The church then had peace throughout Judea, Galilee, and Samaria, and it became stronger as the believers lived in the fear of the Lord. And with the encouragement of the Holy Spirit, it also grew in numbers. Acts 9:31 NLT
Ever visited a church... the order of service was good... the preaching was good... the music was good... but when you left you said to yourself... "I can't put my finger on it, but there seems to be something missing here"?
Let's face it, there is no church that has everything for everybody! But the churches listed above had some key elements that churches today may be missing... What were they?
Peace - they found peace with God and each other through faith and forgiveness... no longer relying on their "brand" name!
Fear of the Lord - Recognizing that, "all have sinned", and that God alone was the righteous Judge...no longer comparing and complaining about others...they got their own hearts right with God.
Encouragement of the Holy Spirit - Ah... that unseen presence of God... actually becomes quite visible when there is peace, forgiveness, and harmony, and encouragement in the body of Christ.
OH, and yes... when these three elements are present... the church will also... grow in numbers!