As I study the first 2 chapters of Acts, I believe that the early Church, the Body of Christ, met in the homes of Christians, and in local Jewish Temples. I imagine that just as when America was young, the faithful knew each other by family, by name, and by faith. When family and friends worship together, it is more likely they will help each other through the joys and crisis of life. Such Christian communities describe fellowship that would put a huge part of today’s government out of business. As Peter told the Jewish community, the faithful are born again in Christ – Jews, and Gentiles:
KJV Acts 2:38 – 40 “Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call. And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation.”
Today, America’s population is barely aware of Christians being persecuted around the world; because the secularization of the faithful in America is well under way. We find ourselves swept up in the granddaddy “untoward generation” perhaps of all time. In Revelation, in the letter to Pergamos, Jesus tells us that he hated the “deeds” and “doctrines” of the Nicolaitans. Hate is a strong word, and Christians should not ignore the dire warning authored by our Lord. Pergamos is the church married to the world. The Nicolaitans had one foot in the occult pagan religions, and one foot in Christianity. It is an important lesson to any Christian; but in today’s world, where many Christians have not done “the first works” (Reference: Rev. 2:5), they may not even be aware of their dilemma. They may not be aware that they have one foot in occult pagan religions, and one foot in Christianity.
The message that came upon my heart and mind is this: Beware of any ministry (large or small) that is married to the world. To discern such a thing requires Christian Biblical study, Christian maturity, observation, and as always in such matters – prayer. Christian fellowship should be centered on God’s Word, worshipping God, and when filled with the Holy Spirit Christians are changed and are aware that they are no longer tied to this world.
One helpful thought. Christ brings believers to Him. We are correctly involved when we ask the Lord to use us as He will. We primarily encourage others by example. We each have our own unique talents and ways in which The Lord helps us to His service.
Those who brag that they brought “X” numbers of mankind to Christ are married to the world in the vanity of their own works. Such vanity is just one part of the denominational problem – mankind adding to God’s Word, and taking away from God’s Word, as man sees fit – twisting the scriptures into unrecognizable doctrine, and thus intermingling the ways of paganism and the occult, which has been the deception, and division of denominational thinking for centuries.
There is only one correct translation of God’s Word. Over 2,000 denominations have divided those that should be the unified Body of Christ. People often pick a denomination that has the set of man-made rules that they like the best, and many churches are behaving badly to bring in anyone who can put money in their collection plate. Sadly, at the other end of that scale, many choose to not participate in denominational churches, but are Christians outside of fellowship. Cafeteria style, false Christianity have turned off Christians in many instances, because these Christians are candidly seeking Bible based churches that are becoming the exception and not the rule.
Meantime in schools, businesses, and government, Secularists are banning the use of the word Jesus; because there is power in the name of my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. They also ban The Ten Commandments, because the power of an electorate that is self-governing in endeavoring to live by The Ten Commandments, in and by our Christian faith, would result in elected officials governing within America’s faith for fear of being rejected. It wouldn’t matter if the elected were faithful, or pretending to be faithful – the positive result in living among the faithful majority would be the same. As I proved out in prior 2012 commentary http://www.webcommentary.com/php/ShowArticle.php?id=hwaltersj&date=120810
the entire “separation of church and state” is a false argument that wrongly changed America’s foundation.
Is America at a crossroads? Is America already lost? Is America on the brink of amazing revival? I do not know the answer to those questions, but they are valid questions that the faithful should be asking themselves. Should America fail, We The People will only have ourselves to blame, because the failure was of the faltered faith of Christians who leave their Christianity at the door to their work, at the door to their schools, at the door to their public life, and even at the door to many of today’s secular churches. Are you living your Christian faith 24/7/365; or are you leaving your Christian faith at the door to your life?