Stadium Christianity is my Eschatology
What is the Stadium Christianity? Why is it my eschatology and why does it matter? Well, it is the study of the End Times and yes we are heading towards an end of what we call the Church Age. This age of grace could end at any moment or none of us alive together to see it.
What I do know is God is changing the understanding and expression of Christianity in one generation. He told Mike Bickle of the International House of Prayer that he would do it and he is doing it.
We understand Christianity as primarly “the Body of Christ.” Most use this because it is overly pastoral in nature and it is what we are told to believe. It also works well for people who are overly relational and in many Asians and Pacific cultural, relational life is a major issue (and hinderance).
Jesus did not tell us to “go and win friends and influence people.” He did not tell us to “go and invite people to cell group.” He did not tell us to “go and give them this best selling Christian book.” He did tell us to “go and preach the gospel.”
Eschatology: Clarifying Soteriology and Ecclesiology
What is that and why does it matter? The study of salvation is called sorietlogy to the elite theological circles. It is a fancy word for what is salvation. Ecclesiology is a fancy word for what is the Church or the called out ones. Over the last few centuries, we have told the world that being a church member was being saved. We wouldn’t say that from the pulpit (we would deny it even) but that was the culture of most churches in the Western World.
I can’t begin to tell you how many times I have heard people say that we should invite people to church and call that evangelism. It is not and will never be evangelism. Jesus did not die so we could have worship services. He died so that men could come to knowledge of the Savior of the World. When you focus on church and not of the message of the Christ; you have taught a false gospel.
Jesus did not hang on the Cross so that we could have “better community” either. There is no need for nails to be driven through his hands so we could sit at Starbucks and have “relationship” over a latte. Those nails were driven so we could have relationship with our Heavenly Father. Communion with Him is what matters; not community with others.
In the last days, the issue of sorietlogy will be critical in our view of eschatology. As we unlink it from Church and see salvation on its’ own; we will see revival break forth and gospel of the Kingdom proclaimed from the mountains and from the stadiums of the world.
In no way, do I see a defeated and broken Church at the end of the age, I see a church that has repented of fear and guilt. Repentence means to change your life and change your mind. It is a new way to think. I believe the Church will repent and start to think again!
Eschatology: Honoring the final words of Christ
There are many views of how things will play out. You can pre-trib, mid-trib, post-trib, amillenialist, post-millenialist and about half a dozen other options. However, I believe Jesus gave us something much more important in his final words before going to Heaven.
In Acts 1:7, the discplines (probably Peter) asked him how would we know when He was returning. Jesus did not directly answer him but told him that to worry about times and dates. The details of eschatology was not the important thing to worry about.
He continued and told them when the Holy Spirit on them, they will be witness to the end of the earth. One most people do not understand about this passage is that being a witness in the mind of Jesus was to be a martyr. The greek word is where we got the word martyr from.
Jesus basically told the disciplines to not worry about the return of the Lord, none of them would probably see it but go preach the gospel with signs and wonders until you are all martyred by religiousity.
That is what my eschatology is. Preach the gospel in the stadiums of the world until Jesus comes or I am martyred; whichever comes first.
The great End-Time Harvest will be just like it started: full of power, authority, joy, and glory. I believe that we could see what is coming from glimpses we have been given through history. It will be a revival of salvation, healing and deliverance.
Is revival driven by pastors?
My study of revival history leads me to believe that pastors are normally more of a hindernce to revival than an asset. History is full of pastors either rejecting the move of God or being taken out of the picture so the Spirit could move.
On Father’s Day 1995, John Kilpatrick, pastor of the church, was literally knocked out for hours in the glory of the Lord. Because of that, the Spirit could more with fear of control. It was just the Spirit of God and the vessel of Steve Hill to walk in revival fire.
This example has been repeated many times over through history. I am not saying that pastors can’t lead revival because they can. The revival in Tampa was lead by Rodney Howard-Browne that was the pastor of the church. The historical model is that most times, the lack of pastoral leadership is a benefit.
We are coming into a place that pastors and leaders come off the platform and join the people. The leadership of the Holy Spirit is all the leadership that we need.
We will come to a place where we are nameless and faceless to the world. The only thing they see is the presence and power of the Holy Spirit in the place of meeting.