In the last message of the Breaking the Chains series, Pastor Harris examined the thorny issue of the curse of the law in the so-called “Jerusalem incident”. This incident involved a confrontation between the Apostle Paul and the leaders of the church in Jerusalem. What made this confrontation tricky was that some of the leaders in the church were some of the original 12 disciples of Jesus. Also present in the leadership were certain Christians from a Pharisee sect who had become very vocal in the church over the years. They argued continually that a person must become a Jew to be part of the masonic community. In other words they had to be circumcised and submit to a proselyte baptism.
The debate was heated, but in the end James the brother of Jesus and the 12 disciples agreed to accept the position in which the apostle Paul had argued on his second trip to Jerusalem. They decided once and for all, gentiles would be allowed to become Christians without becoming Jews. In other words, gentiles would not be required to be circumcised, or to obey ceremonial laws of Judaism. This was the agreement.
When the conference concluded they all returned to the city of Antioch in Syria. Having now established the official position of the 12 apostles in Jerusalem, Paul went to work building a great church in a beautiful gentile city. The municipality represented one of the most progressive cities in the Roman empire. It was located in the northwest most boundary of the Roman province of Syria.
The Apostle Paul’s aggressive work in this location soon had this church booming. People were coming to Christ by the hundreds. However, while the church in Antioch was expanding, the church in Jerusalem had entered a definite decline, the church was going downhill and fast.
In this message Pastor Harris will fill us in as to why one church thrived and one church died.