On Sunday morning, November 27th, Pastor D. G. Hargrove presented a lesson entitled, “The Church on Course.” Drawing parallels from the account of the birth of the Church in the Book of Acts, Pastor Hargrove identified seven guideposts that will keep believers on course. If the Church will remain true to these founding principles, she will continue to be the force so desperately needed in the world today.
(1) Seek God and Know His Value – “And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place” (Acts 2:1). Although over 500 saw Jesus ascend from the Mount of Olives, just 120 were present in the Upper Room ten days later when the Church was born. These believers understood the value of the things of God, and had dedicated themselves to seeking Him.
(2) Prayerfully Approach God’s Plan – “These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brethren” (Acts 1:14). The early Church was born in an atmosphere of prayer. To stay on course, the Church must stay connected to God through the power of prayer. Prayerful obedience to His plan will result in purposeful living.
(3) Allow God to Work – “And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting” (Acts 2:2). The early Church experienced the supernatural. To stay on course, believers today must embrace the working of God’s spirit in their lives.
(4) Be Filled and Led by the Holy Ghost – “And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance” (Acts 2:3-4). Nothing equals the experience of being filled with God’s spirit and allowing Him to live in us and through us. To stay on course, believers today must still be filled and led by the Holy Ghost.
(5) Desire Truthful Preaching – “But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said unto them, Ye men of Judaea, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and hearken to my words” (Acts 2:14). On the birthday of the Church, the Apostle Peter stood up with the other apostles and preached the truth of God’s Word. The Church will stay on course as believers continue to desire truth preached from the pulpit.
(6) Always Respond to God’s Word – “Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?” (Acts 2:37). The response of those who heard the truthful preaching of God’s Word on the Day of Pentecost was an open question of response. Those believers readily applied and obeyed the word preached. To stay on course, believers must always respond to God’s Word with willing obedience.
(7) You Will Have God-Produced Results – “Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls. And they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers” (Acts 2:41-42). The application of these guideposts in the early Church resulted in a dynamic community that turned their world upside down. As believers today remain faithful to these guideposts, the Church will be what God has called her to be, and the world will be forever changed!