Church Planting 103

Acts 2:36-41, “36”Therefore let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ.”

 37When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?”

 38Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God will call.”

 40With many other words he warned them; and he pleaded with them, “Save yourselves from this corrupt generation.” 41Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day.””

Now here is the thing I’ve been waiting to say. Peter basically said, “Own up to it, you had some help from some really bad guys and crucified this Jesus I’m telling you about. He’s not just a prophet. If he were then that would be the end of it. He fullfilled these scriptures, and as a descendant of David, he is the Lord and Christ we’ve been waiting for.” (Christ is greek for Messiah, both meaning “annointed one.”) The people were ‘cut to the heart’. When you’re really preaching out of the Bible, talking about truth and all, it’ll cut people to the heart. You don’t have to do anything fancy. So Peter told them to 1) repent 2) be baptized and 3) recieve the Holy Spirit. This promise is for you, your kids, all who are far-off, and all whom the Lord will call. Peter warned and pleaded awhile further. Those who accepted became brothers and sisters in the faith. Their numbers were about three thousand.

When was the last time a man standing in the streets preached that resulted in three thousand people comming to Christ? Sure, Billy Graham could fill up football stadiums, but could he preach at New York’s Times Square, Grand Central Station, or even among Washington D.C.’s national monuments? Sometimes people will get curious to see the Billy Grahams and go to where he is, but sometimes the Billy Grahams will have to go to where they are. Paul preached to a Jerusalem filled with everbody from Arabs to Pontus, each of them speaking their own language. In it’s day, this capital city was busier than an international airport. All of these people though, were Jews, and therefore receptive to the message, how it would have gone over with gentiles is anybody’s guess. But this was a divine appointment between God and three thousand hearts.

Acts 2:42-47, “42They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. 43Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostles. 44All the believers were together and had everything in common. 45Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need. 46Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, 47praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.”

That’s how the first church came about. A massive intervention by the Holy Spirit. He caused the apostles to speak in languages they did not know to tell thousands that there a forgiveness that lasted longer than a sacrifice at the temple. The Holy Spirit worked the crowd in such a way that puts even our most gifted speakers and singers to shame. This is not just the story of the Acts 2 church, but how Christianity began. If we think we can do right by God by ignoring the Holy Spirit today, then we well deserve Christianity’s bad reputation.

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...Anyway, that's just how I feel about it ... What do you think?

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