Today's Church is NOT producing the same caliber of Christianity as those Christians in the Book of Acts.
But how can we when many Churches are so busy becoming "relevant", "contemporary", working to build there "own" kingdom, preaching motivational self help, make you feel good messages, while striving to becoming the happening place, so that they can draw the masses and offer something that would keep them coming so that they can meet the bills and call themselves a thriving ministry.
Many Churches are spending more money on salaries, buildings, programs and marketing the church as a corporate business and calling it "ministry"
In doing so, we have trained the body of Christ to become more interested in buildings, programs, positions, titles and entertainment rather then a real "book of Acts" Christianity. So much so that if if a Church is not meeting in a nice building somewhere... then it is not considered a valid ministry.
Preachers are to blame... one of the biggest Deceptions among Preachers who feed this deception in the Church... is that "Ambition for Success". That's right... Preachers who are called of God begin trade the Leading of the Holy Spirit for there own ideas on how to fullfill the vision God has given, because the ministry is not going forward fast enough. So the eyes of the Preacher begins to be on "Success" rather then God. As if more people, better buildings, better cars, better clothes, or more money is the answer or the symbol of "success". Ministry is not having all these things that others consider success... Ministry is People.... that is what Jesus died for... People.... not things. God will one day judge all Preacher... not by what king of car they drive, clothes they wear, or even how many show up for church... but rather how many people have been born again and ministered too.
Society as well as many Preachers have become so Prideful.... Think about it.... if you do not have some nice Church building somewhere and you meet in a "home"... can not pay your "pastor"... "staff"... "music director" or "musicians"... spend most of your budget on "missions", "feeding the hungry" and the "needs of people".
If you spend the Wednesday night service in "prayer" only... and what some would call Sunday School, is spend in teaching people how to "win their world for Christ"... and every member during the week is sharing Christ, fishing for men... and in your main service the pastor is equipping people to live a selfless, sacrificing, servanthood.... the ministry is "people"... the ministry is work... laboring for the Kingdom... type of lifestyle....
Now if you invite people to this kind of Church... many people in the community would not consider it to be a "real Church" (especially in America) or "ministry"... for many people can not get past that you are meeting in the "home"... so you must not be much of a Church.... for we have been taught that bigger is better.... and technology is a sign of success.
Yet this type of home Church that is selfless, servant minded, actively reaching the world for Christ... body of believers describes the "Book of Acts New Testament Church"
Now UNDERSTAND... I am not saying that we must go back to a house for us to have the true Church... but I am saying that we must go back to the methods that raised the caliber of Christians that were meeting from house to house... it is not were we meet... it is about what we are truly producing in our day and age.
Reality is... the only way to produce Christians of the same Caliber of those in the Book of Acts... is to model the Church after that of the Book of Acts... those Christians "loved not there life, even unto death"... those Christians were selfless... sacrificing... servants who considered themselves bought with a price and no longer their own.
I must say... it is SO SAD that many in our communities would rather go to a place where they can blend in... pick and choose.... a "turn-key" Church that has all the programs for all the age groups... that is entertaining and non confronting of my "issues" of life... a place where I pay my tithe to not have responsibilities... I leave Church up to the "professionals"... the pastor and his staff.... a place that will turn there heads to my faults (sins) and build me up with something motivational that makes me feel better about myself, but do not hold me accountable for I like my issues (sins) and life is about "Me"...
Again, understand... that it is not really the peoples fault... for ministers over the last 100+ years have done a poor job of passing down the true Gospel of Jesus Christ. In an effort to "help" God reach people... they have compromised and brought every type of method of the world, into the Church.
It is a "Leadership Issue"... for where the head goes... the body follows.
There are no bad students... just bad teachers... and in our day... teachers who were once students who had a bad teacher.
Now in many places, in our effort to have "Church", we have trained people to be "entertained"... to join a social group because anyone who is "anyone" is a part of this.... and to even go as far as to accept everyone because there are "many ways to God"... We have compromised and "sold-out" to the world so much that when a real persecution comes... and it will very soon... this type of people will compromise and sell-out... because they love their "own life" more then the cause of Christ... they love their comfort... food... cars... houses.... titles... positions in community... vices and issues.... and do not understand real sacrifice, servanthood, or selflessness.
You say that is hard.... then test yourself... take away facebook, twitter and all access to the internet, cell phone, or any love or hobby... for one month... and I suspect... within the first 24 hours someone will be going through.... "withdraws"... you see... this is how you will find out what you are really addicted too... you may not be a drug addict... but we have created a church full of people who are good people... but addicted to their technology... toys... hobbies... self.
Again... Ministry is People.... but in so many places pastors have focus more on buildings, programs, technology and growth... and as a result... we have given birth to a monster that needs to be fed.
That Church building, the money it takes to build, the overhead and salaries are now the beast they have to feed.... in order to do that... many pastors have put real faith aside and implement "business stradegies"... "marketing technics"... and methods in the name of God and Faith... to make this next Church service more impressive, sensational and entertaining then the last service so that I can get more people to come... stay... and help me "FEED the BEAST"
This is done in order to validate his vision and ministry... and show the world that it is a "success"... and it also becomes the measuring stick or symbol of his "anointing". and this launches him into a need to write books... and any other thing that can contribute to feeding the beast or making me wealthy.... and it is all justify by self declaring phrases, some which is from scripture like: "Spirit of Excellence"... "I am a Child of the King"... "Head not Tail"... "Born to Prosperity"... "Money Cometh unto Me"... "I can have what I want... I can have what I decree"... connecting much of this to seed time and harvest or reaping a havest and many times taking scripture out of content.
Whenever Jesus spoke of harvest it was about souls.
Pastors... Preachers... Ministers... we must Repent! and put away a "selfserving gospel"
If we are going to produce the caliber of Christians that God desires... WE MUST GET BACK TO THE BOOK OF ACTS.
Not Just a thought...... a call to ministers for action.