Speaker: Jerry Cisar
After citing Acts 2:42-47 and 4:32-35, with their snapshots of the church at its ideal best, Mark Buchanan writes,
“It’s funny, but the older I get and the longer I’m in ministry, the more naive and idealistic I become, at least in some areas…. I more and more believe that the church can look and sound and believe and act like the church did two thousand years ago, when the Spirit first fell like fire and came like a hurricane, and everyone liked everyone else, and shared as anyone had need, and bystanders rushed to become participants. I not only believe that this is possible; I believe it’s normative. It’s the way it’s supposed to be.” (Your Church is Too Safe, 144-5)
I share his sentiment. In other words, this isn’t in the Bible just so we can know how bad we are as churches in comparison; it is in the Bible because we are supposed to strive for it, believing it is in some large measure possible.
But there is a problem, and one that exists not just in churches today but in virtually every church mentioned in the New Testament. What is it? That this glorious vision for the church waxes and wanes in the hearts of God’s people in the long marathon of faith. Jesus warned about this waning, and the author of Hebrews faced it head on.