Wednesday, June 3, 2009

His Increase

Spurgeon’s Sermons, volume 10, number 3 - “Additions to the Church”; reference Acts 2:47.

“And the Lord daily added to the church such as should be saved.”

At Pentecost, 3000 souls were saved in one moment. A breath was breathed from the mouth of God and His Holy Spirit drew an increase. Many men of different nations and tongues stood in awe as they heard Peter’s message, delivered in one language, but heard and understood in many. From there, the spark flew onto the tinder of men’s hearts and ignited a conflagration that swept over the entire world and rages still. God will have His children, those who belong to Him. His voice will be heard above the world’s roars and growls and the hatred that permeates our society. His strength shall be felt even by the weakest saint, for the power of His Word is poured out upon the whole earth. Praise You, Holy Spirit, for You are mighty to save and Your voice will never be silenced!

The “early church” is a term applied by theologians as though today’s church is intended to be somehow different. In its first stages, the church remained in purity. The disciples gave the simplicity of the Gospel and it was received with much gladness and joy. They were steadfast in its delivery, refusing to waiver, never taking from it, never adding to it. The Gospel remained undefiled, its message the same each time it was given, until man, vile and corrupt, began to skew and twist it into false doctrine and apostasy.

Man saw a need for a “visible altar,” architecture, scarlet robes, and other finery; rings, miters and other adornments. Once they set in place the outward appearance, they began to work at defiling the inner, the Word, with their many crazy and misguided notions of the Gospel. “Priest-craft,” baptismal regeneration, transubstantiation, sacramental efficacy, ritual requirements, and works and deeds were inserted. Not satisfied with this abomination, they once again set up idols, the “deities of the heathen,” by calling them “saints instead of gods, putting the Virgin into the place of Venus, and setting up Peter and Paul in the niches formerly occupied by Saturn or Mars. Our present ‘revived early church’ is only Paganism with a border of crosses.”

We must return to the “primitive” church. Nothing in its message has changed, except by what man has done to defile it. The message that was carried then by the disciples should be carried now to a world condemned to die without Jesus Christ. Rather than adhering to the apostasy of the “early church”, we should look to the “earliest church” and embrace the Good News that spread among it.

May it be so. Today’s churches are quickly falling into apostasy. The message of the disciples has been replaced with what God can do for you rather than what you can do for Him. Like a bloated and stinking corpse, it is ripe with “self” and imagery, avarice and pleasure. Men stand at the church pulpits before thousands of hungry souls and feed them a watered down, lukewarm, and ineffective Gospel that is filled with just enough to cause the congregations to think they have the solution. And all the while, souls cling to the false hope they are given like a man holding onto a lifeline that is connected to nothing and is unable to save him.

Pray, all you Saints of God! Pray for the world around us, those being led to the slaughter like unsuspecting lambs. Restore Your former glory, Lord! Revive Your message of Truth and salvation to a starving and dying world! May men come out of the ashes of distortion and deception and boldly proclaim Your message of Truth and salvation. And may You bring an increase in Your Kingdom like such has never been seen.

For Your glory and honor, Lord. Amen and Amen.

For more on the Pentecost and its application to the Jewish holiday, Shavuot, click here