Growing up if one of us stayed home from church, this question was often asked. The answer usually revolved around the preacher's message. How sad it really was.
I reflected on that today. How far we have fallen in what we believe SHOULD go on in Church. Most of western church is made up of a few songs, announcements, offering, a sermon and a sacramental exercise or two. Prayer is prayed from a prepared script and a well rehearsed prayer Jesus taught. If God saw you write it out, does it impress Him more if you read it too?
What went on in Church today? If it fits the western church pattern, NOTHING would be the correct answer. And we wonder why we are drying up and dying. Why we are losing the battle for men's souls in the western world. This is not the case in the third world.
If we examine scripture carefully we can see clearly what SHOULD be going on in church. It looks very little like the expression we see executed in 75 minutes in 90% of western (mostly white) churches.
Let's go over a check list and see if what you experienced today measures up at any level with the Biblical Standard?
1. Did people bring hymns, songs and spiritual songs to the service that were shared openly or were you cheer-led by a "worship" leader performance set? "Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord," Ephesians 5:19
2. Was the song of the Lord released? Psalm 40:3 Did the congregation enter in? Did every person pour out their heart in worship independently and in unison? That is the Biblical Order
3. Were demons cast out? Was it even noticed that they were there. Mark 16:17
4. Was the word of Prophecy brought forth? More important were at least 2 or 3? That's the Biblical standard. 1 Corinthians 14:29
5. Would sinners and seekers have been confronted by the Prophetic and say in amazement, "Surely God is among you" 1 Corinthians 14:24-25
6. Did the presence of God become so tangible sometime during the service that you wondered if there had been an earthquake. Acts 4:31
7. Was there supernatural revelation during the service that caused serious reflection, repentance and re-commitment? 1 Corinthians 14:26
8. Was there active ministry to the body in the service? ... Healing by the laying on of hands, a word of wisdom, a word of knowledge, bold encouragement for greater faith, believing for supernatural miracles, a message in tongues with interpretation or prophecy, a spirit discerned and dealt with. 1 Corinthians 12 In fact was there ANY ministry of any kind of all or were those with needs sacrificed on the altar of preaching and teaching.
9. Was the Kingdom of God enhanced, built up, imparted or did people leave pretty much as they came in. Instructed but not better warriors.
"And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all kinds of sicknesses and all kinds of diseases among the people. Then His fame went throughout all Syria; and they brought to Him all sick people who were afflicted with various diseases and torments, and those who were demon-possessed, epileptics, and paralytics; and He healed them." (Matthew 4:23,24).
10. Were the good works of the church emphasized over the fidelity of believers in unity and love? 1 Corinthians 13
11. During the preaching of the word, was it possible for someone with a greater revelation to come forward and take the platform? Does the Senior Leader have that much trust in God to allow HIS gifts to flow freely or is total control by the senior leader the order of the day? Add 3 points if it actually happened. 1 Corinthians 14:30
12. Are testimonies encouraged, given, freely, spontaneously by anyone? How long since spontaneous testimonies were encouraged. Not some rehearsed safe parroting of an approved testimony. Revelation 12:11
13. IF a man from Mars came to the church service you attended or conducted today, would he find it any different from a political rally, a Kiwanis club meeting or a pep rally for your local sports team. OR would he have to admit...there is something different here. Acts 2:15-17
14. If there was a formal sermon, deduct 3 points. There is no Biblical evidence that a formal sermon was regular part of first century church meetings. In fact, the whole idea of one man or woman in a per-eminent position is out of order as it is subject to fleshly ambition. 3 John 1:9-10 This is the nature of most western Churches today.
15. Was there any evidence that the Power of God was being poured out, imparted, released or encountered during the meeting time? Jesus told the Pharisees in Matthew 22:29 and in Mark 12:24,
"Do ye not therefore err, because ye know not the scriptures, neither the power of God?"
"faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God" (1 Corinthians 2:5)
Paul said, "For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God" (1 Corinthians 1:18)They are DENIERS of the Power of God and live like it: 2 Timothy 3:2-5. It is the state of the western Church.
I am not by this condemning church by any means. I love the church. It is just so badly messed up and off track that as a prophet I must speak out against it's decline to help reverse the curse that has become the western Sunday Church fiasco.
IF we are going to release the Kingdom, it's going to have to be other than what we are doing now. We are losing the battle Jesus told us to fight Matthew 28:18-20 and I have it on good authority, HE ISN'T PLEASED. See Revelation 2 and 3. We can do better, we can do as we were Commanded. This isn't just my opinion.
Now that you know the truth, what are you going to do with it? Or will you stay in that safe rut hoping .... IF the latter, you are one of those Jesus came to set free: Acts 10:38
Be Released from that DEMON OF RELIGION!!