lord added to their numbers daily and everyone was filled with the joy of the Lord. It will happen again. Build the altar, put the wood on it and watch the Lord send the fire. That’s His plan for your church