Let’s begin by comparing the characteristics of the two churches:
|Church of Acts 2||Bethesda Chapel||Comment|
|1) A Jewish Church||Open to all who believes that Jesus is God and accepts Him as Lord and Saviour||The disciples were unaware that the Church will include gentiles.|
|2) An evangelising Church (v41, v47)||
|3) A teaching or studying Church (v42)||
||There is sufficient opportunity for members of BC to study God’s word. Members can also take courses like BSF on their own.|
|4) A fellowshipping Church (v42, v46)||
||While the early Christians fellowship daily, we fellowship more on the weekend because of work commitment.|
|5) A praying Church (v42)||
||Attendance of the corporate prayer is poor.|
|6) A caring Church (v44, v45)||
||The early Church expressed their love by sharing goods with those who were under hardship because they were cast out of the Jewish community.|
|7) Fear of the Lord Church (v43)||We are awed when we come to know God more and more through the study of His word and experiencing His grace and mercy.||The early Church witnessed miracles meant to authenticate the Gospel. They were awed by the convicting power of the Holy Spirit.|
Bethesda Chapel generally has all the parts of the Church described in Acts 2. The main difference is that the early Church was a rapidly growing church. We are unable to match such growth as our circumstances are vastly different.
Possible reasons why the early Church was able to grow rapidly are:
(i) The Jews had only recently seen Jesus or heard of Him and the many miracles He had performed;
(ii) Many signs and wonders were done by the Apostles.
We lack the experiential motivation of the early Christians. Also, not many members of BC are sufficiently tutored in God’s word and have developed the skill to use it to evangelize. Hence there must be an emphasis to teach or study God’s word. Pray to God to give us the strength and inspiration to carry out His work.
Brother Yeo Khirn Siew