So You Think You're the Church?
“And they devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles. And all who believed were together and had all things in common. And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved.” -Acts 2:42-47
I’ll cut right to the chase with this question: When you compare the churches around you to the disciples in the bible, do the two line up?
The more I read the bible, the less I see people actually living it out. I see so many people gathering up things to make themselves comfortable. I see so many people thinking that evangelism is the job of the pastor, or the church’s programs, or the church’s worship services. Who ACTUALLY talks to people about God outside of a Christian environment? It seems like nobody here in America, and certainly not in the “Bible Belt,” bothers to evangelize. It seems like nobody is willing to give up everything and be dirt poor for the sake of the gospel. It seems like people ACTUALLY think that you can live out Christianity casually.
Friends, that is not what I see when I read the bible. Look at the theme Scripture for this iDevo. People were devoted to the teaching of those who had been with Jesus. They met with each other constantly to pray. All of them were in awe of God. Spiritual gifts were obviously manifested in all of them. All of them sold everything they had so that other people could have more. If you look further in Acts, these men and women were risking their lives to share the gospel of Jesus. They condemned comfort and purposely went places where they knew they would be beaten, whipped, stoned, and ridiculed. How does that compare to many churches here in America? We are devoted to people as long as we like what they have to say. We meet together for an hour, maybe two hours, once a week. We barely bat an eye at the amazing mysteries of God. We get richer and richer and richer, paying our tithes and thinking that we’re good. We make sure that we are always comfortable, and we almost never share our faith with people who we know do not want to hear it.
Don’t you think we’re missing it? Don’t you think there is something wrong with that? I heard a pastor speaking about his trip to China and the time he spent with China’s underground Church. He was telling the Christians there about the things that Christians in America did (the same things I listed above), and the Chinese Christians burst into laughter because they thought he was joking. They thought it was so ridiculous that Christians could live that way that they legitimately thought the guy was telling a joke.
I am challenged by the stories of the Church in other places in the world, and I am challenged by Scripture to actually BE the Church as God intended it to be. Will you join me? I’m fed up with this garbage that we label as “Church.” Let’s step out and really LIVE this life that God has called us to.
I didn’t actually intend to mention this last part, but I feel led to give you this opportunity. We have a pledge on our website called the Life I Now Live pledge. When you sign this pledge, you are saying, “I refuse to casually live my Christian life. I will let Christ have every single part of my life.” Will you join me in taking this pledge? Let’s make a difference. Here’s a link. http://www.youthforamerica.org/start-leading/ Stand up for Christ!