Thursday, July 22, 2010

Let's Do It Right

According to recent 3 year study by a well known group that looks at trends in the church in the USA, people from 16 – 29 years of age describe Christians as, judgmental, hypocritical, old fashion, too political, out of touch with reality, insensitive to others and boring So what makes you and I (believers) attractive to others, and I am not talking about what society determines attractive. What has made Christianity so attractive and respected in the past but seems out of touch today? Could it be our approach to be appealing to man rather than pleasing to God that has young people so turned off? If Jesus has restored humanity (He did) to what God had intended for Adam and if God is inexhaustible in power, love, wisdom and resources (to name a few and He is) then why is the report of young people according to this poll so negative? Maybe all we need to do is observe and implement the principle and practices that gave the early church such great success for nearly 300 years. They were not problem free, but their impact on society was far above than ours is or ever was in the USA.

I believe that there is a natural attraction which occurs to those who are un-churched, to the church when there is genuine fellowship among ALL believers. I believer this occurs when believers truly understand the cohesiveness that they have with one another in Christ and live it out daily, for example (not all inclusive)...
  • We are united together in His death – Together in the likeness of His resurrection (Romans 6:5)
  • Suffer together with Christ – Glorified together with Christ (Romans 8:17)
  • Perfectly joined together in the same mind and judgment in Christ (I Corinthians 1:10)
  • Laborers together in Christ (I Corinthians 3:9)
  • Made alive together with Christ (Ephesians 2:5, Colossians 2:13)
  • Joined together in Christ (Ephesians 4:16, Colossians 2:19)
  • Knit together in love, in Christ (Colossians 2:2)
  • Comfort each other together in Christ (I Thessalonians 5:11)
  • Heirs together of the grace of God in Christ (I Peter 3:7)
Honestly, who would not be attracted to a people who not only know these things but act upon them and live them out together? There were no arguments over church names, formulas, rituals, traditions, creeds, baptism, style of music, order of worship, which church to join or doctrine and if there were it was worked out, it was dealt with because the fear of the LORD and not the fear of man was in place. The early believers were unified, magnified and multiplied which was an attractive, powerful testimony of Christ to the unsaved which brought many to salvation. When the church today acts like the church that we see in the Bible, it is very attractive to those outside the church.
Acts 2:47 "Praising God and having favor with all the people..." The lifestyle of the early church gained the admiration of all the common people who observed them. They acted like Christ, there was a comradery among them as well as compassion and love towards the unbelievers around them. They did not fail to preach the good news of redemption and salvation through Jesus Christ nor did they lack the faith to demonstrate Gods power. The early church did nothing more than doing exactly what Jesus commissioned them to do, can we say the same?
Having favor with all the people may be hard for us to comprehend today, but the days are coming when the church will be restored. It will no longer be about rituals, traditions, laws, rules, regulations and flesh pleasing entertainment, but about exalting Jesus Christ and glorifying the Father. The church will be filled once again with the fear of the LORD, be lead by the Holy Spirit and believers will once again truly live by grace through faith in Jesus Christ. PTL

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