Acts 2:1-4, 46-47 “And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. 2 And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. 3 And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. 4 And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.” (46) “And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart, 47 Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.”
What is your favorite part about a church service? What do you look for in a church? Have you attended other churches when on vacation? How was the church different? the same?
Mat 16:14-18 “And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets. 15 He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? 16 And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. 17 And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. 18 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”
God wants you to do what you can do, then He steps in and does what only He can do. God is the one who gives the increase, but we are the ones who still have to plant, pull up weeds, and care for that garden.
The church is called His Bride, the city set on a hill, the light of the world, etc.
If the world will see Jesus, they will see Him through you. The church is His body, the fulness of Him that fills all in all, the physical representation of Jesus here on earth. You and I as members of His body, born again into this, will act as His representatives to a world that is desperate.
We are His body, we become His hands and feet, His mouth, to bring hope to a lost world. We are to help, giving them physical and spiritual hope.
How have you ‘seen Jesus’ in others? How has Jesus shown Himself through you?
Heb 12:22 “But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels,”
1 Pet 5:2 “Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind;”
Eph 5:25 “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;”
You’ve got to come out of the world, surrender to Him and pray the same prayer that Jesus prayed, ‘Not my will, but thine be done.’ It’s not truly Him walking with you, but you walking with Him. When you choose to do this, He will lead you and bless you more than you can imagine. Seek Him first.
There are many commandments in the Word of the Lord about operating in the church. You need a local church and a local pastor.
The Bible refers to several churches in Revelation. The church exists on three levels right now.
First is the universal church, everyone, worldwide who has that Acts 2:38 experience. We are all baptized into one body. You have brothers and sisters of every color, tribe, tongue (language), and nation. The church may have different colors and sizes and accents, but we all belong together. We serve the same God. That same Name has been called over us. This is an organism, a spiritual body.
Second is the local church. We need local churches, where people gather together in an assembly where we meet regularly together and learn. It’s Biblical to be involved in one. What a blessing to have brothers and sisters that you can see face to face and talk to and help and receive help and hope from.
Third are organizations that are a kind of intermediate level, groups of churches that bond together in districts to bless one another and communities. It’s a wonderful thing to be involved in something to work collectively together to bless souls. Over 40,000 youth from all over the world met this past summer for North American Youth Congress to praise and worship Jesus. This is for a shared purpose and cause to do more to reach the world for Jesus.
Why do you think Jesus chose to operate through people and the church?
The church is not meant to be exclusive or exclude people. The church is meant to include people and to show them the way. It’s the personal choice for the people to decide whether or not they want to be included. We need the church and we need the New Testament pattern.
Heb 10:25 “Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.”
Rom 12:10 “Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another;”
Rom 15:7 “Wherefore receive ye one another, as Christ also received us to the glory of God.”
Gal 5:13 “For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another.”
As Christians, why is it so important how we choose to treat others? Why does our attitude matter so much?
The church provides training for the children. Thank God for the church. We need the church. Jesus said, ‘I will build my church and the devil will not prevail against it.’ If you want to be safe, get into church.
There have been studies done on human needs. Every human has 7 needs: comfort, variety, significance, love, growth, contribution, and belonging. Only one organization provides for all of these and that’s the church. The church will comfort you. The Holy Ghost is our Comforter. If you’re hurting, go to church.
The church has variety, ages, sizes, colors, variety in so many ways. Share that with others. Thank God the church is multicultural, multi status, multi aged!
The church gives significance and value, each soul is precious and wanted. You find significance and importance. There is a place for you to be involved, to serve and give of your gifts.
The church gives so much love and appreciation. When the world is so abusive and cruel, thank God for the church. In His presence, there is peace and hope and life. You can get lost in His presence and it’s so good. ‘In His presence, there is fulness of joy.’
The church provides growth.
The church provides opportunities for belonging. Even people who have been lost in so many ways, unwanted by most can find love in the church.
How has your church answered your needs (comfort, variety, significance, love, growth, contribution, and belonging)? What can you do to increase your churches effectiveness in these areas?
This Bible Study excerpted from a sermon preached by Missionary Evangelist Monty Showalter.
For the full YouTube audio/video, click here.
If you are looking for an Apostolic Pentecostal church and are in the Chicagoland area, come check out The Life Church located at 3030 Central Road in Glenview, IL. Services are Sundays at 1pm and Wednesdays at 7pm. We would love to see you there!