Jesus back then or Jesus now?

It’s not enough to hear talks about Jesus back then or Jesus someday. We need to experience the risen Jesus in the now! Perhaps church could roll away the cold stone of formal religion and let Jesus raise us up like He did Lazarus. (See John 11.) 

A religious service is a poor substitute for the risen Savior. Church frustrates me because it’s like hearing a weekly talk about swimming but never being allowed in the pool. If we don’t know and interact with the now Jesus, can we really be a Christ-follower? Let the now Jesus wow you!

Perhaps the most effective way to present Christ is to create an environment where He’s free to manifest His power and presence. 
The preaching of dry dogma leaves people parched, but interacting with the presence of the risen Jesus sets them free. 

If Christians meet to experience Christ (not just to hear about Him) He shows up with power. It’s good to learn the history of Jesus, but it’s better to let His story permeate you with His very presence! It’s good to know what Jesus did in the past and is going to do in the future, but it’s bad to ignore what He’s doing right now.

The gifts of the Spirit are powerful demonstrations of what the living Jesus is doing right now. Church shouldn’t shut them down. 

Using the weekly lecture format in church is like using it in dance class — ineffective. (2 Corinthians 14:26 offers an alternative.) According to Jesus’ words in the “Great Commission,” disciples aren’t preached into existence. They’re made! 

To preach to people without actively walking them through the steps of applying the message, creates hearers not doers. Sermons heard, ignored, & forgotten (without any active application to real life) create hearts that are a little more hardened.

After the sermon’s been heard people are sent away without any hands-on training to help them daily do the Word. Is that absurd?
Teasing people with the Good News about the risen Jesus, but not training them how to daily experience Him, hardens their hearts.

Preach to those who haven’t heard the Word. Make disciples of those who’ve received it. All preaching and no action, interaction, or reaction can make church a disservice by making us stifle our Spirit-prompted thoughts and feelings.

Church is looking for programs. God is looking for people to freely obey His inner promptings.

The worst theology isn’t in the head. It’s living and acting like Jesus is dead. Accept no substitute for the presence of the risen Jesus living in and controlling your heart. (“Christ in you, the hope of glory.”)
Christianity was never intended to be “group think” but spiritual awakening & radical obedience to the living Jesus!

Too many Christians make going to church a substitute for daily following and obeying the living Jesus. Biblically no man can be the head of a church. Headship is Jesus’ job.

It’s called discipleship, not disciple-sit. All hands on deck. Every believer is called to follow and obey the living Jesus.

No amount of lectures about electricity will ever turn on the light. No amount of sermons will ever . . .

About Steve Simms

I like to look and think outside the box. In college I encountered Jesus Christ and I have been passionate about trying to get to know Him better ever since. My wife and I co-lead a non-traditional expression of the body of Christ in Nashville based on open participation and Spirit-led sharing. We long to see the power and passion of the first Christ-followers come to life in our time. I have written a book about our experiences called, "Beyond Church: An Invitation To Experience The Lost Word Of The Bible--Ekklesia" that is available in Kindle & paperback @ http://amzn.to/2nCr5dP
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