Continue On

Like many of you, I am a list maker.  Making a list keeps me on track and accountable.

One of my favorite things to do is to make lists when I am studying or reading God’s Word.  When I come across action, absolute, and repeated words in the Bible, I get excited because I know God is getting ready to show me something!

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The other day while reading the book of Acts, the word “continually” jumped off the page!

The early church continually devoted themselves to ~~

  • prayer,
  • the apostles’ teaching,
  • fellowship,
  • the breaking of bread,
  • going to the temple

The early church did all this with~~

  • gladness and sincerity of heart
  • praising God
  • having favor with all the people

The results~~

  • Day by day, the Lord was adding to their numbers, and people were being saved! (Acts 1:14, 2:42, 46-47). 

In my heart, I said, “Lord, please do it again!” 

Unfortunately, Brothers and Sisters, Christianity is declining.  

Christianity is the most adhered to religion in the United States, with 75% of polled American adults identifying themselves as Christian in 2015. This is down from 85% in 1990, lower than 81.6% in 2001, and slightly lower than 78% in 2012. About 62% of those polled claim to be members of a church congregation. – Wikipedia  

Why is the Church not growing? Somewhere down the line, we failed to continue practicing the precepts of the early church by subtracting or adding to the simplicity of worship.  Prayer, teaching, and fellowship became routine, and the anticipation of assembling together to praise God has been replaced with things that create emotion.  When the early Church met together, they simply praised God with gladness and sincerity of heart!

When we do things God’s way, He will bless and honor our efforts because it’s the way He would do it if He were doing it Himself!

Church, Staff Member, Sunday School Teacher, Ministry Team, doing things God’s way means speaking the truth in love when you discern Jesus is no longer the center of worship. When we assemble, nothing and no one deserves His place of worship and honor.

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Hebrews 13:8), and if about 3,000 souls who heard Peter’s sermon on the day of Pentecost can be saved in one place at one time, I know He can do it again today, but it has to be His way! (Acts 2:41).  

 

Photo by Artem Beliaikin on Pexels.com

 

 

 

18 thoughts on “Continue On

  1. So sad that the numbers are declining. Unfortunately many churches focus more on entertainment instead of teaching the truth. Entertaining doesn’t turn a heart to Jesus but truth does. An environment where the Holy Spirit (the Spirit of Truth) is present draws people to Jesus. I remember walking in the church one morning and the Holy Spirit impressed upon my heart, “These people need to pray”. I was navigating my way through a maze of donuts and conversations trying to get to the sanctuary. I don’t think I’ll ever forget that moment that He spoke to me. I could sense the emptiness in the hearts of many people, and they were trying to fill it in other ways. Nothing against donuts, but just sharing my experience. The true food we need is in His Word.

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    1. I understand what you are saying. My heart breaks for those who were raised in the church and made a profession of faith, but have forsaken the assembly of gathering with other believers for worship.

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  2. I read this with sorrow in my heart but without surprise, sadly. It’s a sign of our times. I even find myself wondering how many of those 70% professing Christianity really know Christ as Savior. I feel cynical to say that, yet, I know many who feel a church membership makes them so, or, perhaps, trying to be a good person does it, or, if their parents are/were, that means they are, too. And a lot of those misunderstandings come of the fact the church’s abandonment of its purpose. Too many congregations are about keeping the pews filled with entertainment and ear-tickling messages. The truth of salvation becomes reduced to a throwaway moment and discipleship is largely forgotten. Oh, Lord, forgive us for our neglect! Revive us again!

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  3. Amen Deb. Speaking the truth in love we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of Him who is the head, that is, Christ. ( I love Philippians 4:15). I agree, as we walk in the manner we’ve been called to (leading by example), His influence will be experienced by those around us. Where there is human error, we will love and pray, and it is His kindness that leads to repentance. As we anticipate His coming, may our hearts be focused on Him, and may we grow as His Bride. Blessings of hope, love, joy, and peace.

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    1. It is very alarming, and yes, we are paying the price! The burden is significant for the lost and for our children who are questioning their faith and leaving the church. 😢

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  4. 😦 my heart broke and is grieved watching the decline of His bride. We have strayed from our first love and have adapted the ways of this world that does not reflect Christ nor bring Him glory. We need to repent and come back to Christ our first love, behold! He comes quickly. Revival is desperately needed as I continue to cry out to our Father for this as I’m seeing Him purging His bride from sin. Blessings & more grace!

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  5. Hi Ms DeborahMarie, good morning and how are you doing? I believe a few reasons why the church is not growing, can be attributed as a result of some of us Christians not walking in our truth, we are not consistently showing the non-believer the “Christ” in us. The bad press and the public “preening” of men and women of God is turning the masses away. Today Social Media plays a big part in our lives and we hear so many stories of bad behavior from the church that Christianity is not something to aspire to, meanwhile folks are also otherwise engaged with the many many things of the world. It is sad really.
    I do love “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Hebrews 13:8)”, I use it to remind myself of God’s faithfulness.
    Thank you for this post. I have been missing your posts, end of year at work and we are buzzzy here, lol.

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  6. Great points Deb! Another aspect I see is the scriptures coming to pass in the last days…that there is an increase in people who are out doing other things-too busy to assemble themselves together with other believers on a Sunday. It’s like the scriptures say, “Lovers of pleasures, more than lovers of God.” I’m talking about able-bodied people who would rather be somewhere else than church, not people who are unable to attend due to having health issues, lack of funds or means to get there, etc.

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