Purpose of Going to Church?
What's the purpose of going to church service? Is it to feel good? To get entertained? To fulfill a weekly religious/ritual duty?
The Purpose-Driven Church
Copyright 2003, Pulpit - Shepherds' Fellowship. All Rights Reserved.
When Jesus had "church", He would preach and offended the "religious" Pharisees of that time because it was so convicting-sin revealing. Church services are supposed to be "heart daily life" changing-molding time to get your more "right" with God! Also, to get you "charged" or "fueled" up to keep you going through the week. Apply what you learned (sermon, worship, shares/testimonies, etc..) each day of the week, which is why I (Sal) feel (I struggle with this too) "church goers" get bombarded through the week.
Do you ever feel all pumped up after a service? Then you fall straight down and have to "refuel" or "be charged-up" again? Well, we need to learn how to balance and be persistent in our daily walk with Christ! I was watching a preacher speaking on how church goers can sometimes attend church for the wrong reasons. They treat church like a drug to get a spiritual high and if they don't, they get disappointed!
You love the music during the worship time on Sundays? That's how I was plugged into my local church. However, that wasn't the only reason for awhile. As I grew in my personal relationship with Jesus, I've began to understand other imporant reasons why I attend church on Sundays:
-be a blessing to other believers/non believers through the gifts (natural/spiritual) God has given me
-worshipping God besides doing this everyday during the week
-fellowship with believers
-witnessing to non-believers of the local community and show them this everyday of the week; not just on Sundays!
-build one another up as a team or bigger family in Christ
-see what needs are in the family of believers and other non-christians to see how we can each help/be a blessing to one another
-get a bigger perspective on what our Heavenly Father is doing beside our own little world we sometimes live alone weekly/daily
Below is an article my local (associate) pastor fowarded to me yesterday (Monday, Feburary 9th of 2004), which gave me the inspiration to do this website.
Religion Gets Supersized at Megachurches
Tuesday, February 03, 2004
By Amy C. Sims
Ask Americans what Sundays are for, and many are likely to give you one of two answers: watching sports or going to church.
These days, a growing number of "megachurches" may satisfy both camps, providing entertainment and an uplifting message to crowds so big they rival the attendance at sporting events.
There are currently 842 megachurches -- non-Catholic churches with at least 2,000 weekly attendants -- that host an excess of three million people on any given Sunday, according to the research group Church Growth Today.
These massive holy houses attract churchgoers by the thousands with celebratory services that tout contemporary music, television screens and sermons that aren't "churchy," according to the pastor of the nation's largest church. But critics say the sin-free pep rallies don't encourage personal transformation and reflection, keystones of religion.
Instead of a pulpit, pews and a group of familiar faces found at traditional community churches, megachurches can resemble a campus.
"They are so large you can select the activity that you like," said Ken Woodward, Newsweek's contributing editor who covers religion. "If you want to lose weight Jesus' way, you can join the weight-loss program or join a basketball team ... These churches have so many people they don't just sponsor a team, they sponsor a league.
"Not everybody can afford to join a country club."
At the biggest church in the country, Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas, Pastor Joel Osteen preaches to some 25,000 people each week -- and sin is not on the menu. Osteen said his goal is to "give people a boost for the week."
"I think for years there's been a lot of hellfire and damnation. You go to church to figure out what you're doing wrong and you leave feeling bad like you're not going to make it," Osteen said. "We believe in focusing on the goodness of God."
Critics say magachurches' party-like atmosphere takes the spirituality out of Sunday services.
"It tends to be a guilt-free, sin-free environment," said Woodward. "These places are a bit too bubbly. ... It's very chummy with God."
Richard Wise, a 20-year member of the small, traditional Wesley United Methodist Church in Union City, Ind., said he finds this type of service perplexing.
"Sin is in life and sin is everywhere, we are all sinners," he said. "If you just leave church feeling good you are missing the whole point. The point is you need a purpose in life."
Wise's church draws about 150 people for Sunday service and he said the size pays off with close-knit relationships and a feeling of community.
"We call on a lot of individuals from our church because we know them," he said. "We visit them when they are sick or take communion or flowers to them."
Osteen defends Lakewood's ways, saying the lively and inclusive atmosphere is attracting a whole new generation of parishioners.
"I have parents tell me all the time that their kids will sit down and watch us on TV or that they want to come to the service because it's simple and something they can understand," he said.
Some Lakewood qualities that appeal to a younger set are "the best lighting and the best sound system," a youth ministry program that attracts hundreds, and every service kicks off with 30 minutes of upbeat contemporary music -- not hymns -- played by a live band.
"It's not a churchy feel," Osteen, 40, said. "We don't have crosses up there. We believe in all that, but I like to take the barriers down that have kept people from coming. A lot of people who come now are people that haven't been to church in 20 to 30 years."
However, those used to a personal touch in their religion aren't convinced.
"[People] can go and enjoy the service but really don't have to participate," said Wise. "But it's that participation that really makes for a good Christian."
While the number of megachurches has doubled since 1998, they still only represent 1 percent of all churches in America, said John Vaughan, founder of Church Growth Today and author of "Megachurches & America's Cities." But he added that many people are discovering that bigger can be better for them, and the variety of service times and activities provides flexibility many modern families need.
"They have multiple staff able to specialize and mobilize people with a diversity of needs. The really large church has a myriad of small groups, which is really where the heart of the church is," he said. "The reason these churches grow large is because they know how to care for their members."
Lakewood's attendance has grown so massive that the church recently bought the Compaq Center, a former sports arena, which is being remodeled to hold an even larger congregation.
"This will be the first church in the country to see 35,000 people," Vaughan said.
The seriousness of traditional churches scared many parishioners away, Osteen said, but the warm hug delivered by megachurches like his is bringing them back.
"I think it's a place of life and victory," he said. "They want to be encouraged and uplifted."
But Woodward said this approach to religion isn't helping parishioners.
"If I'm already a pretty good guy, why do I have to go to church to hear that?" he asked. "Sin really has disappeared from the pulpit. lt's too much of a downer, I'm afraid."
Wise also doesn't agree with the idea of cloaking religion in church in order to boost numbers. "I guess I kind of thought that was what church was about," he said.
"I don't see how you could put God first in your life if all you're going to do is go to church and feel good about being there. I enjoy good music and a good sermon, but what did you really get out of the message?"
more later on....
From : cory m
Sent : Monday, May 23, 2005 8:07 AM
To : firstname.lastname@example.org
Subject: Who Took Your Place
Sent: Wednesday, May 18, 2005 2:22 PM
One day, a man went to visit a church.
He got there early, parked his car, and got out.
Another car pulled up and the driver got
out and said,"I always park there!
You took my place!" The visitor went inside for
Sunday School, found an empty seat and sat down.
A young lady from the church
approached him and stated,
"That's my seat! You took my place!"
The visitor was somewhat distressed
by this rude welcome, but said nothing.
After Sunday School, the visitor went
into the sanctuary and sat down.
Another member walked up to him and said,
"That's where I always sit! You took my place!"
The visitor was even more troubled by this
treatment, but still He said nothing.
Later as the congregation was praying
for Christ to dwell among them,
the visitor stood up, and his appearance began to change.
Horrible scars became visible on
his hands and on his sandaled feet.
Someone from the congregation
noticed him and called out, "What happened to you?"
The visitor replied, as his hat
became a crown of thorns, and a tear fell from his eye,
"I took your place."
When you receive this, say a prayer.
That's all you have to do.
There is nothing attached.
This is powerful. Just send this to four people and see what happens on the fourth day.
Maybe, just maybe, we can get the world to start thinking of Who took our place.
Do not break this, please.
Looking for a local church?
Sal's Morris Community Church Family since 97'
Morris Community Church float-band at Prairie Pioneer Days Parade on July 11th 2010
-St. Paul Area
Denominations (reglious sectors):
Pastor & Church Controlled 30 Ways to Sunday irs 501 Part 4
"April 08, 2008 — Warroad Community Church & Minnesota pastor Gus Booth is the latest news regarding this matter as reported on drudgereport, abc, etc...
Church Bloopers from DavidK on Vimeo
*see GoodnewsEverybody.com Financial "Wisdom", Advice, Budgeting, Investments, Savings, Tips, etc...
5 Minutes Bible Study - Having It All
" Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. 2 Corinthians 9:6
In his famous sermon on money, John Wesley advised, "Get all you can, save all you can, give all you can." Today--some 200+ years later--we understand the part about getting all you can, especially without having to work very hard for it. But the saving and giving parts of it are often misunderstood today. ...
God Always Listens
"CNN|Added on July 19, 2011 Lucas McCarty has cerebral palsy and can't walk or talk, but he has found his voice at a sanctified church in Mississippi."
*see GoodnewsEverybody.com African-American Outreach
Lakewood Church - Service Opening & "I am Free"
"Here is the opening to a recent service at Lakewood Church---Joel and Vicotria Osteen speak and Cindy Cruse Ratcliff sings "I am Free". Be blessed as you watch and remember to comment, favorite, rate, and subscribe. I promise that more videos will come in the next few weeks. I am working with some new software on a new computer. "
*see GoodnewsEverybody.com Optimism, Keep it positive!, Media, News, etc...
Second Baptist Church
• Houston, Texas • 713.465.3408 • ©Copyright 2010 Second Baptist Church.
Willow Creek Community Church service prelude by Dave Garza, from youtube.com
-Saddle Back Church
*see GoodnewsEverybody.com Life-Meaning, Natural Gifts-Talents-Skills, Plan, Purpose?
Saddleback Church Worship
"Saddleback Church High School Ministry performs "The Lifehouse Skit" during the August 28, 2009 Small Group Host Gathering. "
*see GoodnewsEverybody.com African: Rwandans of Rwandan
LifeChurch.tv TV Promo, from youtube.com
"LifeChurch.tv has campuses in Tulsa OK, Stillwater OK, Edmond OK, OKC, South OKC, NW OKC, Hendersonville TN, Mesa AZ, Fort Worth TX, Wellington FL, and even an Internet campus! The name is also the site: Lifechurch.tv... check it out! "
Second Life LifeChurch.tv Video
"Second Life Example Video " Multicultural
Ebenezer Baptist Church Communion Radio Broadcast Service
"This is the Live Radio Broadcast service of the Ebenezer Baptist Church in New Orleans in Sept. 2001.
The 'Anointed Voices' of the Radio Choir are under the direction of Tonia Monique Scott and the Radio Announcer for the evening is her mother, Elder E. Lorraine Scott. The Rev. Sharon Schaeffer is singing "Jesus On the Mainline" the theme-song for the broadcast, and Pastor Lawrence Landrum Jr. "takes them on the air". "
Lao-New Harvest Church Worship Service
"Lao-Thai worship song. Lao Nazarene Easter service 2008 "
Alex Martinez (El es Jehova) Grace community Church youth service
"Alex Martinez at Grace Community Church South campus-youth service, Houston Texas U.S.A , singing (El es Jehova)
Miami Apostolic Church - Altar Call, from youtube.com
Troy Gash - The Church Game (music video)
"From the CD "Outside The Church Walls" Now on sale... StreetGospelRecords.com"
The Purpose of the Church, pt. 1
"I was blessed to learn from Francis Chan that Biblical Christianity shouldn't be read as just an individual thing, but as a group thing - "you" plural. This teaching is from his study in 1 Peter 2:9 and the quote that made me laugh was him imitating a person saying, "Look, I'm a nation!""
Ethiopia: Lalibela Christian Church Service
"A Sunday morning Mass at an Orthodox Christian Church in Lalibela, Ethiopia. Starting at 5:30 AM. "
"This video is about Hillsong Moscow church services "
Ukraine Church Worship - Regions Beyond
"Bruce McDonald of Regions Beyond International in Ukraine interdenominational church service.
www.RegionsBeyond.org We desired to preach the gospel in the regions beyond II Corinthians 10:16 .. "
worship service at church in Haiti
"Missionary workers from World Ministry Outreach in Ft lauderdale planted this church 35 years ago. Final hour church has matured and grown to close to one thousand members on Archachon 32 Carrfour Haiti."
-Book of Acts
*see GoodnewsEverybody.com Christian Life-Peace, Joy, Love, Faith, Forgiveness, Persecution-Suffering, etc...
Acts - Pt 01 of 22
Acts 2 The Holy Spirit Comes at Pentecost
Peter Addresses the Crowd
" 14Then Peter stood up with the Eleven, raised his voice and addressed the crowd: "Fellow Jews and all of you who live in Jerusalem, let me explain this to you; listen carefully to what I say. 15These men are not drunk, as you suppose. It's only nine in the morning! 16No, this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel: ...
The Fellowship of the Believers
" 42They devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. 43Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostles. 44All the believers were together and had everything in common. 45Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need. 46Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, 47praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.
Acts - Pt 02 of 22
*see GoodnewsEverybody.com Teachings: Triune God, Holy Spirit, etc... & GoodnewsEverybody.com Cultures, Ethnicities, Multicultural, Nationalities, Races, etc...
Peter Heals the Crippled Beggar
" 1One day Peter and John were going up to the temple at the time of prayer—at three in the afternoon. 2Now a man crippled from birth was being carried to the temple gate called Beautiful, where he was put every day to beg from those going into the temple courts. 3When he saw Peter and John about to enter, he asked them for money. 4Peter looked straight at him, as did John. Then Peter said, "Look at us!" 5So the man gave them his attention, expecting to get something from them.
6Then Peter said, "Silver or gold I do not have, but what I have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk." 7Taking him by the right hand, he helped him up, and instantly the man's feet and ankles became strong. 8He jumped to his feet and began to walk. Then he went with them into the temple courts, walking and jumping, and praising God. 9When all the people saw him walking and praising God, 10they recognized him as the same man who used to sit begging at the temple gate called Beautiful, and they were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him.
*see GoodnewsEverybody.com Ministry: Healing-GoodnewsEverybody.com Challenges-Physically, Mentally, Handicapped, Vulnerable, etc..
Peter Speaks to the Onlookers
"...14You disowned the Holy and Righteous One and asked that a murderer be released to you. 15You killed the author of life, but God raised him from the dead. We are witnesses of this. 16By faith in the name of Jesus, this man whom you see and know was made strong. It is Jesus' name and the faith that comes through him that has given this complete healing to him, as you can all see...
*see GoodnewsEverybody.com Holidays: The Passion,Passover, Crucification, Easter, Resurrection-He is Risen!, etc..
Acts - Pt 03 of 22
Peter and John Before the Sanhedrin
"...2They were greatly disturbed because the apostles were teaching the people and proclaiming in Jesus the resurrection of the dead. 3They seized Peter and John, and because it was evening, they put them in jail until the next day. 4But many who heard the message believed, and the number of men grew to about five thousand.
5The next day the rulers, elders and teachers of the law met in Jerusalem. 6Annas the high priest was there, and so were Caiaphas, John, Alexander and the other men of the high priest's family. 7They had Peter and John brought before them and began to question them: "By what power or what name did you do this?"
8Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them: "Rulers and elders of the people! 9If we are being called to account today for an act of kindness shown to a cripple and are asked how he was healed, 10then know this, you and all the people of Israel: It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified but whom God raised from the dead, that this man stands before you healed. 11He is " 'the stone you builders rejected,
which has become the capstone.[a]'[b] 12Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved."
13When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus. 14But since they could see the man who had been healed standing there with them, there was nothing they could say. ...
The Believers' Prayer
"...25You spoke by the Holy Spirit through the mouth of your servant, our father David:
" 'Why do the nations rage
and the peoples plot in vain?
26The kings of the earth take their stand
and the rulers gather together
against the Lord
and against his Anointed One.[c]'[d] 27Indeed Herod and Pontius Pilate met together with the Gentiles and the people[e] of Israel in this city to conspire against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed. 28They did what your power and will had decided beforehand should happen. 29Now, Lord, consider their threats and enable your servants to speak your word with great boldness. 30Stretch out your hand to heal and perform miraculous signs and wonders through the name of your holy servant Jesus."
31After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly...
*see GoodnewsEverybody.com LA : Government, Security, etc...
The Believers Share Their Possessions
"...32All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of his possessions was his own, but they shared everything they had. 33With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and much grace was upon them all. 34There were no needy persons among them. For from time to time those who owned lands or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales 35and put it at the apostles' feet, and it was distributed to anyone as he had need. ..
*see GoodnewsEverybody.com Holidays: Christmas, Giving, Sharing, "more-like" Christ, Jesus' Birthday, etc...
Ananias and Sapphira
"1Now a man named Ananias, together with his wife Sapphira, also sold a piece of property. 2With his wife's full knowledge he kept back part of the money for himself, but brought the rest and put it at the apostles' feet....
10At that moment she fell down at his feet and died. Then the young men came in and, finding her dead, carried her out and buried her beside her husband. 11Great fear seized the whole church and all who heard about these events....
The Apostles Heal Many
" 12The apostles performed many miraculous signs and wonders among the people. And all the believers used to meet together in Solomon's Colonnade...
Acts - Pt 04 of 22
"The Apostles Persecuted
17Then the high priest and all his associates, who were members of the party of the Sadducees, were filled with jealousy. 18They arrested the apostles and put them in the public jail. 19But during the night an angel of the Lord opened the doors of the jail and brought them out. 20"Go, stand in the temple courts," he said, "and tell the people the full message of this new life."
GoodnewsEverybody.com Christian Life-Peace, Joy, Love, Faith, Forgiveness, Persecution-Suffering, etc...
" 21At daybreak they entered the temple courts, as they had been told, and began to teach the people. ..
29Peter and the other apostles replied: "We must obey God rather than men!
Acts 6 The Choosing of the Seven
"...said, "It would not be right for us to neglect the ministry of the word of God in order to wait on tables. 3Brothers, choose seven men from among you who are known to be full of the Spirit and wisdom. We will turn this responsibility over to them 4and will give our attention to prayer and the ministry of the word."
5This proposal pleased the whole group. They chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit; also Philip, Procorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolas from Antioch, a convert to Judaism. 6They presented these men to the apostles, who prayed and laid their hands on them.
7So the word of God spread. The number of disciples in Jerusalem increased rapidly, and a large number of priests became obedient to the faith....
".. 11Then they secretly persuaded some men to say, "We have heard Stephen speak words of blasphemy against Moses and against God."
12So they stirred up the people and the elders and the teachers of the law. They seized Stephen and brought him before the Sanhedrin. 13They produced false witnesses, who testified, "This fellow never stops speaking against this holy place and against the law. 14For we have heard him say that this Jesus of Nazareth will destroy this place and change the customs Moses handed down to us...
*see GoodnewsEverybody.com Liberal Arts: Law, Judgment, Judge,Justice, etc..
Acts - Pt 05 of 22
Acts 7 Stephen's Speech to the Sanhedrin
".... 37"This is that Moses who told the Israelites, 'God will send you a prophet like me from your own people.'[h] 38He was in the assembly in the desert, with the angel who spoke to him on Mount Sinai, and with our fathers; and he received living words to pass on to us.
39"But our fathers refused to obey him. Instead, they rejected him and in their hearts turned back to Egypt. 40They told Aaron, 'Make us gods who will go before us. As for this fellow Moses who led us out of Egypt—we don't know what has happened to him!'[i] 41That was the time they made an idol in the form of a calf. They brought sacrifices to it and held a celebration in honor of what their hands had made. 42But God turned away and gave them over to the worship of the heavenly bodies. This agrees with what is written in the book of the prophets:
" 'Did you bring me sacrifices and offerings
forty years in the desert, O house of Israel?
43You have lifted up the shrine of Molech
and the star of your god Rephan,
the idols you made to worship.
Therefore I will send you into exile'[j] beyond Babylon. ...
*see GoodnewsEverybody Issues: Sinful, Rebellion, Wrong, Guilt, etc...
...47But it was Solomon who built the house for him.
48"However, the Most High does not live in houses made by men. As the prophet says: 49" 'Heaven is my throne,
and the earth is my footstool.
What kind of house will you build for me? says the Lord.
Or where will my resting place be?
50Has not my hand made all these things?'[l] ...
Acts - Pt 06 of 22
Acts 8 The Church Persecuted and Scattered
*see GoodnewsEverybody.com Life- Persecution, Persecuted, Suffering, Martyred, etc...
"...3But Saul began to destroy the church. Going from house to house, he dragged off men and women and put them in prison....
Philip in Samaria
" 4Those who had been scattered preached the word wherever they went. 5Philip went down to a city in Samaria and proclaimed the Christ[a]there. 6When the crowds heard Philip and saw the miraculous signs he did, they all paid close attention to what he said....
*see GoodnewsEverybody.com Christian Life: Evangelism, Sharing the Good News "Gospel", Witnessing, etc...
Simon the Sorcerer
*see GoodnewsEverybody.com- Deceiver-Ways Satan "lies" to everybody, Demons, Devils, Ghosts, Magic, Illusions, Witches, etc....
' "9Now for some time a man named Simon had practiced sorcery in the city and amazed all the people of Samaria. He boasted that he was someone great, 10and all the people, both high and low, gave him their attention and exclaimed, "This man is the divine power known as the Great Power." 11They followed him because he had amazed them for a long time with his magic. 12But when they believed Philip as he preached the good news of the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women. 13Simon himself believed and was baptized. And he followed Philip everywhere, astonished by the great signs and miracles he saw.
14When the apostles in Jerusalem heard that Samaria had accepted the word of God, they sent Peter and John to them. 15When they arrived, they prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit, 16because the Holy Spirit had not yet come upon any of them; they had simply been baptized into[c] the name of the Lord Jesus. 17Then Peter and John placed their hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit. ...
Philip and the Ethiopian
" 26Now an angel of the Lord said to Philip, "Go south to the road—the desert road—that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza." 27So he started out, and on his way he met an Ethiopian[d]eunuch, an important official in charge of all the treasury of Candace, queen of the Ethiopians. This man had gone to Jerusalem to worship, 28and on his way home was sitting in his chariot reading the book of Isaiah the prophet. 29The Spirit told Philip, "Go to that chariot and stay near it." ..
*see GoodnewsEverybody.com African-Ethiopian of Ethiopia Outreach
Acts 9 Saul's Conversion
" 1Meanwhile, Saul was still breathing out murderous threats against the Lord's disciples. He went to the high priest 2and asked him for letters to the synagogues in Damascus, so that if he found any there who belonged to the Way, whether men or women, he might take them as prisoners to Jerusalem. 3As he neared Damascus on his journey, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. 4He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, "Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?"
45 5"Who are you, Lord?" Saul asked.
"I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting," he replied. 6"Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do."
7The men traveling with Saul stood there speechless; they heard the sound but did not see anyone. 8Saul got up from the ground, but when he opened his eyes he could see nothing. So they led him by the hand into Damascus. 9For three days he was blind, and did not eat or drink anything. ...
Acts - Pt 07 of 22
Saul in Damascus and Jerusalem
"..0At once he began to preach in the synagogues that Jesus is the Son of God. 21All those who heard him were astonished and asked, "Isn't he the man who raised havoc in Jerusalem among those who call on this name? And hasn't he come here to take them as prisoners to the chief priests?" 22Yet Saul grew more and more powerful and baffled the Jews living in Damascus by proving that Jesus is the Christ.[a]
23After many days had gone by, the Jews conspired to kill him, 24but Saul learned of their plan. Day and night they kept close watch on the city gates in order to kill him. 25But his followers took him by night and lowered him in a basket through an opening in the wall. ...
1Then the church throughout Judea, Galilee and Samaria enjoyed a time of peace. It was strengthened; and encouraged by the Holy Spirit, it grew in numbers, living in the fear of the Lord....
Aeneas and Dorcas
32As Peter traveled about the country, he went to visit the saints in Lydda. 33There he found a man named Aeneas, a paralytic who had been bedridden for eight years. 34"Aeneas," Peter said to him, "Jesus Christ heals you. Get up and take care of your mat." Immediately Aeneas got up. 35All those who lived in Lydda and Sharon saw him and turned to the Lord.
36In Joppa there was a disciple named Tabitha (which, when translated, is Dorcas[b]), who was always doing good and helping the poor. 37About that time she became sick and died, and her body was washed and placed in an upstairs room. 38Lydda was near Joppa; so when the disciples heard that Peter was in Lydda, they sent two men to him and urged him, "Please come at once!"
39Peter went with them, and when he arrived he was taken upstairs to the room. All the widows stood around him, crying and showing him the robes and other clothing that Dorcas had made while she was still with them.
40Peter sent them all out of the room; then he got down on his knees and prayed. Turning toward the dead woman, he said, "Tabitha, get up." She opened her eyes, and seeing Peter she sat up. 41He took her by the hand and helped her to her feet. Then he called the believers and the widows and presented her to them alive. 42This became known all over Joppa, and many people believed in the Lord
*see GoodnewsEverybody.com: Death- Grieving, Mourning, Reflection, etc..
Acts 10 Cornelius Calls for Peter
"At Caesarea there was a man named Cornelius, a centurion in what was known as the Italian Regiment. 2He and all his family were devout and God-fearing; he gave generously to those in need and prayed to God regularly. 3One day at about three in the afternoon he had a vision. He distinctly saw an angel of God, who came to him ...
The angel answered, "Your prayers and gifts to the poor have come up as a memorial offering before God. 5Now send men to Joppa to bring back a man named Simon who is called Peter....
" 9About noon the following day as they were on their journey and approaching the city, Peter went up on the roof to pray. 10He became hungry and wanted something to eat, and while the meal was being prepared, he fell into a trance. 11He saw heaven opened and something like a large sheet being let down to earth by its four corners. 12It contained all kinds of four-footed animals, as well as reptiles of the earth and birds of the air. 13Then a voice told him, "Get up, Peter. Kill and eat."
14"Surely not, Lord!" Peter replied. "I have never eaten anything impure or unclean."
*see GoodnewsEverybody.com Diet, Foods, Groceries, Beverage-Drinks, etc...
Acts - Pt 08 of 22
Peter at Cornelius' House
"8He said to them: You are well aware that it is against our law for a Jew to associate with a Gentile or visit him. But God has shown me that I should not call any man impure or unclean. 29So when I was sent for, I came without raising any objection. ...
God does not show favoritism 35but accepts men from every nation who fear him and do what is right. 36You know the message God sent to the people of Israel, telling the good news of peace through Jesus Christ, who is Lord of all. ..
44While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit came on all who heard the message. 45The circumcised believers who had come with Peter were astonished that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out even on the Gentiles. 46For they heard them speaking in tongues[b] and praising God.
Then Peter said, 47"Can anyone keep these people from being baptized with water? They have received the Holy Spirit just as we have." 48So he ordered that they be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ...
Peter Explains His Actions
The Church in Antioch
" 19Now those who had been scattered by the persecution in connection with Stephen traveled as far as Phoenicia, Cyprus and Antioch, telling the message only to Jews. 20Some of them, however, men from Cyprus and Cyrene, went to Antioch and began to speak to Greeks also, telling them the good news about the Lord Jesus. 21The Lord's hand was with them, and a great number of people believed and turned to the Lord. ...
Acts - Pt 09 of 22
Acts 12 Peter's Miraculous Escape From Prison
" 1It was about this time that King Herod arrested some who belonged to the church, intending to persecute them. 2He had James, the brother of John, put to death with the sword. 3When he saw that this pleased the Jews, he proceeded to seize Peter also. This happened during the Feast of Unleavened Bread. 4After arresting him, he put him in prison, handing him over to be guarded by four squads of four soldiers each. Herod intended to bring him out for public trial after the Passover. ..
7Suddenly an angel of the Lord appeared and a light shone in the cell. He struck Peter on the side and woke him up. "Quick, get up!" he said, and the chains fell off Peter's wrists.
8Then the angel said to him, "Put on your clothes and sandals." And Peter did so. "Wrap your cloak around you and follow me," the angel told him. 9Peter followed him out of the prison, but he had no idea that what the angel was doing was really happening; he thought he was seeing a vision. 10They passed the first and second guards and came to the iron gate leading to the city. It opened for them by itself, and they went through it.....
Acts - Pt 10 of 22
Acts 13 Barnabas and Saul Sent Off
"..fasted and prayed, they placed their hands on them and sent them off...
"..They traveled through the whole island until they came to Paphos. There they met a Jewish sorcerer and false prophet named Bar-Jesus, 7who was an attendant of the proconsul, Sergius Paulus. The proconsul, an intelligent man, sent for Barnabas and Saul because he wanted to hear the word of God. 8But Elymas the sorcerer (for that is what his name means) opposed them and tried to turn the proconsul from the faith. 9Then Saul, who was also called Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit, looked straight at Elymas and said, 10"You are a child of the devil and an enemy of everything that is right! You are full of all kinds of deceit and trickery. Will you never stop perverting the right ways of the Lord? 11Now the hand of the Lord is against you. You are going to be blind, and for a time you will be unable to see the light of the sun." ..
In Pisidian Antioch
"...44On the next Sabbath almost the whole city gathered to hear the word of the Lord. 45When the Jews saw the crowds, they were filled with jealousy and talked abusively against what Paul was saying.
46Then Paul and Barnabas answered them boldly: "We had to speak the word of God to you first. Since you reject it and do not consider yourselves worthy of eternal life, we now turn to the Gentiles. 47For this is what the Lord has commanded us:
" 'I have made you[g] a light for the Gentiles,
that you[h] may bring salvation to the ends of the earth.'[i]"
48When the Gentiles heard this, they were glad and honored the word of the Lord; and all who were appointed for eternal life believed.
49The word of the Lord spread through the whole region. 50But the Jews incited the God-fearing women of high standing and the leading men of the city. They stirred up persecution against Paul and Barnabas, and expelled them from their region. 51So they shook the dust from their feet in protest against them and went to Iconium. 52And the disciples were filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit.
Acts - Pt 11 of 22
*see GoodnewsEverybody.com Turkish of Turkey Outreach
"In Lystra and Derbe
" 8In Lystra there sat a man crippled in his feet, who was lame from birth and had never walked. 9He listened to Paul as he was speaking. Paul looked directly at him, saw that he had faith to be healed 10and called out, "Stand up on your feet!" At that, the man jumped up and began to walk.
11When the crowd saw what Paul had done, they shouted in the Lycaonian language, "The gods have come down to us in human form!" 12Barnabas they called Zeus, and Paul they called Hermes because he was the chief speaker. 13The priest of Zeus, whose temple was just outside the city, brought bulls and wreaths to the city gates because he and the crowd wanted to offer sacrifices to them.
14But when the apostles Barnabas and Paul heard of this, they tore their clothes and rushed out into the crowd, shouting: 15"Men, why are you doing this? We too are only men, human like you. We are bringing you good news, telling you to turn from these worthless things to the living God, who made heaven and earth and sea and everything in them. 16In the past, he let all nations go their own way. 17Yet he has not left himself without testimony: He has shown kindness by giving you rain from heaven and crops in their seasons; he provides you with plenty of food and fills your hearts with joy." 18Even with these words, they had difficulty keeping the crowd from sacrificing to them.
The Return to Antioch in Syria
" 21They preached the good news in that city and won a large number of disciples. Then they returned to Lystra, Iconium and Antioch, 22strengthening the disciples and encouraging them to remain true to the faith. "We must go through many hardships to enter the kingdom of God," "
Acts - Pt 12 of 22
Acts 15 The Council at Jerusalem
"1Some men came down from Judea to Antioch and were teaching the brothers: "Unless you are circumcised, according to the custom taught by Moses, you cannot be saved." 2This brought Paul and Barnabas into sharp dispute and debate with them. So Paul and Barnabas were appointed, along with some other believers, to go up to Jerusalem to see the apostles and elders about this question. 3The church sent them on their way, and as they traveled through Phoenicia and Samaria, they told how the Gentiles had been converted. This news made all the brothers very glad. 4When they came to Jerusalem, they were welcomed by the church and the apostles and elders, to whom they reported everything God had done through them.
5Then some of the believers who belonged to the party of the Pharisees stood up and said, "The Gentiles must be circumcised and required to obey the law of Moses." ..
The Council's Letter to Gentile Believers
"..It seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us not to burden you with anything beyond the following requirements: 29You are to abstain from food sacrificed to idols, from blood, from the meat of strangled animals and from sexual immorality. You will do well to avoid these things. Farewell. ..
Disagreement Between Paul and Barnabas
Acts 16 Timothy Joins Paul and Silas
"Paul's Vision of the Man of Macedonia
6Paul and his companions traveled throughout the region of Phrygia and Galatia, having been kept by the Holy Spirit from preaching the word in the province of Asia. 7When they came to the border of Mysia, they tried to enter Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus would not allow them to. 8So they passed by Mysia and went down to Troas. 9During the night Paul had a vision of a man of Macedonia standing and begging him, "Come over to Macedonia and help us." 10After Paul had seen the vision, we got ready at once to leave for Macedonia, concluding that God had called us to preach the gospel to them."
Lydia's Conversion in Philippi
"14One of those listening was a woman named Lydia, a dealer in purple cloth from the city of Thyatira, who was a worshiper of God. The Lord opened her heart to respond to Paul's message. 15When she and the members of her household were baptized, she invited us to her home. "If you consider me a believer in the Lord," she said, "come and stay at my house." And she persuaded us.
Paul and Silas in Prison
"16Once when we were going to the place of prayer, we were met by a slave girl who had a spirit by which she predicted the future. She earned a great deal of money for her owners by fortune-telling. 17This girl followed Paul and the rest of us, shouting, "These men are servants of the Most High God, who are telling you the way to be saved." 18She kept this up for many days. Finally Paul became so troubled that he turned around and said to the spirit, "In the name of Jesus Christ I command you to come out of her!" At that moment the spirit left her. ...
*see GoodnewsEverybody.com- Deceiver-Ways Satan "lies" to everybody, Demons, Devils, Ghosts, Magic, Illusions, Witches, etc....
" 19When the owners of the slave girl realized that their hope of making money was gone, they seized Paul and Silas and dragged them into the marketplace to face the authorities. 20They brought them before the magistrates and said, "These men are Jews, and are throwing our city into an uproar 21by advocating customs unlawful for us Romans to accept or practice."
22The crowd joined in the attack against Paul and Silas, and the magistrates ordered them to be stripped and beaten. 23After they had been severely flogged, they were thrown into prison, and the jailer was commanded to guard them carefully. 24Upon receiving such orders, he put them in the inner cell and fastened their feet in the stocks.
25About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them. 26Suddenly there was such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the prison were shaken. At once all the prison doors flew open, and everybody's chains came loose. 27The jailer woke up, and when he saw the prison doors open, he drew his sword and was about to kill himself because he thought the prisoners had escaped. 28But Paul shouted, "Don't harm yourself! We are all here!"
29The jailer called for lights, rushed in and fell trembling before Paul and Silas. 30He then brought them out and asked, "Sirs, what must I do to be saved?"
31They replied, "Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved—you and your household." 32Then they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all the others in his house. 33At that hour of the night the jailer took them and washed their wounds; then immediately he and all his family were baptized. 34The jailer brought them into his house and set a meal before them; he was filled with joy because he had come to believe in God—he and his whole family.
35When it was daylight, the magistrates sent their officers to the jailer with the order: "Release those men." 36The jailer told Paul, "The magistrates have ordered that you and Silas be released. Now you can leave. Go in peace."
37But Paul said to the officers: "They beat us publicly without a trial, even though we are Roman citizens, and threw us into prison. And now do they want to get rid of us quietly? No! Let them come themselves and escort us out."
38The officers reported this to the magistrates, and when they heard that Paul and Silas were Roman citizens, they were alarmed. 39They came to appease them and escorted them from the prison, requesting them to leave the city. 40After Paul and Silas came out of the prison, they went to Lydia's house, where they met with the brothers and encouraged them. Then they left.
*see GoodnewsEverybody.com Ministry: Jail, Prison, Incarceration, Correctional Facility, Criminals, etc...
Acts - Pt 13 of 22
Acts 17 In Thessalonica
"he reasoned with them from the Scriptures, 3explaining and proving that the Christ[a] had to suffer and rise from the dead. "This Jesus I am proclaiming to you is the Christ,[b]" he said. 4Some of the Jews were persuaded and joined Paul and Silas, as did a large number of God-fearing Greeks and not a few prominent women.
5But the Jews were jealous; so they rounded up some bad characters from the marketplace, formed a mob and started a riot in the city. They rushed to Jason's house in search of Paul and Silas in order to bring them out to the crowd.[c] 6But when they did not find them, they dragged Jason and some other brothers before the city officials, shouting: "These men who have caused trouble all over the world have now come here, 7and Jason has welcomed them into his house. They are all defying Caesar's decrees, saying that there is another king, one called Jesus." 8When they heard this, the crowd and the city officials were thrown into turmoil. ...
In Berea (currently Veria)
" 10As soon as it was night, the brothers sent Paul and Silas away to Berea. On arriving there, they went to the Jewish synagogue. 11Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true. 12Many of the Jews believed, as did also a number of prominent Greek women and many Greek men. ...
" 16While Paul was waiting for them in Athens, he was greatly distressed to see that the city was full of idols. 17So he reasoned in the synagogue with the Jews and the God-fearing Greeks, as well as in the marketplace day by day with those who happened to be there. 18A group of Epicurean and Stoic philosophers began to dispute with him. ....
32When they heard about the resurrection of the dead, some of them sneered, but others said, "We want to hear you again on this subject." 33At that, Paul left the Council. 34A few men became followers of Paul and believed. Among them was Dionysius, a member of the Areopagus, also a woman named Damaris, and a number of others.
*see Goodnewseverybody.com Greece Outreach
Acts - Pt 14 of 22
Acts 18 In Corinth
".... 5When Silas and Timothy came from Macedonia, Paul devoted himself exclusively to preaching, testifying to the Jews that Jesus was the Christ.[a] 6But when the Jews opposed Paul and became abusive, he shook out his clothes in protest and said to them, "Your blood be on your own heads! I am clear of my responsibility. From now on I will go to the Gentiles." ...
One night the Lord spoke to Paul in a vision: "Do not be afraid; keep on speaking, do not be silent. 10For I am with you, and no one is going to attack and harm you, because I have many people in this city." 11So Paul stayed for a year and a half, teaching them the word of God. ...
Priscilla, Aquila and Apollos
"..hen he left the brothers and sailed for Syria, accompanied by Priscilla and Aquila. Before he sailed, he had his hair cut off at Cenchrea because of a vow he had taken. 19They arrived at Ephesus, where Paul left Priscilla and Aquila. ..
3After spending some time in Antioch, Paul set out from there and traveled from place to place throughout the region of Galatia and Phrygia, strengthening all the disciples.
24Meanwhile a Jew named Apollos, a native of Alexandria, came to Ephesus. He was a learned man, with a thorough knowledge of the Scriptures. 25He had been instructed in the way of the Lord, and he spoke with great fervor[b] and taught about Jesus accurately, though he knew only the baptism of John. 26He began to speak boldly in the synagogue. When Priscilla and Aquila heard him, they invited him to their home and explained to him the way of God more adequately.
27When Apollos wanted to go to Achaia, the brothers encouraged him and wrote to the disciples there to welcome him. On arriving, he was a great help to those who by grace had believed. 28For he vigorously refuted the Jews in public debate, proving from the Scriptures that Jesus was the Christ."
Paul in Ephesus
" 1While Apollos was at Corinth, Paul took the road through the interior and arrived at Ephesus. There he found some disciples 2and asked them, "Did you receive the Holy Spirit when[a] you believed?"
They answered, "No, we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit."
3So Paul asked, "Then what baptism did you receive?"
"John's baptism," they replied.
4Paul said, "John's baptism was a baptism of repentance. He told the people to believe in the one coming after him, that is, in Jesus." 5On hearing this, they were baptized into[b] the name of the Lord Jesus. 6When Paul placed his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they spoke in tongues[c] and prophesied. 7There were about twelve men in all. ..
Acts - Pt 15 of 22
Through Macedonia and Greece
Eutychus Raised From the Dead at Troas
" 7On the first day of the week we came together to break bread. Paul spoke to the people and, because he intended to leave the next day, kept on talking until midnight. 8There were many lamps in the upstairs room where we were meeting. 9Seated in a window was a young man named Eutychus, who was sinking into a deep sleep as Paul talked on and on. When he was sound asleep, he fell to the ground from the third story and was picked up dead. 10Paul went down, threw himself on the young man and put his arms around him. "Don't be alarmed," he said. "He's alive!" 11Then he went upstairs again and broke bread and ate. After talking until daylight, he left. 12The people took the young man home alive and were greatly comforted.......
*see GoodnewsEverybody.com Life: Joy, Happy, Laughter, Comedy, etc...
Paul's Farewell to the Ephesian Elders
"... 22"And now, compelled by the Spirit, I am going to Jerusalem, not knowing what will happen to me there. 23I only know that in every city the Holy Spirit warns me that prison and hardships are facing me. 24However, I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the gospel of God's grace. ..
*see GoodnewsEverybody.com Life: Determination, Endurance, Perseverance, Persevere, Press-On, etc.. .. Acts - Pt 16 of 22
Paul's Farewell to the Ephesian Elders
"... 25"Now I know that none of you among whom I have gone about preaching the kingdom will ever see me again. 26Therefore, I declare to you today that I am innocent of the blood of all men. 27For I have not hesitated to proclaim to you the whole will of God. 28Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers.[a] Be shepherds of the church of God,[b] which he bought with his own blood. 29I know that after I leave, savage wolves will come in among you and will not spare the flock. 30Even from your own number men will arise and distort the truth in order to draw away disciples after them. 31So be on your guard! Remember that for three years I never stopped warning each of you night and day with tears.
32"Now I commit you to God and to the word of his grace, which can build you up and give you an inheritance among all those who are sanctified. 33I have not coveted anyone's silver or gold or clothing. 34You yourselves know that these hands of mine have supplied my own needs and the needs of my companions. 35In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: 'It is more blessed to give than to receive.' " ...
Acts - Pt 17 of 22
"...1"Brothers and fathers, listen now to my defense." 2When they heard him speak to them in Aramaic, they became very quiet.
Then Paul said: 3"I am a Jew, born in Tarsus of Cilicia, but brought up in this city. Under Gamaliel I was thoroughly trained in the law of our fathers and was just as zealous for God as any of you are today. 4I persecuted the followers of this Way to their death, arresting both men and women and throwing them into prison, 5as also the high priest and all the Council can testify. I even obtained letters from them to their brothers in Damascus, and went there to bring these people as prisoners to Jerusalem to be punished.
6"About noon as I came near Damascus, suddenly a bright light from heaven flashed around me. 7I fell to the ground and heard a voice say to me, 'Saul! Saul! Why do you persecute me?' ...
Acts - Pt 18 of 22
Paul the Roman Citizen
*see GoodnewsEverybody.com Italians of Italy Outreach
".. 6Then Paul, knowing that some of them were Sadducees and the others Pharisees, called out in the Sanhedrin, "My brothers, I am a Pharisee, the son of a Pharisee. I stand on trial because of my hope in the resurrection of the dead." 7When he said this, a dispute broke out between the Pharisees and the Sadducees, and the assembly was divided. 8(The Sadducees say that there is no resurrection, and that there are neither angels nor spirits, but the Pharisees acknowledge them all.) ..
*see GoodnewsEverybody.com Religion: Judaism, Hebrews/Israelites, Torah, Bible-"Old" Testament, etc...
"The Plot to Kill Paul
12The next morning the Jews formed a conspiracy and bound themselves with an oath not to eat or drink until they had killed Paul. ..
Acts - Pt 19 of 22
The Trial Before Felix
"... 24Several days later Felix came with his wife Drusilla, who was a Jewess. He sent for Paul and listened to him as he spoke about faith in Christ Jesus. 25As Paul discoursed on righteousness, self-control and the judgment to come, Felix was afraid and said, "That's enough for now! You may leave. When I find it convenient, I will send for you." 26At the same time he was hoping that Paul would offer him a bribe, so he sent for him frequently and talked with him.
27When two years had passed, Felix was succeeded by Porcius Festus, but because Felix wanted to grant a favor to the Jews, he left Paul in prison....
The Trial Before Festus
Paul Before Agrippa
"..27For I think it is unreasonable to send on a prisoner without specifying the charges against him."..
Acts - Pt 20 of 22