John Bunyan served as a soldier in Oliver Cromwell's army. Reflecting back upon his service, he observed that there was a great deal of arguing and fighting among the soldiers. When the soldiers observed that the enemy was near, however, they stood in unity - shoulder to shoulder - to fight the enemy. After the battle, the bickering would again resume.
If the church was more aware of, and focussed upon, the enemy - sinful self, sin, world, and Satan - would it tolerate petty quarrels and fights in its own ranks? Why not?
Michael Faraday, a famous English scientist and speaker, once presented an interesting and enlightening lecture before a large crowd which included the King of England.
After a lengthy, sustained applause from the crowd upon the conclusion of his presentation, the king arose and extensively praised Lord Faraday for his keen insights and remarkable discoveries.
Many expected Mr. Faraday to respond to the words of the king, but he was no longer present. Immediately after finishing his lecture he had slipped away to attend his church's midweek prayer service which he could make just in time.
Literally, which king's words meant the most to him? What beautiful example regarding church attendance did he provide?
Read the following description of the church's condition in Acts 2. What characteristics of a healthy church can you find?
Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.
And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.
And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles.
And all that believed were together, and had all things common:
And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need.
And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart,
Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.