The Church During Troubled Times
Ernest L. Easley
I suppose one of the most exciting books in the New Testament is the book of Acts! It is full of action starting in chapter 1, where Luke explains how for 40 days, the resurrected Jesus ''presented Himself alive .. by many infallible (unmistable) proofs.''
Then Jesus promised them the Holy Spirit that would give them power for witnessing. The disciples then watched as Jesus ascended to heaven. And as they watched, we read in verses 10-11 that '' … two men stood by them in white apparel, who also said, 'Men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven.''
Afterwards, they head to Jerusalem and into the upper room where eleven of the disciples were staying.
Verse 14 says, ''These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with His brothers.''
After praying, they cast their lots and the lot fell on Matthias to replace Judas, making them once again ''the Daring Dozen,'' though there were many more.
Then in Acts 2 the Holy Spirit fell upon them to stay and the New Testament Church was born! They suddenly began speaking in different languages for the purpose of getting the gospel out to those who were in Jerusalem for Pentecost.
What an exciting time for the church! In that same chapter Peter preached the gospel and we read in verses 37-38, ''Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, 'Men and brethren, what shall we do?'' Then Peter said to them, 'Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.'' And verse 41 tells us that ''about three thousand souls were added to them.''
The church was multiplying! The sick were being healed! The dead were bein ...
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