Lights, Sound and Drama vs. Judgment, Fear and Saving Faith

by Stephen Rhoda

“And more than ever believers were added to the Lord, multitudes of both men and women.” — Acts 5:14

According to man’s wisdom, we might think that this season of growth in the church came about through modish worship services (ie. lights, sound, and drama), through practical, topical, preaching (ie. 7 keys to finding purpose and contentment in your life), through social programs (ie. AA, divorce recovery group, etc), and through stellar ministries in the church (ie. cutting-edge youth and couples ministry).  But actually this season of growth followed upon the heals of the deceptive worship of a man and his wife who were therefore punished by God with death.  As a result, “great fear came upon the whole church and upon all who heard of these things” (vs. 11).  We are even told that those outside the church “dared [not] join them, but… held them in high esteem” (vs. 13).  And yet, “more than ever believers were added to the Lord, multitudes of both men and women” (vs. 14).

The lesson for us is that we must, simply and yet so profoundly, preach the Word, exalt Christ, worship God in joyful fear, and trust God to bear the fruit of His sovereign will.  The church’s job is not to lure or entertain or otherwise to grow the church through our own wisdom.  Instead, we have been assigned both a message and a method, both of which are ordained by God to uphold His character and to draw sinners to Him in true and saving faith.