The modern-day church seems a mere shadow of what the early church was like. While the early church was prepared to risk everything for God and were single-minded in their focus on their mission, the present-day church seems like it has lost its fizz. While the early church walked in supernatural power, the modern-day church seems to be going through the motions.
I believe that we are standing on the verge of a fresh outpouring of revival in our dry and thirsty world, but we need to reposition ourselves. We need to regain the fizz.
The early church walked in power…
When the world looked at the early church, they saw them as “unschooled, ordinary men”, but they “were astonished” and “took note that these men had been with Jesus”. (Acts 4:13)
We are told that the early church worked and operated in the power of God. “With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And God’s grace was so powerfully at work in them all.” (Acts 4:33)
God worked through the early church in such supernatural and spectacular ways, that “people brought the sick into the streets and laid them on beds and mats so that at least Peter’s shadow might fall on some of them as he passed by.” (Acts 5:15)
While Peter had no power in his shadow, the anointing of God was so evident that even when he walked down the street and his shadow fell on the sick, they were radically healed, delivered, and set free.
The early church was on fire for God. They walked in the “miraculous” and “daily people got saved.” (Acts 2:47)
“All the believers devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, and to fellowship, and to sharing in meals (including the Lord’s Supper), and to prayer. A deep sense of awe came over them all, and the apostles performed many miraculous signs and wonders.” (Acts 2:42-43)
There was a deep sense of awe and miracles were a usual occurrence.
Wherever the early believers went God worked through them in power. One day Peter and John were going to the Temple to pray. On the way a lame beggar asked them for money. He had been crippled from birth. Instead of giving this man money, “Peter and John looked at him intently, and Peter said, “Look at us!” The lame man looked at them eagerly, expecting some money. But Peter said, “I don’t have any silver or gold for you. But I’ll give you what I have. In the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, get up and walk!” Then Peter took the lame man by the right hand and helped him up. And as he did, the man’s feet and ankles were instantly healed and strengthened. He jumped up, stood on his feet, and began to walk! Then, walking, leaping, and praising God, he went into the Temple with them. All the people saw him walking and heard him praising God. When they realized he was the lame beggar they had seen so often at the Beautiful Gate, they were absolutely astounded!” (Acts 3:1-10)
A crippled man was miraculously healed. Not only was a creative miracle done where his lame body was made whole, but he was able to walk and jump in celebration. Don’t forget that this man was lame since birth!
A crowd gathered recognizing this man as the crippled beggar. Peter and John used the opportunity to share the good news of Jesus with the crowd and many were saved.
On another occasion, Paul was speaking to a group of people on the 3rd floor of a building. Paul must have been a little boring because a man named Eutychus, who was sitting on the windowsill, fell asleep and fell to the ground from the third story. They couldn’t resuscitate him. He died instantly. “Paul went down, threw himself on the young man and put his arms around him. “Don’t be alarmed,” he said. “He’s alive!” (Acts 20:10)
The early believers operated under the anointing of God. In power they performed many signs and wonders.
No wonder the early church was accused of “turning the world upside down” (Acts 17:6)
The believers in the early church, empowered by the Spirit of God, raised the dead, healed the sick, delivered the oppressed, set captives free and reached their world, offering new life, through the power of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
What has happened to the Church in our day?
Yes, today we hear of the odd miracle that God does in some circles, but the modern church at large seems to have lost the fizz. The church in many places seems to have become a show, or an inward focusing bless me club. Where is the power of the gospel?
The early church lifted Jesus up. They focused on the cross and the finished work of Jesus. Their sole purpose was to reach the world for Jesus.
The power of the Gospel…
The early church preached the Gospel (The Good News of Jesus). Are we still doing this?
Paul said, “For I am not ashamed of this Good News about Christ. It is the power of God at work, saving everyone who believes.” (Romans 1:16)
While many today are ashamed to share the Good News of Jesus, scared that they may come across offensive, Paul was clear. He was not going to hold back in sharing the Gospel. In fact, he saw how the power of God worked through him whenever he shared the undiluted Good News with those who were lost, empty and bound.
He was prepared to risk it while sharing the Good News. For when he did, God’s power was revealed, people’s lives were changed, and many were saved, finding eternal life.
Paul went on and told us “This Good News tells us how God makes us right in his sight. This is accomplished from start to finish by faith. As the Scriptures say, “It is through faith that a righteous person has life.” (Romans 1:17)
When Paul went out with the aim of sharing the Good News, he “didn’t use lofty words and impressive wisdom to tell you God’s secret plan.” He came in “weakness—timid and trembling” and only focused on “Jesus Christ” and the cross, and on how Jesus “was crucified” to pay the full price for the sins of all people, so that everyone and anyone could find eternal life, forgiveness from sin, and come into a close relationship with God. Paul said, “And my message and my preaching were very plain. Rather than using clever and persuasive speeches, I relied only on the power of the Holy Spirit. I did this so you would trust not in human wisdom but in the power of God.” (1 Corinthians 2:1-5)
Has the modern church lost its focus?
Have we let go of the true Good News? Have we become so seeker sensitive?
Have we become so focused on the here and now, that we have lost the focus of eternity? Have we become so earthly good that we are no longer heavenly minded? Have we become more interested in building the numbers in our little church, instead of reaching the lost and building the kingdom of God?
There was a time when the early Church started to preach a different Gospel. Paul warned them to stay on course. He told the Galatians, “Jesus gave his life for our sins, just as God our Father planned, in order to rescue us from this evil world in which we live.” (Galatians 1:4)
He told the early believers, “I am shocked that you are turning away so soon from God, who called you to himself through the loving mercy of Christ. You are following a different way that pretends to be the Good News but is not the Good News at all. You are being fooled by those who deliberately twist the truth concerning Christ.” Paul went on and said, “Let God’s curse fall on anyone”, if they “preach a different kind of Good News.” (Galatians 1: 6-8)
Paul also told us that we need to “understand that the gospel message I preach is not based on mere human reasoning.” (Galatians 1:11)
And again, Paul went on to say that some “so-called believers” had infiltrated the church with the aim to “enslave” and put people in bondage by preaching a false Gospel. Paul said that the early church leaders who saw this attack on the Good News message “refused to give in to them for a single moment”, and they did everything possible “to preserve the truth of the gospel message for you.” (Galatians 2:4-5)
Paul knew that when the Good News was diluted, the watered-down Good News became powerless. When the gospel was twisted, people were enslaved and put in bondage, and the cross of Christ lost its power.
Paul wanted to defend the Good News at all costs and keep it pure, because it is the very power of God that rescues the lost and brings freedom and salvation to everyone who believes the message.
No wonder the current church in many circles has become anemic and powerless. Many, even without realizing it, have compromised and watered down the true Good News message. Without the true Gospel, the church loses its fizz and becomes powerless.
We need to share the Good News of Jesus Christ. We need to get back to the basics. In many churches today, there is very little focus on Jesus and the cross. Have we let go of the central purpose that God called the church to?
Jesus told us to, “Go into all the world and preach the Good News to everyone.” (Mark 16:15)
If someone dies without a Savior, where will they spend their eternity? Jesus made it clear that life carries on beyond the grave. Each one of us will either spend eternity with God, in his Kingdom, or separated from God for all eternity, in hell, where the fire never goes out and there is continual torment.
God does not want anyone to perish. He wants all people to be saved.
If you want to start or restart your walk with God, click here to pray a simple prayer we have set up for you.
There is an urgency. We need to share the Good News, not only if we feel like it. Jesus commanded us as his followers to be his ambassadors and he asked us to make this the central focus of our Christian walk. We are to reach out to the lost and downtrodden. We are to share the Good News of Jesus Christ.
And, yes, it is Good News! It is the very power of God. There is hope for the lost, bruised and battered. There is forgiveness and new life for all who will believe in Jesus, and “all who call upon the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, will be saved.” (Romans 10:13)
Many are lost. There should be an urgency and a focus of reaching the lost.
Has the modern-day Church lost its fizz?
The early church was on the cutting edge. People were saved daily and came to know Jesus as their Lord and Savior. When the early believers shared the Good News of Jesus and the finished work of the cross, God showed up. He moved in power. The early believers were fearless. They lived sold out for God. They did what God called them to do. They focused on the right thing. What about you?
It seems like the modern-day church has become powerless. We have diluted the power of the Gospel and it has lost its fizz.
We cannot dilute the Gospel!
When I was young my mom would buy Oros, an orange syrup concentrate that you mixed with water. If you added too much of the syrup it was too sweet. If you did not add enough of the syrup, it was tasteless. If you got the mix right, it was a great refreshing drink.
However, nothing beats a good ice-cold Coke. But you cannot mix Coke like it is Oros. If you do, it loses its bubbles and its taste. It has no fizz. It tastes gross.
This reminds me of the modern-day church. We cannot dilute the Good News of Jesus Christ, or it loses its fizz! We need to share the undiluted Gospel. It is full of fizz, and it is the very power of God that transforms lives.
When we lift Jesus up, he will “draw all people to himself.” (John 12:32)
When we share the power of the Good News of Jesus without compromise, we will see the power of God released.
The power of the cross!
Paul told us, “For Christ didn’t send me to baptize, but to preach the Good News—and not with clever speech, for fear that the cross of Christ would lose its power.” (1 Corinthians 1:17)
When we compromise on the Gospel and diluted it, it loses its fizz and becomes powerless. When we preach the undiluted Gospel of Jesus and the cross, it is powerful.
Paul concluded, “The message of the cross is foolish to those who are headed for destruction! But we who are being saved know it is the very power of God.” (1 Corinthians 1:17-18)
The church needs to arise from its slumber. We simply need to get back to basics. We are on the verge of a fresh outpouring of revival in our dry and thirsty world.
It is time to lift Jesus up and share the Good News!
It is time to lift Jesus up and share the raw, unadulterated Good News of Jesus. When we do, the fizz will return, and God will reveal his supernatural power, as he pours out his Spirit.