First Baptist Church of Siler City, NC
Tuesday, July 23, 2019
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From Pastor Tony

 
     

4 Things that Caused the Early Church to Spread Like Wildfire

 
Historians and scholars tell us that within six months of Pentecost, there were over one hundred thousand new Christians in the city of Jerusalem. What was it about them that enabled them to be so mightily used of God? This was a ragtag group of nobodies used by God to turn the world upside down. If we look closely at Acts 1:1–14, we can find four characteristics of the early church that we can apply to our own lives.
 
1. They had a faith that produced obedience. Before he ascended, Jesus told them, “You will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1:8). They heard the voice of God. And when God speaks, we respond in obedience and faith.
 
2. They had a passion that produced unity. “These all with one mind were continually devoting themselves to prayer.” This phrase “one mind” means one will, one heart, one passion. The Bible says every time Jesus got around his disciples, he only talked about one subject: the kingdom of God. The kingdom of God is the ultimate eternal redemptive mission of God. The kingdom of God is God’s sovereign activity in the world, resulting in people being in right relationship with himself. The kingdom of God is the big picture of what God is doing in the world. If you’re not careful when you go out and get involved in mission and ministry, the church can become the goal. But the church was never to be the goal. The church is a temporary tool established by Jesus to teach people about the King, to disciple them in kingdom living, and then to send them out for the expansion of the kingdom to the ends of the earth. These people in the book of Acts, they wrapped their hearts around that and said, “Everything else we put aside in view of the glorious kingdom being expanded to the ends of the earth.”
 
3. They had a desperation that produced prayer. The Bible says they got in that upper room and they devoted themselves to prayer, and they didn’t stop praying until God showed up to do what he said he was going to do. Prayer is not powerful. The One to whom we pray is powerful. You dig deep enough anywhere in the world where God is actively at work, and you’ll find a remnant of people that have sought the face of God in prayer for that to happen.
 
4. They had the Spirit that produced power. On the Day of Pentecost the church was empowered as it had never been before. You know what we need in the Southern Baptist Convention? We need a fresh outpouring of the Holy Spirit of God. In his book “Forgotten God”, Francis Chan writes, “When I read the book of Acts, I see the church as an unstoppable force. The church was powerful and spreading like wildfire. Not because of clever planning, but by a movement of the Spirit.” These men and women of God were an unlikely group of people. But they had a faith that produced obedience. They had a passion that produced unity. They had a desperation that produced prayer. They had the Spirit of the living God that produced power. May we send men and women of God like that.
 
(This is from an article by Vance Pitman, sent out by the International Mission Board, November 28 2018. You can read the full article here: https://www.imb.org/2018/11/28/4-things-church-wildfire/) ~Tony Capehart

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Just think...... the positive financial impact of churches in the US is 2.1 Trillion dollars per year, that's correct, TRILLION

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