The Church And It’s Passion - Part Three
When we left our band of Jesus followers—they were about 120 people at the end of Acts 1…now let’s continue. (As I said in my last post on this—church growth [aka. evangelism] would not even been an issue except for the fact that Acts 2 happened!)
So here is the crew—the Bible says they were all together and in one place…and then suddenly a mighty wind (some translations say violent) blew and the apostles began speaking in other languages. As we read on we can clearly see that this caused quite a bit of interest as people came running from every direction to see what was going on.
Before I go on I must say that this was pretty CREATIVE. God used an unusual group of people and an unusual set of circumstances…made some noise…and the crowd came running. Like it or not—creativity has its place in the church. You can search the Scriptures all you want…nothing like this had EVER happened…this was NOT normal!
You see—a church is in trouble when it desires for things to be normal. One of the things that “bothers” people about NewSpring from time to time is that we are not like “their last church.” That is true…and we never will be. It’s not our desire to be normal—it’s our desire to continually shake things up—that is EXACTLY what God is doing here!!! We do not desire to do music like it has “always been done.” We do not like to do messages like they have “always been done.” Our desire is NOT to keep things safe and sanatized when it comes to the relm our our vision…but to use creativity to attract people who don’t know Christ…and this idea comes straight from this story!
And then here come the skeptics…they accuse these men of being drunk. People—like it or not, when God moves in an awesome way—there are always skeptics. AND…a careful investigation of Scripture will show that the people who are skeptical and oppose God’s work are usually VERY religious people…just an observation.
So Peter stand up and preaches…and says, “Hey—they are not drunk.” But then he goes on to say, “It’s only nine in the morning.” Personally—I think that’s funny!
Once again as you read you will discover that Peter does something very simple—he quotes several sections of Scripture and uses them to point to Jesus.
Folks—THAT’S IT…a church should open the Bible up every week—teach from Scripture—and point people to Jesus. (It still amazes me that people in this community are actually dumb enough to make the statement that we do not teach the Bible at NewSpring…it simply proves that they have never been and desire to make stupid statements in order to make themselves look better!!! Yes, I meant that exactly the way it sounded!)
Get this—Peter did not use Scripture to tell ALL of the parents to school their children in a certain way…he didn’t use Scripture to preach against nuclear weapons (I actually do not own any nuclear weapons)...he didn’t use the Bible to talk about a theological debate…he used Scripture and pointed to Jesus.
You see…if a church is going to grow then it MUST have a passion to lift up the name of Jesus and tell as many people about Him as possible. The issue’s that dominate our churches ARE NOT the specific sin issues in people’s lives—but rather that people either do not have a relationship with Jesus…OR that they are not completely surrendered to Him.
When a church uses Scripture and lifts up the name of Jesus—things happen—lives get changed…and so do eternities. And Peter knew that—so he took his simple fishermans background (no seminary degree on his wall), his experience with Jesus, and the Scripture He knew…and talked about the most amazing person that has over lived.
And the results—well—we will get into them on my next post. I will just say that there were results—and they are recorded in Acts 2. Now why is that? Why would God include a set of numbers if they do not matter? Just curious!