Summary: What we lack that made the early church grow strong.
What made the early church strong? The Follow up to accepting Christ!
EXTREME MAKE OVER – The Christian Life!
When we come to Christ there is an extreme make over that needs to take place.
PICTURE THE SHOW EXTREME MAKE OVER FOR A MIN.
Imagine that your home becomes untenable. And while you have no hope of changing your conditions, someone steps forward and tells you that they can change all that for you. They will come in, at their own expense and labor and fix all that is wrong with your home, more than that they will give you so much more than you ever had before.
So they send you away for a prescribed amount of time. And at the end of the set time they call you and tell you to come home. There is a huge bus in front of your house so you cant see it, and then suddenly the bus is moved away and to your shock and dismay your house looks exactly the same way as it did before they made you the promise.
Or suppose even worse. They did do the house over, made it a virtual palace, everything you had ever wanted, but then you failed to take care of it, to keep it up. To do the things necessary to keep this beautiful new home, beautiful.
NOW let me make an analogy! When we were far from God, and completely unable to do anything about it. When Jesus stepped in and said that He would change all that for us, take away the old and give us a new beautiful life in its place. Suppose that He never really did make any change and we had to stay living the same miserable life. Or worse yet, suppose He did make the opportunity for us to live a new life, but we failed to do the basic maintenance to maintain it.
Would be wrong to give them hope only to dash it. - And God would never do that.
Behold old things pass away, all things are made new.
And it would be wrong for us to receive such a blessing and then abuse it!
What is it that the early church did that we can learn from!
a) Before Christ – the believers had little to nothing in common.
Yes people like Peter, John, James, and Andrew were connected because of their trade but that was it.
Matthew was a tax collector and spent his days ripping people off.
Mary Magdalene was a prostitute and well say no more on that.
They were not connected by their life, or life styles.
b) There affiliation with the temple was purely religious, formality.
They went because that was what you did if you were Jewish.
Just like many before coming to Christ did the Christmas, Easter thing.
c) Their doctrine and their life style had very little in common
Do as I say, not as I do.
Pharisees were infamous for that.
In fact scripture implies they had a hand in Christ’s crucifixion.
But all of that suddenly and rapidly changed when Jesus entered into their lives.
Andrew immediately went and told his brother Peter. ( Jn. 1:41)
Phillip la told Nathaniel ( Jn. 1:45)
Matthew walked away from his corrupt job as a tax collector.
Zaccheus not only walked away but made restitution
James and John, Peter and Andrew walked away from the family business to become fishers of men.
Mary Magdalene left the immoral life behind and followed steadfast after Jesus
And rather than a flash in the pan cult we saw the makings of a Christian message that would one day reach all corners of the earth.
It would resonate in the hearts of all mankind. From every strata, every walk of life.
From the lowest to the highest.
Thief on the cross, to guards in the emperor’s palace, to the Eunuch for the Queen of Ethiopia, to Government leaders, and Military alike. Because God is not willing that anyone should perish!
So why is it today, that people are leaving what we call the church in record numbers?
1. Or they have been relegated to being a spectator in a grand performance.
Jesus described this sort of people in Matthew 11:16-18
But whereunto shall I liken this generation? It is like unto children sitting in the markets, and calling unto their fellows, and saying, We have piped unto you, and ye have not danced; we have mourned unto you, and ye have not lamented.
This morning we are going to look at what the early church did that made they grow so strong
REMEMBER - All scripture is given by the inspiration of God and is profitable for doctrine, reproof, correction, instruction in righteousness.
TEXT: Acts 2:36-47