How is it then brethren? Whenever you come together, each of you has a psalm, has a teaching, has a tongue, has a revelation, has an interpretation. Let all things be done for edification. I Corinthians 14:26
The body of Christ today is paralyzed because it is structured like the old priesthood that Jesus did away with. In most cases the pastor has a word, the choir sings, the deacons take up an offering to cover the overhead and everyone goes home and takes a nap. Sound familiar? What we do today and call church is totally off the charts compared to New Testament Christianity.
First of all the Word of God instructs us to each have a part to give in our gathering together as a body. The reason for this is to build up our faith by exercising our gifts and contributing to one another's spiritual needs. The body of Christ is to operate and function just as our human body does by allowing each member to do his part in the meeting. If several of your organs ceased to function, such as the heart, or the lungs you would die. The same is true in the church, the members never get to operate their gift and so they begin to shut down and eventually die.
For we have many members in one body, but all the members do not have the same function, so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another. Romans 12:4,5
When we allow the Chief Shepherd, the Lord Jesus Christ to lead His flock and stop idolizing this old testament priesthood that has stopped the flow of Holy Spirit, then the Body of Christ will function properly. Our church services are full of dead ritualistic sacraments, having no life. The modern day leadership has stepped into the role of Levitical priest, the only one having access to the presence of God. The body comes to them instead of seeking God on their own. If we made love to our spouse like we worship there would never be any children because of our lack of intimacy.
In a recent pizza ad on TV a husband tells his wife that it will take 30 minutes for the delivery boy to arrive, implying that in the mean time they could make love. The wife replied,"What will we do for the remaining 28 minutes?" Lets get real and take a hard look at what we call church and why we do some of the things that we do. First of all, almost everything that is done on Sunday was passed down to us from generations past having no apparent knowledge of the word of God. Religious tradition has stifled the church of Jesus Christ leaving it totally useless for the purposes of God.
Jesus said,"Go and make disciples of all nations and teach them what I taught you." He never said, start churches, He said make disciples. A disciple is someone that looks like Jesus, and acts like Jesus and does the works of Jesus. The church of today just sits around talking about it, but never does it. Faith without works is dead! Even the word church is misused in that the Greek word, ekklesia, meaning, ones called out signifies a group or gathering called out of darkness to serve a living God.
Who is left among you who saw this temple in its former glory? And how do you see it now? In comparison with it, is this not in your eyes as nothing? Haggai 2:3
We need to quit going to church and start becoming what Jesus said we were to be, a Royal Priesthood of sold out believers shaking the very foundations of this planet with the true Gospel of Jesus Christ, casting out demons, healing the sick and raising the dead, and then maybe this world will begin to stop mocking us and realize that there is a God of power and might and a people sold out for Jesus!
The world is crying for change and the only thing that will change them is the Gospel of Jesus Christ and a people sold out to the vision and mission of God. The lost wander into our dead services looking for life and hope only to leave the same way they came in. The very ones that Jesus called us to reach are the ones we don't want because they have too many problems and for the most part no one is trained to help them anyway.
So whats the answer to this obvious dilemma that we have, a powerless benign and totally ineffective organization incapable of reaching anyone but those that want a comfortable social club. If Jesus returned right now would He be pleased that the poor have the gospel preached to them, the lame are walking and the dead are raised and His church is being trained and equipped? I don't know about you, but I'm not satisfied with my spiritual life and I want to be pleasing to Him when He does return, don't you?
Don't get me wrong, there are a lot of ministries doing the work of God, but in most cases the organized church is not behind them and many struggle trying to raise the funds to continue, I know because I spent twenty five years in residential ministry dealing with every kind of affliction known to man from drug addicts to sex offenders. There is nothing easy about the true ministry of Jesus and the making of disciples is hard and time consuming.
For the church to overcome in these last days she must return to the pattern that Jesus gave us in the training of the apostles. The fivefold ministry must be restored as well as the apostolic leadership that have the blueprint to the spiritual building. We must become wise master builders with a passion to see the true ekklesia of God arise from her slumber and take dominion over the powers of darkness so that Jesus can return for His spotless bride. May God give us wisdom and true discernment in these troubling times.
But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light. I Peter 2:9