I have to be honest. I have always craved for the fellowship and unity Acts 2 describes. It has always been the taj-mahal of Christian churches from where I’m standing. The creme of the crop. Every futile attempt to do Church was measured to Acts 2 and in ignorance I would become frustrated and angry when it didn’t measure up.
Don’t get me wrong y’all. The Church described in Acts 2 is glorious and majestic and I believe God will restore that vision in His body soon. But, for so long I would become angry and miss the point of the Acts 2 Church.
Acts 2 Church walked with no need. they supported one another, bore with another in love. There was genuine, Christ-centered fellowship and agape love manifested among them. It was glorious and I long for it. Acts 2 Church was a fulfillment of the promise spoken in Acts 1:8
“…but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.”
The early Church received the Holy Spirit in Acts 2:1-12 and the result was Peter declaring the Gospel of the Lord, 3000 souls coming to salvation, and the Acts 2 Church forming. Acts 2 is a glorious fulfillment and rendering of the early Church receiving the Holy Spirit. It is a picture that is too great for words y’all. It is glory manifested among weak believers. But it is only the first part of the promise found in Acts 1:8. The rest says “… and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria and even to the remotest part of the earth.”
And they shall be His witnesses.
Y’all, Acts 2 is beautiful. but it’s just half of the vision and promise for the early Church. After a season of this glorious demonstration of the Holy Spirit, the Church begun to be persecuted and they were scattered. Acts 3-28 is that story. The persecuted and scattered story. But. They were witnesses.
It’s easy to forget how much the Lord loves His people. Not just those of us who are already His people, but those who walk around dead on the inside, far from the Father who created them and longs for them. We forget just how much of His plan is on behalf of those who are lost. We forget our God is a God who seeks that which is lost and finds it. Even in His plan for us and His command and empowerment to His children, He considers the lost around. We are light. We are salt. We are image bearers. We are witnesses and that is His purpose. When we became believers and received the free gift found at Calvary, we were made right before the Father. We have already attained holiness through the blood of Jesus Christ, because we wear His. But we partake in a visible manifestation of it so the world may see who He is. We partake because He is the One who longs for His sons to return and just turn towards His countenance.
Y’all, the purpose of the Church is to be Witnesses. The presence of the Church should permeate every corner of the culture we live in. That is what Acts 2 Church did. They were persecuted because they did just that. But what demonstration of God’s sovereignty, that what made to destroy the Church instead fueled and grew it…. and fulfilled the promise He gave to His early Church in Acts 1:8.
You shall be My witnessess….
We shall be His witnesses.
Today I am thankful I love a God infinitely wise enough to blow up the Christian bubble that was in Acts 2 so that Samaria and the ends of the earth would know who He is. Because if the early Church had remained in the place of Acts 2, no Gentile would’ve known His name and I would’ve been lost forever. I thank God for the missions movement He birthed out of the persecution of the early Church. And I now see that Acts 2 isn’t the goal, it’s the foundation.