The Proclamation of the Gospel as a Foundation of the Early Church

I spent some time last week in the picture of the early church in the end of Acts 2Open Link in New Window.  This passage talks about the people of this early church community devoting themselves to four priorities: the apostle’s teaching, fellowship, breaking of bread (communion), and prayer.  One thing that really struck me in my rereading of this passage was that the first priority the apostle’s teaching or the teaching of the Word of God is the priority that is most minimized in the American church.  The priority of the early church that was the driving priority behind the rest has been neglected.  We have minimized the preaching and teaching of the Word of God and have replaced it by a story and humor driven message that seeks to tickle the ears of its hearers but leaves no truth and no long-term impact beyond a tickle down the spine.  The truth has been minimized.  When we have churches and ministries that minimize the truth found in God’s Word, we are building churches on the sand.  These are churches with no foundational truth found in a Christian worldview derived from the study of God’s Word.  We are not just building churches on the sand.  We are building people on a theology that is empty.  When the trials, temptations, and struggles of life come their way, they need the truth of God’s Word to stand on.  They need to have been taught to be able to search the scriptures for themselves to be able to receive comfort from the Author of scripture.  They need a relationship with Jesus Christ that comes through the preaching of God’s Word not a theology that comes with a great big smile and promises your best life now.  When the smiles turn to tears, a sales pitch for a better life will not suffice.  Only Jesus Christ and His Word will sustain us and be the foundation of a ministry.