With the end of the year 2000, about a decade and a half back, we entered The Third Millennium. A millennium is defined as:
A thousand years; the thousand years during which, as some believe, Christ will personally reign on the earth (Chamber's 20th Century Dictionary by Rev. Thomas Davidson, 1901);
the thousand years after the second coming of Christ, a coming golden age (Chamber's 20th Century Dictionary by William Geddie, 1964);
a thousand years reign of Christ on earth prophesied in the Holy Bible, Book of Revelations 20:1-5, foretells the millennium, a time of happiness and peace, especially in the future (Reader's Digest Word Power Dictionary,1998) and
a thousand year period of holiness mentioned the Book of Revelation Chap. 20, during which Jesus and his faithful followers are to rule the earth, a period of joy, serenity, prosperity, and justice (The American Heritage Dictionary, 2000).
We have entered the Third Millennium, and it is a special time for us as Christians to take take stock of our past, and think seriously about the future of our community. We should aim to overcome our shortcomings, and strive to make a dynamic Christian community, with guidance and wisdom from God.
In the past, the early Church started after the Day of Pentecost, when the Apostles were together. The Holy Spirit came from Heaven, and rested on them, and they were filled with the Holy Spirit.
When the day of the Pentecost came, all the believers were gathered together in one place.
Suddenly there was a noise which sounded like a strong wind, and filled the whole house where they were sitting.
They saw what looked like tongues of fire which spread out and touched each person there. They were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to talk in other languages, as the spirit enabled them to speak.
Then Peter stood up with the other eleven Apostles, and in a loud voice began to speak to the crowd. Fellow-Jews and all of you who live in Jerusalem, listen to me and let me tell you what this means.
Here Peter told the simple truth about Jesus Christ, what David and other prophets said about Him. His birth, His life, He was crucified, and rose again from the dead. Son of a living God who came to save the World from sin, and give eternal life to those who believe. It was this simple truth told by Peter which led to amazing results Verse 41.
Many of them believed his message and about 3000 people were added to the group.
In later years the Apostles preached and shared the truth with people all over Asia Minor, and started many Churches. They shared their own witnesses. When Saul heard the Voice of Jesus his life changed. From Saul who used to persecute Christians, became Paul, the lover of the Lord Jesus Christ. At that time Paul and other Apostles suffered because they preached about Jesus Christ.
In the later centuries, the true Christians died for their faith; many were thrown to hungry lions, and were torn alive. Many were burnt alive, and others suffered in prisons. In spite of all persecutions the Christian Church not only survived, but grew from strength to strength. Many became Christians after witnessing the daring faith of those who lost their lives. They had a living faith in Jesus Christ and the surety that there is eternal life for them. Rev. 2:10
"Do not fear what you are about to suffer. Behold, the devil is about to throw some of you into, prison, that you may be tested, and for ten days you will have tribulations. Be faithful unto death, and I will give you the crown of life".
With the efforts of all those martyrs, true believers, and faithful Servants of Jesus Christ, the Word of God, and the Good News has reached us. Now as Stewards and Christian Servants of God - How can we keep it glowing and shining for generations to come?
First of all - Be a good Christian, and a true follower of Jesus Christ. Ask God to help us overcome our weaknesses, and our lives will become witnesses to the living God. Greed and selfishness are the two great human weaknesses, which have to be abandoned. It is time for us all Christians to do some serious soul searching, and seek help from above that each one of us keeps our lives clean.
There is a well-known acronym in the science of management: A D I.
Advice: The Holy Bible is a compendium full of good advice for leading a happy, contented, and spiritual life.
Decision: This has to be taken by us individually and seriously.
Implementation: This again depends entirely on our conscientious effort to put the advice to practice.
Let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us, looking for help from above. May the Third Millennium usher in an era of Happiness and Peace.