Who causes the Church to grow?
Acts 11:20,21 -
And some of them were men of Cyprus and Cyrene, which, when they were come to Antioch, spake unto the Grecians, preaching the Lord Jesus. And the hand of the Lord was with them: and a great number believed, and turned unto the Lord.
In Matthew 16:17 Jesus told Simon of Jona (Peter) that it was not flesh and blood that revealed him who Jesus is but it is the Father who revealed him who Jesus is. Again in John 16:7-9 Jesus states that it is the Holy Spirit Who will convict people of their sins and of righteousness and of judgment.
Unless any person does not realize that he or she is a sinner he or she cannot come to Jesus. Unless one does not know that any good or as much good they possibly do is not sufficient for them to enter Heaven they will not come to Jesus and that it is only the Righteousness of Jesus gained through perfection of faith that gets us to Heaven. Also unless a person does not realize that the Son of Man Jesus Christ will come again one day to judge all mankind will not come to Him; that only those who believe in Him and keep His Father's Word will enter Heaven.
So we see unless the Holy Spirit does not bring anybody to know Jesus Christ nobody can come to Him. Jesus as man was born of the Holy Spirit and thus referred to the Holy Spirit at times as His Father and His Spiritual Father as Heavenly Father or Father Who are in Heaven (this has caused some to be confused and think only Jesus and His Spirit exist).
In today's message we see when people from Cyprus and Cyrene went to Antioch and preached a great number believed and turned to the Lord. They did not turn to the Lord because of the way they preached or what they did. They only turned to the Lord because the Hand of God was with them. It is the Holy Spirit Who is referred to as the Finger or Hand of God in scriptures. So again we see that it is only because the Holy Spirit was with the people of Cyprus and Cyrene that caused the people they preached to, to know the Lord Jesus Christ and turn unto Him.
After about 300AD when the Church fornicated with the things of the world and became the New Babylon the Spirit of God was not with the Church and therefore Christianity did not grow. Thus we see people of the R.C. Church mainly relied on bruise force or temptation to worldly things to convert people to become 'Christians'.
When we go through the flow of events of the Church between 500AD to 600AD (mainly actions of Popes Gregory I, Benedict I and Pelagius among few) we see although Mohammad started Islam but it was the R.C. Church that prepared the bed for its birth. This will also make people understand why their Quran has a lot of the Bible in it. One can literally say Pope Gregory I (also known as 'Gregory The Great') is more the father of Islam than Mohammad is.
Through history and scriptures we see when the Lord was with the people the people of God increased and when the Lord was not with the people the opposition people to the people of God increased, confirming the curse of the Lord in Deuteronomy 28, 29.
In today's message we see the Church struggling to increase and expand to the ends of the world. Like we read in the message few days back the Lord stating that the people He entrusted have failed Him, we see them trying to do God's work with their own wisdom and strength.
Jesus gave us His Spirit and said He will be our Helper.
God does not want us to help Him in His work but wants to help us in our work in Him. This work is for us, it helps us perfect our faith in Christ and bring the lost sheep of the Lord who are no one else but a part of us, for we are the Body of Christ.
Let us not struggle or use our own wisdom and strength but work according to the guidance of the Holy Spirit so that the glory of God may be seen in His Church, when many will come to Him and experience Him.
[ Prayer Starter ]
Lord, it is only by your grace we have come to know You and have the confidence to approach your Throne. Lord, if it was not for your grace we would have been children of vanity, living a life aimlessly and doing thing that do not bear fruit but things that only cause more problems. Lord it is not us but us through You that enables things to happen. Without You Lord the works of our hands with not bear good fruit. Lord, we pray like Moses unless You do not go before us we do not go...
This prayer we make in Jesus' Name, Amen.
[ Reference Scriptures ]
Matthew 16:17 - And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.
7 Nevertheless I tell you the truth: It is expedient for you that I go away; for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I go, I will send him unto you.
8 And he, when he is come, will convict the world in respect of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:
9 of sin, because they believe not on me;
22 But if thou shalt indeed hearken unto his voice, and do all that I speak; then I will be an enemy unto thine enemies, and an adversary unto thine adversaries.
23 For mine angel shall go before thee, and bring thee in unto the Amorite, and the Hittite, and the Perizzite, and the Canaanite, the Hivite, and the Jebusite: and I will cut them off.
Read Revelation 2:1-17 - (the stages of the Church)
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