Ocober 29, 2010

If you have read our stuff for awhile you will know that I am not just a believer in "Revival". And nor just "Reformation" either. I am a believer in the fullness of Christ's glorious Church - the Bride of Christ displayed before all the world in her full purity and power. The sad thing is, we have never seen anything like that in our lifetime.

Of course we see this glorious church in the Book of Acts - in places like Jerusalem and Antioch. And we get glimpses of her again down through history - in times of "Great Awakening".

The glorious Bride of Christ tends not to meet in 'cathedrals'. She does not shut herself away from the world behind four walls. She is out amongst the poor and needy - preaching the pure gospel, helping the widows, praying for the sick. Just like Jesus was not hidden away, she is not hidden away.

A lot of people think that "House churches" are the most biblical form of church structure. (I am a fan of House churches myself). But we need to realize that the true church was born in the open air. She was born in "Solomon's Porch". She was born in the 'Courtyard of the Gentiles'. A lot of people do not understand this - and so miss something very significant.

The Bible says that the early church in Jerusalem met every day in the huge temple courtyard - a massive open-air space about the size of five football fields. There were "porticos" all around the edge - and "Solomon's Porch" was the one where the apostles would stand and preach. Where do you think all those miracles were done? Where do you think the 'Gate Beautiful' was - where the lame man was healed? Where do you think Jesus drove out the money-changers? Where do you think Jesus Himself preached when He was in Jerusalem? -In the 'Courtyard of the Gentiles'.

The early church was an "open air" church and a "house meeting" church. There was no such thing as 'cathedrals' or church buildings for centuries. She fed the widows, she clothed the orphans, she preached a pure gospel to the poor. She did miracles in the open air.

This is the glorious church that Jesus is wanting to display again before the end. This is His beautiful Bride - in all her fullness. And my friends, we simply cannot afford to settle for less. 

What got me thinking again along these lines was this earthquake in the city of Christchurch. A lot of the old cathedrals and church buildings there have been seriously damaged. Maybe it is time to leave them behind. Maybe it is time for Christ's glorious church to come forth again - outside the walls that are blocking us from the very world we are called to reach.