The ongoing work of the Holy Spirit throughout the New Testament provides us with in depth information as to how the Holy Spirit would operate in the latter days (last days). The church of God must be consecrated and Holy before God; in order to prepare for the latter rain of the Holy Spirit. Peter emphasized that the most definite temporal element of the great events of earth is the mighty outpouring of the Spirit of God and the blotting out of our sins and transgression. The prophet fortold of what will happened in the last days.
And I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh Joel 2:28AV
Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receives the early and latter rain James 5:7AV⁶
Unbelievers in the Pew
Today Many ‘Christians’ claim to possess miraculous spiritual Gifts, yet when questioned about what their exact purpose is, there is a significant uncertainty. God has always given His Spirit to achieve specific, defined objectives. Because of this, those who truly possessed the gifts of the spirit knew exactly what they were to use them for. This contrast with today’s public representation of individuals claiming to have a Healing Ministry.
I feel that I must mention that the Spirit is revealed first and foremost through Scripture. Without the work of the Spirit, the Bible is dead ink and paper. Without the Spirit’s wisdom and insight, one philosopher quotes that religion is actually the opiate for oppressed countries and cultures would be true.
So, what is the way to defeat what I believe is the unbelievers’ best argument against Christianity? I think there are a number of things that must be addressed before this issue can be put to rest.
First, I’m convinced that the modern-day Church is pregnant with unbelievers. What’s wrong with that, you ask? There’s nothing wrong with unbelievers coming to church, unbelievers do need to attend church but there is a very real problem when they stay unbelievers. Our seeker friendly church programs tends to focus on keeping church, unbelievers are not being confronted with their fallenness or need for repentance, and the requirement to demonstrate fruit as proof of their conversion. David Amoah, actually made a good point that bearing fruits glorifies God, silences the critics of our God and keep believers connected to the Lord, John reiterates that by this My Father is Glorified.
This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples. John 15:8NIV
Stanley High describes today’s Church like this:
“The church has failed to tell me that I am a sinner. The church has failed to deal with me as a lost individual. The church has failed to offer me salvation in Jesus Christ alone. The church has failed to tell me of the horrible consequences of sin. The church has failed to tell me the certainty of hell, and the fact that Jesus Christ alone can save.
We need more of the living God, more of a Heaven to gain and a hell to shun. The church must bring me not a message of cultivation but of rebirth. I might fail that kind of church, but that kind of church will not fail me.”
According to the great philosophy Stanley High, the Church has stopped telling people the truth about being lost. We have too many people in authority behaving like motivational speakers, encouraging and building up the emotional state of the church but not teaching the truth. Until that change is made and spirit-led pastors and teachers take dominion of the Pulpit and behave more like the Prophets of God were ordain to be; the Church will continue to be a place where unbelievers come and leave with no transformation having taken place, with the end result being lives lived out that stand in stark contrast to Biblical principles.
The Holy Spirit is God’s empowering presence that works mysteriously in the hearts of men and women to bring them to full salvation in Christ. “He alone can quicken those who are dead unto God, can breathe into them the breath of God. The Spirit is the “inspirer and perfecter both of our faith and works.
“Without the Spirit we can do nothing but add sin to sin,” and “that it is impossible for us even to think a good thought without the supernatural assistance of his Spirit as to create ourselves, or to renew our minds and souls in righteousness and true holiness.” John Wesley recognised early on that Spirit played a vital role in overcoming sin and living a holy life. One of the fundamental errors in Christian thinking is the idea that salvation is a gift. A gift is something that is given without expectation of a return favour, payment, or other obligation. It is something that is given freely. It is not something that is given only after an individual has performed work or agreed to some other kind of a verbal or written contractual obligation. Our benefits from employment are thus not a gift.
True believers need to take seriously the spiritual warfare in which they are engaged. Instead of letting the flesh, the world, and Satan win round after round to the extent that their lives appear no different from the lives of unbelievers, Christians need to get aggressive with their spiritual opponents and start living like overcomers instead of being overcome.
The writer of Hebrews urges us: “
Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us [great saints who serve as godly examples, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us” Hebrews 12: 1.KJV
We all need to re-read Romans 2 and ask ourselves if we’re guilty of preaching things we don’t live out. If so, we need to repent and start being obedient in our actions to what God’s Word says.
Christians need to feed the new creature in Christ that is inside them such that new desires spring forth and fruit is born that is in keeping with Jesus’ statement of,
“Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven” Matthew 5:16. AV
This equates to a holy lifestyle; one that is in the world but separate from it. In the same way a boat can be in the water and exist just fine, but not be of the water and sink, we need to live lives that mirror what James speaks about:
“Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world” James 1:27. AV
James also points out a faith that does not act is no real faith at all:
“If a brother or sister is without clothing and in need of daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and be filled,” and yet you do not give them what is necessary for their body, what use is that?” James 2:15–16AV.
Faith in action is what defeats the argument of Christianity failing the existential relevancy test. This is not just a New Testament concept, but is something found everywhere in Scripture. Isaiah echoes James almost verbatim with God’s command to His people:
“Wash yourselves, make yourselves clean; Remove the evil of your deeds from my sight. Cease to do evil, learn to do good; Seek justice, Reprove the ruthless, Defend the orphan, Plead for the widow” Isaiah 1:16–17AV
I will simplify the conclusion by saying just follow Christ’s law of love:
“In everything, therefore, treat people the same way you want them to treat you, for this is the Law and the Prophets” Matthew 7:12. AV
Blessed BE THE NAME OF THE LORD