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Is biblical Christianity the same as today's Christianity? (part 1)

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Many preachers claim that the early church, which is the biblical church, is completely different from the church of today.

Negativity, repentance from sin and Christian sufferings belong to the early church while positivity, freedom to live the way you like and Christian comfort belong to the present day church — that is exactly what many modern-day preachers actually believe. In a recent interview, a notable pastor who was once the Christian Association of Nigeria chairman said:  “[The] reason why there is not so much emphasis on salvation and holiness in our churches today is because the dispensation of such has passed and the church is now evolving into dispensation of prosperity, signs, and wonders.”

If men like these who are supposed to be the custodians of the Gospel are discarding biblical principles and making the Word of God obsolete, we seriously need to question whether or not our version of Christianity bears any resemblance to historic biblical Christianity.

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In my opinion, I think that there are great differences between the early church and many of today’s churches. The Holy Ghost gave birth to the early church in the upper room where the disciples were waiting as instructed by Christ. The purpose of the biblical church is stated in Acts 1:8: “But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.”

The mandate of the early church was to fulfill the Great Commission as instructed by Christ.

How many of today's churches have the mandate of the Great Commission in their mission and vision statements? Many churches today simply don’t care about sending missionaries to the fields. I have come across churches with mission statements like “to raise shinning stars,” “to raise kings and queens,” “to make people rich,” etc. The purpose of the Church should not vary. The same purpose that it had in the beginning should be sacrosanct.

God has never changed or modified His standards. The writer of the Hebrews told us to be careful of strange teachings. “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and forever. Be not carried about with divers and strange doctrines” (Hebrew 13:8-9). The doctrines of men have taken the place of the doctrine of God in many churches today, especially in Africa.

The biblical church forgave its enemies. Even when they were persecuted, they did not return hate for hate. Rather, they prayed for boldness to continue to preach the Gospel. “And now, O Lord, hear their threats, and give us, your servants, great boldness in preaching your word (Acts 4:29). Jesus prayed that God should forgive those who crucified Him — Stephen did the same. But many Christians today have forgotten all about that.

This is not the Christianity that the biblical apostles handed down to us. The devil must have developed another brand of Christianity through the other gospel and many Christians are sadly embracing it.

Oscar Amaechina is the president of Afri-Mission and Evangelism Network, Abuja, Nigeria. His calling is to take the gospel to where no one has neither preached nor heard about Jesus. He is the author of the book Mystery Of The Cross Revealed.  

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