by Terry J. Hallock

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Called Out of Our Comfort Zones (3 of 5)
The Church: What We Were Meant To Be
Terry J. Hallock
Matthew 16:21-25; Portions of Acts 2, 6, 8, 9, and 10
January 31, 1999

You and I are going to take a journey this morning through several telling scenes from the early and exciting days of the Church.

Our first stop is in Acts 2, verses 6-8. "When they heard this sound, a crowd came together in bewilderment, because each one heard them speaking in his own language. Utterly amazed, they asked: 'Are not all these men who are speaking Galileans? Then how is it that each of us hears them in his own native language?"

Acts tells the story of a world opened up for the church of Jesus Christ. It tells the story of how a church, a society of "called out ones" (which is what the Greek word for "church" means), was founded by Christ for all peoples, nations, and cultures. Pentecost is a small picture of what the church would become. At Pentecost, people from all surrounding nations heard believers "...declaring the wonders of God in our tongues!" And the Disciples spoke those languages in the correct regional dialects as well. If someone in that crowd had been from Brooklyn they would have heard the gospel in a way that sounded just like home, as it would have for someone from Chicago, Tennessee, or Texas.

At the tower of Babel, the races and languages scattered in different directions all over the globe. But at Pentecost God allowed people of all nations to hear the gospel in their own language, thus calling them out of the comfort zones of their isolation, separation, prejudice, and pride into one family under one God buried in one baptism and resurrected through one Lord.

Next we travel to chapter 6 beginning at verse 1. "In those days when the number of disciples was increasing, the Grecian Jews among them complained against those of the Aramaic-speaking community because their widows were being overlooked in the daily distribution of food."

Even in tho ...

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