Summary: Looking at the power of the early church
THE SUCCESS OF THE EARLY CHURCH AND THE SILENCE OF THE NEW
Intro: It is not strange for us to read how 3,000 souls were saved in this passage of scripture under the preaching of Peter. However, it would be strange for us to hear that had happened in a local church around here. We would want to know how it happened, where it happened and why it happened at that church instead of our church. The early church was full of power and zeal and most of today’s churches are hammer dead and the only time they get excited is when you pray the dismissal prayer. Without a doubt the early church was a success and the success of that church will be established forever. Jesus told Peter in Matthew 16:18, “And I say unto the, that thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” I want to preach on the subject. “THE SUCCESS OF THE EARY CHURCH AND THE SILENCE OF THE NEW.”
The Church as we know it today is silent. Every now and then you hear of someone getting saved and maybe a good revival hear or there but nothing great. Why is this? I want to give you some points to ponder and then I want you to look at your service in your church and see if there is anything more you can do to help your church
I. THE EARLY CHURCH RELISHED THE PROMISE OF THE HOLY GHOST, WHERE AS MANY RESIST IT (vs. 38-39)
A. Ezekiel had promised it in 39:29, Isaiah promised it in 32:15 and 59:21
B. The Prophet Joel promised it 2:28
C. Jesus had promised it 3 of the 4 gospels
D. All these people had ever known was religious oppression and now they had received the promise of the power of the Holy Ghost.
E. Many people resist the Holy Ghost today. They will not testify when He presses them
F. Shouting is almost extinct in our church world
G. Many don’t believe in miracles
H. When a church resist the Holy Ghost over and over again then they can count of the spirit of Ichabod being in their sanctuary
II. THEY READILY RECEIVED THE WORD, BUT TODAY MANY REJECT THE WORD (vs. 41)
A. Put plainly enough many people could not tell you what the pastor preached on from one service t0 the next
B. The people of the early church received the Word with gladness and they also believed it
C. Many people hear it to day and instead of being glad God sent a message they grumble because it was to them
D. If God has got a message for me I want to hear it. It will make me a better Christian
E. You can hear preaching all day long but until you believe it and study it for yourself it will not do you a bit of good
F. The reason people are having financial problems and family problems and faith problems is because they reject the Word
G. They want to do things there way instead of God’s way
III. THEY REMAINED STEDFAST IN THEIR DOCTRINE WHILE PEOPLE TODAY RELINQUISH THEIR DOCTRINE (vs. 42)
A. It is easy for us to set here in Sunday School and in our doctrinal statement say we do not believe in Unconditional Eternal Security.
B. The problem with that is when we go out into the world many live like we believe in it
C. That is one thing that bothered me about the Methodist Doctrine is that it renounced eternal security but I have seen church member after church member living like they couldn’t go to hell if they wanted to
D. Do you really know and understand why you believe what you believe? Or do you just take things at face value
IV. THE EARLY CHURCH REMAINED TOGETHER AND SUPPORTED THEIR CHURCH INSTEAD OF REBELLING AND RUNNING AWAY FROM IT (vs. 44-47)
A. These people wanted success.
B. They had unity amongst themselves and fellowshipped one with the other
C. They didn’t get mad and threaten to leave the church
D. They were working as one,
E. And because of this they Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.
Close: Do you genuinely love your church and the people in it? Are you a Christian of age without any roots, being blown here, yonder and about? Do you want this church to be a success or a failure? Then it is up to you to make the difference.