As with two days ago, I began to record one of these commentaries, and found that it was lacking when read, so I rewrote it.Also, I have been attempting to include quotations from a variety of persons writing on simple/organic/house church, and this rewrite turns out to allow me to add a quotation from Frank Viola.In spite of most of these blogs being heavily built on the research from George Barna and Frank Viola’s book, Pagan Christianity, I had not put an actual quotation in any of the commentaries, heretofore.
My name is Tom; this is Simple Church Minute.Milt Rodriguez, in his blog entry for July 6, 2011, told an extremely short story, of which I quote:
A friend recently told me that the eternal purpose of God was so vast that it was difficult to grasp and even more difficult to explain.I told him that I agreed.He also said that it’s very difficult to put into one sentence.I also agreed with that, however, after thinking about this later, I decided to take on the challenge.So here is my contribution of consolidating the eternal purpose into one sentence:
“God’s eternal purpose is that the fullness of His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, would be displayed and expressed visibly through a vessel that would be a Family/House for the Father, a Bride/Body for the Son, and a Temple for the Holy Spirit.”
What in the world does that mean?Most believers have never heard anyone overtly speak on this subject—God’s eternal purpose.Implicitly, most of us who have been part of evangelical or fundamentalist or Bible-believing (choose you favorite phrase) church understand that the thing to do that is most emphasized is wishing other persons to come to faith in Jesus, that is, evangelism.If I point it out, it is obvious, that in that part of time previous to Genesis 3, the story of the fall, there was no place for evangelism in the whole universe.At the other end, beginning at Revelation 21, the final judgment, there will once again be a time where there will be no place for evangelism.
Now, just for a moment, glance at what things would look like from a liberal progressive church position.There, doing good is the emphasis.Once again, before Genesis 3, there is no place for that, as sin had not entered the human race, and some period of time before that, the fall of Lucifer that is told us in Ezekiel 28.On the other end, after the judgment in Revelation 21, there once again will be no room for doing good, because sin will have been banished.Therefore, neither of those things can possibly God’s eternal purpose.
Let me go over those items in the Rodriguez quote.God wants the fullness of Jesus displayed.That was the plan before the creation of the universe. How do we know this?Numbers 23:19 says, “God is not a man that he should lie, nor a son of man, that he should change his mind.”If we follow Jesus, then we have to take God’s word that what he has told us in the Bible was what he meant to tell us.He tells us that he wants a family.The chosen people of the Old Covenant, were a physical, and imperfect, type of a New Covenant chosen people that are a new creation by faith, a people that deep in our hearts want to be his chosen people.We also are God’s house.John, in Revelation 21 verse 3 tells us, “Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them.”On this idea, Frank Viola, in his book, “From Eternity to Here”, wrote,
“John’s climatic vision in Revelation 21 and 22 gives us an intriguing window into the ultimacy of God’s house.Therein we discover that the house is a city.As we read further, we discover that the city is also a bride, and that the bride is also a dwelling place, and that the dwelling place is also a wife, and that the wife is also a temple, and that the temple is also a garden. All are graphic, mind-grabbing images of the same reality.All speak of God’s ultimate purpose.”*
God’s ultimate purpose is that temple of the Holy Spirit from 1 Corinthians 6 verse 19, that bride of Christ from John 3 verse 29, the body of Christ from 1 Corinthians 12 verse 27, that family of God from Galatians 6 verse 10, that house of God from Hebrews 3 verse 6.That all is us, the saved, the believers in Jesus, who wish to desire to do His will in everything.Good works are good, communicating the message of Jesus’ love for us is good, it is part of how we desire to honor God, but there is a time coming that those things will be irrelevant, and God’s plan in some way accounts for a time that we only can understand at this point in time quite dimly, and trying to hold onto any chaff that the wind and fire of the Holy Spirit is blowing and burning away is counterproductive.
I can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 757-735-xxxx. What I just said went fast; to read what I just said, I have it posted on my blog, tevyebird.blogspot.com, with additional information, posted to September 11, 2011.To find out more about simple church on a national and international scale, visit www.simplechurch.com and, for this area, at www.hrscn.org.
Milt Rodriguez quote from his blog, miltrodriguez.wordpress.com, from 7/6/2011.Frank Viola quote from his book, From Eternity to Here (Colorado Springs, CO: David C. Cook, 2009) p. 213-214.This book is an excellent, thorough examination of this subject.Frank has additional resources at his website www.ptmin.org, and his blog is www.frankviola.org.