“The outpouring of the Spirit brings with it the sense of the future, and a church without a future is a depleted entity. A church that does not anticipate the consummation of the age has lost its identity as the church. Therefore, when we do not have that future because we do not have the Spirit, we stagnate at the level of conventional and predictable church life, nothing more than a succession of Sunday services. The evidence of that can be most pointedly seen in our children who are bored with church life, and we often have to drag them by the scruff of the neck to our functions. They would not be sitting in our congregations waiting for the thing to end, nor would they be drawn off and attracted to other questionable amusements, if we were living in the context of an end. The general character of our meetings is a terrible indictment against us because we have not raised up for our own children a standard and quality of life that compels their attention and their participation. We have not persuaded our children that what we are about is earnest and authentic. Though they may not articulate it, we are to them no more than some kind of adult Sunday culture.”
1 Corinthians 4:19-20 (NASB)
19 But I will come to you soon, if the Lord wills, and I shall find out, not the words of those who are arrogant but their power.
20 For the kingdom of God does not consist in words but in power.
1 Thessalonians 1:5 (NASB)
5 for our gospel did not come to you in word only, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction; just as you know what kind of men we proved to be among you for your sake.
2 Corinthians 3:5-6 (NASB)
5 Not that we are adequate in ourselves to consider anything as coming from ourselves, but our adequacy is from God,
6 who also made us adequate as servants of a new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.
The gospel is not the presentation of an idea, it is a demonstration of power. It seems like there is a lot of presentation going on in the church, yet no demonstration. If we are to return to an apostolic model for the church, then there must be a return to a demonstration of power. I am not speaking of our flakey charismatic services, I am speaking of the wind of the Spirit sweeping through our lives bringing it’s fire and producing, not a pseudo-spiritual experience, but bringing a lasting and eternal change. The one thing that contrasts idolatry with true worship is that people cling to idolatry because it demands no changed life. True Worship of God demands a changed heart! The worship of a false Jesus has prevailed in our land because it is a Jesus that demands no change, cost us nothing to serve and therefore people can temporarily relive the soulish burden and guilt of sin and religious obligation until the following Sunday or Wednesday night. People go to church and receive a bible “presentation” although everything they hear may be doctrinal, factual etc.., however as correct as the presentation might be, if the Spirit does not breath on those words and give them life, then the presentation actually dulls the hearer instead of enriching them. We need foundational ministers, vessels filled with the very life of God, to be restored into the body to bring back the demonstration of the Gospel and shame those who have clung to the dead presentations. Only then will God be glorified in the church, because currently with our dead presentations, we have only succeeded in bringing reproach to His name.