Enter the Revolution
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"but you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth."
At a recent speaking engagement, Pastor Jerry Falwell noted that believers are in very critical point in history. He said we are called to proclaim the gospel to a culture that rejects it and to a world that is in desperate need of it.
Falwell encouraged his audience to live radical lives for the Gospel of Christ and to prepare themselves toward that end. He added, "You've got to decide who you are. Between now and the time the Lord calls you home, be a dreamer. Be a revolutionary."(Fresh Illustrations http://www.freshministry.org/illustrations.html)
I think he is right. It is time for the church to enter the revolution that Jesus began. We should be revolutionaries. To dream big dreams. To accomplish great things for God's Kingdom. You've heard me say it before, but I want to say it again. This is a year of unprecedented opportunity for us. The congregation has responded beautifully to our call to rally around the cause. Because of your generous giving, our Stewardship committee is recommending we increase our budget objective by over $16,000.00-a third of which is specifically designated for evangelism and missions. Now all that is left for us to do is to use the resources, both human resources and financial resources to spread the gospel here and abroad.
My message today is simple, let's get involved in the revolution that began in the first century. This morning I want us to consider the evangelism strategy of the First Century Church, first notice:
• The Completed Work of Jesus.
The great High Priest never sat down on the Day of Atonement until his work was finished. Using the imagery of the Old Testament Priest, Hebrews 1:3 depicts the completed work of Christ "When He had made purification of sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high;" (NASB) Jesus' work is not in process, it is finished!
His completed work made Salvation Possible
Acts 4:12 makes it crystal clear. "And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men, by which we must be saved."
His completed work also made evangelism a priority.
Let's look at the context for Acts 1:8: And so when they had come together, they were asking Him, saying, "Lord, is it at this time You are restoring the kingdom to Israel?" 7 He said to them, "It is not for you to know times or epochs which the Father has fixed by His own authority; 8 but you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth." (Acts 1:6-8 NASB)
The disciples asked a question about the end times and Jesus redirected their attention to a task at hand. It is easy to become fascinated with a future that no one can control and miss today's opportunity.
Please also notice:
• The Controlling Work of the Spirit
The Holy Spirit Precedes the Witness. If you are going where He directs, you will never go there alone, nor will you get there first-He will be there!
If you showed up for visitation night, and I gave you an assignment
to witness to a Christian killer, how thrilled would you be? That's what
happened to Ananias. Listen to his response in Acts 9:13-16 But