Do You ever like to look at an old Picture or Photograph? Looking back. Think of looking into rear view mirror. You see where you have been and what is coming up behind you. You look back also to help in part in where you are going.
History tells us that many years ago in Rome the Fathers would take their sons to view the statutes of the noble people of history.
That is how we are when we study the Book of Hebrews. In Chapter 11 we go and look at some of the Greats and then we look at 12:1 and we are seeing that we are compassed about with a great cloud of witnesses.
There has never been a time in history when as much is expected of the churches of today. Remember we need a lot of light and salt today. The Media; Technology; Philosophers and Entertainment are telling us how we should think and how we should live. They have redefined sex, education, and marriage. They are telling the church to walk in step and if a so-called Equality Act is passed by congress, they will try to muzzle the church from preaching Biblical Principles about life.
It is and always has been the responsibility of the church to save society from themselves. The early church had a lot of demands on them. They were smaller and unknown, yet they met the demands. If there ever was a time that the church needs to be obedient to the demands that God has called us to carry out it is now. The memory of Christ was fresh on mind of the early church.
The memory of Christ and the reality of Christ needs to be freshly on our minds.
Pre Day of Pentecost – 27 things they had …Quickened- Empowered Adam/ Christ Resurrection / God-Breathed on Church with the Holy Spirit.
When we look at the church, we need to look at two things: 1. Doctrinal & 2. Practical … We see the Doctrine because the Steadfast in the Apostle’s Doctrine. They were not going to move. Or budge. Doctrine was simple and it was, the Death, Burial & Resurrection of Jesus Christ. You at what Peter preached on the Day of Pentecost. I want to look at this church practically. They were Doing Church Life Right! They were a Church that was Determined by Devotion.
Never has a Church did so much with so little.
What happens happened empowered/ quickened church! They became a quicken Church on Pentecost and an empowered church. Pre Pentecost. 27 things that this church had before Pentecost. God breathed life in Adam. Jesus was resurrected by and with power of the Holy Spirit. (Rom. 1:4;8:9-11; Eph.3:16-17; I Peter 3:18)The Holy Spirit breathed life into church on that day of Pentecost.
I What happens when a church is steadfast, unmovable in God’s Word?
This Church was t 1st Mega Church; This was the Church with the Right Stuff. This is Church at her Best! How can a church be a fulfilling fellowship?
Never has a done so much with so little. And we do so little with so much. Sometimes if you want something new you have to go back to something old. Program Driven; Purpose Driven; Event Driven! We need to follow the Model. We do not need to be Model Driven but Mission Driven. We need to go back to God Driven Church. I want us to go back to the old 5 Things about this church we need to replicate. Looking at the Old Picture of the Church.
It Was a Happy Church …” they recived the word with gladness and singleness of heart.” They were baptized with joy. They ate their meat with gladness, if they were gathered together having church or at home or work, they were glad people. Maybe happy is to shallow of a word probably joy or joyful would be better.
The gospel has always been characterized as “glad tiding or the good news.”
The Master of this Gospel and Church told us to be of Good Cheer three times…Be of Good Cheer your sins of forgiven”; Be of Good Cheer it is I; Be of Good Cheer I have overcome the World.
It was not the Cheerfulness or gladness over abundance and worldly goods because they have already said, “silver and gold have I none.”
On one of the catacombs in Rome there was this phrase written on the wall, “Be of Good Cheer.”
They sang all the time and praised God all the time. Many in our country are seeking happiness but they won’t find it because they are on the wrong train. “Are you going where this ticket says where you are going? If you are then you are going on the wrong train.”
Our churches have lost much of their spontaneity. We need to get back to our joy. It is a fruit of the spirit. No one should leave a church depressed. When you have a soul of peace then you wil have a soul of joy.
It Was A United Church There are two words that show unity. Fellowship & Together. There was a joint participation a mutual giving and receiving.
The church was a big happy family. Paul would call it to a divided church in Corinth that it should be one body. Ephesians 4 Everyone that belongs to Christ belongs to everyone that that belongs to Christ. – Steve Brown
It Was A Praying Church –
They had a continuous habit in that Church. That habit was continuous praying. They engaged in private and public prayer. Public prayer came from the synagogue, an institution that grew up in the period between the two testaments.
Life must be fed by many springs. We must tap divine resources and one of the most powerful resource for the church is prayer.
Jesus says, “Men are always to pray and not faint.” When we pray like we should then we rid ourselves of doubts. Prayer wil bring certainty. Prayers will not just mean God doing something for us but also doing something in us.
It is not just asking God to do a miracle but make us a miracle. Peter is in jail.
Powerless because we are Prayerless. Voice of the Martyr’s.
It Was A Generous Church They brought all they had and laid it at the Apostle’s Feet.
They held all things in common. Commonism and not Communism.
All gave as they were able and that was there custom.
It Was A Growing Church 3000 joined in one service. Lord added daily. The believers were multiplied. It was a great thing to be joining that church, every believer was growing in the word; praying; giving; serving and witnessing.
It Was A Popular Church It was not popular with Satan and the Religious Zealots, but it grew in favor with all men.
Jesus gives us a Photograph of 7 More Churches in Revelation 2&3; One was a Loveless Church called Ephesus; One was a Lukewarm Church located in Laodicea; One was the Church of Philadelphia. Little but filled with Great Opportunities. Opportunities of leading people to Christ and serving. We must give the same invitation that Peter Gave after he preached. Acts 2:36-42