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Acts and a thriving Christianity!

April 17, 201212 Comments

We are in a pluralistic society; a society that has welcomed competing religions, with their competing worldviews to Christianity.  We now have at the same table the option to believe only in yourself (Humanism), to believe in nothing (Nihilism / Atheism),  and to believe in any number of gods of your choosing (Hinduism).  You might be thinking “these religions have been around for centuries” what is the difference now? The difference is that in America the government along with the laws of the land used to rule with a Judeo-Christian Ethic that has changed.  Christianity no longer basks in the forefront of the minds of the majority as the “right” religion.  All has been welcomed to the table but Christianity might very well be under the table!  With the dethroning, and the competition can Christianity survive?  If so, how?

The book of Acts shows a Christianity that was birthed in an environment of competing worldviews, Yet Christianity survived, thrived and flourished.  I think the book of Acts has a lot to say for Christians in our current society.

The Believers were United

While it’s true they were a small group, and one could reason that’s why they were on “one accord”, remember it’s also true that to have division all you need is two.  Their unity was real, the writer of Acts used the greek word Koinonia to describe it, which is a deep, personal sharing and intertwining of lives. That doesn’t describe my usual conversation about the weather after church.  Acts 2:1, Acts 2:46

The Believers Prayed without Ceasing…

The disciples were praying in the upper room, Peter prayed on the housetop, Ananias was praying, when Peter was locked up the other believers were praying for him. Cornelius the devout man prayed continually to God.  They prayed continually and their prayers were not the usual two liners of our contemporary prayers, but rather you find in each instance time being spent in praying to God.  God gave answers to their prayers, guidance and deliverance.  Acts 1:14, Acts 9:10, Acts 10:9, Acts 10:2, Acts 12:5

Power from on High was Known and Experienced!

The key word for the 1st century church was power, Holy Spirit Power!  They relied not on the wisdom of the world to preach Jesus, nor to withstand persecution, or to witness, but the power of the Holy Spirit.  We usually only think of miracles as synonymous with power, but power was needed for them to be a witness of Jesus and to preach.  In our age we know of the pharmaceutical power, the military power, the money power we will have to know again the power that is from on high so that we can be witnesses of Jesus.

Jesus was Preached Boldly

The first sermon preached was about the crucified Christ, Him resurrected and now Lord and Savior.  The reason they were detained and beaten was for preaching in His name.  They were warned not to do it, but do it was their only option, because there is only one name under heaven by which men can be saved.   Paul was commissioned to preach the depths of the riches of Christ Jesus.  The message preached to the holders of competing worldviews was Jesus, Him crucified and now alive!  There is much to say about the world, its condition, social inequalities and injustices and the sort, but Jesus must be proclaimed, He must be the Message above messages.  Acts 3:26

They bore their Cross

Peter stood up before men who 50 days before crucified Jesus, to preach the same Jesus to them now as Lord and Savior. Knowing very well what they were capable of, he preached.  Stephen, the first martyr, preached his first and only sermon recorded before being stoned on the spot!.  Peter and John were slapped around, given the back hand and sent off with a stern warning never to preach in Jesus’ name again (Acts 4:18).  Saul went from being chief persecutor of the saints to Paul the suffering saint.  Suffering for Jesus’ sake was readily accepted.

I think the book of Acts has a lot to say for a Christianity that has competition and even persecution.  If the bible is our basic instructions before leaving Earth, the book of Acts could very well be our blue print for a thriving Christianity in the midst of other religions and even persecution.

What are your thoughts on Christianity today? It’s current position in society? Do you think it will thrive and flourish? If so, how?

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Comments (12)

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  1. I can’t help but wonder if things would have gotten so bad if some of our churches hadn’t gotten some important things wrong like slavery and women’s rights. In a society with freedom of religion, if people see that we’re not real, they’ll go on to something else.

    Ironically, our history of church in this country runs counter to the country itself in a significant way: we put the significance of the institution over the significance of the individual. Yet, Jesus is a personal as well as corporate God. Your post includes the very things we need to get back on track. By the way, I believe we are doing just that.

    • KlarionKall says:

      I couldn’t agree with you more, I think the church at large was silent over slavery and womens rights, when it should have been leading the way.

      God bless you and thanks for reading!

  2. Desiray says:

    My favorite book in the bible the book of Acts it goes right along with the Book of Romans..the first church started in Acts and Romans teaches us how to live a righterous lfe before God. When I view todays church I don’t see us like the church in Acts there are many things we don’t do like they did. I don’t know if we have lost our first love or what. But we need to go back and re-read Acts until it is engraved in our hearts…We don’t take care of the body like they did…we have to much of man’s views and his teaching that God’s word has become so twisted that some people don’t even recognize truth when they hear it…Didn’t mean to write so much but there is allot I can and have said but I want to respect your page so I won’t put it all here…but I think you understand what I am saying….Great post and God bless you…

    • KlarionKall says:

      Desiray, I’m very thankful for your comment and glad that you took the time to read today’s post. You’re right I do understand what you’re saying, there is a lot thats changed and not even recongnized in our 21 centurty church compared to the 1st centuryr church. Maybe its in the name of progress, I’m not sure, but for effectiveness sake we might need to regress a little. :) God bless you

  3. At least in America, we bear no resemblance to the early church in Acts, and the scriptures say “Judgment begins in the house of God.” I recently reread Ezekiel, and I thought of America when God sent His angels to destroy beginning at the temple with the elders. While many Christians are innocent and obedient to leaders, there are many Christian leaders who are obsessed with money and fame rather than souls.

    Many Eastern religions are much more devout than Christianity, even without Christ, and that is a sad statement. This is why we must love sincerely and bring in the “sheep from other folds” and quit looking down on everyone.

    Thanks for your post and your question!

    • KlarionKall says:

      You are right! As far as the Easter religions being more devout, it appears more often they really believe what they say the believe. While in the west we can know a lot, think about a bunch more and believe little if anything. I hate to admit it but its true. In fact this is kind of along the lines of a blog post that is coming up, when I post it you’ll know. Thanks for stopping by. :)

      • Yes, and Buddhists mimic Buddha, Muslims imitate Mohammed. How many Christians do you know that resemble Christ?

        I read last night how Jesus said “You judge according to the flesh, but I judge no one.” (John 8:15) And yet Christians are infamous for judging constantly, and are despised for it!

        • KlarionKall says:

          So true, that’s why when it comes to Muslims there is much concern, because of how Mohammed lived.

          The issue of judgment is a tricky one for me, because in these last years people have called judgment someone saying what they don’t like. When real judgment is pronouncing condemnation on someone, not telling them what they did is not biblical. However, I fully imagine some Christians have truly judged others. I will say as I read back through the Gospels and read what Jesus said to the religious people of His day and how He behaved it caused me to really question what my perceptions are when it comes to being like Jesus, because He said and did the things that were not “politically correct” for His day, they didn’t like Him for a reason. I also remember what G.K Chesterton said and I paraphrase when it comes to Christianity any stick is good enough to beat it with. So there appears many reasons to be despised by a world that is opposed to God.

  4. Chris Jordan says:

    Thanks for today’s great post… I like especially your comment: “The key word for the 1st century church was power, Holy Spirit Power!” I’m going through a series on my blog called “Supernatural: Contending for Signs and Wonders Today”, calling the church to return to our roots as seen in the Book of Acts – a glorious, powerful church. You asked what I thought of the church today and in today’s society – I believe that, true to Jesus’ promise, the church will grow and expand and have greater influence as we come closer to the second coming of Jesus, who is returning for a glorious bride without spot or wrinkle. Amen – come Lord Jesus!

  5. Mel says:

    I love this post!! :)

    To answer your questions at the bottom, hmm, I think the world wants to drown Christianity. The world is tired of Christianity and just wants it out of the way so we can all just be “free” to do whatever we want and everyone be “accepted” and play nice. Things like legalized gay marriage/unions, devaluing of morals in schools, organizations and countries as a whole, the themes of pop culture, the whole “tolerance” shindig are some examples. The world is really kind of moving to its own “tolerant, perfect, globally-on-the-same-page” ‘religion’ (whether they see it now or not) which is exactly what God said would happen. I’m not saying we are definitely in the last days because I don’t know that but I would venture to say that the foundation for those events is at least being laid. The Bible also says that the character of man gets increasingly evil and that people actively resist the Truth and also that many will abandon the faith and follow false teachings and things taught by demons. So, I guess I’m not concerned with the state of Christianity as a religion- I’m concerned about the true church (the body of Christ), each partaker, taking up their own cross and truly following Him. Christianity, as a religion, won’t flourish in worldly terms but nonetheless will ultimately endure forever as Truth.

    I don’t know…just some thoughts…Blessings!!

    • KlarionKall says:

      No you do know, your thoughts are well infomred and much appreciated. I would have to agree with you that I’m not concerned with Christianity as a religion, but rather about the body of Christ. Thanks for stopping by!

      God Bless you

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