My great friend and teacher, Brooks Walker once said:
“If I had the power of healing I’d spend all my time at hospitals.”
He was speaking of course about some ministries who claim to have healing power — for a fee.
Thankfully, Peter and the apostles truly had the ability to heal as we will learn in Acts chapter 5 (below).
The Scripture reading today is from the Book of Acts; very short but profound.
Reading it over, we can understand the healing power of Peter and the Apostles within Solomon’s portico.
However, these verses contain several life lessons. Both then and now, persecution is very much alive.
We will also discuss why people attend church.
The Healing Power of Peter and the Apostles at Solomon’s Portico
At the hands of the apostles many signs and wonders were taking place among the people; and they were all with one accord in Solomon’s portico.
But none of the rest dared to associate with them; however, the people held them in high esteem.
And all the more believers in the Lord, multitudes of men and women, were constantly added to their number, to such an extent that they even carried the sick out into the streets and laid them on cots and pallets, so that when Peter came by at least his shadow might fall on any one of them. – Acts 5:12-115 NASB
Fear Overrules Respect at Solomon’s Portico
Since Jesus Himself taught and healed at the entrance of Solomon’s temple, the mention of Solomon’s portico in the first verses above is significant.
Despite gaining people’s respect, the disciples still remembered Jesus’ death vividly. Not to mention the recent persecution of the apostles.
Christian Persecution Today
In the news every day, militant groups like ISIS and groups in countries like Africa are causing Christians to “carry the cross” by brutally murdering those who profess to believe in the Savior.
- They are killed for no other reason than their faith.
- Even in America, Christians are fighting battles for rights given to them by the US constitution.
- These ongoing fights stretch as far as the simple right to believe what the Bible tells us.
I’m not predicting the end times but this is all covered in the New Testament of Christ. Our faith is about to be tested more and more as governments increasingly demand “tolerance” of all religions and lifestyles except Christianity.
Yes, it’s scary for me too. Will I be willing to profess my faith as the penalty becomes more severe? Will you?
Reasons for Belonging to a Christian Church
People today join churches for many different reasons.
- Services and programs such as music, children & youth trips, etc.
- The size of the building and the amount of exposure it gets in the public eye.
- The fellowship of other Christians who are of like mind.
- Pastors or prominent speakers who can draw crowds.
Am I saying these are bad things? Not at all, but all of the above makes for a gathering place or social club; not so much the body of Christ.
Why Did People of Peter’s Time Attend Church
People were drawn to the early church because of its generosity and unity and because of the character of its leaders.
Several weeks ago, I read about a church that rented space on a school campus and was evicted.
It was upsetting to read this, but I also read that the church was offered a shopping mall for Easter services, but they declined.
A person was quoted as saying, “Who wants to hold church in a mall?“.
What is Church Anyhow?
Just for curiosity’s sake, I looked up the definition of the word “church” at DictionaryCom. It stated church as:
- a building for public Christian worship.
- public worship of God or a religious service in such a building: to attend church regularly.
- the whole body of Christian believers; Christendom.
- any division of this body professing the same creed and acknowledging the same ecclesiastical authority; a Christian denomination:
If we are to be true followers of Christ we need to understand what constitutes a church.
Whether it’s a cathedral or a parking lot, church is anywhere two or more believers gather.
Rather than listening to a well-known gospel singer, God wants believers to belong to His church, who want to serve and worship Him.
Christ is only present when we come to worship, and He doesn’t take notice of how impressive the facilities are.
Peter and the Apostles understood this.
They shared Christ and healed wherever they traveled. And remember, they did God’s work even though it could have meant death!
Love in Christ
See John 3:16 to learn more about Jesus Christ’s love and life-changing experience.