On and Off Christians
The first converts to Christianity were not “on and off” Christians. This is clear from the language of Acts 2:42-47. The Greek verbs indicate continuing or repeated action. These believers “kept on” or “continued” in everything they did. They kept on devoting themselves to doctrine, fellowship, the breaking of bread, and prayers. They kept on being filled with awe. They kept on sharing everything in common. They kept on selling their possessions and giving them according to individual need. They kept on breaking bread together in their homes. They kept on eating their food with gladness and sincere hearts. And the Lord kept on adding to their fellowship those who were being saved.
These early Christians knew they could not remain static. They were always going forward and their activity was always purposeful. Christian character is not grown at pleasure resorts. We do not become saints in our sleep. Great soldiers are not developed in the academy but on the battlefield.
Our biggest problem in the church today is lack of commitment. The professing church has become cluttered with hosts of superficial “believers” who have never sold out. We put one hand to the plow while the other hand remains behind our back, with fingers crossed. Self-satisfied complacency and false contentment in the midst of a needy world does not offend us in the least.
What made the early Christians different from most of us was that they were genuine. Programmed activities were never substituted for Christian living. They cared nothing for religious fads that work up mere positive thinking. They had no Easters or Christmases or Good Fridays or 40 Days of Purpose. They actually preferred outright opposition to the frivolous endorsement of men. Their one desire was to know Christ better, to experience increasingly the power of His resurrection, to enter more and more into the fellowship of His sufferings. They had arrived yet they kept on arriving!
Have you checked your spiritual pulse lately? God expects His people to be good stewards, and it is required of stewards that they be found faithfully doing what their Master requires of them. The early church did not dodge its responsibilities but met everything as it arose, and evil gave way before it.
Our Lord is rallying in the church today His faithful few, His Gideon’s band, men and women who mean to do business for God wholeheartedly. May you, and may I, “keep on.”
April 15, 2006
David Alan Black is the editor of www.daveblackonline.com.