Every day they would meet in someones
house to eat the special supper of bread and wine, in which
they remembered that Jesus died for them and through which
they were continually blessed (1 Corinthians 11:23-26).
And day and night they cried out to God in prayer, that
His will would be done in their lives and on the earth.
This was the glorious beginning of the congregation, or
church, of Jesus.
is he that overcomes the world, but he that believes that
Jesus is the Son of God? (1 John 5:5)
But as these new believers
grew stronger in their faith, they started to be disliked
by those who did not share their beliefs. Many were mocked,
some were beaten, and others were even killed for their
faith! Even their friends pressured them to leave this new
life they had found. Satan, too, harassed them, putting
great difficulties in their paths to make them doubt Gods
love and truth. And even from their own hearts temptations
arosetemptations to pleasures, to riches and to fame.
But in all this their
faith was being tested to see if it was real. So the believers
learned to depend on Jesus and His strength to overcome
all their hardships. And this they did, continuing in His
grace, waiting for the day when He would return. And they
knew that even if they died before that day came, their
soul would not die, but be instantly in the presence of
their wonderful Lord in the Heavenly city of God (2 Corinthians
you shall receive power, after the Holy Spirit has come
upon you: and you shall be witnesses to Me both in Jerusalem,
and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and to the uttermost part
of the earth." (Acts 1:8)
Now when Jesus had
gone into Heaven, He sent the Holy Spirit down to earth.
This was so His disciples could have power to heal the sick
and to preach the good news, just like Jesus had done. For
He had told them to tell everyone about Himthat He
was Gods Son and that He had died for sinnersuntil
the whole world would hear. So then, just as God the Father
had sent Jesus into the world, now Jesus, who had risen
up from the dead, was sending His disciples into the world.
And this was their
great joy and calling: not only to have eternal life for
themselves, but to offer it to all people everywhere, warning
them also that Jesus would one day return to judge the earth.
So, down through the centuries, true believers have taken
up this call and have told others about Jesus and His invitation
to eternal life. And while many people never listen, yet
when just one soul turns from death to life, all Heaven
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