Isaiah 43:19 (CSB)
Look, I am about to do something new;
even now it is coming. Do you not see it?
Indeed, I will make a way in the wilderness,
rivers in the desert.
Hebrews 12:25-29 (CSB)
See to it that you do not reject the one who speaks. For if they did not escape when they rejected him who warned them on earth, even less will we if we turn away from him who warns us from heaven. His voice shook the earth at that time, but now he has promised, Yet once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heavens. This expression, “Yet once more,” indicates the removal of what can be shaken—that is, created things—so that what is not shaken might remain. Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful. By it, we may serve God acceptably, with reverence and awe, for our God is a consuming fire.
Acts 2:42-46 (CSB)
They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread, and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and signs were being performed through the apostles. Now all the believers were together and held all things in common. They sold their possessions and property and distributed the proceeds to all, as any had need. Every day they devoted themselves to meeting together in the temple, and broke bread from house to house. They ate their food with joyful and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. Every day the Lord added to their number those who were being saved.
If you think “church” will be the same after this is over, think again.
Long gone are the days of large assemblies and people seeking after men for God’s word. The days of gathering because of habitual behavior are over. As I have seen in many articles, the playing field has been leveled between small churches and larger churches because we all have been forced to pivot and shift into the flow that God is calling us to as a body.
What is the witness that we are showing to the unbeliever? People are seeing two sides of Christianity. One side is holding on to the norm-- holding services despite government warnings, pastors and churches not taking the gravity of the situation seriously, pastors using ad hominem attacks against other churches and leaders, and believers instantly running to end-time theology to justify their thoughts and actions. The other side is pivoting with the changes-- moving gatherings and ministry to online platforms, serving their cities and congregations the best they can, using what is available to build community and bring people to the knowledge of Christ, and humbly honoring the requests of government leaders to be an asset to their community. People have the freedom to do whatever God is asking of them to do, but they must be ready to accept the rewards or consequences that come with that decision. The ultimate question we should be asking is “How is what we are doing glorifying God and showing who he is to those who do not know him.”
The three scriptures that I quoted at the beginning of this post really speak to what is happening now. God is shifting Christians to a new season. He is literally changing up how we do everything and using the change to usher us into the revival that we prayed for. God is also shaking us. Everything that we have held dear in terms of the church experience has been taken from us. We literally cannot have church as usual. We are being forced to get back to the foundations of Christianity and our personal relationship with Christ. God is challenging us to get back in an intimate relationship with him, so we can learn how to rely on him again and not our gimmicks, theatrics, performances, or other things that we mistakenly call holy.