“Once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heavens.” The words “once more” indicate the removing of what can be shaken – that is, created things – so that what cannot be shaken may remain. (Hebrews -27 NIV)
The fact is that, while certain things characterized the New Testament churches, the New Testament does not give us a complete pattern according to which churches are to be set up or formed! There is no blue-print for churches in the New Testament, and to try to form New Testament churches is only to create another system which may be as legal, sectarian and dead as others. Churches, like the Church, are organisms which spring out of Life, which Life itself springs out of the Cross of Christ wrought into the very being of believers.
This brings us to our particular point. What is the pressing imperative in view of this oncoming flood of testing, which has already carried away very many of those who were called Christian, and even evangelical Christians? Surely there is only one answer:- On the one hand, a ministry which has as its substance and object the "rooting and grounding," the establishing, the building up of believers, and the real increase of "the measure of Christ." This must get behind evangelism, so that the work is deep, not superficial; enduring, not transient; intrinsic, not general! On the other hand, believers must really take stock of their Christianity. Is it just a tradition, an assumption, an external system, the thing which is common acceptance – more or less? Or is it really "by revelation of Jesus Christ" in the heart? A real walk with God, and a growing knowledge of Christ, a life in the Spirit? God has said it: the things which can be shaken will be. What have we got that, being unshakable, will remain?
By T. Austin-Sparks