These things do not happen in a spiritual vacuum. They are not the product of just any old sort of church. These things don’t happen just because a church is Baptist or “fundamentalist” or “biblicist” or uses the King James Bible or sings the old hymns or has “dress standards.” These things don’t happen in an Sardis church that has a name that it lives but is dead, or in a Laodicean church that is lukewarm, or in a Thyatira church that is in love with the world. These things still happen to some extent in an Ephesus church that has left its first love, but there is death in the pot and the future is bleak unless there is repentance.
The spiritual quality and character of a church is evident by its fruit. A certain kind of church produces a certain kind of fruit. It is impossible for a lukewarm, half-hearted, mixed-multitude, worldly, party church to produce the fruit described in the first paragraph.
Life-changing New Testament churches don’t just happen. They are purposefully built. Paul described this in 1 Corinthians 3.
“Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one: and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labour. For we are labourers together with God: ye are God's husbandry, ye are God's building. According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon. For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble” (1 Co. 3:8-12).
We see that churches are built. “Build” is repeated three times in the passage. Churches are likened to farms and buildings. These are things that must be built and maintained.
We see that churches are built as a product of God and man working in harmony as “laborers together.” This is God’s plan. He does the big part. He does the heavy lifting. But man must do his part. It has been said that we must work as if everything depends on us and trust God as if everything depends on Him. If it were up to God alone, there were be New Testament churches everywhere, because the NT church is the pillar and ground of the truth and God is in the truth business (1 Ti. 3:15).
A New Testament church happens when men and women of God rise up and labor under the direction of God-called, qualified leaders to build an assembly according to the blueprint in Scripture.
Life-changing New Testament churches are the greatest need of any nation and any community and any people group.
They are exceedingly rare today, but that is not God’s will or God’s fault. They can be built. If man is ready, God is ready. They can be built in these last days at the very end of the age, for Christ, the Founder of the Church, has said, “and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world” (Mt. 28:20).
Building life-changing New Testament churches is the most important business on earth.
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