We are apostolic. It’s a simple statement and yet it has been wrapped in misunderstandings, confusion and misinterpretation.
Hebrews 3:1 tells us that Jesus is the first Apostle. Put simply, this means that if we follow Him, say what he says and do what he does then we are apostolic. This is a mindset and lifestyle derived from coming under the influence of an Apostle.
The ‘Apostle’ Jesus says in John 17:18 “as the Father sent me so I send you.” The word for sent is ‘apostolos’, and so we are the ‘sent ones.’ Jesus also taught us to pray ‘On earth as it is in heaven.’ We are therefore sent by the Apostle to be apostolic and to bring heaven to earth.
Being sent from heaven to change earth means that our assignment is to remove all things that are on earth that are not celebrated in heaven and to bring all things which are celebrated in heaven to earth. Our assignment then has to includes the supernatural because there are things in heaven which we cannot see here.
We are, as Peter writes in his letter ‘partakers of the divine nature’. A simple study of God’s nature reveals that His manifold names include the supernatural in them. None are clearer or more important perhaps than Jehovah Rapha – the Healer. Generations of Christians have suffered from a church culture embracing Cessationism, that has taught that the miraculous and supernatural works of God have all but ceased, and they certainly don’t flow through the ministry of men and women.
It is clear that we cannot do the works of Jesus, accept the assignment, manifest the divine nature or bring heaven to earth without embracing the supernatural.
Culture is created when we take something which we believe and live that belief through our behaviour. Culture is the word that describes “the way we do things around here.” Religion has been described as form without power. In other words, values and beliefs which are not lived out. We have also allowed Heaven’s culture to be reduced to a non-spiritual one by adjusting our theology to fit our experience on earth. Just because we have prayed for something and not seen the supernatural answer does not mean that God does not bring supernatural answers through our prayers. It means that we need to still apply faith, waiting and believing what we have yet to see. This is the very nature of faith. Jesus after all said “when I return, will I find faith?”
The answer then, remains: Will he?!