His intent is "now, through the Ekklesia," through an Organism that’s real and not just a bunch of people that attend something, but lives that are intertwined - "confessing sins one to another," "bearing burdens one to another" and "loving one another." That is the kind of life that men can see. That is the kind of life that Jesus talked about when He said it is "by our love for one another" that "all men will know" this is from heaven (John 13).
I was watching a documentary once about Albert Einstein. In the introduction there was a phrase that said something like, “Every once in a long, long, long while a man comes along that perceives the universe through different eyes and changes the universe that he lives in.” We want to put that challenge in front of you. Be the kind of person that Sees the universe, not through the natural eye, but through the Spiritual eye. Be challenged to be one of those people that Hebrews 11 talks about. See God’s vision of a habitation of God by the spirit with ever-increasing glory. See a picture in your mind’s eye, like it says that the believers in the book of Hebrews chapter 11 saw. They saw the City whose Builder and Maker was God, and therefore they weren’t satisfied with anything else. They weren’t willing to return to the old city. They saw the Heavenly Plan afar off, and even if they couldn’t apprehend it with their own hands, even if they couldn’t yet live in that City that God had destined for them, they were not willing to go back. “Therefore, God was not ashamed to be called their God and them His people.”
That same challenge is before you, and me. Look around at the world that you’re in, the universe you’re in, and especially the “church” that you’re in and have zeal for the Father’s House consume you. Let His Zeal consume you in such a way that you would be willing to risk everything in your life in order to see that fulfilled in your environment. You’d risk your life. You’d risk your family (Psalm 69:8-9). You’d risk your job. You’d risk anything for the sake of God and His purposes. That has to be where we’re coming from. Biblically speaking that’s really the only kind of Christianity there is. That’s not a popular thought or idea, but in Romans 4 it says, “Those with the faith of Abraham are sons of Abraham.”
So, whatever situation or church that you’re in, and wherever you may be (whatever country or habitation you may have and call home right now), you need to be very, very careful that you don’t accept something that God doesn’t accept. Don’t accept it out of laziness, ignorance of the Word of God, or out of lack of vision or sin in your own personal life that has so blinded you or maimed you that you feel inadequate. Don’t allow others who are content in Laodicea to blackmail or mock you into lukewarmness.
Maybe you’ve been sold the fact that you’re just “laity” and you have nothing to offer. Maybe you think your opinion doesn’t really matter because there are so many wise and learned men out there so...“What could you know?” I just want to encourage you that whoever you are, you have something to offer. If you’ve really called on the name of the Lord and have asked Him to take control of your life, you have something to offer. If you have asked Him to wash away your sins, you have something to offer. His desire is from the least to the greatest that every man would know Him, live in His counsel and fellowship with Him, the Godhead, on a daily basis.
Every once in a great, great long while, a man comes along or a people come along who are willing to question the universe that they live in and make a difference in the world around them. That’s what Hebrews 11 is about. That’s what God has called each of us to be if we have the courage and the willingness and we’re in communion with the head. Abiding in Him, there will be much fruit to show for it. You can be a person who makes a difference in the world that you’re in.
I hope we have cleared up at least one misunderstanding that has permeated Christian society. That is that becoming a Christian is the end of the story. And then “attending the church of your choice on Sunday” is maintenance until Jesus comes back and you go to a mansion just over the hilltop. I want to just totally eradicate that thought because that is not God’s thought. God calls that concept false religion and Laodicea, which upsets His stomach.
“God’s intent is that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms....” Ephesians 3:10
This is God’s intent RIGHT NOW. His will is to make known His manifold wisdom through the Church. Not just through individuals that are saved, and not through some impotent society of people who listen to speeches on a particular day of the week in suit and ties...but through the fabric of life, through a community of believers who are “joined and knit together by every supporting ligament,” by people whose gifts are so intertwined they’re “members of one another.” Compacted, “one heart, one mind, of one accord, and one purpose.” Fight for that vision in Acts of believers not possessive of possessions, joined together—“devoted to the apostles teaching, breaking of bread, fellowship, prayer,” and “daily in public and from house to house.” Envision God’s People as an organism—unified, having a fabric of life together that the gates of hell could not prevail against. “Attendance-based” religion is okay for the Hindus and Muslims, but it is not what Jesus began and ordained.
His intent is “now, through the Ekklesia,” through an Organism that’s real and not just a bunch of people that attend something, but lives that are intertwined—“confessing sins one to another,” “bearing burdens one to another” and “loving one another.” That is the kind of life that men can see. That is the kind of life that Jesus talked about when He said it is “by our love for one another” that “all men will know” this is from heaven (John 13). He said that would “humiliate the principalities and powers.” God’s intent is now “through the Church” to bring public humiliation to satan and all the principalities and powers. And His intent, according to the scriptures, is “NOW” through the church to make His enemies His footstools—not just at His second coming and the Eternal ultimate Kingdom, the finished work of God, but NOW.
And, of course, we are not speaking of utopia. We’re not talking about social activism, not a post-millennial sort of thing, not dominion theology. Not flexing muscles, but a cross... We are talking about People expressing a Life together the same way Jesus expressed His life, as the King of all the kings. He was born an illegitimate child in a manger, riding on a borrowed donkey, and having really no possessions of His own—no power, no education, no political soap box, no “beauty or majesty that anyone would be drawn to Him.” We are talking about being a grass roots lover of men that can see into men’s hearts and bring them to the cross. We’re talking about showing men the scandal of His existence and His life, and calling them to become fishers of men. To become part of His House, His “habitation.” To become living stones. “Once not a people, to become a people.” That’s God’s heart.
Receive Jesus of Nazareth, with a Kingdom “not of this world,” not as a conqueror of Rome or of whatever country we live in, or the “church” system. Receive Him simply as the Carpenter King who loved, and forgave, and laid down His life... and who was willing to turn over the temple tables and make a whip if necessary for the love of His Father and for His Father’s House.
Jesus was willing to question the universe that He lived in and thereby Change it, and He has called us to be that same kind of person. This isn’t information transmission. This is a call to holiness and consecration to God’s purposes, and a call to lift up His vision in your hearts and in your lives. Get on your knees and pray. This is a call not only to change the seen world universe, but also to change the unseen world universe. “His intent is now through the Church to make known His wisdom, the manifold wisdom of God, to the principalities and the powers” and to all of the people...
So, let the burning coal cleanse your lips and heart, look to God, and cry out “Here am I, send me!”