Sunday, January 27, 2013

Where has the Authority of Today's Church Gone?

In Matthew 28:18 Jesus told His disciples "... All authority has been given to me in heaven and on earth." (NKJV) He then sent His disciples out in the same authority to spread the Gospel. The church of today seems to be losing this authority that once was so evident. In the book of Acts it was always "what I do have I give you" (Acts 3:6) but in today's society it often seems to be 'what I've learned I'll teach you'. We have preachers without conviction and teachers without love, then these leaders produce disciples who are the same. There were times when the church grew with little or no effort from the people, but now we have people working twice as hard and a decreasing church as a reward.

So the question we need to ask is, what's the difference between today's church and the church in the book of Acts? What do we need to change to return to the place we once were and he place we should be? Where is the place we should be? If you've asked yourselves these questions then keep reading, but be sure that your ready to make a change. In James 4:8 God promises that if we draw near to Him, He will draw near to us, that means He looks to us to make the first step. That step is rarely easy to make but in the end it's more rewarding than we could ever imagine! In this case the step is simply a decision.

We need to decide what our goal is, and how much we are willing to pay to fulfill this goal. Every Christian, at some point in life, is presented with a decision between a radical life with God, filled with sacrifice and reward, or a normal, comfortable life with a simple goal of making it to heaven. God's grace is enough that we can make it to heaven without true sacrifice, but if our goal is to simply get out of hell and make it to heaven we will never live in the authority of the early church and we will never see the power that comes with that authority. On the other hand, if we decide to sacrifice our own desires and our own comforts to seek after His will, then "with God all things are possible"! (Matthew 19:26) The Bible makes it clear that it is "by grace [we] have been saved through faith" and "not by works lest any man should boast" (Ephesians 2:8) but there should be something else that drives us to do what we do. We need more Christians in today's church who, like Jeremiah, have God's Word "in [their] heart like a burning fire shut up in [their] bones"! (Jeremiah 20:9) My prayer is that as you read this blog God would impart that fire into your bones and you would continue living with a greater passion for Him than ever before.

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