It's a question I was just confronted with this morning. What is your church's legacy? In the book of Acts, which takes place at the end of Luke's
gospel and shows how the Holy Spirit moved through several unlikely individuals to establish Christ's church, what was the legacy?
As we read through it, we read of homes being used, of apostles and disciples alike selling everything and giving it unto the Lord. Why? Did they do
this for a building? Did they do it in the name of the movement, in, perhaps, some certain doctrine they held to? I would say no, they did it for
Jesus Christ, for the passion and the love they felt for their Lord, and in direct response to their obedience and often new-found discipline through
the Holy Spirit.
We also read of changed lives, and the most powerful nation on Earth at the time trembling as these meager few would enter its great cities. As we've
discovered from the archaeological record, when Christians would enter a city, when Christianity immediately started to spread as more and more people
discovered the greatest love and the name of their King, city rulers and generals would start furiously writing letters back to Rome, baffled as to
how to confront this new threat.
Is that the legacy your church is leaving? Why not?
I tell you this. I have been focused on a united church for years. The beginning of this can be seen here, actually, in a thread I started titled,
The Bride Of Christ Must Be United
. I would even often quote John 17:23 when talking to
I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved
Yet, my focus was on the Church, not on Christ. I would focus on "May they be brought to complete unity" without even trying to fathom "I in them
and you in me." This morning my eyes have finally been opened to this folly. It is good to want to see unity in the Bride. However, if that is the
focus, if unity is the goal, then something so incredible has been missed: Jesus Christ. Matthew 7:22-23 states,
Many will say to Me on that day, "Lord, Lord" did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many
miracles? And then I will declare to them, "I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness"
Seeking unity for the sake of unity is unrighteous. Seeking unity for the sake of bringing glory to Christ, though, is righteous.
Rick Joyner writes about something that took place several hundred years ago:
During the Middle Ages, one of the great leaders of the church was walking with a friend who was pointing out the glories of their city cathedral
to him. Observing the great treasures of the church, the friend remarked that the church could no longer say, "Silver and gold have I none." To this
his companion replied, "And neither can we say, 'In the name of Jesus rise up and walk.'"
So I ask again, what is the legacy of your church?