“And a certain woman named Lydia, a seller of purple, of the city of Thyatira, which worshipped God, heard us; whose heart the Lord opened, that she attended (took heed) unto the things which were spoken of Paul. And when she was baptized and her household, she besought us, saying, If ye have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come into my house, and abide there. And she constrained us. ACTS 16:14,15
Still in ACTS 16: Paul and Silas were arrested shortly afterward, mainly because of a demon possessed girl who had been fortune-telling being delivered and therefore cutting the purse strings from her masters, But Paul and Silas rejoiced in God, and even after having been beaten and literally striped by whips, they STILL prayed, praised God and sang in that prison until God sent an earthquake and opened the prison doors, my favorite part which holds all symbolism is that also in that great quake, ALL the prisoners bands were loosened, God loves to break the chains that hold prisoners captive!
We’ll pick up after God had sent that mighty earthquake of freedom.
ACTS 16:27-34: “And the keeper of the prison awaking out of his sleep, and seeing the prison doors open, he drew out his sword, and would have killed himself, supposing the prisoners had been fled. But Paul cried with a loud voice, saying, Do thyself no harm: for we are all here. Then he called for a light, and sprang (ran) in, and came trembling, and fell down before Paul and Silas. And he brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved?
And they said BELIEVE on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, AND THY HOUSE. And they spake unto him the word of the Lord, and to all that were in his house. And he took them the same hour of the night, and washed their stripes; and was baptized, HE AND ALL HIS HOUSE.”
ROMANS 16:3-5 ” Greet Priscilla and Aquila my helpers in Christ Jesus; who for my life laid down (risked) their own necks; unto whom not only I give thanks, but also the churches of the Gentiles. Likewise greet THE CHURCH THAT IS IN THEIR HOUSE, salute my wellbeloved Epaenetus, who IS the firstfruits of Achaia unto Christ.”
Well, I guess you are starting to dig where this is going. Many other scriptures mention the “churches in their house”, now I do realize that this is when the church was forming and that there were many home churches, but I also want you to keep in mind, that the Temple of God is IN US!
Lydia worshipped God, she just needed a little clarification about Him and the teachings, she “came in” and once doing so, her household came with her! But she also wanted to be a blessing to the disciples. probably one of the first examples of GALATIANS 6:10 coming into view, “As we therefore have opportunity, let us do good unto all men, ESPECIALLY unto them who are of the household of faith.”
We see with the story of the jailor, who was going to take his own life before it would be taken from him because the prisoners had escaped on his watch, how God’s compassion moving through the heart of Paul, would be used, not only to save this man from committing suicide, but also to save his soul and the souls of his household!
Priscilla, who was the minister of her house is mentioned several places and many, many others again with the reference of churches in their houses. And the thought with this is that I, like many others have become so discouraged by what we have seen, as we know that we are in the time of the “great falling away” but we still hold to the promise of the outpouring of the latter days, I know this can be argued many ways, but I am not here to argue.
I personally believe, based on scriptural studies that this indeed did begin, even fulfilling some of Revelation, with the Apostles but I do believe the major outpouring is still for the end days and it well on its way.
But either way, as it stands at the moment, we have a brief window, many denominations are “dying” away and new candy-coat churches of the “world” are growing like algae in a hot swamp and are spreading their infectious false, poison doctrine like the wildfire that it is and burning up gullible souls in the process because the truth is being smothered out by shouts of bigot and intolerant.
So what do we do? We can’t get the lost in church because they are being pulled in two directions by two different “Gospels” the true Gospel of Christ and the new modern “gospel” of anything goes, the god created in their image that has no rules, no regulations, and welcomes all with a “No Repentance Required” sign flashing at the spiritual door and I guarantee you to their sorrow, that no repentance equates to absolutely NO SALVATION, believe a lie…. we know that scripture. You got to add in all the pagan religions and total it all up, it looks rough for the home team but these verses give us hope and I want to sit all those verses upon this one and form a solid, sure foundation for this thought.
ISAIAH 58 deals with the Lord explaining to us in a no holds barred fashion what we are required to do IF we really want to see His goodness come to pass, and IF we really want to see people delivered and saved, and IF we know that it is not for us, but for THEM.
He first addresses the issue of fasting, for strife, for debate, to “make our voices to be heard on high’ and proclaim fasting as we still hold anger and unrighteousness and then question God as to why He doesn’t “see” us as we fast.
And then He asks these questions, ISAIAH 58: 5-7 ” Is NOT THIS the fast that I HAVE CHOSEN? to LOOSE the bands of wickedness, to UNDO the heavy burdens, and to LET THE OPPRESSED GO FREE, and THAT YE BREAK EVERY YOKE?
Is it NOT to deal (share)THY BREAD TO THE HUNGRY , and to BRING the poor that is cast out (WANDERING) to THY HOUSE? when thou seest the naked, that THOU COVEREST HIM: and that thou HIDE NOT THYSELF FROM THINE OWN FLESH?
This is GOD, HIMSELF telling us what HE expects us to do! Maybe there are the great churches of apathy, who seem to have an attitude of we got ours, get yours and who cares about those that are falling through the cracks? I have not made many friends with that, but you know what? IT IS THE TRUTH and I will stand before the Lord one day and give account and they will too and when He asks did they not know they were accountable for His flock, ALL of His flock, then they will not be able to say no one warned them, because I did and I have taken being labeled a “black sheep” as my hire from them.
I will not stop warning from the wall, from the rooftop, from every possible angle God gives me because people are hurting, people are in trouble, and they are dying as they fall through those jagged cracks. I heard a radio interview with a lady that works with the homosexual community, she is born again and came from that community, so she has a really clear insight and the most compelling thought she gave, that came as no shock, is that they have a fellowship and a closeness that is lacking in most churches today, that everyone had each others backs and people have that network of support that WE ALL NEED.
With is why God also told us that HIS idea on this is to fast for others and to undo heavy burdens, to care for each other, break all those yokes, through Him. To SHARE the bread of life with those who are starving in this world. And to bring those who are lost, hurting, and wounded into our “house” sharing the love and goodness of God with them and showing them that there is a better way, to help those we can and to hide not ourselves from our own flesh, share with them our testimonies of where God brought us from and care more for another than we do ourselves, just as Priscilla and Aquila considered supporting and ministering the Gospel during times of persecution of a greater value that even their own lives.
So for the rest of us, take every moment, every opportunity to reach out to someone hurting and GIVE of yourself, GIVE of the bread of life that He has freely GIVEN you, take a moment to reach out to someone whom you haven’t seen in a while, take the extra time to be different, and if God is dealing with your heart and you have been holding out waiting for others to “come in”, think about those who brought others in by coming in!
WHAT IMPACT DOES YOUR LIFE HAVE? Not just for you and eternity but for those of your house?
Think about it today, I want to lay out a little challenge, just try this and see what happens, reach higher, stretch farther, and see the impossible for you and YOUR Household! Let those blessing flow from your house into theirs and be glad eternally that you did! I promise you will not regret it!
Φλογίζω Σαλπιζω NBJ 2016