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Where Is 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 (paraphrasing):

  • There 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 (75%).
  • 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 the church.

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