We have been dealing with some very difficult issues. Unity in the church and church discipline are two of the hardest concepts to work out, even in the best settings. Yet, we see in the Early Church that both principles made way for the greatest seasons of growth. That is not the way we think!
“And more than ever believers were added to the Lord, multitudes of both men and women” (Acts 5:14). You might need to read that sentence several times to allow its full weight to impact your heart. Not only were believers added to the Church, but healing caused “people [to] gather from the towns around Jerusalem” (5:16). Word spread without any type of electronic media.
Why do we look at these events in Acts as impossible in our day, or at least extremely rare? I do not think it is the event that is our problem. Most of the other qualities of the Church of that day and the principles they instinctively lived by are missing today. There are more qualities in the chapters that follow, but those we have mentioned are very significant and critical for any church.
Why are we not seeing “multitudes…added to the Lord”? Do we not want to see this happen today? Why has the church in your town or city not seen this type of growth? Millions of dollars are spent on outreach and growth projects but yield very little if anything in comparison to Acts 5. The growth in Acts 5 required no money, no programs, and no organization. It only took submission to the Holy Spirit!
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