I recently had the opportunity to view the movie, “Paul Apostle of Christ.”
I must admit my spirit was truly touched by this movie. Today’s culture and the church have forgotten and failed to realize the many sacrifices of the early church. We have become individualized and embrace a service more than a relationship. “That I may know him, in the power of his resurrection, the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death.”
Not since the movie, The Passion of Christ, have I been so moved in such a setting as I recently viewed the movie. Too often we forget about the aftermath of the Resurrection and the plight of the early church. There were struggles but internally and externally. There was oppression from the Roman government with Nero and the Jews as Christians were hunted down, used as human candles to light the streets of Roman and fed to the Lions.
The early church was not perfect by any means, as the church today is experiencing similar issues regarding our relationship to our culture and impact to society. Despite the persecution and suffering they remained relevant and committed to spreading the gospel.
They were ostracized by the society of the day and relegated to ministering in the trenches; hidden away, feeding the poor and widows even when they had little themselves. This is the real church, these were the true Christians who exhibited and demonstrated the love of Christ and one another. It exemplifies what Jesus said, this is how you will know my disciples for their love one for another.
This brings me to today. As a Bishop and one who has labored in the field for over 43 years I see a people focused solely on their spiritual journey and development with no desire to serve, witness, speak out or take any type of stand against sin. I see a church that has become a sub-culture that fights from within and looks to the next service or emotional experience as we take our seats in comfort as the world goes to hell.
Beloved, it’s time for the church to be the church and not merely a building we attend on Sunday mornings. The church of ACTS was a discipled movement. Let’s move from our pews to bring the gospel to every creature as Jesus commanded us.
This is the Voice of the Overseer!