Tag Archives: Church

Acts 20 – The Long Church Service

And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them, ready to depart on the morrow; and continued his speech until midnight And there were many lights in the upper chamber, where they were gathered together. And there sat in a window a certain young man named Eutychus, being fallen into a deep sleep: and as Paul was long preaching, he sunk down with sleep, and fell down from the third loft, and was taken up dead. Acts 20:7-9

There are many who will incorrectly claim that the Catholic Church changed the Sabbath to Sunday. First off the Sabbath will always be Friday evening to Saturday evening, but secondly we see the 1rst Century Christians worshipping on Sunday (the first day of the week)  This is documented multiple times throughout the New Testament. Why do Christians worship on Sunday? Because Jesus rose on Sunday morning, period. Put all the conspiracy theories to rest, its that simple

Now if someone fell asleep while you were preaching, don’t feel bad , it happened to Paul also. While Paul was preaching for a long time, a young man named Eutychus, fell asleep and fell off an upper level and died. Talk about a dramatic Church service!

And Paul went down, and fell on him, and embracing him said, Trouble not yourselves; for his life is in him. When he therefore was come up again, and had broken bread, and eaten, and talked a long while, even till break of day, so he departed. And they brought the young man alive, and were not a little comforted. Acts 20:10-12

This event of the young man Eutychus, coming back to life, is very interesting and mysterious. It doesn’t say that Paul resurrected the man or even prayed over him, just says Paul embraced (held) the man and he was alive. Did the man die at all? We don’t know for sure, but a miracle happened that day and prayers were answered

Secondly we see Paul and the Christians “broke bread” before the service and the next day before he left. Having communion together was alot different back in the 1rst Century. Typically the Christians would have a meal together called an “Agape Feast” and have communion during that time. It would be nice to see the modern day Church get back to this practice of having “Agape Feasts” instead of just lining up to take the sacraments

When we study the book of Acts and other books of the New Testament, we get an idea of how the early Church worshipped…however we worship make sure Christ is the center of it all and the foundation Amen!

Acts 14- The Building Of The Church

And when they had preached the gospel to that city, and had taught many, they returned again to Lystra, and to Iconium, and Antioch, Confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God. And when they had ordained them elders in every church, and had prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord, on whom they believed. Acts 14:21-23

Now we are starting to see the structure of the Church take place, the gospel is being preached and spread far and wide. Many people are coming to Christ and small communities of believers are starting to crop up everywhere. Notice what the disciples say to the Church “We must endure many hardships and tribulations to enter the Kingdom of God” Wow talk about an entirely different message than we hear the modern day Church preach today

As Jesus said “Those who endure to the end, will be saved” (Matthew 24:13) Many Christians today don’t relate being a Christian with suffering. The early Church did, as stated, we must endure tribulation. Many people who claim to be a Christian today, once anything goes wrong in their life, they abandon their faith. This is signs of a false conversion.

And after they had passed throughout Pisidia, they came to Pamphylia. And when they had preached the word in Perga, they went down into Attalia: And thence sailed to Antioch, from whence they had been recommended to the grace of God for the work which they fulfilled.  Acts 14:24-26

Earlier we noticed the Church began to put their leadership in order. As it says “they ordained elders in every Church” the structure was beginning to take place. And the Church continued to preach and spread the gospel everywhere, and the Church continued to grow

And when they were come, and had gathered the church together, they rehearsed all that God had done with them, and how he had opened the door of faith unto the Gentiles. And there they abode long time with the disciples. Acts 14:27-28

Notice the Church gathered together, as many Christians today refuse to assemble at Church anymore. The early Church felt it was important to gather and they shared all that God has done for them! Imagine that, there was no gimmicks to get people at Church, no light shows or fog machines, it was just about glorifying God

It’s all about the New Covenant, God has opened the door for Gentiles to be his Children through the blood of Jesus Christ! Glory to God in the Highest , Amen!

Acts 8- Persecution of The Church

And Saul was consenting unto his death. And at that time there was a great persecution against the church which was at Jerusalem; and they were all scattered abroad throughout the regions of Judaea and Samaria, except the apostles. And devout men carried Stephen to his burial, and made great lamentation over him. Acts 8:1-2

As we continue to look at the death of Stephen, we see that Paul consented or approved of his death. Saul began to persecute the Church, as it says “there was a great persecution” why did Paul do this? Well he had zeal for God, yet his zeal was misled. He believed he was honoring God with his work, however Paul was actually fighting against God, as he will later find out on the Road to Damascus

We see that the Church began to become scattered, remember how Jesus described us as sheep scattered without a Shepherd. Paul was actually doing the work of Satan and trying to destroy the Body of Christ, but what we found out over history is that the Church is unbreakable. The more you persecute the Church, the more it grows stronger and bigger in size!

Notice there was a great sorrow or lamentation over Stephen. As stated previously he was believed to be the first martyr of Christianity, but Stephen is now with The Lord as we seen in Chapter 7

As for Saul, he made havock of the church, entering into every house, and haling men and women committed them to prison. Therefore they that were scattered abroad went every where preaching the word. Acts 8:3-4

Paul tried to single handedly destroy the Church, he went from house to house , seeking Christians and putting them in prison or persecuting them. However the more he persecuted the Church , the stronger they became. As the Christians began scattered, it allowed them an opportunity to share the gospel to a larger audience. Christianity was actually spreading due to the persecution

This reign of terror by Paul was why the Church was reluctant to accept Paul when he became Born Again on the Road to Damascus. We must remember that Jesus has the power to transform even the worst of sinners!

Then Philip went down to the city of Samaria, and preached Christ unto them. And the people with one accord gave heed unto those things which Philip spake, hearing and seeing the miracles which he did. For unclean spirits, crying with loud voice, came out of many that were possessed with them: and many taken with palsies, and that were lame, were healed. Acts 8:5-7

Philip used this opportunity to head to Samaria and preach the gospel there. There he started a revival, performing miracles and healings by the Holy Spirit. Even though the Church was being persecuted, the Body of Christ was growing and spreading across the entire world

God can use what was meant for our harm and use it for our good, don’t live in fear, trust in Jesus and allow the Holy Spirit to lead you Amen!

Acts 4- What Is The Church?

And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul: neither said any of them that ought of the things which he possessed was his own; but they had all things common And with great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and great grace was upon them all. Acts 4:32-33

One of the reasons to study the book of Acts is because it gives you a great view of what the Church looked like in the 1rst Century. Often we hear people debate what is the Church? What does a real Church look like? What are the requirements for a Church? If you study the book of Acts, it will answer all these questions and ideas. First thing to note is the word Church is typically derived from the Greek word Ekklesia which means “group of called out believers” or more simply “Christians” the Church is a community of Christians

So when you first understand that the Church was not an organization or corporation but it was a family, it was a community of Christians who took care of one another. As it shows us in the scripture, the Church was united and everyone took care of each other. Nobody was in need of anything because the Church took care of each other as a family. 

Secondly their faith in Christ was the central foundation that kept them all together. They didn’t become a “member of the Church” for social or political reasons, they were believers and part of the Body of Christ that loved one another just as Christ commanded us to

Neither was there any among them that lacked: for as many as were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the prices of the things that were sold, And laid them down at the apostles’ feet: and distribution was made unto every man according as he had need. Acts 4:34-35

Notice everyone in the Church , sold all of their possessions and shared the profits among the body of believers. Can you imagine your Church doing this today? Can you imagine your Pastor asking everyone to sell all their stuff and give the profits to the Church to distribute among the members? This shows you how far the Church has strayed from where we were. You would share your money or possessions with your family members, because you love and trust them. But how many people in your Church would you do this for? Alot of Christians won’t even talk to some members of their Church

We need to get back to the Church of Acts, we need to get back to a family of God. How do we do this? Its only through Jesus Christ that we can become Born Again and humble ourselves. This is why studying the book of Acts is eye opening , how far we have fallen as the Ekklesia

Jesus wants us to love one another, to forgive one another, to be a family. Remember if your going to Heaven, your not going alone, your fellow brothers and sisters will be there also. We need to get back to the 1rst Century Church in Jesus name Amen!

Mark 9- Who Is The Greatest?

And he came to Capernaum: and being in the house he asked them, What was it that ye disputed among yourselves by the way? But they held their peace: for by the way they had disputed among themselves, who should be the greatest. And he sat down, and called the twelve, and saith unto them, If any man desire to be first, the same shall be last of all, and servant of all. Mark 9:33-35

While Jesus taught his disciples to deny themselves, carry their crosses , and follow him, they were arguing who was the greatest of the Apostles. Does that sound familiar? How many Churches or ministries have become more “self-centered” than “Christ-centered”? 

Jesus said “If anyone wants to be first then need to be the servant of everyone”, ouch, that should bruise the ego of many big named pastors and theologians. We need to continually remind ourselves to stay humble, regardless of what position we are in or how prosperous, we need to remain humble and remember we are servants of Jesus Christ!

And he took a child, and set him in the midst of them: and when he had taken him in his arms, he said unto them, Whosoever shall receive one of such children in my name, receiveth me: and whosoever shall receive me, receiveth not me, but him that sent me. Mark 9:36-37

Jesus used a child to demonstrate the humility and innocence that he expects from us, children are typically not egocentric or driven by power or money like adults. Children are typically innocent and are curious , they are willing to listen and learn new things. Children will typically be friends and play with anyone, regardless of your race or money status, wish we could say the same for adults or even Christians

Deny ourselves, carry our crosses, and follow Jesus, these were the simple 3 steps Christ commanded us, however for the human flesh they seem very difficult to obey. Take the example of a child, they are considered the greatest in God’s Kingdom Amen!

Mark 4- The Light of The World

And he said unto them, Is a candle brought to be put under a bushel, or under a bed? and not to be set on a candlestick? For there is nothing hid, which shall not be manifested; neither was any thing kept secret, but that it should come abroad. If any man have ears to hear, let him hear. Mark 4:21-23

Jesus said “We are the Light of the Word” (Matthew 5) “ A city on the hill can’t be hidden” (Matthew 5) Then why do we see few Christians out in the world letting their light shine in the darkness? Alot of Christians dont even want to go to Church anymore, they hide in their houses, sit on their couches, Jesus said “Is a candle to be put under a basket?” We the light of the world were not made to be hidden, we were made to spread the Light of Christ in this dark world

But you say “That Church is too corrupt” or “That place has too many bad people” Yes! The darker the place the better, the Light shines brighter in darker areas. Jesus said “There should be nothing hid, nothing kept secret” The gospel needs to be preached on the streets, from the rooftops, so everyone can hear!  There should be no secret clubs or meetings about Christ, that is a cult

And he said unto them, Take heed what ye hear: with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you: and unto you that hear shall more be given. For he that hath, to him shall be given: and he that hath not, from him shall be taken even that which he hath. Mark 4:24-25

Jesus is saying there is no excuse for you not to preach the gospel, “Make disciples of all the nations “ (Matthew 28:19) If you know the gospel then preach the gospel ,a light can’t be hidden, a city on the hill can’t be unnoticed. You can’t help build Gods Kingdom if you don’t reach out to people, this is our service and duty as a Christian

Reminds me of the old Sunday School song “This little light of mine, I’m going to let it shine” Are you letting your Light shine before others in this dark world? Now more than ever this dark world needs the light of Jesus Christ!

Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Matthew 5:14

Can you be the Light of the World if your hidden under a basket? Of course not, then why are you being disobedient to The Lords commands? As the song said “Don’t let Satan blow it out” , don’t let Satan be a stumbling block to your calling, be the Light in Jesus name Amen!

Mark 3- A House Divided

And the multitude cometh together again, so that they could not so much as eat bread. And when his friends heard of it, they went out to lay hold on him: for they said, He is beside himself. And the scribes which came down from Jerusalem said, He hath Beelzebub, and by the prince of the devils casteth he out devils. Mark 3:20-22

Jesus began healing many people, casting out demons, teaching with authority, you would think the people would be impressed, right? His family said “He is out of his mind”, the religious leaders said “he is the prince of the devils” Obviously signs and wonders were not convincing enough for everyone, as many have rejected Christ for different reasons.

When we think about Jesus’ family, think about how difficult this must have been for him to leave his family behind and begin his ministry. Even though Jesus was born to be the Lamb of God and he is Christ, he was also human. He loved his family and grew up with them. And now , except for his mother, they rejected him and called him crazy! Most famously his brother James, who didn’t believe Jesus until after the resurrection, then went on to establish the Christian Church in Jerusalem.

Then you have the religious leader, who had their own agenda. They didn’t seem to care if Jesus was the Messiah, they wanted him killed because he made them look bad. These men were supposed to love God, yet killed his Son to maintain their lifestyles, does that sound familiar today?

And he called them unto him, and said unto them in parables, How can Satan cast out Satan? And if a kingdom be divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand And if a house be divided against itself, that house cannot stand And if Satan rise up against himself, and be divided, he cannot stand, but hath an end. Mark 3:23-26

Jesus tried to reason with them “If he was Satan why would he drive out Satan”? The logic of the religious leaders didn’t make any sense, yet they continued to hold to their belief for their own benefit, does that sound familiar today also? Jesus also made another statement “A house divided against itself can not stand”

We wonder why the Church today has so many problems, well because we are a house divided. How can we fight against Satan, when we spend most of our time fighting against each other? Jesus said “Satan doesn’t fight against himself” so why are we the Church fighting against ourselves? Its time to get back to the Law of Christ, Love God and Love your Neighbor

No man can enter into a strong man’s house, and spoil his goods, except he will first bind the strong man; and then he will spoil his house Mark 3:27

Nobody can rob someone’s house who has a loaded shotgun and is standing of the front porch, right? Jesus is saying “Satan can’t overcome the Church if the Church is alert and ready” However when we are spiritually asleep and divided, we become very weakened

The New Covenant has come, Jesus has the power and authority over Satan and all evil, its time for the Church to wake up and come together in Jesus name Amen!

John 21- Peter’s Calling

So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my lambs. He saith to him again the second time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my sheep. He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep. John 21:15-17

Here we see the scene , where Peter is receiving his calling by Christ. Now at first glance you may say “Whats the big deal”? However if you remember the history between Peter and Jesus, it is a beautiful picture of love and grace. We remember Peter denied even knowing Jesus three times out of fear of losing his own life (John 18:15-27) Peter probably believed Jesus was done with him, he let his Lord down at the time when he needed him the most

But notice Jesus mercy and compassion, he comes looking for Peter to let him know he is forgiven. Jesus asks Peter specificall three times if he loves him, three times is exactly the same amount of times Peter denied Christ. As we know 3 is very symbolic in the Bible , as on the 3rd day Jesus rose from the dead! 

Jesus message to Peter is simple, Feed my Sheep! Meaning Christ was establishing the Church before he ascended into Heaven. The beginning of The Church was built on Christ and the Apostles. Everything he taught and showed them is now handed down to us!

Verily, verily, I say unto thee, When thou wast young, thou girdedst thyself, and walkedst whither thou wouldest: but when thou shalt be old, thou shalt stretch forth thy hands, and another shall gird thee, and carry thee whither thou wouldest not. This spake he, signifying by what death he should glorify God. And when he had spoken this, he saith unto him, Follow me.  John 21:18-19

Jesus makes another prophecy, that Peter is going to die for Christ. Notice the detail of his prediction “you shall stretch forth your hands” , as we know from history Peter was crucified upside down on a cross. Peter died exactly as Jesus predicted. 

When Jesus changed Simons name to Peter, its because it means “Rock” As Jesus said in Matthew “Upon this Rock I will build my Church” (Matthew 16:18) Upon Peter and the Apostles Christ has bult his Church and the gates of Hell will never prevail against it, even though Satan has been trying for over 2,000 years!

Maybe you can relate to Peter, maybe you betrayed Jesus and feel like your to far gone! Jesus is still calling you, and you can still serve the Church and build Gods Kingdom in Jesus name Amen!

Exodus 36- The Church

Then wrought Bezaleel and Aholiab, and every wise hearted man, in whom the LORD put wisdom and understanding to know how to work all manner of work for the service of the sanctuary, according to all that the LORD had commanded. And Moses called Bezaleel and Aholiab, and every wise hearted man, in whose heart the LORD had put wisdom, even every one whose heart stirred him up to come unto the work to do it: And they received of Moses all the offering, which the children of Israel had brought for the work of the service of the sanctuary, to make it withal. And they brought yet unto him free offerings every morning. Exodus 36:1-3

As we look at the Israelites building the Tabernacle, ect it reminds me of The Church. Notice God gave specific people different skills and talents and commanded them to use them to serve His people. This is the same as the Church today, we are given many different gifts and talents by God (Romans 12, 1 Corinthians 12)and we are to use these gift and talents to serve Gods people, The Church

Also notice they brought free offerings every morning, meaning the Israelites provided for the needs of the Israelites, Gods people took care of each other. This is the same for the Church today, the Church is to provide for the Church (Acts 5)

And all the wise men, that wrought all the work of the sanctuary, came every man from his work which they made; And they spake unto Moses, saying, The people bring much more than enough for the service of the work, which the LORD commanded to make. And Moses gave commandment, and they caused it to be proclaimed throughout the camp, saying, Let neither man nor woman make any more work for the offering of the sanctuary. So the people were restrained from bringing.For the stuff they had was sufficient for all the work to make it, and too much. Exodus 36:4-6-7

We see here that the Israelites were bringing so many offerings that Moses had to put a stop to it “The people were restrained from bringing”. Imagine that! Imagine if a Church today the people were so generous the Pastor had to say “Stop bringing your offerings”!

This is the sense of community the Israelites had, they were not a corporation or a non profit group, they were a family brought together by God to care and love for one another. This is how the Church should be today, nobody in a Church should be going hungry or lonely, the Church should be taking care of one another as a family!

And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul: neither said any of them that ought of the things which he possessed was his own; but they had all things common. And with great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and great grace was upon them all.Neither was there any among them that lacked: for as many as were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the prices of the things that were sold,And laid them down at the apostles’ feet: and distribution was made unto every man according as he had need.Acts 4:32-35

When I read about the Israelites in this Chapter it immediately reminds me of the Early Church in Acts 4. They were a community and everyone loved and took care of each other. If the Church is going to be effective and powerful today, we need to get back to our roots in the Bible Amen!

Fruitful Under Persecution

And the children of Israel were fruitful, and increased abundantly, and multiplied, and waxed exceeding mighty; and the land was filled with them. Exodus 1:7

Today were going to begin looking at the whole book of Exodus. As we study the Old Testament, it amazes me how similar Israel is with the Church. And I know some try to seperate them by dispensationalism and others continue to keep them connected. What we do know is the Israelites were Gods people as our Christains today. Just as Israel was called out of Egypt, Christians were called out as to follow Christ

In the beginning Israel was fruitful and multiplied, same with the Church. On the day of Pentecost when the Holy Spirit officially started the “Church” (Acts 2) Christians continued to multiply rapidly. Now when were talking about being fruitful for Christians, were not talking about worldly fruit, but Spiritual Fruit

And he said unto his people, Behold, the people of the children of Israel are more and mightier than we: Come on, let us deal wisely with them; lest they multiply, and it come to pass, that, when there falleth out any war, they join also unto our enemies, and fight against us, and so get them up out of the land. Exodus 1:9-10

The new King of Egypt recognized the Israelites were increasing abundantly and growing stronger by numbers, he became threatened by them. So what did Egypt decide to do? Of course persecute and oppress the Israelites.

Now fast forward to the Church , as Christians continue to increase and be stronger in numbers, how did Rome react? The persecuted and oppressed the Christians, they fed them to lions for entertainment, they burned some of them on stakes (hence the name Roman candles) Rome became threatened by a peaceful group , why? Because they not only had power in numbers, but the power of the Holy Spirit

But the more they afflicted them, the more they multiplied and grew. And they were grieved because of the children of Israel. Exodus 1:12

The more Egypt oppressed the Israelites, the more they kept multiplying in numbers. Think about the early Christian Church, the more Rome tried to destroy the Christians, the more they kept increasing in numbers and spreading out

There is a clear correlation here, If God is with us, who can be against Us? Understand as you study Israel in the Old Testament, its a clear correlation to the Church today Amen!