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Summary: Anything old is seen as negative, traditions that once served as a backbone of stability are discarded as hindrances, leadership positions are going to innovators and rebels and the voice of time tested truth is exchanged for the noise of cultural demand.

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Dakota Community Church

Church History Sunday - 1

August 22, 2010

The Martyrs Cry

Introduction

Today we will start the first of a series of messages that will be spaced out, Lord willing, over the next few years approximately once every three to four months.

My goal in creating “Church History Sunday” is to educate, to refresh, to remember, and to solidify our understanding of the Body of Christ as a single entity that transcends time and geographic place.

Deuteronomy 32:1-7

1 Listen, O heavens, and I will speak; hear, O earth, the words of my mouth. 2 Let my teaching fall like rain and my words descend like dew, like showers on new grass, like abundant rain on tender plants.

3 I will proclaim the name of the LORD. Oh, praise the greatness of our God! 4 He is the Rock, his works are perfect, and all his ways are just. A faithful God who does no wrong, upright and just is he.

5 They have acted corruptly toward him; to their shame they are no longer his children, but a warped and crooked generation.

6 Is this the way you repay the LORD, O foolish and unwise people? Is he not your Father, your Creator, who made you and formed you?

7 Remember the days of old; consider the generations long past.

Ask your father and he will tell you, your elders, and they will explain to you.

Truth is quickly lost if the past lessons are not learned by the succeeding generation.

Judges 2:8-11

8 Joshua son of Nun, the servant of the LORD, died at the age of a hundred and ten. 9 And they buried him in the land of his inheritance, at Timnath Heres in the hill country of Ephraim, north of Mount Gaash. 10 After that whole generation had been gathered to their fathers, another generation grew up, who knew neither the LORD nor what he had done for Israel. 11 Then the Israelites did evil in the eyes of the LORD and served the Baals.

This passage once seemed incredible to me – how was this much lost in a single generation? – Now sadly, it seems to make perfect sense.

It is important to learn the lessons of history, we see the mistakes made by previous generations and we have at least a chance of avoiding repeating them.

The Bible is a historical book, not a series of fables; it deals with real people who lived in actual places that can be visited, and at actual times in human history. The Bible “stories” give us real details of political leaders, foreign events, even astronomical occurrences that can be studied and verified.

In studying Church History we learn why things are the way they are.

Why is the calendar the way it is? Why are there various denominations? Why is there a pope? What is the reformation? Who are the Calvinists, Arminian, Lutherans, Mennonites, Anabaptists, and Pentecostals?

God loves the Church and the Church is not limited the little group that you meet with on Sunday morning. Since God loves the whole church we ought to endeavor to have an understanding of His loved one.

Ephesians 5:25-27

25Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, 27and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.

An understanding of church history will serve to strengthen our faith.

Luke 1:1-4

1Many have undertaken to draw up an account of the things that have been fulfilled[a] among us, 2just as they were handed down to us by those who from the first were eyewitnesses and servants of the word. 3Therefore, since I myself have carefully investigated everything from the beginning, it seemed good also to me to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, 4so that you may know the certainty of the things you have been taught.

Too many Christians are ‘ashamed’ because they lack knowledge

They keep their faith to Sunday because they are afraid to talk about it afraid to look dumb; they incorrectly believe that it’s not valid historically or philosophically.

As you study Church History you will find that our faith is a reasonable faith based on logic and solid evidence it is not some fairy tale about pie in the sky.

Unlike many other religions Christianity is based on historical events, not just philosophical truths.

These events are validated by scriptural and secular (non-religious) sources

The martyrs cry.

Beginning with the death of our savior;

1. Christianity is a faith worth dying for.

Acts 7:51-59

51"You stiff-necked people, with uncircumcised hearts and ears! You are just like your fathers: You always resist the Holy Spirit! 52Was there ever a prophet your fathers did not persecute? They even killed those who predicted the coming of the Righteous One. And now you have betrayed and murdered him— 53you who have received the law that was put into effect through angels but have not obeyed it."

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