Summary: With all the talk of the spirit in Acts, where is it today? What is missing?
A spiritual problem
Review of Acts 1-11
I don’t know about all of you but, for me time moves so fast.
I don’t know what happened…When I was a kid time moved so slow, Christmas took for ever to come.
But now birthdays, anniversary seem to always be around the corner.
By the time I figure out how to et a few things done another year ends. Another Birthday comes to remind me that time is marching on and my kids are growing ups and things are changing.
As a church we are hitting one of those mile stones today.
Charge conference is when we pull out the paperwork and see what has happened over the year. We choose officers and celebrate the ministry we do.
Charge conference is a warning sign that another year is almost over. In January, we officially will put 2006 in the file folder and call it Church history.
So today we need to make ourselves pause and evaluate what has happened and what we do as a church.
We have been in a study of acts since May 28th (over 3 months) and we are not using a direct scripture except the arts we have studied up to now. You can use you bibles to help you today. As we have a pop quiz:
Get out a clean piece of paper and a sharp # 2 pensile and clear your minds so we can get started.
Actually we are not going to write anything down. We are playing school and we will volunteer our answers out loud. So don’t be timid, raise you hands and give an answer.
1. The Holy Spirit comes on the day of Pentecost…when What happens?
Holy Spirit, Power comes over the disciples and gifts are exposed.
2. Someone name some of these gifts?
Preaching, Healing, Speaking in tongues, Leadership
3. When Peter preaches on Pentecost what happens?
Other languages, They are accused of being drink, 3000 join the church
4. Does the church experience troubles, if so what are they?
Trouble comes with Jail time for preaching, People in the church gripe, Threats and persecution.
5. How does the church respond?
Keep on with what they are doing, Preaching and teaching, Deal with complaints, appoint others to ministry. Share what they have, money food , possessions
6. Who is Stephen and what happened to him?
7. The church does what? All but apostles scatter
8. Where do they go?
Samaritans and Gentiles
9. Who is Saul? What happens to him
Ok – Now time for the essay question….
10. How does any of this relate to us today?
Are we anything like the church of Acts?
Are they something to be modeled?
When Jesus ascended he left the disciples gathered in a time of meditation and prayer. They were living in Jerusalem and were halfway fugitives with not real property. They are considered to be outsiders from the Government and the general Jewish population.
First of all I will tell you that I believe we have it really good.
We are living the good life as a blessing from God. We are able to celebrate the good news of Jesus Christ with a freedom that the people of the day could never have dreamed. We have church buildings and denominations and are generally considered to be upstanding members of the community.
They has the advantage of spending close personal time with Jesus. Our exposure is second hand and often feels quite removed. However, we have the bible which helps us hold to a firm understanding that does not fade with our memories.
Yesterday I kept focusing on something that I thought was a big difference te I don’t believe should be in the way. In general I am not talking about just our church but about most of the churches in the US.
Do we have the Holy Spirit today?
Why or why not?
Is it softer and less powerful than in the early church?
How did the early church get it? Jesus sent it to the disciples Right? They were in prayer together for 10 days and Woosh!!!!
Do you think there is a connection between prayer and meditation and the power the Holy Spirit has in a Christian’s life?
I can assure you that I believe that is exactly the connection. As a church we get together and celebrate things really easily. We look for all the joy and good which is all well and good. We definitely need to celebrate what we have done with God as a church and individuals. But we don’t like to look at our failures and mistakes. Well at least I don’t.
Does nay body here let time jade our vision and thing that the church that was forming in the Book of acts was a perfect church? Don’t because they weren’t they were learning as they went along. But for all their failures and mistakes they made up with commitment and action.