In Acts 2:42-47 we are given a glimpse into the life of the first century church, and this section begins with the simple phrase “they devoted themselves to.” And as the church’s story unfolds throughout the book of Acts it becomes apparent that their measurement of growth was not based on numbers but on one’s level of devotion to God. So, in this series of articles, we are exploring what the first century church devoted itself to so that we can determine whether or not we are devoting ourselves to the same things. According to Acts 2:42, the first century church “devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayers.” We have already explored their devotion to God’s Word (i.e. “the apostles teaching) and fellowship so now we turn our attention to “the breaking of bread.”
In Acts 2:42-47 we are given a glimpse into the life of the first century church, and this section begins with the simple phrase “they devoted themselves to.” In the following verses we discover that they possessed devotion to God’s Word, fellowship, the Lord’s Supper, and prayer, as well as an emphasis on giving, involvement, worship, and evangelism. And as the church’s story unfolds throughout the book of Acts it becomes apparent that their measurement of growth was not based on numbers but on one’s level of devotion to God. So, in this series of articles, we are exploring what the first century church devoted itself to so we can determine whether or not we are devoting ourselves to the same things. According to Acts 2:42, the first century church not only devoted itself to God’s word (i.e. Apostles’ teaching) but it also devoted itself to fellowship.
Churches can easily become consumed with numbers. We track the number of people who attend our weekly services. We track the amount of money placed in the collection plate. We track the number of individuals who are converted as a result of our evangelistic efforts. Numbers matter to us because they provide a simple way to measure growth. But are numbers the best way to measure growth?
In last week’s article entitled we contended that reconciling the existence of God and the presence of evil is like driving a car down a curvy mountain road on a foggy night. In order to arrive at your destination, you have to stay between the known boundaries (i.e. yellow and white lines). The same principle applies to our investigation of the relationship between a good God and an evil world. As long as we stay between the boundaries of what we know about God and what we know about this world, then we can arrive at a destination that makes at least partial sense out of the presence of evil and suffering.
Events such as the Time Square car attack that occurred on Thursday, May 18, killing one and injuring more than 20, as well as the suicide bombing at the Manchester Arena in Manchester, England following an Ariana Grande concert on Monday, May 22, killing 23 and injuring in excess of 120, remind us that we live in a fallen world that is susceptible to suffering and evil. Sometimes it can be difficult to reconcile the existence of God with the presence of evil. For centuries the question has been posed: if God is good and in control of this world then why does He allow so much evil and suffering to occur?
In this week’s article, we will pick up where we left off last time concerning the loopholes that people often invent regarding SALVATION. Let’s examine another of these popular loopholes:
LOOPHOLE #2 – “The Bible says that all I have to do is believe in Jesus to be saved, so that’s all I’m doing.”
Does what we wear matter? Yes, because Scripture clearly indicates that the people of God should dress “with modesty” in 1 Timothy 2:9. But that leads to another question, what is modesty?
In this series, we are taking a look at some of the manmade “loopholes” that we often fabricate when it comes to our Christianity. We have looked at the categories of WORSHIP and RELATIONSHIPS so far, and today we turn our attention to the area of SALVATION.
Eschatology is the study of end times, particularly the second coming of Jesus, the Day of Judgment, the destruction of the earth, and the after life. Christianity in its broadest sense is divided in regards to eschatological beliefs, and this division is largely dependent on how one interprets the reference to the “one thousand year” period (i.e. millennium) during which Satan is bound (Revelation 20:2-3) and Christ reigns (Revelation 20:4-6).
In this “episode” of Loophole Hunters, we are going to address another perceived “loophole” that we, as Christians, often use an excuse NOT to obey God in the area of relationships.
“You have heard that it was said that forgiveness and agape love are not required when someone has hurt ME.”