Skip to main content
0

Scripture shows that through periods of great unrest and chaos, God brings everything back into order. We see this same cycle through scripture and through history.

It has been said that COVID-19 has brought on a global reset. The world is re-assessing how we work, trade, live, study and socialise. But this is also a reset for the Church. God is resetting priorities for the Church. This is a time of re-calibration and realignment with the purposes of God.

The Upgraded Church

The Church doesn’t follow the trajectory of the culture, it follows the pattern of heaven. The Bible shows us that the further we go in time, the further the world declines and the more powerful the Church becomes. Haggai 2:9 promises that the glory of the latter House shall be greater than the former. God is building His Church and regardless of the failures we may see in it today we can be assured that in every generation He is doing something more dynamic and more powerful.

I know the future for the Church because I know the nature of God is to always upgrade and improve things. He takes us from glory to glory (2 Cor 3:18) and does exceedingly abundantly above all that we could ask or think (Eph 3:19-20). The best is yet to come. He started with the tent of meeting, then He upgraded to the tabernacle, then the temple, and now it is us. His Church is no longer a building. Under the incredible new covenant Jesus established, His people are now the temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor 3:16). The road won’t always be easy, but what we are going through at the moment is the process God is using to bring us to the place we are meant to be. I am not looking for the end, I am looking for a new era!

 

“The Church doesn’t follow the trajectory of the culture. It follows the pattern of heaven.”

 

The Unstoppable Church

The power, potential and destiny of the Church was revealed to Peter in Matthew 16:13 – that it would be founded upon the revelation that Jesus is the Son of the Living God, it would be built by Jesus Himself and become so strong that not even the gates of hell could prevail against it. This is God’s plan for the Church and even though the premises may be closed, the Church in the nations is well and truly open and an unstoppable force.

The Church was never meant to be a natural agency of change. I have seen the Church become given to the needs of people and that is important. However, before we do that we must be connected to the God of heaven who can meet our every need. Then we minister out of a supernatural source, not a natural one. People have seen the Church in such a natural light, as nothing more than a charitable organisation or a social network, because we have negotiated on our supernatural origins.

 

“People have seen the Church in such a natural light, as nothing more than a charitable organisation or a social network, because we have negotiated on our supernatural origins.”

 

The Future Church

This is a pivotal moment in history for the Church. I do not believe the Church that entered lockdown is going to be the same Church that re-emerges from it. If we are going to connect with the emerging future Church, there are three significant moments in Scripture that we must understand that relate to the unfolding of the Church.

The first prophetic glimpse of the Church is Jacob’s encounter with God at Bethel (Genesis 28). Here we see the Church as a gateway of heaven on earth, charged with supernatural activity and filled with the voice of God. During his encounter, Jacob sees prophetically what was to unfold in the future through the Church. Here, God revealed Himself as the God of his forefathers Abraham and Isaac. At that moment a covenant was being formed to make Him the God of Jacob also. This revelation stopped Jacob wandering, reconnected him with his spiritual legacy and released him towards his God-given purpose, eventually transforming this wanderer into the nation of Israel. The emerging future Church will be a place of supernatural, divine activity. It will be governed by the voice of God. It will be a place of covenant and God encounter that provides the setting to renegotiate the destiny of nations.

Then we see the revealing of the Church to Peter in Matt 16:18. This revelation from the Father becomes the unshakeable bedrock and foundation of the Church. Then we see the Church birthed in the upper room in Acts 2 in the fire and power of the Holy Spirit, which launched it with an apostolic thrust into the nations. There will be a fresh revelation of Jesus in the emerging future Church. A revelation that is so clear and compelling that it will withstand and prevail against the attack coming against it. I also believe that through this shaking and this chaos, God is repositioning the Church in the nations for an upgrade and a fresh outpouring of the Holy Spirit. This will release a fresh fire and a new power on it that will see the gospel spread like never before. There will be a global harvest in the days ahead that follows the same pattern and power as the example in Acts 2.

 

“The Church is a gateway of heaven on earth charged with supernatural activity and filled with the voice of God.”

 

Jacob’s encounter at Bethel provides three significant features of the emerging future Church:

  1. God chooses the place:

When Jacob arrives at Bethel in Genesis 28 it is described as a certain place. There is nothing significant about it. It is simply a place on the road to Haran. But after Jacob’s encounter with God a certain place becomes an awesome place.

God chose this certain place as the site for a supernatural intervention on earth through Jacob. Today, God is choosing certain places on the earth where He can transact with His people. That place is called Church. This is not the building, it is about the place, the territory. I believe God has marked out this city of Sale and this region of Gippsland to do something special; and this is not the only place.

In fact, God often uses the insignificant places and insignificant people to do great things. When He was ready to give His only begotten Son to the world, He didn’t use the big cities. He used Bethlehem and Nazareth. There may not be anything significant about your church, community or region in the natural, but if God opened the eyes of our understanding what would you see? This is how we must see!

Sale is not a significant town in the natural. We are flanked by the economic centre of East Gippsland on one side and the economic hub of the Latrobe Valley on the other. We are a small town in the middle of two booming regional centres. But God showed me that these 140-year-old Stables that are now the home of City Builders Church, is spiritually and historically significant. These were the original headquarters of Gippsland where horses came in to be watered, fed and stabled and then sent out across the region. The very first highway through our region passed through here. I believe God is going to use this church to reopen the spiritual highways and pathways across Gippsland once again.

2. There is a connection with heaven:

In Genesis 28:12-13 there is a sense of Jacob’s spirit connecting with God in heaven. When your spirit connects with God, you have Church. This generation has been lulled to sleep. Instead of making a connection with heaven we have simply been turning up to church. But we must reconnect, not with the church of the earth, but the Church of the Living God that Jesus is building. When you are connected to the Church of the Living God, the gates of hell cannot prevail against you.

The spirit connection in a church is vitally important. One challenge facing the modern Church is that it is at risk of being built on an entertainment culture. The Church Jesus is building has a much more meaningful connection. We see it in John 4 where Jesus meets the woman at the well. Not only is she a woman, she is a Samaritan woman, which presented a major connection issue in the culture of the day.

Of all people in Israel and surrounds at that time, this was the woman Jesus chose to reveal Himself to as the Messiah first. He also revealed something else – the future of the Church. He said, “God is spirit and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and in truth.”

This is worship with your whole heart and your entire being. We have reduced worship in Church to a musical artform. But it is with our spirits that we are to worship God. We can have our churches decked out with all the gadgets and technology available, but it is only when our spirit rises and we worship from a place that is no longer natural that there is a connection with heaven.

Jesus not only chose the person, a Samaritan woman, He also chose a certain place – as featured in the previous point. The place of this exchange and revelation was at Jacob’s well, which I find staggering. Jacob, the first person to get a prophetic glimpse of the future Church through an open heaven encounter, left a legacy in the natural and in the spirit that became a meeting place for this woman and the Messiah thousands of years later. It was a well in the natural, sustaining people and cities, but what Jacob left was also a spiritual well that restored a broken woman. It is from this place she drew water to quench her natural thirst and also received the water that would cause her to never thirst again (John 4:14).

3. There is an awesomeness of God’s presence there:

When God revealed Himself to Jacob He identified Himself as the God of Abraham and Isaac. He then gives Jacob the exact same promise He gave to Abraham: “your descendants shall be as the dust of the earth…in you and in your seed all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” (Gen 12:3, Gen 28:14). Because of this connection with heaven, Jacob was able to enter the covenant of his forefathers.

The name Jacob means deceiver, trickster. We are talking about a person of questionable character. But God brings him to a certain place where he makes a connection with heaven and his life begins to turn around in the presence of God. Here, Jacob is on the way to becoming Israel, which means Prince of God. In the Old Testament, Israel is a picture of the Church and Jacob’s encounter speaks to us, the Church, today.

The Church of the future will not be a place we just go on a Sunday. Like Jacob at Bethel, I am expecting that as we come out of our confinement the Church will have an awesomeness of His presence that transforms lives and changes the destinies of individuals, cities and even nations.

 

“As we come out of our confinement, the Church will have an awesomeness of His presence that transforms lives and changes the destinies of individuals, cities and even nations.”

 

Church is no ordinary place if you connect your heart to Him. God is raising up a new generation like Samuel who can tune into the voice of God and turn a nation. He is raising up Jacobs who are wandering in the wilderness until they make a connection with heaven that sets them on course to destiny.

If you would like to take the step of inviting Jesus into your heart, I would encourage you to pray the following prayer and make contact with our church, or a local church near you that can help you on your journey.

Dear Heavenly Father, I come to you in prayer asking for the forgiveness of my sins. I confess with my mouth and believe with my heart that Jesus is your Son, and that He died on the cross of Calvary that I might be forgiven and have eternal life in the kingdom of heaven. 

Father, I believe that Jesus rose from the dead and I ask you right now to come into my life and be my personal Lord and Saviour. I repent of my sins and will worship you all the days of my life. Because Your word is truth I confess with my mouth that I am born again and cleansed by the blood of Jesus. 

In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

THIS BLOG IS BASED ON PS BRIAN HEATH’S MESSAGE ‘THE EMERGING FUTURE CHURCH

Pastors Brian and Lynne Heath have been married for 40 years and served as the senior leaders of City Builders Church (formerly COC) at Sale, in the heart of Gippsland, for the past 27 years.

Brian is one of the longest serving pastors in the Gippsland region and has become a true father to many spiritual sons and daughters and a valued mentor to younger ministers and community leaders.

Brian has a strong prophetic dimension to his life and carries the apostolic grace to build strong churches and to teach, train, impart and prepare the Church for the last day’s harvest. Brian believes the church of the future will not only carry the grace to win souls, but to impact and influence every domain of society.

Brian is also part of an apostolic team that travels regionally and throughout the Pacific. He is also working with ministry partners to build an alliance of like-minded ministries, churches, individuals and organisations that desire to rediscover and rebuild the Christian foundations that this great nation was built upon.