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 The Early Church Was A Growing Multiplying Movement of House Churches


The early Church was a growing movement of multiplying house Churches. God was adding to the number daily such as would be saved and there were many being saved through the preaching of the Gospel. Radical evangelism was not an option in the early Church but the only logical response to the great offer of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Not just a few but all the disciples were gripped with the burden to reach the whole known world with this message of eternal life. Though all efforts were made, the early disciples’ true reliance was on the Spirit of God in their evangelism. There was a sovereign working of God’s Spirit drawing men to Himself.

Such a working can happen when men allow God to build His Church so that great grace can be upon them. “With great power the Apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And God’s grace was so powerfully at work in them all.”

Once God is given His rightful place in the Church and is fully reckoned and trusted, a move of His Holy Spirit is something that should be expected. The early Church did not try to work God down from heaven but simply waited before Him for active instructions.

As we look to the Book of Acts as our model we see great growth of the Church in just a few days. Through the first 10 chapters of the Book of Acts we see continual references to the growth of the Church, adding of disciples, and spreading of the Word of God. God had the Church focused on making new disciples from all nations. He had just sacrificed His Son Jesus for all mankind.

Together with direct instructions to share the way of salvation through His Son Jesus, He also put into the hearts of the Apostles the burden to go out preaching. Immediately, they felt led to share the Good News in the market place, in the temple and abroad. The passion for souls brings opposition especially where other religions and practices exist. It is not strange therefore that in the end all the Apostles died martyrs’ deaths—except John—while spreading the Gospel not only in and near their homeland but also to remote countries. God desires all men to come to repentance and not just a holy few. As we share the burden of the Lord we will feel the call to share the Gospel with many who have never even heard the Name of Jesus.

from: http://gospelfellowships.net/principles-book/


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SI Moderator - Greg Gordon

 2013/7/7 17:20Profile
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 Re: The Early Church Was A Growing Multiplying Movement of House Churches

"Once God is given His rightful place in the Church and is fully reckoned and trusted, a move of His Holy Spirit is something that should be expected. The early Church did not try to work God down from heaven but simply waited before Him for active instructions."


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Mike

 2013/7/7 21:34Profile
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 Re: The Early Church Was A Growing Multiplying Movement of House Churches

"And they continued steadfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers. And fear came on every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles. And all that believed were together, and had all things common; And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need. And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart, Praising God, and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved." (Acts 2:43-47).

The early church continued in the Word. Jesus said that those that continue (remain, and abide) in His Word are His disciples.

The early Church had true fellowship (communion) with Jesus Christ and with each other.

The early Church was a praying church. Because they were living in the fear of the Lord, they did not dare put their hand to anything without making it a matter of prayer. As they prayed and waited on the Lord, the Holy Spirit would give them instructions.

These principles should also apply to any local church, but the outworking would seem to work best in the "House Church."

Mike


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Mike

 2013/7/7 21:48Profile
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 Re:

These are great truths about the early church and it seems like most long for something similar for our day and time. But we want it to be conformed to our image and ideas of "church."

This quote is amazing: "Once God is given His rightful place in the Church and is fully reckoned and trusted, a move of His Holy Spirit is something that should be expected. The early Church did not try to work God down from heaven but simply waited before Him for active instructions."

We want to bring "church, fellowship, gatherings" down to our earthly level of understanding and comprehension and our American worldview. The things that the early church were not need to be addressed as well imo. The early church was not incorporated, they did not have their 501c3 status, the apostles were not on salary, they did not keep a tithing book so the "saints" could claim it on their taxes, they did not build church buildings, they did not hang a sign over the door, they did not put their names on the doors as Pastor so and so, and numerous other things that we have been taught to believe that the "church" really needs to be in order to be a "church". The only agenda they had was Jesus, and everything revolved around Him and how they could serve Him. I don't think I have any clue as to what ALL that really means and includes, as we have been so conditioned in America to think that "church" consists of those things I just typed and in reality they have absolutely nothing to do with Jesus. Can a group of people love Jesus and still have all of the above? I guess...BUT is it God's Best? Are we settling for an imitation of "church?" Do we really think and believe that God will pour out His Spirit into a place that has man's hands all over it? Why do we love to read and preach on Acts 2 and yearn for that type of an experience and yet how many of us(me included) can say that we have actually waited on God with fellow believers without any agenda, without any clue as to what to do, without any time frame, endured the awkward silence, just for the fact that we desired Jesus more than anything else, more than our own ideas and plans? And maybe have to do this many, many times until the Holy Spirit is poured out and we know that we know that we have been visited by His presence. Why must we turn everything and every meeting into a program and routine and thus give birth to a new religious organization?


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Tina

 2013/7/8 0:34Profile
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 Re:

How is it that we can have such clear understanding of the pattern of the early church,and yet have no such church to actually gather with? Why can we not re-produce what we can so eloquently expound upon? It is likely that they had little concern regarding the pattern, they were just living in the Holy Spirit.

Why is it that we can so understand the "keys" or "principles" to their success and yet not be able to reproduce the actual results?


makrothumia


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Alan and Dina Martin

 2013/7/8 8:30Profile
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 Re:

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How is it that we can have such clear understanding of the pattern of the early church,and yet have no such church to actually gather with? Why can we not re-produce what we can so eloquently expound upon? It is likely that they had little concern regarding the pattern, they were just living in the Holy Spirit.

Why is it that we can so understand the "keys" or "principles" to their success and yet not be able to reproduce the actual results?



Dear Brother, very valid and important questions. Too many assemblies are happy with "part" of the picture. For example a meeting of believers is happy to emphasize christ-likeness and holiness to error when they have little or no burden for lost souls, missions, evangelization, and sharing of the faith with unbelievers. Another Assembly can be the opposite. There are so many groups that emphasize some lost truths and "keys" yet do not have fellowship with other meetings that have other "key"s or truths they are recovering. We need the "whole" and believers to start to desire such. That is a big burden behind the Principles Volume. It is not that one Assembly is wrong because they do not have the whole. But rather we need to come to the place where we realize we all lack without each other, we need each others emphasis to find the balance.

Also it is important to note that if we just find "true" fellowship with small groups of just 2-3 believers this is not wrong because the spiritual state of North America is as such that at times this is the fellowship readily available. With confidence I believe there are many groups that have existed and are growing in the things that are being spoken about in the Principles volume. And only coming necessity of pressure will produce more fruitfulness in many Assemblies sadly.

In a way only the humble will be able to go forward with God's true work in North America. So many younger brethren who are even new converts will be seeing truths clearer and in more balance then some of the more aged brothers. Yet this does not mean at all we should not learn and put emphasis to learn from older saints in meetings of the Church.

I believe it is not hypocritical in anyway to state what is the true way of the Church for saints to follow even if the one stating it is not in a growing fellowship that typifies all of the above. I personally love so many gatherings of believers I have been in and extolled and enjoyed their strengths and prayed for their weakness and myself benifited everytime when I saw my great need of the body of Christ in a gathering.


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SI Moderator - Greg Gordon

 2013/7/8 10:59Profile









 Re:

If you read chapter 2 and 3 of Revelation you will see that the Early Church was not perfect and different churches were imbalanced and lacking in areas. This is no surprise.

Jesus counsels them where they are lacking and what they need to do.

People can write the things they do because they are experiencing organic church life that the Lord is restoring. There are many expressions of this today, though not as prevalent as the church with the steeple on every corner.

Are all these churches perfect? No. Are there some imbalances? Of course. Will Jesus continue to be the Faithful One and counsel His Body, where they are lacking? Absolutely!

 2013/7/8 12:39
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 Re:

Quote:

If you read chapter 2 and 3 of Revelation you will see that the Early Church was not perfect and different churches were imbalanced and lacking in areas. This is no surprise.



Amen brother. We do believe in some measure there will be a more "wholeness" and perfection to the end-times body of Christ, the bride of Christ. But it will always have flaws and faults, yes very true.

My comments above were just some of my humble opinions I really defer to many elder brothers who really have been involved in building the body of Christ for much longer. We just want to be a servant and do obey the masters voice towards encouraging the body of Christ in this late hour.


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 Re: Thanks Greg

I do believe I understand the heart of admiring and imitating the faith and practice of the early church. What glorious days they were, and oh to God that we would see them again in our day where we live.

It is also precious to hear of how powerfully the Lord is moving in different parts of the earth. May the Lord be praised for showing Himself mighty in the lives of those dear saints.

Still, there is no assurance that if we carefully adopt their pattern, and diligently imitate their faith, this will produce the same results where we live. This assumption would be my concern, for it could lead to the discouragement of many sincere and devout saints.

Jeremiah did not see the same repentance Elijah witnessed; yet do we ask if he was he less anointed or visionary as a prophet? We never question whether Jeremiah's method was a sound as Elijah's.

Ezekiel did not see the revival that Haggai and Zechariah saw, but was this due to his own spiritual condition or did it have something to do with the people and the time he was placed in? I do not believe any of us would question his walk or his faithfulness.

The Holy Spirit gives a clear description of the last days, His own word was "perilous". Jesus spoke of the love of many waxing cold; Paul wrote of a great falling away. For believers living in an area where the hearts of men have hardened against the gospel of Jesus Christ and there are many professing saints turning away their ears from the truth and no longer willing to endure sound doctrine, what should they expect to see?

Some very devout and faithful saints have never seen what so many of us long to experience. I do not believe their faith or lives were any less sincere than Jeremiah or Ezekiel.

For those who are walking in the light, burdened by what you see all around you, do not throw away your confidence in the Lord just because you are not seeing the same results that others in the world are witnessing.

I sincerely hope that these questions will not be taken as complacency. We are told not to think too highly of ourselves, but to think soberly in accordance with the measure of faith we have been given. My measure of faith may simply not be what others have attained to, but I am still giving all diligence to add to that measure in order to not be unfruitful or unproductive in my knowledge of Jesus Christ, and I long for the necessary thing to be in me and to abound so as to make my own calling and election sure.

makrothumia


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 2013/7/8 13:47Profile
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I sincerely hope that these questions will not be taken as complacency. We are told not to think too highly of ourselves, but to think soberly in accordance with the measure of faith we have been given. My measure of faith may simply not be what others have attained to, but I am still giving all diligence to add to that measure in order to not be unfruitful or unproductive in my knowledge of Jesus Christ, and I long for the necessary thing to be in me and to abound so as to make my own calling and election sure.



Amen brother. Yes we thank you for sharing these things. I believe personally it will look different of what God is doing in North America then in China, Iran, North Korea etc. But we must not forsake that it will have similarities and things that we can see in the Early Church. So we are safe to say we want to see Biblical things happen thus it is not wishful thinking but rather the right goal to have our Assemblies function "in-part" like what we see in Scriptures.

The Holy Spirit will lead much different in some cases. Also a danger is any of us myself included who has "seen much" can miss what God is going to do as a fresh work of His Spirit in North America if we think it has to come a "specific" way exactly. I believe in the Principles book there is so much openness to what God will do and "is" doing.

We must go forward dear brother and do something. It will be a major adjusting for many but the Lord will have Assemblies that He fully guides and controls for His glory.


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