The Future of our Church that We Must Prepare (Acts 20:28-35) 6/28/2020
The Answers of the 1st, 2nd, 3rd RUTC:
The Future of our Church that We Must Prepare (Acts 20:28-35) 6/28/2020
The aftermath of an illness can be scary, just like the aftermath of problems and failures. What is the aftermath of this COVID-19 pandemic? It may seem like everything is on hold, but lots of things are undergoing great changes. The 4th industrial revolution that will go beyond the scope of mankind is rapidly approaching. They are working with genetic modifications, artificial intelligence, and cloning of lives. This age will experience three kinds of aftereffects (religious or spiritual aftereffects, educational or aftereffects of our posterity, and financial aftereffects).
What is the last of the aftereffects that will follow? Churches will crumble. Jesus had already prophesized in Matthew 24:6-13. In the end times, many calamities (wars, famine, earthquakes, and epidemics) will come but even that is only the beginning. People will hate and divide within the church, many will leave faith, and false prophets will taint the gospel. In other words, if the church loves one another, becomes united in faith, and truly holds onto the gospel, it will withstand any and all problems. The Early Church and the churches throughout history remained victorious amidst many tribulations and difficulties. They stood as the church of the age that saved the world.
In the passage, Paul gave the same message to the elders of the church in Ephesus. The church of Ephesus was one that Paul raise up in tears and later entrusted to Timothy, his son in Christ. Apostle John ministered this church even after Paul’s martyrdom during Emperor Nero’s time, Timothy’s martyrdom, and much persecution that followed.
Paul asked them to prepare for the three things that will come. He warns that the salvage wolves will come and not spare the flock (verse 29), and men will arise and distort the truth in order to draw away disciples after them (verse 30). Age after age, these things repeatedly happened. Now in the end times, God has entrusted the church of Christ to us. How shall we save the church? We are the ones to save the church, the posterity, and people of all nations.
- We must find the absolute value of the church.
1) Verse 28 says that God has bought the church with his own blood.
① In the old testament, people sacrificed the lamb to shed its blood for every worship. That is representative of the blood of Christ.
The gathering of the individuals who held onto that covenant in the old testament is called the old testament church. The church is not just a building. It is a place of gathering for those who hold onto the blood covenant of Christ.
② Christ shed his own blood on the cross to make us holy and gave us life as he resurrected. By that blood and life, God established the church. That is how all the churches in the new testament were established.
2) As long as the church is inside the gospel, Christ himself will hold on no matter what (Matthew 16:16-18).
① On this rock. No matter what, it will not crumble. The problem is that the church has lost hold of this gospel of Christ. They do not know the authority of Christ. They are tainting the gospel and the authority of Christ with legalism, religion, mysticism.
② Gates of Hades will not overcome it. It does not matter what Satan attacks with. As long as we are within Christ, we will have victory. All we need to do is to have spiritual battle. The essence of spiritual battle is the assurance and enjoyment of those who possess the authority of Christ. We are troubled when we do not know this spiritual authority, or when we are lost in fear, worries, and discouragement.
③ I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven. Praying in the name of Christ is a tremendous thing. It is okay if your immediate problems are not being solved or answers are not coming. The state in which you are able to enjoy the authority and power of heaven is what is important. As time goes on, your life itself will be the answers and you will experience the opening of the door of heaven.
- We must discover and enjoy realistic blessings of the church. What are the realistic blessings?
1) You yourself is the church (1Corinthians 3:16 “Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst?”) Christ is with us through the Holy Spirit. When you are alone, try to enjoy this “with’ (24). When Joseph was in prison as a slave, he enjoyed this (Genesis 39:3, 5, 23). As David tended his father’s lamb, he also enjoyed this “with.” That is how David built his spirituality. Because God was with Samuel, not one word that he spoke fell to the ground (1Samuel 26:19-28). This is when individual evangelism takes place.
2) Wherever you are in your field is the church (Joshua 1:3 “I will give you every place where you set your foot, as I promised Moses”).
God is with us wherever we are (Immanuel). The ones who realize this is able to begin mission homes and regional churches. When Isaac held onto this covenant, God blessed him wherever he went (Genesis 26:19-28, source of wells, Rehoboth, complete victory). As God sent Joshua, He told him to enjoy this. “the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go” (Joshua 1:9). This leads to field evangelism.
3) The place that the individuals who enjoy these two blessings of the church gather is the temple (Acts 2:46 “Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts”). Every time you come to the place of worship and to worship, you will experience gratitude and effervescence, as if you are standing before the King (Psalm 100:4). At a church that individuals who are victorious in their fields gather, whenever they go back into the field, they are strengthened. With this mystery, move forward into the 237 nations. All nations will become one in Christ (237 oneness missions).
- In the meantime, we are praying for the future of the church (remnant ministry). Concentrate on three things to support.
1) Help remnants so that they can discover their own mission. Those remnants will become the summit team that leads the church and the world.
The most fundamental mission is having spiritual summit training. There are definitely things that they could do individually (talents). When problems come, do not worry about solving them, but rather discover what mission God desires to carry out through you.
2) Help the remnants hone and develop their talents. Individuals with specialties can help.
This is why we are having these internships and academic camps this summer. Through this, an internship team will form within the church.
3) With the word of God, counsel the remnants and have forum with them. Every department needs these kinds of forums.
Share the covenant that you held onto, prayers that you prayed, and answers that you received. Together, you can save the church.
Conclusion – “In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive’” (verse 35). It is not because you have too much for yourself. It is also not because you have been given many things. May you hold onto the covenant regarding the future of your church, enjoy the best of blessings, and give true devotions.