Viral giving in the first century church sparked viral redemption. They really knew how to share the gospel back then; perhaps we aren’t going about this witnessing thing in the right way. What do I mean by viral giving? Let’s take a look at God’s Word to see.
Acts 4:34,35 Neither was there any among them that lacked: for as many as were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the prices of the things that were sold,
35 And laid them down at the apostles’ feet: and distribution was made unto every man according as he had need.
As you can see, most people in the first century Christian church were not selfish. Most of them weren’t rich either. Back in those days, there was a huge divide between those who had and those who had not. There was great poverty and great need. When people became Christian, they responded to those with needs around them, and they did everything they could to gather food and raise money for other Christians who were in need outside of their immediate area.
Please notice that they took care of their own spiritual family first — believers. They didn’t run out to feed the entire world or give all the good things God gave them to the unbelievers. Many Christians miss this important fact. Remember that Jesus said not to “throw pearls to swine.” We are to take care of our own first and then bless others with the excess. God’s abundance shares enough for all, but let’s do this in the proper order. God first, Christians second, the world third. But don’t make a rule out of this, we are to walk by the spirit. Walk with God, not by rules alone.
I wonder how many of us today are willing to sell lands and houses and other precious possessions to help other Christians in need. We become quite attached to our possessions seeing we spend so much time and effort to acquire them. Beware your possessions don’t mean more to you than other people do. People are higher on God’s list than houses. I think you get the point.
The result of this spontaneous giving in the first century church was that thousands of people converted to Christianity literally overnight. People saw the hearts of the first century Christians and knew they really believed in the gospel they were offering. They saw changed lives. They saw unselfishness. They saw genuine believers reaching out to them with not only words but with substance. The result was viral redemption.
Viral redemption is the result of viral giving, at least in the first century church. I believe the pattern can be repeated in our time. That’s why I started The Christian Culture Center. We want to help those who want to promote Christ in culture and one way we want to do it is through giving grants and commissioning good works to be performed. We are praying for God’s direction and for our Lord Jesus to supply the people we need to get this rolling the way it should be.
The next time you want revival, forget about hell-fire sermons and scaring people into submission. Try love motivation through giving whatever it is you can give to help fellows Christians in need. Try God’s way and you’ll get better, longer-lasting results.