Friday, September 4, 2009

Characteristics of the Church Age

Luke 24:49-53 -
And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high. And he led them out as far as to Bethany, and he lifted up his hands, and blessed them. And it came to pass, while he blessed them, he was parted from them, and carried up into heaven. And they worshipped him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy: And were continually in the temple, praising and blessing God. Amen.

I. Waiting. v.49

A. The Early Church – Told to tarry in the City of the Possession of Peace until they were endued with the power of the Holy Spirit. They then went into the entire world carrying the testimony of Jesus.
Acts 1:8 - But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.
B. The Present Church – Continues the testimony of Jesus to the entire world by the Holy Spirit. We will, soon, be gathered back together into the New Jerusalem after He returns.
Romans 10:14-18 - How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard ? and how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things! But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report? So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. But I say, Have they not heard? Yes verily, their sound went into all the earth, and their words unto the ends of the world.

II. Walking. v.50

A. The Early Church – They were led to a place of sweetness, Bethany – the House of Figs, and were blessed so they could continue the walk.
Galatians 5:18 - But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law.
B. The Present Church – We are told to continue that daily walk. If we walk with him in this life, we will walk with him in the life to come.
Revelation 21:23-24 - And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof. And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it.

III. Watching. v.51

A. The Early Church – They were watching as he left out.
Acts 1:9-11 - And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight. And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel; Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.
B. The Present Church – We are watching for his return.
I Peter 4:6-7 - For, for this cause was the gospel preached also to them that are dead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but li ve according to God in the spirit. But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer.

IV. Worshipping. v.52

A. The Early Church – They met to worship.
Acts 2:46-47 - And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart, Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.
B. The Present Church – We are to meet to worship.
Philippians 3:3 - For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh.

V. Working. v.53

A. The Early Church – Their daily life was filled with the testimony of Jesus and witnessing about him.
Acts 2:42-43 - And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers. And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles.
B. The Present Church – Our daily lives are to be filled with Labors of Love for the Lord of Life.
Hebrews 10:24-25 - And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.