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The Acts 2 Church
May 04, 2017

Acts 2

  They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. 

  Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostles.
  All the believers were together and had everything in common. 

  Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need. 

  Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts.

  They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people.

  And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.

 

 

What an exciting time it must have been!

 

Listen to these NOTABLE things going on in that EARLY CHURCH of Acts 2…

 

  1. Everyone was filled with awe.
  2. There were wonders and miraculous signs
  3. They had everything in common…
  4. They sold their possessions… and gave to anyone with need.
  5. Every day they met together.
  6. They broke bread together with glad and sincere hearts.
  7. They praised God and enjoyed each other.
  8. Their numbers grew daily.

 

 

Pretty cool

 

You can really see the Holy Spirit among the people here in a real unique and amazing manner.

 

As Martin Luther said,

“The members of the early church

of Acts 2 became a REAL and DANGEROUS force against EVIL

in the world.”

 

  1. Look at how the people gathered together… sharing the Good News…

     

  2. Look at how the people worshipped together (daily)!

     

  3. Look at how the people supported one loved one another!

     

  4. Look at how their numbers grew daily!

 

The Bible says they…

  1. They ATE together…
  2. Shared their wealth with one another…
  3. and they enjoyed each other’s company.

 

And the result???

The Lord added to their number DAILY!!!

 

By the way…

  1. Did you see their amazing facility?
  2. Did you see how handsome and dynamic their pastor was?
  3. And what about all those cool and progressive programs for the children and adults!!!
  4. And… all that sensational… and sexy glitz and glimmer of those miraculous SIGNS and wonders of God???

 

Pretty cool stuff… right!!!  (Sarcasm)

 

Instead… Look… See… it was “EASTER JOY” that came alive among them all…

 

Their lives were being changed as they died to sin… and were rising to live HUMBLY in Christ.

 

Reminds me of the words from an old Christian Hymn…

Blessed be the tie that binds…

our hearts in Christian love.

The fellowship of kindred minds…

is like to that above.

 

 

Now… look at us today…

 

It’s obvious the church has been weathered over the years.

 

The devil and our sinful nature has certainly been active.

 

 

In the words of Samuel Stone

 

Long with a scornful wonder

The church is sore oppressed,

By schisms rent asunder,

And heresies distressed.

 

Sometimes I feel…

  • The church is so oppressed…
  • and so divided by schisms… and heresies…

that you can barely recognize her anymore.

 

Look at all the Christian denominations out there today.

 

Back then there was only one.

 

Look at how the churches compete with one another these days.

 

Back then they competed with other religions… not denominations.  

Going back to the Bible for today… and that Early Church…

 

They really hit the ground running after Good Friday and Easter… didn’t they???

 

I know… I know… it wasn’t all peaches and cream.

 

I know must have had their issues, too.

 

In fact… a certain couple will soon come along… sell their land… and not share it all with the church.

 

They are the ones the Holy Spirit struck down dead for their dishonesty and greed.

 

The early church wasn’t perfect.

 

But look at the church today.

 

My… My… how things have changed!!!

 

 

Now… a little more to the point…

 

I asked a certain little boy one time what he thought of our CHURCH.

 

You know what he said?

“That’s the place

my mom and dad go

to drink coffee!”

 

People today believe they are more “evolved”.

 

I personally wonder if all “evolution” leads to something good and positive.

 

Seems like the church of Jesus has been given the short end of the stick.

 

Sometimes I look at the church today… and I feel ashamed.

 

My goodness… what am I doing!!!

You know… the Bible says the church is a special people called…

  1. A ROYAL PRIESTHOOD…
  2. SAINTS…
  3. THE FAITHFUL…   
  4. THE BODY OF CHRIST…   

 

More specifically… the Bible says the church is

A people who believe they have been cleansed by the blood of Christ

and serve Him in Holy Living.

 

Are we really???

 

That’s the question I keep asking myself.

 

God’s Word is supposed to be TIMELESS… and without change.

 

If that’s so… think about the Acts 2 church.

 

Now… think of all the concessions the church has made over the past couple of millennia…

 

Is it possible some of these changes have led to the degradation of the church???

 

I know we don’t drive horse and buggy anymore… but… why is today so different than Acts 2???

 

 

Well… What about the basics???

  1. Caring for one another… Care Ministries in our church???
  2. Supporting one another with food, clothing and other necessities?  Food Banks… and outreach ministries…
  3. What about regular worship???  Making every effort to maintain the spiritual aspect of worship over all else… responding to the goodness of God with gratitude and praise.
  4. What about the breaking of bread together?  Enjoying one another in the church… being kind and considerate of one another… even as Christ has loved us.
  5. And the awe and wonder of God’s Spirit at work brining people to the faith and making them strong in the faith?  Church isn’t meant to be sensationalized.  Its mean to be a struggle.  A struggle of GOOD against EVIL.  People grow when they are emptied of themselves… and filled up with the humble salvation of Christ.

 

And finally… church growth

 

Back then... the church grew DAILY.

 

I sometimes wonder if the church has peaked?

 

Are there no more people to reach?

 

Of course not…

 

There are still many who have not come to faith in Christ.

 

And there are still many who have Christ… but are not actively growing in Christ.

 

There must always be a mix of what we do within the congregation… and what we do for those outside the congregation.

 

Sharing and caring for one another comes first… as it says in the Bible.

 

Then… as God gives the growth… gathered in the lost.

 

Like picking Sweet corn in the late summer… we must continue to go out to the field and pick ripe cobs.

 

We must never forget these people as well… who may one day be here next to us as CHURCH.

 

It says that the early church grew DAILY.

 

DAILY… something was done right then.

 

And I imagine… it can still be done now.

 

I think you all agree that the CHURCH is plagued with issues… like any other institution out there.

 

But… just as each of us is asked to stand firm in Christ… we as the people of God… here at Bethlehem… must continue to stand firm in Christ.

 

He is the foundation and source of our being.

 

He was all about forgiveness and mercy… even as He died on the cross to set us free of all sin… shame and guilt.

 

He is all about LIFE and HOPE… even as God raised him from the dead… to lead the Church to life everlasting.