Did You Know? Strange as it may seem,
THE EARLY CHRISTIANS
1. Never built sanctuaries!
2. Never called a physical building a "church"!
3. Never incorporated with the state!
4. Never perpetuated denominational names!
5. Never had a central headquarters on earth!
6. Never maintained human membership rolls!
7. Never built or conducted seminaries!
8. Never created missionary societies!
9. Never used "Sunday Schools"!
10. Never had a supreme bishop on earth!
11. Never used clerical titles for ministers!
12. Never wore clerical or religious garb!
13. Never allowed women preachers!
14. Never had earthly priests!
15. Never voted a person into church office!
16. Never had a "Ministerial Association"!
17. Never wanted a "World Council of Churches"!
18. Never used ornamental crosses!
19. Never used statues, prayer beads or candles!
20. Never admired relics of cloth, wood or stone!
21. Never celebrated Christ's birth or resurrection!
22. Never gloried in numbers or physical wealth!
23. Never mixed with politics!
24. And, never, never, begged for money from the general public!
And yet, they had greater influence upon the world than all other generations of Christianity combined. Everyone professes to admire them - but very few want to imitate them. How is it with you? Would you like to walk like the early Christians?
Did you know? The early Christians were well organized!
Please do not think that the early Christians were not organized - because they were. The one who organized the universe and set all of the stars in orbit is the same who said, "I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it." (Matthew 16:18). Furthermore, "the Lord added to them (the church) daily such as should be saved," (Acts 2:47). In finality, "God set the members, every one of them, in the body (the church), as it pleased Him," (1 Corinthians 12:18). This whole composite structure, "In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto a holy temple in the Lord ... an habitation of God through the Spirit," (Ephesians 2:21-22). Only a religious infidel would think that he could improve on this Divine organization.
Did you know? When a broken-hearted sinner calls upon the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ for forgiveness and salvation, that penitent believer is instantly born again - "for the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord," (Romans 6:23; 10:13). And that gracious miracle, or new creation in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17), makes them a living member of the one true, spiritual church - "for by one Spirit are we all baptized into ONE body ..." - (I Corinthians 12:13; Ephesians 1:22-23).
Did you know? All true Christians are in it. Christ alone adds the members to it. However, most Christians today are walking in a variety of man-made "churches" - divided by sectarian attitudes and denominations by different names. In the Bible the condition is referred to as "carnal babies ... walking like men" (i.e., the Christians were acting like natural, unregenerate and uninspiring men), see 1 Corinthians 1:10-13 and 3:1-4.
Christians are commanded by the Head of the church to walk in the truth that we are all "One Body in Christ," see Ephesians 4:1-6. Most preachers will admit this is what should be done. At the same time, every one wants to keep his popular traditional divisions and just have a token unity on occasions. The early Christians were not concerned about what has popular - they just purposed to walk in God's Word. Some Christians are endeavoring to walk in the truth today. How is it with you? Would you like to walk with us - in the truth?
Did you know? Someone may still ask - "So, what church are you a member of - or what do you call yourselves?" I would like to answer this way - If the Apostle Paul were here, and you would ask that question, how do you think he would answer? Would Paul say, "I'm a Baptist!" or "I'm a Methodist!"? You would respond, "No! because those names were not used that way back then," the Bible doesn't say that!" So then, how would Paul or any of the saints back then answer? One man responded and said, "I guess Paul would simply say he was a member of the body of Christ or something like that!" Yes! Obviously, this is the correct answer! The various designations of the church in the Bible like, "the body of Christ," or "the church of God," were never intended to be sectarian names but, rather, the simple descriptions of what they were and the common property of all believers.
Why can't we just return to original Christianity and practice the simplicity and purity of church life that was patterned for us? The fact is we can, and surprisingly enough many have done it throughout the centuries, though their stories have rarely been told on the pages of traditional "Church History."
Did you know? Whenever and wherever a group of Christians begin to discover the beauty and holiness of meeting together outside of man-made religious traditionalism and under the sacred banner of the name of the Lord Jesus Christ alone, they will have a sparkling revival in their souls and an enthusiasm that cannot be abated. They will discover anew the realism and vitality of God's Holy Word and turn from every pollution on man's religious invention. Like the kings of Judah of old - Asa, Jehosaphat, Hezekiah and Josiah - they will clean out their lives of idolatry and paganism of our modern "high places." In addition they will reactivate for themselves the only efficient system that Almighty God has designed - which is the proper spiritual church life as exemplified in the pages of the Greek Scriptures. Nor will they hesitate to implement proper disciplinary judgment, that of necessity, must accompany such profession of godliness (see 2 Chronicles 19:5-7 and 1 Corinthians 5:1-13). When this enthusiasm is truly heaven inspired, unselfish and unprideful, there will once again be granted to them the privilege of functioning in a local congregation as God designed it and Christ, himself, will be the vital part of it.
Such Biblical Christianity cannot help but be admired by believers and hated by the Devil. Success in these days of apostasy should never be judged in the quantity of numbers but by the quality of members. Faithfulness to God's Word is the standard for judgment - not theatrical success in a Babylonish religious performance.
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