I grew up in a Christian family, and of course we went to church every Sunday. But at some point in my youth, I started actually reading the Bible, becoming personally interested in what it said. The vibrant life in Acts 2 and 4 seemed so wonderful, but also so distant and unlike my life as a Christian. In the book of Acts, it says all the disciples were together daily, sharing all things in common, and great grace was upon them all.
All of us Christians were together only on Sunday, sharing only 10% of our money, supposedly. And as for great grace, well, sometimes I wondered whether God was with us at all. I wondered, like so many others, whether it was even possible to live like those early disciples. But was it really optional? Was it really up to each person to choose whether he wanted to live like that?
Although there were a few obscure groups that lived in community, nearly everyone said, “That was for back then,” and everyone agreed that giving up one’s possessions was not required. What is required to be a Christian? Is it different from what was required to be a disciple “back then”?
Let’s compare two groups of people to find the differences between them. One group is the Normal Christians: a usual or typical member of
Christianity in the 21st century — “now.” The other group is the Normal Disciples: a usual or typical member of the church in the first century —
“back then.” Granted, our comparison doesn’t include the Christians over the past 1900 years, but since I want to know today whether the life of Acts 2 and 4 was just for back then, we’ll take a look at the ends of the timeline — Normal Christians now and Normal Disciples back then.