Monday, September 4, 2017

The Beginning of the Church

  What is the church? It is simply God's people here on earth. His church is made up of all Christians - it does not refer to a specific denomination but rather all people who are true Christians.

  The church is spoken of in the Bible using various figures of speech. Let's look at some of those:

"Kingdom" - Colossians 1:13 "For He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son," Check out also: Matthew 16:18 & 19, Acts 28:31 and Acts 19:8

"The Flock" - "Be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood." Acts 20:28

"The Body of Christ" -Ephesians 1:22 & 23 "And He put all things in subjection under His feet, and gave Him as head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all." See also: 1 Corinthians 12:27, Romans 12:4 & 5, Colossians 1:24

How did this church begin?
To begin with the church/the Kingdom was prophesied about in the book of Daniel. You can look at the whole story in chapter 2. King Nebuchadnezzar had a dream which Daniel with God's help interpreted. It spoke of quite a few kingdoms that were strong and then destroyed and then it talks about the Church/kingdom in verse 44: "In the days of those kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which will never be destroyed, and that kingdom will not be left for another people; it will crush and put an end to all thses kingdoms, but it will itself endure forever." If you look at Daniel chapter 2 along with history you can understand this prophesy more fully.

The kingdom/church was spoken of before Jesus died for us on the cross. John the Baptist ("Now in those days John the Baptist came, preaching in the wilderness of Judea, saying, Repent, for the kingdom of haven is at hand." Matthew 3:1 & 2), Jesus ("From that time Jesus began to preach and say, "Repent, for the kingdom of heave is at hand." Mt. 4:17), The Apostles ("And as you go, preach, saying, "The kingdom of heaven is at hand." Mt. 10:7) and the seventy ("and heal those in it who are sick, and say to them, "The kingdom of God has come near to you." Luke 10:9) all preached that God's Kingdom was coming very soon.

In Mark 9:1 Jesus told the apostles "Truly I say to you, there are some of those who are standing here who will not taste death until they see the kingdom of God after it has come with power."  Assuredly they have all now died and the kingdom has indeed come. Jesus when he taught the disciples to pray taught them to pray for the kingdom to come.

Here are some scriptural predictions which were given concerning the coming kingdom/church:
"I also say that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and whatever you bind on earth shall have been bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall have been loosed in heaven." Matthew 16:18 & 19
So Peter was going to be instrumental to the beginning of the church.

"Now it will come about that In the last days the mountain of the house of the Lord will be established as the chief of the mountains, and will be raised above the hills; and all the nations will stream to it. And many peoples will come and say, "Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; That He may teach us concerning His ways and that we may walk in His paths." Isaiah 2:2-3
This time it wouldn't be just for the Jews - it would be for all nations!

"And that repentance for forgiveness of sins would be proclaimed in His name to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem." Luke 24:47
Again - it was for all nations and here were find another clue - it would start in Jerusalem.

When did this kingdom, the church, actually begin?
You can find this story in Acts chapter 2. There were people from many nations in the city of Jerusalem at the time. The apostles and other followers of Jesus were altogether. The Holy Spirit came upon them. They were all able to talk to all the people assembled there in each of the listeners own language.  Peter then started to preach. He told them all about God's plan and how He had sent Jesus but how godless men (and they were among them) nailed Him to the cross but how He rose again. He proclaimed Jesus as Lord.
"Now when they heard this, they were pierced to the heart and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, "Brethren, what shall we do?" Peter said to them, "Repent, and let each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off, as many as the Lord our God will call to Himself." And with many other words he solemnly testified and kept on exhorting them, saying, "Be saved from this perverse generation!" So then, those who had received his word were baptized; and that day there were added about three thousand souls. They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles' teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer." Acts 2:37-42  In verse 47 it talks about the Lord adding to their number (in some versions it says the church) day by day those who were being saved.

What a blessing it is to be a member of the Kingdom of Jesus Christ, the Church and to follow King Jesus! Do you have that blessing in your life?

No comments:


Blog Widget by LinkWithin