Saturday, April 6, 2013
We live in what is described as a “post-Christian era.” That means the church is no longer relevant and has lost its influence.
This is a sad commentary, but I believe the Church can be revived as we look at the significance of the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Certainly an increase of hedonism, secularism, relativism and humanism have captivated people’s hearts and minds, but I believe more recent cultural pressures, such as the emphasis on tolerance, political correctness and moral relativity have done more to silence Christians than anything else.
When you, as a Christian, see someone you know Jesus can help, do you simultaneously feel the urge to speak up and remain silent? Do you ask yourself ‘Am I hearing from God? Will I offend them? Will I do more damage to the cause of Christ if I say something than if I don’t?
Things Christians have always believed, they now feel they can’t express openly. Traditional Christian beliefs and biblical principles are no longer tolerated by the culture.
In reading the Gospels, we see that Jesus openly challenged many of the cultural beliefs and practices of his day. Jesus’ truth is always relevant in every culture and era.
Truth always trumps culture.
The early church proclaimed the message of Jesus Christ, even though Christians were cruelly persecuted and even killed because of their beliefs.
Yet, despite the persecution, they saw great miracles, had great joy and had a genuine love for all people.
What did they have that so many of us lack today?
They lived, talked and had a real awareness of Jesus’ resurrection.
They had witnessed Jesus’ death, and they’d lost all hope. Their Messiah and dream for his kingdom had died.
And then, three days later, Jesus rose from the dead. Death had been conquered, and a new reality took hold.
The resurrection is pivotal to our faith as Christians, yet today, we seem to remember it at only one time each year. But it is the power behind the truths we hold dear. This single event sets Christianity apart other religions.
Which other spiritual leader willingly died because he loved each person? Who else gave each of his followers his own spirit and divine life? Which other is alive today, working miraculous signs and wonders so people can believe on Him now?
I have ministered in more than 14 nations in the past seven years. Everywhere I go, I see evidence of the guilt that religion imposes upon people.
It saddens me to see people mutilate themselves to try to rid themselves of shame and find peace with their god or gods.
The significance of the resurrection is that God justified us by raising Jesus from the dead as a declaration that our sins are completely forgiven.
Simply put, the demand for justice has been met by Jesus, on our behalf — and Jesus is exalted.
Spouting Biblical truths in our post-Christian era doesn’t have the effect it once did. Many people don’t believe that the Bible is the Word of God. What they’re asking is, “Show me the proof. Show me that Jesus is alive.”
Our proof should be the same Jesus offered in his day — miracles. The Christian life is supernatural. Christians need to walk in it, live in it and display it.
Jesus told his disciples: “If you believe in Me, you will do the very same works that I do, and even greater works will you do, because I go to the Father.” John 14:12
The Bible tells us, “Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever.” Hebrew 13:8
When I was serving as a missionary in Bolivia, a woman who’d been born deaf in her left ear asked me if I could heal her. I told her, “I can’t, but Jesus can.”
I told her to put here finger in her left ear and asked her to repeat after me, “In the name of Jesus, I command this deaf spirit to loose me now and let me go.” I covered her right ear and whispered quietly in her left ear. Tears began to fall as she repeated everything I said. Wow!
I’ve heard that people overseas receive healing more easily than we do here in the United States, because we have such good medicine. But healing miracles can happen here, too.
A co-worker told me her doctor had told her an ultrasound of the baby she was carrying showed he had no kidneys. I told her that was easy for God to fix and suggested that we pray.
Her baby is now 5 years old, and he’s never had any problems with his kidneys. Hallelujah!
As for me, I had a lump on my breast and the doctor wanted to do a biopsy. I suggested that we wait a month, and he agreed.
During that month, I thanked God every day that my body is the temple of the Holy Spirit and sickness cannot live in it.
I thanked Jesus daily that he had already borne my sicknesses and diseases on the cross, and that His Word tells me that I am healed. (Isaiah 53: 4-5, 1 Peter 2:24) I commanded the lump to go in Jesus’ name.
When I returned to the doctor he said, “I guess I made a mistake.” The lump was gone. Jesus is alive and He is still doing miracles today. He watches over His word and confirms it. Believe it. Expect it. Live it everyday this next year. Now is our time to shine.
Karen Brooks is a missionary and founder of Karen Brooks Ministries International, a 501c3 nonprofit corporation. She attends a local church. Her website is www.karenbrooks.org; Contact her through her email: firstname.lastname@example.org.