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Summary: The way we were or how church was meant ot be, had the key foundation of being gospel Sharing. You can also listen on line at www.preaching.co.nr

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When we look at the size of the early church in the upper room (about 120 people) and read of the many thousands of people who were added to that church - 3000, 5000 people in such a short period of time, it was amazing and clearly something only God could do. Something I believe we can dare to believe for today.

Acts 2:41 - “Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day.”

Acts 2:47 - “And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.”

Acts 4:4 - “But many who heard the message believed, and the number of men grew to about five thousand.”

Acts 6:7 - “So the word of God spread. The number of disciples in Jerusalem increased rapidly, and a large number of priests became obedient to the faith.”

Acts 9:31 - “Then the church throughout Judea, Galilee and Samaria enjoyed a time of peace. It was strengthened; and encouraged by the Holy Spirit, it grew in numbers, living in the fear of the Lord.”

Acts 11:21 - “The Lord’s hand was with them, and a great number of people believed and turned to the Lord.”

Acts 11:24 - “He was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and faith, and a great number of people were brought to the Lord.”

Acts 12:24 - “But the word of God continued to increase and spread.”

Acts 13:49 - “The word of the Lord spread throughout the whole region.”

Acts 14:1 - “At Iconium Paul and Barnabas went as usual into the Jewish synagogue. There they spoke so effectively that a great number of Jews and Gentiles believed.”

Acts 14:21 - “They preached the good news in that city and won a large number of disciples.”

Acts 16:5 - “So the churches were strengthened in the faith and grew daily in numbers.”

Acts 17:4 - “Some of the Jews were persuaded and joined Paul and Silas, as did a large number of God-fearing Greeks and not a few prominent women.”

Acts 17:12 - “Many of the Jews believed, as did also a number of prominent Greek women and many Greek men.”

Acts 17:34 - “A few men became followers of Paul and believed. Among them was Dionysius, a member of the Areopagus, also a woman named Damaris, and a number of others.”

Acts 18:8 - “Crispus, the synagogue ruler, and his entire household believed in the Lord; and many of the Corinthians who heard him believed and were baptized.”

Acts 19:18-20 - “Many of those who believed now came and openly confessed their evil deeds. A number who had practiced sorcery brought their scrolls together and burned them publicly. Then they calculated the value of the scrolls, the total came to fifty thousand drachmas (1drachma = a day’s wage) In this way the word of the Lord spread widely and grew in power.”

The rapid growth of the early church was simply a combination of the move of God and the early church being a Gospel-Proclaiming Community of believers. Church, as it was meant to be, proclaimed the new good news to their world that the Saviour had come. (Acts 5:42; 8:12, 35; 10:36; 11:20; 13:32; 14:7,15,21; 17:18)

For many people today, the good news of the Gospel is new news because they have never heard it before. If the church keeps the Good News then it just a good secret, and we miss the mission.

The Message/Gospel has not changed: there is a literal heaven and hell and there is only one way to avoid hell and access heaven; repent of your sin and receive Jesus as Lord and saviour of your life. John 14:6

The Mission has not changed; Jesus said, “GO.” The world outside our world is our mission field. Our neighbours and the nations are the people whom God has commissioned His Church to reach. I was challenged this week when a non-Christian was amazed at what this church is doing to reach our neighbourhood with the practical demonstration of the Gospel. It was commendable that he was impressed, but I realized we perhaps don’t acknowledge enough what God is doing through this church among our neighbours and the nations. (Matthew 28:18-20)

The Methods of communicating the Gospel are changeable from generation to generation, culture to culture and, sometimes, person to person. The important thing to remember about communicating the Gospel is that we are representing Jesus. Unfortunately, today some modern communicators promote themselves and their ministry rather than Jesus.

Jesus’ approach to the woman at the well, the man up the tree and the tax collector were all different, but with the same purpose in mind, the salvation of their souls. (John 4; Luke 9:1-10; 19:9; Matt 2:16; 9:9)

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