Your Life – On Mission
5. Going Global
Acts 1: 8
Here’s where we’re headed today. We’re going to be in 3 main passages – 1 from the Gospels, 1 from Acts and we’ll conclude with a passage from 1 of Paul’s letters. We’ll discover that God wants us to go global by starting where we are and then going everywhere with the gospel.
Let’s begin with what is known as the Great Commission in Matthew 28: 18 - 20: “And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, ‘All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.’ Amen.”
These words contain our marching orders for living on mission. Jesus tells us what we’re to do – go and make disciples. In Jesus’ mind, it’s a given that we will go! We’re told to go global – to all the nations. Because we believe the gospel, we must go across the street and we must also be willing to go across the world.
How then can WPBC maintain its mission mandate and involvement? Right before Jesus ascended into heaven, he makes our mission even more specific as He tells us how the gospel is to go global.
Acts is actually the 2nd part of a 2 volume history written by Dr. Luke, who was a close friend and companion of the Apostle Paul. Luke says that this was just the beginning of what Jesus was going to do and teach. Let’s be clear. Jesus completed everything that needed to be done for our salvation.
His work of salvation is complete and yet, as John Piper says: “He is not finished. He is not done with His work and with his teaching. He is doing and teaching…and the rest of what he came to do…is the point of the book of Acts and it is why we exist as a church.” That means when we come to the end of the Gospels, it’s really not the end but the end of the beginning.
The New Testament describes the continuation of how Jesus did His work in the 1st century and you and I are now charged with finishing His work until He comes. In the Gospels Jesus ministered in His human body; He now continues His doing and teaching through His spiritual body, the church.
1. Embrace the Message of Christ Acts 1: 2, 3
We are to make sure that we are completely committed to Christ and His commands. Before Jesus went back to heaven he wanted to make sure that there was no confusion. He mapped out His mission with absolute clarity. Not only do we need to be certain about the message, and committed to His commands, we also need to be convinced that Jesus rose from the dead.
The first phase is to embrace the message of Christ. The next phase is to make sure we’re plugged into the power behind God’s purposes.
2. Embody the Might of the Holy Spirit Acts 1: 4
They might have thought they were ready for ministry but Jesus slows them down. Even though they had embraced the message they had to embody the might of the Holy Spirit. Power had to accompany truth. They didn’t have long to wait because 10 days later, the Holy Spirit would be given on the Day of Pentecost.
The Holy Spirit is our counselor and teacher and He is also the might behind the message.
Friends, the Holy Spirit provides an explosive, life-changing dynamic when the Gospel message is proclaimed in His might. Ordinary people like you and me can accomplish extraordinary things because of the mighty Spirit of God.
Phase one is to embrace the message of Christ. Phase two is to embody the might of the Holy Spirit. That leads to the final phase.
3. Embark on the Mission of God Acts 1: 8
This is the last recorded statement of Jesus in the Bible. This final command must become our first concern. Begins with the word “But” to show us that Jesus is giving us an alternative - a roadmap that will point others to redemption. What He is about to say should concern us and consume us.
People - “But you…” Jesus continues His work today through individuals and the institution called the church.
Power - When we wonder “how” we’re to fulfill His purposes, we’re told that we have the power of the “Holy Spirit.”
Plan - God’s plan is for us to be “witnesses.” A witness is one who has seen and heard and experienced the explosive life changing power of Christ in their life.
Place - While He wanted the disciples to wait in Jerusalem for the power and then to be His witnesses there, Jesus never intended the gospel message to stop there. We start in our neighborhoods and then we go to the nations. It’s not an either/or but a both/and. Actually, we’re responsible to reach all 4 spheres – our Jerusalem, our Judea, our Samaria and to the ends of the earth.