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Realizing the presence, promise, and power of the Kingdom of God.

The Church in the Last Days

Here then [Luxeuil] the excellent man began to build a monastery. At the news of this

people streamed in from all directions in order to consecrate themselves to the practice of religion, so that the large number of monks scarcely had sufficient room.

- The Monk Jonas, Life of St. Columban (Italian, 7th century)

It shall come to pass in the last days that the mountain of the house of the LORD shall be established as the highest of the mountains, and it shall be lifted up above the hills; and peoples shall flow to it.

- Micah 4.1

The "last days" is a Biblical and prophetic idea which describes the days following the outpouring of the Holy Spirit until the return of Jesus Christ. Peter makes this quite clear in Acts 2. The last days are not some period of time, immediately preceding the Lord's return, yet to come. They are now, and have been since the earliest days of the Church.

This would explain why, during the Celtic revival (430-790 AD) so many people came to Irish peregrini as they built their monasteries and conducted their preaching missions all over Europe. Jonas' description of the response to Columban's second foundation (the first was at Annegray) sounds like a paraphrase of Micah's prophetic word about the "mountain of the house of the Lord" - the Church.

Why did this happen then, but we don't see it happening now? Micah continues, "For out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem" (v. 2). During the Celtic revival missionaries went out from the monasteries to preach and teach the Gospel in villages, cities, and in the courts of kings. They brought that message in lives aglow with holiness and zeal for truth. They were uncompromised and uncompromisable as they proclaimed the Kingdom of God and called for repentance and faith in Jesus Christ. Many of them lost their lives.

And this is precisely what is not happening in our day. Today, churches have taken a "come/see" attitude toward their communities. Rather than seeking by every means to equip and dispatch godly, caring, and fervent witnesses into every neighborhood and available public space, there to live the Law of God and proclaim forgiveness through Jesus Christ, we put ads in the paper, jimmy-up our worship services all pop and contempo, and then just wait for the "seekers" to come pouring in.

Well, they aren't. And you will be hard pressed to find anywhere in Scripture instruction for the churches about reaching their communities with the Gospel that looks anything like what we're doing these days. We should look to Micah. And Peter. And Columban, if we want real revival.

But then, maybe we don't want real revival?

Exercise for the Month: Don't be shy about reaching out to the people you've been praying for and telling them so. And ask for a request while you're at it.

Today in ReVision: Rights and Wisdom - Cut him some slack, the President just doesn't know. How could He?

This Week's Download: Impact and Understanding of the Bible: A Questionnaire

New content under Kingdom Civics and Every Thought Captive for this week. Check it out. After all, who'd have thought to find Ghengis Khan on a Celtic Christian website? And what's the New Testament all about, anyway?

Thursday night: Revival Prayer! If you want to join, send me an email, and I'll see to it you get the handout and call-in information.

T. M. Moore, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in the Champlain Valley of Vermont.
Books by T. M. Moore

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