And they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers. And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles. And all that believed were together, and had all things common; And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need. And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart, Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved. (Acts 2:42-47)
Notice with me, if you will, the way the early Jerusalem Church functioned.
1. They continued in the Apostles’ doctrine.
2. They continued in fellowship.
3. They continued in prayer.
4. They were in one accord.
5. They broke bread from house to house – they eat together.
6. They praised God.
7. God blessed them because they were faithful in their service to Him.
What is Cafeteria Style Christianity?
I. GO WHEN YOU WANT.
- The early churches met at regular times.
And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them, ready to depart on the morrow; and continued his speech until midnight. (Acts 20:7)
Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come. (I Corinthians 16:2)
- We are instructed to meet with the church.
Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;) And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching. (Hebrews 10:23-25)
II. CHOOSE WHERE YOU GO.
- In the yellow pages of the phone book under churches S. W. Bell used to say “Go to the church of your choice.”
- We ought to go to the church of God’s choice.
III. CHOOSE WHAT YOU WANT.
- We sure do like to please ourselves.
- But God says to seek His kingdom first.
But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. (Matthew 6:33)
- We no longer belong to ourselves if we are a child of God.
What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s. (I Corinthians 6:19-20)
IV. CHOOSE THE PRICE YOU WANT TO PAY.
- The Lord Himself told us to tithe.
Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone. (Matthew 23:23)
ILL> A man I used to work with said that the Lord said that before His death on the cross, so we did not need to tithe. However, after His death and resurrection He said for us to teach “all things whatsoever I have commanded you,” so we do need to tithe.
Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen. (Matthew 28:20)
- Paul used the Old Testament priesthood to reveal that we are to tithe.
For it is written in the law of Moses, Thou shalt not muzzle the mouth of the ox that treadeth out the corn. Doth God take care for oxen? Or saith he it altogether for our sakes? For our sakes, no doubt, this is written: that he that ploweth should plow in hope; and that he that thresheth in hope should be partaker of his hope. If we have sown unto you spiritual things, is it a great thing if we shall reap your carnal things? If others be partakers of this power over you, are not we rather? Nevertheless we have not used this power; but suffer all things, lest we should hinder the gospel of Christ. Do ye not know that they which minister about holy things live of the things of the temple? and they which wait at the altar are partakers with the altar? Even so hath the Lord ordained that they which preach the gospel should live of the gospel. (I Corinthians 9:9-14)
- You are not doing anything extra for God until you go beyond the tithe.
V. COME AS YOU ARE.
- Don’t worry about how you look just come.
In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array; (I Timothy 2:9)
- And then some churches have the attitude of:
- Don’t worry about your baptism, just join us.
- Don’t worry about your sin, just come on in, it will be alright.
- We need to put off the old man.
That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; (Ephesians 4:22-23)
- Then we need to put on the new man.
And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.
But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth. Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds; And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him: Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but Christ is all, and in all. Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye. And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness. (Colossians 3:8-14)
I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. (Galatians 2:20)
VI. COME WITHOUT RESPONSIBILITIES.
- You don’t have to cook, set the table, or wash the dishes.
- We grow by experience.
But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen. (II Peter 3:18)
- We get experience by doing.
Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting. And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith. (Galatians 6:7-10)