1. An Experience from Heaven
When God wants to do something great in a city, he does it by long preparation and deep foundation. In 1994 a diverse group met to pray for revival from 6a.m. to 6 p.m. over seven consecutive days (January 1 – 7). Jesus then revealed the direction of his plans for this city and state, “For the Lord God does nothing without revealing his secret to his servants the prophets.” (Amos 3:7).
On the last day of prayer, during a period of desperately difficult intercession, with only a remnant remaining in the building, the Lord focused my attention on Acts 3:19- 21.
“Repent therefore, and turn again, that your sins may be blotted out, 20 that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that he may send the Christ appointed for you, Jesus, 21 whom heaven must receive until the times for restoring all the things about which God spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets long ago.”
I had never realised before that we are in the time of universal restoration. As this truth entered more deeply into my heart I had a profound revelatory experience. In it the Lord was in his ascended position in heaven (Acts 1:11), below him were discernible all the spheres of society and culture (e.g. politics, business, arts, education, media, health and so on), he was active from heaven restoring all of these spheres of life to their original created purpose, “For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.” (Hab 2:14).
I have been seeking to serve this vision ever since, Marketplace Connect is the latest means I see God raising up to fulfil this great purpose of restoration.
Once recognized, this theme burst out of other scriptures, “He who descended is the one who also ascended far above all the heavens, that he might fill all things.” (Eph 4:10). The purpose of Jesus is to fill all things – offices, homes, schools, sports arenas, factories…with his glorious presence. How does he do this? Through the church making Christ present everywhere.
2. The Role of the Church
Paul is the great expositor of this truth. What Jesus described as the discipling of nations (Acts 28:19), the apostle describes in a Christ- centred way. “And he (God) put all things under his (Jesus) feet and gave him (Jesus) as head over all things to the church, 23 which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.” (Eph 1:22- 23).
The primary purpose of the church is not to meet once a week and bring more and more people into our assemblies, it is to be so filled with Christ’s Spirit that through us Jesus’ life penetrates everything. As Abraham Kuyper, theologian, Dutch Prime Minister and founder of the Free University of Amsterdam exclaimed, “There is not a square inch of the entire creation about which Jesus Christ does not cry, ‘This is mine! This belongs to me!’”
To embrace this vision calls for a radical restructuring of our priorities on the scale of the Protestant Reformation 500 years ago.
3. Marketplace Connect
The restoration of all things in Christ is the scope of the vision of Marketplace Connect. No Christian in this state is excluded from participation in this vision, simply because there is no space in Western Australia that does not belong to Jesus.
How will this work out in practice? Very simply, cells of mutually supportive Christ- centred believers meet together for prayer in all the spheres of existence seeking the coming of the kingdom of God with power in their specific places of marketplace service. Eventually, the whole of our state is saturated with a lattice of prayer, and the reign of Christ comes with power – legislation becomes godly, school disciple is upheld, crime rates drop, corruption is removed, masses turn to the Lord, churches are planted in schools, offices, homes, factories …and so on.
Biblically, the role of the network is “to equip the saints for the work of ministry” (Eph 4:12) in all the spheres of life and culture, “he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet” (1 Cor 15:25). We are at your service in supplying resources, connecting you with others in your field, raising and prayer and helping in any way we can.