The early church, as in fist-century…. had characteristics we don’t see in modern-day churches today. And first-century Christians didn’t look anything like modern-day Christians either. I’m not referring to how they dressed, though that too is something to talk about. “I’m talking about how they carried themselves, treated each other as Christians and as their brother’s and sister’s keeper. Christian churches today and it’s people leave a lot to be desired, when we compare them to first-century churches. .
The Book of Acts tells us about the early church; beginning with only a few believers, the Holy Spirit empowers them to become messengers for Jesus Christ, sharing the Gospel; his crucifixion and resurrection, even in opposition and amidst persecution. The Day of Pentecost took front and center during these times; it was the birth of the church. “The coming of the Holy Spirit. You will find several miraculous acts recorded in The Book of Acts...beginning with the greatest….when the Holy Spirit fell down upon the hundred and twenty or so believers!
31 After this prayer, the building where they were meeting shook, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and boldly preached God’s message.
32 All the believers were of one heart and mind, and no one felt that what he owned was his own; everyone was sharing. 33 And the apostles preached powerful sermons about the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and there was warm fellowship among all the believers. Acts 4:31-33
Yes…they shared each others struggles, hopes, dreams and resources. In short, early Christians were more than bosom buddies or fair-weather friends. Listen…”there was a warm fellowship among all the believers!” I can’t help but look at my life as a Christian, my experiences as a church member, and try to come with a number, for how many times I arrived at church, and left feeling as though I had engaged in warm fellowship. “I’m sad to say the number is low, given the longevity. And over the years, many people have shared with me about their church going experiences; “they say..I feel like I’m just going through the motions, or like something is truly missing.” If there was one person to blame for church folk feeling a void who would it be?
There is no doubt in my mind, religious leaders need to step up to the plate, and allow follower’s to see them doing what is right in God’s sight and getting blessed because of it. Not just material things, but in things not of this world. God’s people need to see the Lord’s face in the leaders they look too for guidance. When they do, they follow ….. to the end. They do this because a shepherd knows how to care for his sheep; everybody wants to be cared for. If your sheep don’t hear your voice, then apparently, they are not your sheep. This doesn’t mean sheep will never go astray, when you shepherd over them; it just means they will always know the sound of your voice and find their way back as a result of your voice. Remember, nobody’s perfect. That said; at the end of the day, there is no one person at fault; there is however, persons who would be more at fault, by default. In essence, “men or women chosen by God or who choose themselves to lead God’s people, must lead 24/7, by example. In fact, leading people to Christ is a Christian leader’s most important assignment.
However, people today, are so spiritually stand-offish: it’s not surprising how hard it is to imagine them sharing the kind of spiritual intimacy people shared in first-century churches.
There came a day, “The Day Of Pentecost” where people became drunk in the Holy Spirit.” Nobody was faking, putting on or performing, in hopes of attracting carnal attention. There was no mega-church, mega- preacher or fan club present. The bible says the believers numbered about a hundred and twenty. So there, we see it wasn’t even about how many, but more so about a select few.
In those days Peter stood up among the believers (a group numbering about a hundred and twenty) 16. and said, “Brothers, the Scripture had to be fulfilled which the Holy Spirit spoke long ago through the mouth of David concerning Judas, who served as guide for those who arrested Jesus…17. he was one of us and shared in our ministry. Acts 1:15-17
I want to know the kind of worship Christians knew in the beginning, way before “back in the day” because I like what I’m reading about them in the Word.
40 Then Peter preached a long sermon, telling about Jesus and strongly urging all his listeners to save themselves from the evils of their nation. Acts 2:40