WHERE'S THE POWER?The early church was birthed in firepower from heaven. Demons were cast out, the sick were healed, the
dead raised, signs and wonders wrought by the apostles by and through the Holy
Spirit abounded. Ac. 5:12, 15; etc. Angels came to open prison doors and free the
apostles from prison. Ac. 5:18-19. Chains fell off the hands and feet of Peter
and prison doors opened without human hands.
Ac. 12:6-11. All of Asia heard the gospel within two years. Ac. 19:10.
It was God's intention that all believers have spiritual
power. That's one of the reasons why He
gave us the Holy Spirit. "And these signs shall follow them that
believe: in My name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new
tongues; they shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it
shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall
recover." Mk. 16:17-18.
Are you casting out devils, speaking with new tongues,
healing the sick? Are you a believer in
Jesus Christ? If you're not doing these
things, you have been deceived by a religious system that claims to believe in
Christ, but denies the power of God. "Having a form of godliness, but
denying the power thereof: from such turn away." 2 Ti. 3:5. No matter how good-looking, how charming, how
loving, how great a Bible scholar one is, if he/she does not have the power to
cast out devils, speak with new tongues and heal the sick, and does not teach
it, he/she is denying the power of God.
For the most part, Christianity has been reduced to a mere
philosophy that touts a moral code for living; but can no longer demonstrate
the power of the Holy Spirit through signs and wonders. Our young people are looking for power to
live a godly life and can find very little in Christianity.
During the last week of November
2011, Margot Fernandez of the Tucson Liberal Christian released a summary of
the Barna Group Report published a few days previous. The Barna Group reported the following
is a negative perception of Christianity that is contributing to Black
Americans converting to Islam. In
addition, Buddhist and Hindu faiths have attracted young whites from the
sixties on. Ten years ago, the majority
of Americans felt favorably towards Christianity; today, only 16% of
non-Christians between 16 and 29 said they have a good impression of
Christianity. Only 3% of non-Christian
youth view evangelical Christianity positively.
- Negative perceptions
of Christianity include the feeling that present-day Christianity is judgmental
(87%), hypocritical (85%), old-fashioned (78%) and too involved in politics
- Favorable perceptions
include the belief that Christianity teaches the same basic ideas as other
religions (82%), has good values and principles (76%), is friendly (71%), and
is a faith they respect (55%).
- Twenty-three percent
of young non-Christians thought that "Christianity is changed from what it
used to be" and "Christianity in today's society no longer looks like
Jesus." Amazingly, even young
born-again Christians believe the same (22%).
Many young unbelievers and even Christians do not see Jesus
in the church. It is not the same church
or religion that Jesus gave the world.
What they see is a political, social, philosophical and old-fashioned
belief system that is out of touch with modern trends. Christianity is viewed as having essentially
the same basic ideas, morals, values and principles as other religions. Like other religions, it is friendly and
deserves respect. That's it! From the perspective of many young people,
there is little reason to choose Christianity over other religions today,
except perhaps national or family tradition.
These are harsh words not calculated to make many friends in
the body of Christ. But, straight and
truthful words are vital in these perilous times. Repent and seek God with all your heart. Go back to the early church and its
teachings. Restore the power of God to