Today, our society wants to be accountable to no-one; free to do anything that feels good. Apart from the western world, there is revival happening in most of the third-world nations at the moment. Christianity is spreading like wildfire in the face of persecution of Christians or persecution of the Church. People are choosing church! Why church?
Acts 2: 42-47 “And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers. 43Then fear came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were done through the apostles. 44Now all who believed were together, and had all things in common, 45and sold their possessions and goods, and divided them among all, as anyone had need. 46So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart, 47praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved.”
Acts 2 reminds us of the virtues of the NT church, and of some of those that we may have grown out of the habit of. The early Church put into practice what the Apostles taught, whereas today many Christians want to question what is taught.
They regularly met together for fellowship; today we are often too busy to take time for coming together. They prayed regularly with consistency; today many churches and God’s people find it hard to make time to pray. They had one heart and one soul. In other words, they walked in unity; today many Christians get upset over little things that happen amongst them. They walked in the fear of the Lord; today many Christians live as though God is second in their lives, and everything else comes first. Prov. 9:10 “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.” They met daily together and corporately in the temple and in the houses; today’s Christians aren’t that keen on regularly getting together and attending church gatherings. Our desire to be free to do as we choose has weakened these, and other, strengths of the NT church. It’s time to revive them!
As Christians, we need to begin to practise all of the above points that speak personally to our lives. One that needs singling out is in Acts 2:46; “Daily in unity they met in the temple and from house to house.” We need regularly to encourage one another, ring each other up, meet together for worship, celebrate and teach in our corporate church gatherings.
Pastor Ian Richardson writes: God does not expect us to make it in the Christian life on our own. We all need the strength, encouragement and support of others. We are like a coal; while we are all together we are kept aglow for Jesus, on our own we very quickly grow cold. One thing to remember is that your church is not there for your convenience. Just as you need others to encourage and help you, they need the same from you.
Why Church? There is heaven to gain, and hell to shun!