BACK TO ACTS
Three weeks ago we had an article entitled The Book of Acts. We have had a pause to accommodate the 30/60 Anniversary and of course Father’s day last week. Now let us continue our thoughts from the Book of Acts. If you remember, we shared some basic background on this book of Acts. We also encouraged you to do some study on this key book of Church History and guidance for the local church today.
THE CHURCHES MANDATE…Acts 1:8. ”But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Spirit is come upon you; and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.” Most Bible students agree that this is the key verse for the book of Acts. Most Bible students believe that the early church endeavored to and in most cases were able to accomplish this mandate in their generation. However, the Mandate remains for our generation as well. The question comes to the church today with 7 million souls on 6 continents plus the islands of the sea. How is the gospel to be spread today, and who are the people to do it, and what are the resources for doing it?
THE PEOPLE CHOSEN BY THE LORD…God has not chosen angels or supermen, but ordinary men and women to be His witnesses. Notice in this verse (Acts 1:8) the times that the word “You or Ye” are given. Yes, the Lord has chosen people like you and me to take the challenge and be His witnesses.
THE PLAN ADOPTED BY THE LORD…If we are indeed to be a witness for our Lord, what is the function of a witness? As a witness, one is to tell what he or she knows about a certain situation. A witness must tell not what he thinks or supposes, but what he has personally experienced. When we read from the gospels we will readily see our Lord sharing in this fashion with those He comes into contact with. Perhaps, this thought is best summed up with this phrase from Acts 1:8, “Ye shall be witnesses unto me…” Both ingredients are listed here. We shall be witness for the Lord Jesus Christ. Our witness is not to a denomination or other systems or creeds, but to the master soul winner Himself.
THE PLACE INDICATED BY THE LORD…Where are God’s witnesses to go? Acts 1:8 give us a clear direction as to where we shall go, “Jerusalem, all Judaea, Samaria and the uttermost…” Luke 24 again spells out the direction for us. Mark also says, “They went everywhere preaching…” The enemies of the Gospel also testified to the fact that the early Christians were strong in their personal and corporate witness. We must realize that if we are to be a witness we too must begin in “Jerusalem”. Begin at home.
THE POWER SUPPLIED BY THE LORD…Someone has said that God never asks us to do something without giving to us the where-with-all to accomplish it. Our verse indicates as much, “Ye shall receive power after that the Holy Spirit has come upon you…” Our source of power and supply comes to us through the working of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
THE PERIOD GIVEN TO ACCOMPLISH OUR TASK BY THE LORD…Acts 1:9-11 are verses indicating that we have a specific time to complete this task. It is the period between the ascension of Christ until He returns to receive the Church, His bride. Of course, we do not know this specific time but are taught to “occupy until I come.” “The whole duty of the whole church is to carry the whole Gospel to the whole world.”