Summary: God gave us that BLUEPRINT...the BOOK OF ACTS SHOWS IT TO US...NOW ALL WE HAVE TO DO IS FOLLOW IT...
INTRODUCTION...A BLUEPRINT OR DETAILED PLAN OF ACTION FOR A CHURCH ON FIRE FOR GOD!
God gave us that BLUEPRINT...the BOOK OF ACTS SHOWS IT TO US...NOW ALL WE HAVE TO DO IS FOLLOW IT...
ACTS 2:1-13 says... “1 And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. 2 And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. 3 And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. 4 And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. 5 And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven. 6 Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language. 7 And they were all amazed and marveled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galileans? 8 And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born? 9 Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and the dwellers in Mesopotamia, and in Judaea, and Cappadocia, in Pontus, and Asia, 10 Phrygia, and Pamphylia, in Egypt, and in the parts of Libya about Cyrene, and strangers of Rome, Jews and proselytes, 11 Cretes and Arabians, we do hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God. 12 And they were all amazed, and were in doubt, saying one to another, What meaneth this? 13 Others mocking said, These men are full of new wine.” LET'S PRAY!!!
I've got a friend who is Spiritually a product of the Jesus movement of the 60’s...he met Christ in a dramatic way.
And after coming to Christ he began reading the New Testament, beginning with the Gospels and then moved next to Acts and was excited about what he was reading in Acts.
Then he decided to enter mainstream religion so he went to a church and there became very disillusioned.
Now I grew up in church but at the beginning of my college experience I also ran into the same disillusionment...I went to First Baptist Church of Atlanta on Peachtree St. and was appalled by what I saw.
The church service was a zoo...literally a zoo...it was tailored for TV...but definitely not for worship.
It was so orchestrated it was almost like a play...it never ran overtime...had to be over exactly at 12 noon...but the worst part was there wasn't any emotion...it was a sterile service and sterile environment.
Now back to my friend...he went to a polite and tidy service and yes it was over exactly on time too.
And yes...it was also sterile and very lacking in emotion.
My friend looked at some of the people around him and asked: “When are you gonna do the stuff?” “What stuff?” they wanted to know. He said, “You know...the stuff!”
See...he had been reading in Acts about the conversions, the healing, the deliverance, and the other miracles that took place in the early church recorded in the book of Acts.
But instead of signs and wonders...he saw no sign of anything that would make him wonder...except the deadness of the ritual he had just sat through.
And even though for me in a far different way, that was exactly what I saw at FB in Atlanta...it was not worship...it was a performance and in one form or another that is happening all over America today.
People come to church and want to hear a message that will make them feel good, shower them with love and affection, and be over right on time...and I cringe when I say this...pastors apologize for running long.
If Jesus ran a little long at the Sermon on the Mount...do you really think that He would apologize?
So what is up with all of this...where did we go wrong...and how do we get back to that Pentecost Church?
I've been really reading the book of Acts again...as a matter of fact I have been spending a lot of time digesting it.
I am seeing again that signs and wonders were not the exception, no...they were the norm of the early church.
Healing and supernatural happenings were expected and they occurred regularly.
Now some explain this by saying we are living in a different time and that the age of miracles is over.
You mean they occurred only for a specific time and place and they were just to authenticate the message of the apostles and we no longer need that today.
Really now!!! Does God actually divide history up into neat little segments where he acts one way with one generation and a totally different way with another? I don't think so! Why?