In 2nd Samuel David brings the Ark (the Presence) out of captivity back home. We too desire to see the Presence return to our churches! But before the Presence can return there must be a breakthrough! What good would the Ark do if things aren’t ready?
So it’s 95 AD. The church is being persecuted even to the point of death. Christians must choose between worshipping the emperor or God. John has been boiled in oil on the penal colony called Patmos. But he hasn’t despaired. He has a vision and knows what’s coming “after this!”
First Sunday in January we said there was a darkness coming. We began a seven week series called “Coming out of Babylon” based on five words the Lord gave us: Joyful, Gathered, Faithful, Together, Harvesting. The seventh message was “Canoeing in the Mountains. So what does it look like now three months later?
The 4 gospels are full of famous people. I want to share a story about an average guy. He was a secret Christian. He didn’t preach, didn’t follow Jesus publicly, didn’t leave his job. He had questions & doubts. He was like his fellow councilman Nicodemas who came to Jesus. They were members of the Council of 71.
The early church in the first 3 centuries grew at an amazing rate in spite of all the reasons people had to not join. You were shunned, scorned, gossiped, jailed, killed. You could lose jobs, family, & friends and influence. It wasn’t the worship services that drew them it was their lifestyle.