How to make Canada Christian again

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summer 2022  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  43:19
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We live in a world where things are perceived as becoming more ungodly. However God has given us an example to follow on how to make our sphere on influence more Godly. today Pastor Shawn will show 5 ways the early church spread the gospel that still work today!

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Good morning, its good to be back with you.
thank you for your prayers as our family went on a trip of a lifetime.
I consider it more of an exploration than a holiday.
We came across many challenges, but we gained an understanding of how life is different in many countries
in fact we visited 15 countries in a little over 30 days.
We spent some time doing many different walking tours.
we walked on roads that were used when Jesus walked the earth 2000 years ago.
we explored coliseum where christians were martyrd for not worshipping Roman gods
We also toured countless church buildings that were spread across Europe in what seems to be a competition to out do the other.
The question that first came to mind. was this.
How did the church go from being persecuted to the point of death, to be the declared world religion in the roman empire in a few hundred years?
I know we somtimes intend to believe things happen fast.
And although Christianity did grow at a very miraculous rate.
its takes generations for God to accompish His will.
Constantine converted to christianity in 312AD
This is one of my biggest takeaways from this trip.

building things that last.

At pompeii we walked on roads that were 2000 years old.
painting on the wall could still be visible
you could see the sinks and toilets, fountains, floor tiles, the counters with their counter tops
that were in use when Jesus walked on the earth as a man.
I’m a builder, I enjoy building things
but i have to be honest, nothing I’ve built will last 2000 years
1 Corinthians 3:10–17 NASB95
10 According to the grace of God which was given to me, like a wise master builder I laid a foundation, and another is building on it. But each man must be careful how he builds on it. 11 For no man can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 Now if any man builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, 13 each man’s work will become evident; for the day will show it because it is to be revealed with fire, and the fire itself will test the quality of each man’s work. 14 If any man’s work which he has built on it remains, he will receive a reward. 15 If any man’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire. 16 Do you not know that you are a temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? 17 If any man destroys the temple of God, God will destroy him, for the temple of God is holy, and that is what you are.
I believe it is critical to have the insights to look beyond ourselves.
what are we building for future generations?
are we allowing others to build in our place?
When looking at the current state of affairs a survey carried in 2022 out by angus reid says the following:,a%20few%20times%20a%20year.
Surveyors found about a quarter of Prairie residents were "spiritually committed," meaning they were likely to belong to communities of worship, believe in the afterlife and a deity or deities, or routinely practice their religion.
Alberta, Sask, Manitoba rank the highest in Religious commited around 25%
that includes every religion
considering a few generations ago Christians were close to 78% in Alberta
We have God promise in Matthew
Matthew 16:17–19 NASB95
17 And Jesus said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Barjona, because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but My Father who is in heaven. 18 “I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it. 19 “I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and whatever you bind on earth shall have been bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall have been loosed in heaven.”
God gave the keys to the His church
and frankly the church has failed miserably many times over the last 2 millienia
So back to my original question:
How did the church go from being persecuted to the point of death, to be the declared world religion in the roman empire in a few hundred years?
How can we today start the ball rolling in bringing the Love, faith and hope to a world that is lost and dying.
We can sit back and proclaim the world is getting bad. .......which it is.
Or we can do what God is calling us to do to change it.
But in order to do this, we need a change in mindset.
I beleive we have a perfect example of how to do this based on the orginal pattern gave the church.
One of the most amazing and significant facts of history is that within a few centuries of its birth
Christianity won the professed allegiance of the overwhelming majority of the population of the Roman Empire and even the support of the Roman state ...
Church building were built with extraordinary extravagance and were the centre part of every city
Now I beleive there were many things wrong with what the church became
and i’m not suggestion we repeat their mistakes.
but there are things that God gave the early church which allowed it to influece every human culture it came into contact with.

1. Everyday Citizens Spread the Word

Missionaries like the apostle Paul, traveled around the empire with the intention to spread Christianity.
However, most of the people who helped spread the religion did so just by talking about it with their neighbors, friends and family members
“Missionaries are a part of the story, but most of the story is about regular Christians talking to regular people,”
one of the most important reasons that Christianity emerges in the way that it does in the Roman world.
It’s not mission activity by people like Paul so much as it is people whose name we don’t know.”
too many christians are waiting for a Paul to do their job
paul could never do what Gods called you to do, that’s why God called you to do it.

2. Christianity Didn’t Present Itself as an Exclusive Club

Christianity also got a boost from the idea that it was a faith for anyone
not just people in a certain region with a specific religious background
Paul preached that a person didn’t have to obey Jewish laws around circumcision and kosher food practices to become Christians.
Christianity was for the rich and the poor.
James addressed this fact in his letter to rebuke an unacceptable behavior
James 2:2–4 NASB95
2 For if a man comes into your assembly with a gold ring and dressed in fine clothes, and there also comes in a poor man in dirty clothes, 3 and you pay special attention to the one who is wearing the fine clothes, and say, “You sit here in a good place,” and you say to the poor man, “You stand over there, or sit down by my footstool,” 4 have you not made distinctions among yourselves, and become judges with evil motives?

3. Persecution

The early church faced persecution
Acts 8:3–8 NASB95
3 But Saul began ravaging the church, entering house after house, and dragging off men and women, he would put them in prison. 4 Therefore, those who had been scattered went about preaching the word. 5 Philip went down to the city of Samaria and began proclaiming Christ to them. 6 The crowds with one accord were giving attention to what was said by Philip, as they heard and saw the signs which he was performing. 7 For in the case of many who had unclean spirits, they were coming out of them shouting with a loud voice; and many who had been paralyzed and lame were healed. 8 So there was much rejoicing in that city.
although we might not like the idea of persecution,
it has been very effective in spreading the gospel.
persecution forces a beleiver to focus on what’s really important.
It removes the distractions that focus on our comfort
and gets us back to doing what it most vital.
where are the fastest growing churches in the world?
Would you say those 2 places are comfortable for christians to live out their faith?
I would say they are 2 places that are very hostile to the Christian faith
Sheep among Wolves volume 2 on youtube
the number of Chinese Protestants has grown by an average of 10 percent annually since 1979
Where are the churches in greatest decline?
Pretty much where ever the Church has the least persecution.
Now I I’m not saying we need persecution to grow. I’m not asking God to send persecution.
What I am saying is if we aren’t growing by spreading the gospel....persecution is coming!

4. An Emperor Converted—and Officially Recognized the Faith

The Great Persecution was the Roman Empire’s most severe persecution of Christians—and also its last.
This is because after this persecution, in 312, Emperor Constantine I became the first Roman emperor to convert to Christianity.
A year later, he helped enact the Edict of Milan, which ended government persecution of Christians and made Christianity a recognized, legal religion within the empire.
Constantine’s rule didn’t mark an immediate shift in the Roman Empire from pagan to Christian.
However, “he starts a process that, by the end of the fourth century, will lead to the explicit restriction of pagan practices and the explicit promotion of Christian practices by the imperial government,”
Christianity continued to spread through the territories of the western Roman Empire after its fall in 476.
Over the next several centuries, it became the dominant religion in the city of Rome as well as the European regions over which the Roman Empire had ruled.
The Roman Colosseum, once the site of deadly gladiator battles, even became a sacred Christian site where, in the 17th century, an artist painted an image of ancient Jerusalem.
Now I believe were at the early stages of God raising up God fearing people to lead our province and our nation.
I’ve personally talked with and prophesied over Todd Lowen is running for the UPC leadership. He is a man after God’s own heart
Leslyn Lewis reached out to me in the early staged of her politcial career asking for prayer. I beleive she to be a God fearing woman of faith. She’s running for the federal conservative leadship.
I’m asking you to pray for these 2 individuals, that God would raise them up and keep their eyes on Him.
but also prayer for all our current leaders
Even though our current prime minister is hostile to the christian faith
and saying things like “Christians are the worst part of Canadian society”
Let’s pray He has an encounter with almighty God
1 Timothy 2:1–2 NASB95
1 First of all, then, I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men, 2 for kings and all who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity.

5. Lead and empowered by Holy Spirit

The Holy Spirit had a huge role in the growth of the early church.
During His earthy ministry, Jesus taught the disciples to pray for the gift of the Spirit (Luke 11:13).
The Lord revealed future events (Matt. 24) and promised that more light would come through the Holy Spirit who was to guide the disciples into all truth (John 16:13).
Acts 1:8 NASB95
8 but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.”
Our witness is based on following Holy Spirits leading
There’s no doubt that the Early Church experienced the Holy Spirit in a real and supernatural way.
The Apostles, in particular, performed many miracles through Spiritual Gift such as Prophecy, Tongues, Message of Wisdom, Message of Knowledge, Faith, Distinguishing between Spirit, Miraculous Power, Interpretation of Tongues, of which they received as a result of the Manifestation of the Holy Spirit.
Holy Spirit Reveals (1 Cor 2:10):
Holy Spirit reveals hidden or secret things and it also reveals deep things that are yet to be known. Peter said unto Ananias, how could you have lied before the Holy Spirit (Act5:3). Because the Holy Spirit had revealed everything unto Peter.
Holy Spirit Revives: The disciples had much fear in their hearts, but when they received the Holy Spirit, they were revived and began to fulfill mandates.(Act 2:14 ; 4:31)
Holy Spirit Redeem: The manifestation of the Holy Spirit Redeem lives and brings transformation to every area of one’s life. (Act 9:7)
Holy Spirit Restore: Holy Spirit Restore life, peace, health. In Act 4: 8-22, Peter restore a life of an impotent man and was made whole of his sickness through the power of the Holy Spirit.
We need to rely more on the Holy Spirit and less on our own knowledge and understanding.
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