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empty-church“So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved.” (Acts 2:46-47)

Some churches, if they receive a new member once in twelve months, make as much noise over that one as a hen does when she has laid an egg. Now, in the early church they would not have been contented with so small an increase; they would have gone weeping and mourning all over Jerusalem if there had been additions only once in the year.

But, one cries, “If we receive a new member every month, isn’t that enough?” Well, it is enough for some people, but when hearts are warm and full of love to Christ, then we want him to be praised from the rising of the sun to the setting of the same, and we long to have added to the church daily those who are being saved; and why not?

But, you reply, “We are not preaching daily.”  That may be, but we ought to be; if not daily in the pulpit, there should be the daily preaching of the life, and if all the members of the church were daily teaching of Jesus Christ from house to house, a daily sowing would bring a daily reaping; if we were daily praying with earnestness, and daily using every effort we could by the power of the Holy Spirit, and if daily the church lived in fellowship with her master, we would soon see added to it daily those who were being saved.

“Why then don’t we see it,” says one, “in many churches?”  Why, because many churches do not believe in it. If there were many converts added to them, they would say, “Yes, we hear of a great many additions, but what are they? We hope they will persevere,” or some such unkind remark. If to some churches there would come a large increase, there are brethren who would not believe it to be genuine, and would despise the little ones.

God will not cause his children to be born where there is no one to nurse them; he will be sure not to send converts to churches which do not want them. He will not have his lambs snarled over and kept out in the cold for months together to see whether they will howl as wolves or bleat as sheep.

He loves to see his people watchful for new converts, and watchful over them. The Good Shepherd would have us feed his lambs, gather them in from the cold field of the world, and carry them to some warm sheltered place, and nurture them for him. When he sees a church ready to do that, then will he send them his lambs, but not till then.

From a sermon entitled “Building the Church” by C.H. Spurgeon preached on April 5, 1874