This is a continuation of the nine-part series, I’d Like to Prophesy, But…
Why do you call Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say? (Luke 6:46)
The mainstay of today’s traditional church is the sermon based on a text from the Bible, which is usually given by a pastor.
Now, if you did a survey, asking Christians if the sermon was scriptural, ninety-five percent would say, “Yes.”
Then, if you asked a follow-up question of the ninety-five percent who agreed with the validity of the sermon, inquiring where in the Bible the sermon and its importance were located, you would receive blank stares. And maybe a few might say, “Man, because just because, and it’s always been done this way!”
Well, has it always been done this way? The answer is emphatically “NO”.
The early church had no Bibles. Yes, it’s true that letters were written by Paul and other apostles, but these came into existence thirty or forty years after the first Pentecost. And actually, the letters answered questions and settled problems that the churches were struggling with at the time.
So, what did the early Christians do when they assembled together?
They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. (Acts 2: 42)
On the first day of the week, when we gathered together to break bread, Paul began talking to them… (Acts 20:7)
So, then brethren, when you come together to eat, wait for one another. (1 Corinthians 11: 33)
The early church’s centerpiece for their meetings was not the sermon, but rather a meal, which they called the Lord’s Supper. The believers gathered around tables.
And what else did the early believers do?
What is the outcome then, brethren? When you assemble, each one has a psalm, has a teaching, has a revelation, has a tongue, has an interpretation. Let all things be done for edification. (1 Corinthians 14:26)
For you can all prophesy one by one, so that all may learn and all may be exhorted. (1 Corinthians 14: 31)
And let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another… (Hebrews 11: 24 – 25)
Early believers came to church meetings to give, rather than just sit on a pew like bumps on a log, and receive a sermon from a professionally trained clergyman.
And what was one of the most important questions asked of new believers?
(Continued in Part 6)