Thoughts, Views and Apprehensions of the Early Church

downloadThe disciples, after the festival of Pentecost were now fully assured that Jesus was indeed the promised Messiah.

And so after waiting and receiving in Jerusalem the promise of the Holy Spirit, the Disciples now Apostles, quickly began to preach the Gospel; the glorious news of Jesus Christ and how he died to save man from sin.

Equally quickly, they were faced with the many souls that God was adding to His church. Think of it, here were preachers, newly out on their own, faced with hundreds, if not thousands of new believers –every day! Now, freshly minted, and out on their own, they were preaching, mentoring, pastoring, teaching and discipling –all the duties that are required for taking care of the new souls in the faith, and they were doing it with raw numbers we can hardly imagine.  And think of this, these newly appointed apostles were also facing with terrible persecutions. To consider even the physical logistics of shepherding all those hurting, displaced people; many of which were actually refugees is mind-blowing. So from this aspect, as well as the press of their evangelistic labors, we can understand full well why they had no time to write down their stories of those moments which they had had with Christ, or about their reminiscences of their communing with Him. Further, they also labored under one terrible misapprehension or misunderstanding. They believed that Jesus was coming speedily to earth again, to set up his eternal throne.

This mistake on the part of these new apostles, may be responsible for the lateness of the written Gospels; for they were written many years after Christ had ascended into heaven. And since it seems that many Christians believed, Apostles included, that Christ would speedily come again, they therefore, had little enough time to preach as it was, especially since their mission was to go out and make disciples of the entire world.

But this mindset, which we might deplore today, was perhaps also responsible for the magnificent courage with which those men, “that little band of humble, simple provincials,” exhibited as they created the Christian religion in the shadow of the cross. And also consider the Gospels, those beautiful Gospels we now have… well, when they were finally written, the writers who wrote them, under the aid of the Holy Spirit, were also able to use them to help to address the specific needs of the church which had arisen in the intervening years.

Undoubtedly, those brave men who were charged with leading this church, knew no fear. Nothing that the world could do frightened their souls. Everything appeared paltry, the world and its pleasures grow very dim in the light of the Cross, and their minds were set on nothing except Christ.

The activity of commerce, the enthusiasm of art, the gossip and tattle of the streets “these things were as dust to them. They had seen and spoken with a man risen from the dead. A risen spirit had assured them that prophecy was at last fulfilled. The end of the world had come upon them. Christ was risen from the dead. The King had come. Soon, very soon, the power of God would be made manifest to all nations, and to all peoples, throughout the whole world.

So our first view of Christianity is the spectacle of these earnest and loving disciples preaching Christ’s Gospel with the assurance that the end of the world had come.