Have you ever felt that there is something wrong with the “average” way church is done today? Have you felt that simply going through the motions of getting up for work every week day, then relaxing on Saturdays and finally going to your local church for a little Sunday “fix-up” has not been very fulfilling? Have you wondered why the church in Acts saw dead people raised, all sorts of diseases healed, literally had their buildings shaken by the power of God (Acts 4:31), and got together DAILY to have fellowship with each other (Acts 2:46)?
If you have answered “yes” to any of the questions above, chances are that just like millions of other Christians around the world today, you’ve had enough of the destructive force called “religion”. Religion found its way into the New Covenant Church at about 100-200 years after Christ. Until that time the church moved in mighty signs and wonders – they were fulfilling the great commission of taking the gospel to the nations and lived in freedom, grace, and love and had a burning passion for God. Then came religion with its rules, regulations and traditions and swept the earth as we know it into almost 1500 years of what was known as the “dark ages”. Technology, arts, literature and science nearly came to a complete halt, because religion doesn’t limit itself just to the church, it influences all of society.
And then in the 17th century the light of Romans 1:16 (For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek) dawned on a monk named Martin Luther, who shook his fist at the religious system and challenged it. Martin Luther had spent years trying to “purify” himself for God, spent days and days confessing his sins, tried to live as holy as he could, and after doing all this he found that the underlying sense of condemnation would never really lift off him. Can you imagine the courage of this one man taking on a system that had threatened to kill scientists who dared to claim the earth was round, a system of control that had forced itself onto society and ushered fear into the hearts of all those who apposed it?
The main reason that we are not seeing the mighty signs and wonders today that the church in Acts saw, is because we are still sitting with the remnant of almost 1500 years of “dark ages”, of people being scared with the laws of the Bible and bringing them under the fear and control of man. The church today does not need another spiritual revival (because they come and go). No, it needs another theological reformation as it did in the days of Martin Luther!
Can you remember the story about the naked king who was deceived by the spinsters that supposedly made him “invisible” clothes? Well someone needs to stand up even now and say: “The king is naked!! There is something wrong with the way the traditional church is operating! Why aren’t we seeing the same miracles happening today that we see in the Bible? Jesus said the following:
John 14:12 Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father. (NKJV)
Was Jesus lying? Was He a cruel sadist that would tell us to do something that He knew we would never be able to do? Or course not!! Don’t let anybody fool you into thinking that the time of miracles passed away with the early church apostles. We have the following scriptures that prove God does miracles even today:
Heb 13:8 Jesus Christ the same yesterday and today and forever. (NKJV)
Mar 13:31 Heaven and earth shall pass away, but My Words shall not pass away. (NKJV)
Now if God did mighty works through the church in the times of the Bible (Acts 2:43 and Acts 5:12) and if God is the same for ever, then it is clear that the only thing that has changed, is the church.
The Bible warns us about people that try to convince the church that the time of miracles have passed away:
Col 2:8 Beware lest anyone rob you through philosophy and vain deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the elements of the world, and not according to Christ. (NKJV)
Mar 7:13 making the Word of God of no effect through your tradition which you have delivered. (NKJV)
We all need to have our thinking changed, our minds renewed. We need a theological reformation, a message that restores the fullness of the message of Grace of the New Covenant and removes the Old Covenant Law. The Law is a ministry of death (2 Cor 3:7) and the Law is not based on faith (Gal 3:12). It kills faith and makes people self conscious, sin-conscious and self-righteous. You can have Christians fast and pray and sing and have conferences and all sorts of things, but if there is not a theological reformation that changes the way they think, nothing will change. You can have fools become filled with the Holy Spirit, but if they do not change their thinking, they will only be anointed fools.
Millions of Christians are happy to go to their cosy little Sunday morning meetings, to listen to a sermon that makes them feel a little bit better about themselves, or that reminds them that they have a responsibility towards God, but that’s about as far as it goes. They have a form of godliness, but don’t want to hear that they have been called to walk in mighty signs and wonders, to be living administrators of the power of heaven into the earth. The Bible talks about such people:
2 Tim 3:5 having a form of godliness, but denying the power of it; (NKJV)
However the Bible teaches us differently:
1 Cor 4:20 For the kingdom of God is not in word, but in power. (NKJV)
Paul also said that when the AUTHENTIC gospel is preached it will be accompanied by signs and wonders.
1 Cor 2:4 And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, 5 so that your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God. (NKJV)
In fact, always when the authentic gospel of Grace is preached, God will confirm His word by signs and wonders:
Act 14:3 Therefore they stayed a long time, speaking boldly in the Lord, who bore witness to the word of His grace, giving miracles and wonders to be done by their hands. (NKJV, amphasis added)
How else is the unbelieving world today supposed to see that God really exists? Do you think that in today’s modern scientific era we are going to convince people with words alone? Definitely not, you see that by simply looking at the state of the world around you.
If you are living in the captivity of dead religion, not seeing the kingdom of God manifesting in signs and wonders around you, and not hearing the message of Grace of the New Covenant of the Bible preached, you might want to consider that it’s time to shake your fist at this destructive force and prison called “religion” and come into the freedom of Christ, the freedom that Jesus died for so that we can live free from the fear of people’s opinions, free from the demands of laws and regulations, free to love God because He is a good Father!
Gal 5:1 Stand fast therefore in the liberty with which Christ has made us free, and do not again be held with the yoke of bondage. (NKJV)