Is the church described in Acts 2:42-47 a “pie in the sky” version of the church that cannot happen in the world today? Please explain your answer.
My answer to discussion question #1 on Part 18a
It is possible today for the following reasons: (1) We have today the same resources that the early Christians had. The Holy Spirit also dwells in us. We also have the “apostles’ teaching.” (2) Both they lived and we live in a pagan world. All that is necessary is for us to also be devoted to the “apostles’ teaching,” “fellowship,” “prayer,’ and giving to each other in love. If we follow their pattern, we also will mature in our faith and in our walk with God as they did.
Discussion question #2 on The Silent War in the Church Part 18b
What can we do today so that we will have a church that is like the one described in Acts 2:42-47?
My answer to discussion question Part 18a
The early church met in large groups and small groups. Many today do not meet in small groups. Also, our modern church members are often not devoted to learning the bible, to Christian fellowship, to praying together, and to giving to each other in sacrificial love to the same degree the church of Acts 2:42-47 was devoted to these practices. This can change, but it requires that we wholeheartedly develop the same type of devotion that this early church had. We need to do some heart-searching to determine what needs to change in us so that we also will have their type of devotion to seeking God and his ways.
How do you believe critical issues that have the potential of dividing the church should be resolved?
My answer to question #1 Part 17
The church should seek God’s will on the matter by having the leadership lead the congregation toward discovering God’s will on the issue. Otherwise, it can become a power play as people unite on one side of the other, or the most politically powerful person or persons make the decision for the whole church.
Discussion question #2 on The Silent War in the Church Part 17
When is the issue fully resolved?
My answer to question #2 Part 17
The issue is resolved when the church as a whole are in agreement about what is God’s will on the matter. Certainly, not every single person in the early church in Jerusalem agreed the Gentiles did not need to be circumcised to be saved. But there was a church consensus that it was God’s will that they be saved by faith in God’s grace through Jesus’s death for them (Acts 15:22-35). So, we can seek to gain church consensus on what is God’s will on important controversial issues.