The Christian church in America is rapidly changing in form, style and culture. A gracEmail subscriber asks what the future might hold for the church during this 21st century.
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God’s kingdom will endure but church structures that do not serve his purposes will gradually disappear (Heb. 12:26-28). I believe we will see a new Church emerge alongside the old — indeed, it already is in process of being born. The renewed Church of Jesus Christ will consistently worship God as alive and sovereign, proclaim Jesus as Savior, and serve by the Spirit of the Risen Christ as its ever-present empowerer and guide. This church will be committed to Scripture and through Scripture to God.
In the renewed Church, composed of renewed people across the universal church, I believe we will see more and more sacrifice instead of self-indulgence, more reaching out to a hurting world in the name and power of the living Jesus, more manifestations of the supernatural kingdom of God, more true koinonia in Christ, more sense of the divine Presence in worship assemblies, more fervent prayer and more obvious answers to prayer, more devout and disciplined daily obedience and lives of discipleship, more intense, honest and open-hearted Bible study and teaching. There might also be persecution such as previously unknown in the West.
Most existing Christian groups began with a work of God stirring up someone to renew, recover or restore some truth, insight, obedience or experience which the larger Church seemingly had missed or lost. With time, each fresh movement also became institutionalized and eventually lost its original vision and purpose. Those who seek God’s heart must also continually reform. And, lest they become self-righteous, or fancy themselves more spiritually advanced than others, that reform must begin in the hidden depths of their own hearts and minds.