Why was the early church so effective at spreading the Kingdom of God?
- Life was slow and simple, people had time for each other
- Communities already existed, enthusiasm spread quickly by word of mouth
- People were commonly under suppression by a legalistic religion
- The Gospel was taught in it’s entirety and brought immediate relief
- The competing idols of the gentiles were no match for Jesus
- The church had the ability to manifest the power of Christ
- Church members took the responsibility of mentoring new and existing members
The American Dilemma – The Spirit of the Age
The enemy has the majority of Americans right where he wants them. Most Americans have made an agreement of rugged individualism, or independence, that we must accomplish life on our own. Asking for help is a sign of weakness according to the enemy and we agree with it. This is ingrained in American ideology. Another tool of the enemy is the American dream. How many people are in jobs where they have to put in long hours and they dislike what they do, all to pay for a big house a couple of expensive cars, and toys of all sorts. Both husband and wife have to work to keep up this lifestyle, which with the responsibility of family leaves zero time for anything else. The pace of life is so fast because of cellphones and computers, that we find no quiet time, and very little time for relationship with God or with other people. This is the Spirit of the age. It steals our hearts, destroys our dreams, isolates us, drives us to insanity at the worst, to poor health from stress at best. Some go to church on Sunday and get hit with an incomplete Gospel that makes us feel we must earn God’s approval by doing dead works to keep the organization afloat. Of course not all churches are like that, but there are many that add to the enemies pig pile. If you see yourself in this hamster wheel of the enemy’s the only answer is to simplify your life.
The Consequences of Simplicity
In this day and age freeing up time, for a relationship with God, your family, and creating community around you, is key to your wellbeing, or getting your heart back. To bring in the Kingdom, this is priority number one. God will do the rest, if we ask him for wisdom. We must bet prepared to follow through, though. Jesus will make us whole again, he is the great restorer. We must be prepared to make some big changes, some may seem drastic, but you can be assured they are all geared to your becoming a loving and whole person again. The positive consequences? Peace, community, fulfilling relationships, help with living, a relationship with God, a purpose, inner healing, good health. All these things take focus, and we must make time to do so. The negative consequences? Possible loss of material things.
Making Time for God and Each Other – Ushering in the Kingdom
The above synopsis might seem extreme to you, but I hope it makes a point. Christianity started with one Man who we are called to be like. In His short lifetime he rewrote the ideology of the ages, and impacting lives 2016 years later. We must strive to be like the early church making it a priority to spend time with God and each other. We must become spiritual mothers and fathers to mentor the young or newly found. We must teach the Gospel in it’s intirety and spread the realization of the emense love of God that he would give us everlasting grace and full righteousness in his eyes. The only way to do this is through the practice of simplifying our lives, making time for others a priority, and getting rid of our idols.