True restoration of the church demands faith. Faith is a supernatural touch from Almighty God that unleashes His will into our lives by His power. Faith is the absolute necessity of genuine Christian life. Without faith it is impossible to please God (Heb. 11:6) because the absence of faith compels Christians to live by the natural programs and principles of man.
Most Christians in America have grown accustomed to Christianity as a nice comfortable religion that enables them to have a sense of spirituality in their lives while allowing them to continue to live as they desire. They go to church and sing songs that call them to a deeper place in God but leave the building never truly taking the plunge into that profound place with God. This is true of today’s church because many Christians do not walk in faith and the word clearly says, “…my righteous one shall live by faith, and if he shrinks back, my soul has no pleasure in him” (Heb. 10:38).
This verse is clear. There is only one way to live this life in Christ and that is by faith. If a person believes himself to be righteous in Christ then he must admit that his life must then be one of faith. Also, this verse is clear that when a person shrinks back or moves away from the walk of faith that God Himself takes no pleasure in him. It should shake us all to the core to realize that God takes no pleasure in those who do not live by faith.
I can hear some of you saying, “I accepted Jesus as my Savior and therefore I am a believer and I know God is pleased with me.” Your statement reveals that you think that just because you went through some motions years ago in a church service that you are a believer. A believer is one who lives by faith. He is one who believes God not just for getting into heaven but for all aspects of his life. The reason Christianity in America is mostly lived on the natural plane is because most people who claim to be Christians are not walking on the supernatural plane of faith. Making things worse, most churches function on the natural plane of human cleverness with its myriad of programs and cerebral dogmatism.
Most American Christians reject all things spiritual and supernatural. They see the spiritual gifts that are essential to spiritual living as passé skills for a bygone era. They see divine healing as a religious presumption of fanatical televangelists. All things truly miraculous are assigned to the apostolic age when Christ was laying the foundation of the church. Even the apostles and prophets with their supernatural ministry are relegated to the trash pile of ceased occurrences. So, according to these unbelieving teachers of religion, miracles have ceased, the apostles and prophets have ceased, divine healing is gone and we are now to live simply by our common sense and human ingenuity.
Some will hedge their bets by saying something like, “Well, I believe that miracles have ceased with the first century but God can still work a miracle if He chooses.” How generous of these naysayers to grant the Almighty God permission to do as He pleases so long as it fits their theology.”
The problem such people face is that all of Christianity is supernatural and miraculous. The coming of the eternal God to dwell in the human heart is a divine encounter of miraculous proportions. The pronouncement of victory over the power of sin in the life of a fatally wounded sinner is indeed a great miracle. The enablement of the transforming work of the Holy Spirit inside of rebellious humans that leads to transformed lives is nothing short of a heavenly marvel.
In short, the Christian life is a supernatural life depending on faith in the human heart that opens the door to the life changing grace of God. Jesus told us that “…if you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there,' and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you” (Matt. 17:20). Was Jesus just exaggerating or was He saying that a little tiny portion of faith can move a mountain out of its place? If faith can move literal mountains, surely it can move the mountains we face in our lives as followers of Christ.
Paul defined faith as, “The substance of things hoped for, the deciding evidence of things not seen” (Heb. 11:1, literal translation). The Greek word for “substance” is made up of two words, one meaning “under” and the other meaning “standing”. So faith is the substance or the material that stands under and holds up and makes real the things we hope for in God. It is not just evidence but the “deciding evidence,” the evidence that makes the difference. Faith brings the hope that flows from the will of God into our lives. It proves to our hearts and minds the reality of God and all of His promises.
The source of faith is God’s word: “Faith comes from hearing and hearing through the word of Christ” (Rom. 10:17). If Christ says something and we hear it with our spiritual ears, the matter is settled.
Perhaps the greatest miracle the world will ever see is the end time rising up of the church in victorious loving unity. In His final prayer for the church Jesus prayed for His church, “that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me” (John 17:21). Those who have discarded the miraculous find an end time victory for the church to be impossible. So, they developed the notion that the church will be a nonfactor in the end time.
No, she will not be a nonfactor. God declares to us that “Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish” (Eph. 5:25-27).
The church will not have to be rescued from Satan by an end time rapture but the enemy will feel the heel of her combat boot for God will soon crush the serpent’s head under the feet of His church (Rom. 16:20). The remnant faithful army will conquer the enemy as God promised in Revelation: “And they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives even unto death (Rev. 12:11). Hallelujah!
So we must all decide how we want to live. Is it enough to simply go to church when it’s convenient and listen to well-prepared sermons while living our lives as we please, or do we desire to see the God of miracles and supernatural experience moving every day? The second choice can only come through faith. The first is possible by simple human ingenuity. Which do you prefer? The answer to that question will make the difference in your life.