Friday, March 12, 2010

The Strength of the Original Church- What Happened?

Pentecost theme slideImage by lars hammar via Flickr

Good Evening to All!

I love the Book of Acts! Have you ever thought about the way it stops? You notice I did not say ends, because it doesn't. It is still going on for us today. All of the Books in the Bible end with Amen except for ACTS. The word AMEN means "so be it " which is a closing. Acts does not say that, thus meaning it is still going on today.

We had a wonderful message in church Wednesday night. God put the message of the First Church of Acts in our Pastor's heart to preach.To take a look at the Original church, the First church to be formed, then look at today's church we have stray so far away! Yes, we bring the message of Christ, but from there it goes in ALL DIFFERENT directions. What I am wanting to depict is how serious the first church was about their relationship with God. They went into that upper room and "became one. They prayed until something happened. So should we.

Let's take a look.

  • They all met in the upper room their minds in ONE ACCORD, or in AGREEMENT.
  • They received the HOLY GHOST with the evidence of speaking in tongues
  • They all started witnessing to people and reaching the lost.

I would like to study these three things a little more. In Biblical times they had the upper room, today we have a “church”.

According to God's Word they received the Holy Ghost and started speaking in “tongues” or different languages to their own and yet were understood. I have heard people say that "tongues aren't for us today. The thing is, according to God's Word, He says this promise is for them and for all generations afar off, speaking of the first church's descendants. So it is for us today.

Then they went out and started witnessing to people about God and reaching the lost, WITHOUT BEING EMBARRASSED. This one I've been guilty of in the past. Thank God He opened my understanding to how important it is and How He feels about my timidness in doing this. I have seen people walk up to others and start off by saying “God Loves You” and going right into their

PentecostImage via Wikipedia

witnessing. Sometimes people are receptive and sometimes not. This is something I have not accomplished. I can carrying on a conversation with someone and then bring the conversation around to that end, and it gets what I want to accomplished done. I just have to go about it “around the block”, and not be so blunt or bold. Once I get going though, I get excited and it's hard to stop.

How many of us actually witness to people? Yes, we go about our daily lives and sometimes even do good deeds or help others. That is definitely important, but just as important is that they get God's Word into them. That they know what it takes to be saved. So many people think that just by saying a few words, “I accept Jesus into my heart”, that they are saved from then on. They don't realize that it is a journey of a life time. That accepting Jesus is more than words, it is living for Him, abiding by His Word. He, Himself said, “ if you love me you will keep my commandments”. To do this, you have to know what they are and do to that, you must read His Word. It is MORE than just the Ten Commandments, for there are many times in the Bible that it says Jesus commanded..... Not only that there are implications of what He want from us, but doesn't make it a “heaven or hades issue. The catch there is even though it's not, if we don't do it, it is considered disobedience, and that definitely does not make for a Happy God. Why should we disobey our Heavenly Father any more than we do our earthly one? Anyway, I am kind of getting off track. I just want to make sure that people realize that it takes more than a simple sentence to be saved and go to heaven.

The Original Church of Acts was the First church ever established. This is the church that God ordain, that Jesus told Peter Upon this Rock I will build MY CHURCH, the original principles. What makes a great church? Let's examine it. First, the people ALL had ONE COMMON GOAL. They were all in one accord.

They were ALL concerned about one thing, and that was God. All the people were FOCUSED on God and their church. They weren't worried about whether they had clean clothes to wear the next day, what they were going to fix for supper, or what the person in the back of the room was wearing. They didn't care what other people were doing on the other side of the church. They were strictly focused on God.

Another thing where our church differs today from the “Great Church” is that they let NOTHING interfere with going to church. They planned their whole lives around going to church or temple. They didn't make excuses, why they couldn't attend. I'm pretty sure they didn't have football games to go to or other sports, or theaters, or anything like that, but I bet they had other activities if they had wanted to they could have said “I can't go to church today, I've got to go grocery shopping, or I've got to go over to my friend's. If it was going to interfere with going to church, they just didn't do it. Church always came first.

Church was a lifestyle for them. For a lot of us today, it seems to be no more than an activity, and that is really sad. We are all going to have to give an account when we stand before God, and I for one dread having to tell Him, “I know I should have attended Church more, I just didn't have time, or couldn't get into the message. Thank goodness, I started thinking about this a while ago and straightened my priorities out.

It states in the Bible that we are not to do anything to become a “stumbling block” for others. If we start making excuses about these important things, we are becoming stumbling blocks for our children because they will grow up using the same excuses. I've seen that many times with my friends (that I had in the past). A friend of mine's mother was on welfare most of my friend' life, so when she got old enough to be on her own, instead of getting a job, she got on welfare, and her daughter did the same thing. I would definitely call that a stumbling block. My friend had a chance to get out of that rut, but since that is all she had known, she told me she could make more money sitting at home than waitressing or washing dishes, on went the cycle. That is a stumbling block. The same goes for habits learned by our children about going to church, reading the Bible, witnessing to others, helping others and so on.

In the first church, if anything caused them to compromise their faith or be a stumbling block they just didn't do it. The Bible says to dress modestly. If women's profession required them to dress skimpy, they didn't do it or found another job, If a man's profession required him to do things that God would not approve of, he didn't do it, or found another job. They took their relationship with God seriously.

It seems as though we as "Believers" Want to make God first in our life, until LIFE gets in the way. We have good intentions, but well, I worked hard today, and I'm exhausted, besides it's only Wednesday, it's not like I'm missing a SUNDAY service. I don't think I'll go tonight. (I've been guilty of that one, but got my priorities straightened out.)

My point to all this is we as a church are NOTHING like the original church that God wanted us to pattern ourselves after. We are so watered down. We are afraid to speak the complete truth because it might offend someone and they would leave church. The service consisted of quite a bit more, but I typed it out and had to cut it down. I will make another post about it some other time.

Good Night to All and May God Bless!


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