40 And with many other words he testified and exhorted them, saying, “Be saved from this perverse generation.” 41 Then those who gladly[a] received his word were baptized; and that day about three thousand souls were added to them. 42 And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers. 43 Then fear came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were done through the apostles. 44 Now all who believed were together, and had all things in common, 45 and sold their possessions and goods, and divided them among all, as anyone had need.
46 So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart, 47 praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church[b] daily those who were being saved.
So we see three things immediately from the newly birthed church:
- Continued in sound doctrine.
- Continued in fellowship.
- Continued in prayer.
These three actions produced:
- Fear and reverence.
- Signs and wonders.
Which in turn produced:
- Daily unity
- More fellowship
- Gladness and simplicity
- Praise to God
- Favor with all people
And last but certainly not least, SALVATION!
So what defines the church in 2016? Is it sound doctrine? Fellowship? Prayer? If it is not, then we can not expect first century church results. Unfortunately, to often what the church is know for today is arguing, political posturing and other actions that simply don’t produce fear, reverence, signs or wonders. They produce frustration, pandering, empty churches, and a dying world. If we are to see a revival in this day, we must follow the pattern that was set before us in scripture. A return to sound biblical doctrine that doesn’t seek to placate people, but seeks to change the hearts of men and women. A return to spending time with one another outside the four walls of the church. Having friends in the church that can pray and work with us to see God doing as He wills. Prayer. Perhaps the most neglected of all these three, prayer. Congregational prayer. Individual prayer. Prayer that draws us into God’s presence. Prayer that unites us against sin, not humanity. Prayer that brings conviction, of both the sinners outside the church and the sinners inside the church.
It truly is up to the church to be the church. God has never changed, therefore it stands to reason if one party has changed in a relationship, it must be the church. Now is the time for the church to arise from it’s slumber and BE THE CHURCH!