I've been amazed by the early Church.
I've never really done a whole lot of study of the early church. I've read Acts many times and have a fairly good understanding of what it was like for the Apostles, especially Peter and Paul and some others.
But other than a vague memory of a college course on the early church, I haven't had much of an understanding of the early church and until recently was not really all that interested to be honest. Like so many, I've mostly lived in the here and now, the present.
But in 2022, I felt compelled to teach on the number two and it's occurrences in the Bible. This led me to study what I feel is the greatest occurrence of the number 2, the second coming of Jesus Christ. It's one of the major themes our fellowship was founded on. And its a vastly broad and deep subject. I've thoroughly enjoyed the study and am doing my best to lead our church through this much needed look at what is crucial to our faith.
Looking ahead to the future of the church inevitably has me looking back at the history of the church. What I'm finding out is it appears that what may be in our future has already been in our past.
I feel like presently we have been enjoying this time of relative openness to the Gospel and ease of life as Christians. And depending on your view of the second coming, we may enjoy a relative openness and ease of life right up to the rapture or second coming of Christ in the clouds.
Or we may not. Life might get hard, I mean really, really hard.
And yet no matter how difficult life was for the early Christians, they seemed according to the history books handle it with such amazing grace, gentleness, kindness, along with a patient endurance. They suffered unimaginable hostility, hatred and animosity and yet they never seemed fazed by it.
It started with Jesus, then with His apostles, and then continued with the early church fathers, and the early church at large. These incredible men and women set the example of what it is to be a christian during times of immense persecution. And I'm not sure what the future holds for Christians, but if we face intense persecution, it would do us well to have the early church exemplary men and women firmed fixed in our minds. These folks ran the race well and finished the race well.
Here's a couple of links to two men in particular that if you're interested in starting out with some church history I'd recommend you looking these two guys up, along with their churches and followers.