I wonder…how did Christians make it, and flourish, for hundreds of years without
- cell phones
- Christian books
- Sunday school materials
- Christian colleges and universities
- church buildings
- missionary societies
- preacher training schools
- youth ministers
Well, as you can imagine, the list could be very, very long.
Long before the printed page, (mid 1400’s the first Bible was printed) and even before most of the New Testament was written, the church was doing just fine. There were a few copies of the law and the prophets available but not to the average person. Even for several years after the printing press turned out the first Bible, God’s word was not widely distributed for several years.
I wonder….if we had the Internet, phone connections, and all of our printed material suddenly vanish, would we be able to continue ministry? Now, before you waste good comment space, I am not against any of the above things, I am all for all of them. What I am doing is raising the question, Do we rely too heavily upon everything else at the expense of the most important? I wonder….
Paul’s prayers for the churches he wrote to bounce about in my head. Phrases like “..asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God“. He desired that the believers “grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus“. And, after listing his remarkable credentials, he told the Philippians “Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith”.
The primitive plea of churches of Christ (and other Restoration Movement church’s) and the ideal today is to restore the sort of Christianity we read about in the New Testament. And yet, we largely rely on how we do what we do on Sunday morning, and how well we do it, as the calling card of who we are to a watching world.
Knowing Christ is different than knowing about Him. Am I…, are we getting to know Him? Are we witness, or are we going on hear-say?
To become a “disciple” requires “discipline”. Getting in the Word until it gets into me, making myself pray as I ought, saying and seeing only what He approves, and caring like He cares about others is not learned easily. But it must be learned if we will follow Jesus. Will we do it? Will Ido it? I wonder…