The working of the Church
The book of Acts
The book of Acts is an historical documentation of the records of the early Church by Luke. If you read in most places Luke uses the term 'WE' (102 times) showing more of group activity and less individual.
The early Church truly showed the working of the Body of Christ. There was no one principle human heading the Church, nor there was any one great temple where all people gathered. We see there were many small house gatherings or Churches yet there was no confusing between them terming themselves as denominations. The believers from one place did not have the same understanding as believers from another place; they called themselves Churches according to the location not according to their understanding. They knew that primarily they were one and believed in the one Jesus Christ as the only way.
If one goes into the details we see that even persecution turned into a blessing and the Church grew. When the believers were driven out they in turn added thousands to their folds.
The Lord is telling us are we running a Church or a franchisee, a profit center in His Name. Some may not be making money or wealth but they may be make a name or earthly power for themselves.
The greatest problem with the Church is not the people or their lack of understanding but is the problem with the leaders and their lack of understanding. If the leaders themselves lack spiritual communication with God then how are they going to run a congregation? If they themselves do not understand the directions of the Shepherd they how are they going to lead the sheep?
I was very happy when I heard an honest confession from an ex-Pastor who admitted that he knew only the Gospel and nothing else. This so called Pastor used to lead more than one church and withdrew from them for he did know where he himself was going, if he was called to be a Pastor or God had a calling in his life. Most leaders lack knowledge, gifts and Fruits of the Holy Spirit and yet have taken charge of leading others just one the basis of a testimony in their life. Out of fear they node their heads to every instruction of their superiors like a trained cattle does to the drum of their masters here in India.
Before the revival of the Church we need a revival for the leaders of the Church. They need to realize the seriousness of what Jesus said when He said it was better to tie a big stone around their neck and jump in a sea then harm any little one from the Kingdom of God.
There were both gold and silver vessels which were considered holy unto the Lord. We see all are becoming silver vessels and there is no sight of gold vessels. During the early Church it were the Apostles, Prophets, Teachers etc. who were the backbone of the Church and today we do not see any of this. It is the Nicolaitans principle which has penetrated in all the churches.
It is time the leaders get up and take their job seriously. It is time they realize and see how much they have side tracked from the Word. It is time they build their communication with the Holy Spirit who is the Rock on which the Church is built.
[ Prayer Starter ]
Lord, we prayer for your Church. Your glorious Body which is suffering corruption because the watchmen You have put on the job are busy building their own houses. Lord, like during the times of Joel, You rebuked them and bought them to track, we pray Lord You intervene into their lives. Turn their lives upside down but do not lose them or let them lose any of your precious sheep. May your Body come into glory...
This prayer we make in Jesus' Name, Amen.
[ Reference Scriptures ]
1 Unto the angel of the church of Ephesus write; These things saith he that holdeth the seven stars in his right hand, who walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks;
2 I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars:
3 And hast borne, and hast patience, and for my name's sake hast laboured, and hast not fainted.
4 Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.
5 Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.
6 But this thou hast, that thou hatest the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate.
7 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.
Matthew 18:6 - But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.
5 Awake, ye drunkards, and weep; and howl, all ye drinkers of wine, because of the new wine; for it is cut off from your mouth.
6 For a nation is come up upon my land, strong, and without number, whose teeth are the teeth of a lion, and he hath the cheek teeth of a great lion.
7 He hath laid my vine waste, and barked my fig tree: he hath made it clean bare, and cast it away; the branches thereof are made white.
8 Lament like a virgin girded with sackcloth for the husband of her youth.
9 The meat offering and the drink offering is cut off from the house of the LORD; the priests, the LORD'S ministers, mourn.
10 The field is wasted, the land mourneth; for the corn is wasted: the new wine is dried up, the oil languisheth.
11 Be ye ashamed, O ye husbandmen; howl, O ye vinedressers, for the wheat and for the barley; because the harvest of the field is perished.
12 The vine is dried up, and the fig tree languisheth; the pomegranate tree, the palm tree also, and the apple tree, even all the trees of the field, are withered: because joy is withered away from the sons of men.
13 Gird yourselves, and lament, ye priests: howl, ye ministers of the altar: come, lie all night in sackcloth, ye ministers of my God: for the meat offering and the drink offering is withholden from the house of your God.
14 Sanctify ye a fast, call a solemn assembly, gather the elders and all the inhabitants of the land into the house of the LORD your God, and cry unto the LORD,
15 Alas for the day! for the day of the LORD is at hand, and as a destruction from the Almighty shall it come.
16 Is not the meat cut off before our eyes, yea, joy and gladness from the house of our God?
17 The seed is rotten under their clods, the garners are laid desolate, the barns are broken down; for the corn is withered.
18 How do the beasts groan! the herds of cattle are perplexed, because they have no pasture; yea, the flocks of sheep are made desolate.
19 O LORD, to thee will I cry: for the fire hath devoured the pastures of the wilderness, and the flame hath burned all the trees of the field.
20 The beasts of the field cry also unto thee: for the rivers of waters are dried up, and the fire hath devoured the pastures of the wilderness.
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