Thursday, August 27, 2015

A Recipe for Transformation

In the days after 9-11, someone published a cartoon that showed two men talking. One said, “I sure would like to ask God when He’s going to do something about all the evil in this world.”  The second man said, “I’m afraid He would ask me the same question.”  We’re in a series called What the World Needs Now.  We believe that what the world needs is Jesus Christ, and they will only meet Him when they see a Church where God is fully in charge.  Like it or not, that’s how God chooses to do His work: through His people, the Church.  Last week, we saw what it looks like when a church does that.  They saw God do amazing things, they loved people in an extraordinary way, even giving up their own possessions to help others; and they multiplied constantly. Today, we live in a time in America when most churches aren’t multiplying.  The experts tell us that the only churches that are growing are megachurches, and the only reason they’re growing is that people are leaving the small and medium churches to go where there’s a better show, with nicer buildings and cooler programs (that’s not the whole truth, but it’s true in many cases).  Meanwhile, the group of people who have no religious affiliation at all, the “nones” as they’re called, is growing faster than any religious group.  This has led many people, religious and non-religious, to proclaim the impending death of Christianity in America. Personally, I am optimistic, for many reasons. But here’s the main reason: The same God who changed the world through the tiny, under-resourced, fearful church in Acts is still God today. He still loves people just as much, and He still can do the impossible.  In fact, He loves doing that.  So today, we’re going to see how one church transformed a community in a single day.  We’ll be looking at Acts 3-4.  And here’s a spoiler: We’re going to see a man get miraculously healed, the apostles get arrested, 5000 people get saved, and the church pray so hard, they cause an earthquake.  How did it happen?  And what does it teach us about what it would take to see our own community transformed?

No comments: