THE MYSTERIOUS CHURCH
And I also say unto thee, that thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it. ( Matt 16:18 )
The early church start.
The early church doctrine.
The early church protocol.
Where’s the church today.
What’s happening to the church.
THE FIRST SERMONS
" This was accomplished. See Acts 2:14-36, where Peter first preached to the Jews, and Acts 10, where he preached the gospel to Cornelius and his neighbors, who were Gentiles. Peter had thus the honor of laying the foundation of the church among the Jews and Gentiles; and this is the plain meaning of this passage. See also Galatians 2:9. But Christ did not mean, as the Roman Catholics say he did, to exalt Peter to supreme authority above all the other apostles, or to say that he was the only one upon whom he would rear his church.
PETERS FAMOUS SERMON( ACTS 2:14-41 )
THE EXPLANATION OF THE PHENOMENA THEY WITNESSED WAS GIVEN.
( VERSES 14-21)
THE GOSPEL WAS PROCLAIMED-
( VERSES 22-36 )
THE GOSPEL WAS ACCEPTING –
( VERSES 37-41 )
PETERS INVITATION( ACTS 2:14-41)
Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off —for all whom the Lord our God will call.”
With many other words he warned them; and he pleaded with them, “Save yourselves from this corrupt generation.” Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day.
SO, HERE COMES THE CHURCH !
Dispensationalists teach that the Church is a unique body of believers that began on the day of Pentecost and will be removed from earth on the day that Christ comes for His own (the rapture). It is made up of both Jews and Gentiles united together into one body and enjoying equal status in the body of Christ (Eph. 3:5-6). This is the “one new man” of Ephesians 2:15 and the “one fold” of John 10:16.
THE EARLY CHURCH DOCTRINE ( The Full Gospel )
For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures,
( 1 Cor 15:3-4)
How was this new doctrine established ? ( Acts 2: 42-47)
They continued devoting themselves to the apostles teaching and to the breaking of bread and prayer.
They were all together and had all things in common.
They begin selling their property and possessions and were sharing them with the needy.
They continued day by day with one mind in the temple.
They continued breaking of bread and taking their meals together with gladness of heart.
They praising God and had favor with all the people.
AND GUESS WHAT ?
And the Lord was adding to their number day by day those who were being saved.
But as many as received him, to them gave he the right to become children of God, even to them that believe on his name:
( John 1:12 )
WHAT ABOUT TODAY’S CHURCH ?
Few people would honestly dispute the fact that Christianity today bears little resemblance to the Christianity of the Early Church. In fact, “Churchianity” is a more accurate description of what we have seen in modern times.
According to the Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, there are more than 38,000 Christian denominations in existence. This is a testimony to the world, not of our unity, but our division.
The early church started out with just a few thousand new converts. Then, as time progressed, the church grew as Jesus said it would.
And with the church growth, came differences of opinion with respect to the church doctrine, which resulted in many different church denominations being established.
ADDITIONAL STATS ( Pew Forum.org)
More men than women claim no religion claims. (1 in 5 men- 13% women )
Nearly 4 in 10 are married to spouse with different religion affiliation.
People not affiliated with religion are younger.
(31 % under age 30- 71% under age 50 )
More than one-quarter adults (28%) have left the faith in which they were raised in favor of another religion or no religion at all.
Number of people unaffiliated with a particular faith today has doubled the number who say they were not affiliated with a particular faith as a child.
WHAT DO THESE BRIEF STATS TELL US ?
This tells us we Christians have our work cut out for us.
We need to reach men and younger people with the gospel.
We need to disciple new converts in the faith.
SO, WHAT’S WRONG WITH TODAY’S CHURCH ?
The first cause can be traced to what the Church consists of. The Church would not be so bad if there weren't people in it. Problems with the Church boil down to the one problem all people
have -- sin. We must constantly remind ourselves of the truth of Jesus' words, "For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander."
WHAT HAS HAPPENED TO CHURCH ATTENDANCE ?
An alarming number of Christians are staying home on Sunday mornings and the trend is affecting today's church. Believers who have become "stayaway saints" are alternately worrying and exciting church leaders, pointing to what is being seen as either a serious threat to the spread of the gospel or the actual cusp of a revolution that could usher in the sort of revival many have prayed for and dreamed of for years.
A recent study by The Barna Group, a California-based Christian research organization, found that about 13 million Americans whom the researchers identified as being born again were "unchurched ... not having attended a Christian church service, other than for a holiday ... at any time in the past six months."
The study, by University of Virginia sociologist W. Bradford Wilcox, found that since the 1970s, white Americans with no more than a high school diploma left the pews twice as fast as other Americans.
Women, long considered the dominant pew dwellers, have shown a dramatic drop in attendance in the last two decades, a new survey shows.
Since 1991, the percentage of women attending church during a typical week has decreased by 11 percentage points to 44 percent, the Barna Group reported this week.
WHAT SATAN HAS TO GAIN-CRITICIZING THE CHURCH
He sees the great good that God has designed the Church to accomplish. He wants to frustrate God's plan and harm us by separating us from the Church. He takes seriously what we take for granted or have trouble accepting -- that faith does grow and peoples' needs are met in the Church. The less involved we are with other believers, the less our faith grows, the less able we are to serve them, and the less they are able to serve us. Everyone loses due to our criticisms and selfishness.
What's wrong with the Church? Don't bother to make a list -- that's Satan's business. Instead, respond to Jesus Christ's command to be an intimate, active member of His Body, the Church, and you, too, will give and receive great blessings as a result!
Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another--and all the more as you see the Day approaching. ( Hebrews 10:25 )
SO LET US GO WITNESS
And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to the whole creation. ( Mark 16:15)
But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.“
( Acts 1:8 )