The Power of and Mission Sunday 10-27-19

The Power of and Mission Sunday 10-27-19

The Power of And – Mission Sunday 10/27/2019

Introduction

Acts 1:6-11 ESV  So when they had come together, they asked him, “Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?”  (7)  He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons that the Father has fixed by his own authority.  (8)  But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”  (9)  And when he had said these things, as they were looking on, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight.  (10)  And while they were gazing into heaven as he went, behold, two men stood by them in white robes,  (11)  and said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into heaven? This Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.”

  • Truth be told church, we don’t know when Jesus is coming back…
    • We know for SURE that He is coming back…
    • But we don’t know exactly when…
      • Matthew 24 teaches us that no man knows the day or the hour when Jesus will return.
      • Luke 12 teaches us that Jesus will come like a thief in the night, you don’t know when He is coming so you have to be prepared.
      • In fact for the past two weeks we have been going over getting ready for the return of Jesus.
      • Pastor Moses preached a powerful sermon “Be dressed and ready”
      • And I followed that up with the message “What will you be doing when Christ returns”.
      • So it is in that line of thinking… with the mindset that Jesus is coming but we don’t know when, that I bring fourth this message from Acts chapter 1 today on Mission Sunday.
    • Because Jesus left, and He left us with instructions, and He will return… will He find us following His instructions when He returns… or will He find us rebelling and doing things our own way?
  • So here in Acts we see the risen Jesus’ last words before He ascends into heaven…
    • And we have preached many a sermon on the great commission before, but I don’t think we have ever preached it from the books of Acts before… and there is a simplistic beauty about the instructions here in Acts as Jesus is ascending in heaven… let me read it again for you…

Acts 1:8 ESV  But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.

  • Now compare that verse with the great commission found in Matthew

Matthew 28:19-20 ESV  Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,  (20)  teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

  • Both the commission in Acts and the commission in Matthew say the same exact thing… but they have two separate focuses on details.
    • In Matthew the focus is on the instructions: Here is what you are going to do “Make disciples, baptize them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit and teach them to observe all that I have commanded you.
      • In Matthew the location is only the phrase “all nations”
    • But in Acts the focus is on the location “in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth”
      • While the instruction is only “be my witnesses”
  • So Matthew focus on the instruction and acts focuses on the location.
    • Therefore this morning, on Mission Sunday, because we are preaching out of Acts, we are going to focus on the locational aspect of the great commission.

Acts 1:8 ESV  But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.

  • I want you to notice one word in this verse that is repeated four times… it’s the word AND.
    • AND AND AND AND.
  • Jesus does not say “You will be my witness in Jerusalem, or in Judea, or in Samaria, or even to the ends of the earth”.
    • Nor does Jesus say “You will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, then Judea, then Samaria, then the ends of the earth.
    • Yet I have heard this verse preached exactly that way! I have heard preachers say “First we must worry about our Jerusalem, then we can focus on Judea, then Samaria and then the ends of the earth”… BUT THAT’S NOT WHAT JESUS SAID.
    • Jesus didn’t say “Then” He didn’t say “Or” this isn’t a multiple choice assignment…
      • JESUS SAID AND! AND, AND, AND!

Acts 1:8 ESV  But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem AND in all Judea AND Samaria, AND to the end of the earth. (emphases added)

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  • So today we are going to talk about the power of that word, AND, and what it means for us…
    • How can a small church like ours, a church of only 15 people, utilize AND?
      • Ok, so we might have a few more than 15 people… maybe… Dustin always jokes that we have 15 people, and you know what, no matter what our size I kind of always want to think of this as a church of 15 people…
      • You know why? When there is only 15 people everyone knows everyone.
      • We know each others names, strengths, weaknesses… we know each other…
      • And when someone gets saved in a church of 15 people there is great rejoicing!
    • So yeah, I like to think of us as a church of 15 people… and even though we are small, and don’t even have a place of our own… we can still obey Christ, we can still obey the And.

PRAY PRAY PRAY PRAY PRAY PRAY PRAY PRAY PRAY PRAY PRAY PRAY PRAY PRAY

Our Jerusalem is Cedar Rapids

  • Jesus commands “Be my witnesses in Jerusalem”. And of course we know that is exactly what the disciples did.
    • After they received the power of the Holy Spirit they began preaching the Gospel in Jerusalem.
    • Now Jerusalem is a city, the city where most of the disciples where from, had lived in at some point, or had worked in… this was there city.
    • Thousands of people came to Christ, gave there life to Him, repented, and were saved through the preaching of the Gospel in Jerusalem.
    • And of course, the first martyr for Christ was in Jerusalem, or just outside her gates, that was the martyr Stephen.
  • So when Jesus says “be my witnesses in Jerusalem” I think He is saying “Be my witnesses in your own city” because the great commission was not just for the disciples of Jesus time, but for the disciples of all time until Jesus comes back.
  • That means that as Jerusalem was to the disciples, Cedar Rapids is to us.
  • Therefore it is our job to be Christs witness here in Cedar Rapids! And that is not difficult if each and everyone of us obeys Colossians 3:23

Colossians 3:23 ESV  Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men,

  • Live your life unto the Lord.
    • Do your Job as unto the Lord.
    • Do your schoolwork as unto the Lord.
    • DO EVERYTHING AS IF YOU WERE DOING IT FOR JESUS.
    • When you do that, you will find that when you go to work, you are praying with people, when you go to Taco Bell, you are inviting people to church, when you are giving a presentation at school you are including scripture and testimony…
    • DO EVERYTHING UNTO THE LORD AND YOU WILL BE CHRISTS WITNESSES IN CEDAR RAPIDS.
  • Not only that, but praise God, we have a strong local church here.
    • A church to worship in.
    • A Church to fellowship in.
    • A Church to serve in…

1 Peter 4:10 ESV  As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace:

  • But not only that, but we are a church that preaches the gospel every Sunday, therefore you have a place to invite people to to hear the Gospel!
  • So we are God’s witnesses in Cedar Rapids by our lives here and our church here.
  • And not only that, but we GIVE to local missions too.
    • Our church is paid for and operated by the Tithes that are given here. The Biblical Principle of giving 10%.
    • But we also take up Missions Offerings, like the Mission Faith Pledge we are going to take up today.
    • Some of that Missions money goes to Local Missions like the Living Room Ministries that reaches out to woman in our area, preaches the gospel, and offers healing, love, and services to the woman who need it so desperately in Cedar Rapids.
  • Jesus says “By my witness in your Jerusalem” and we honor that by being His witness in Cedar Rapids.

And Our Judea is the United States

  • In the same way, our Judea is the United States.
    • Judea was the region that Jerusalem was in, for us that region is the US.
  • The disciples went out to Judea and the gospel spread like wildfire….
    • The Jews thought if only they could keep the Christians out of Jerusalem that the gospel would die… but the opposite happened, it exploded! This is where we start to see the multiplication power of missions!

John 12:24 ESV  Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.

  • A single kernel of corn isn’t much good for food… but if you take that kernel away from it’s plant and burry it, it yields hundreds of kernels more!
    • So it was, the Christians were kicked out of there home and left to die… and the gospel exploded.
  • Therefore we don’t just focus on Cedar Rapids, but we focus on all of the US when it comes to missions…
    • We even have sent a missions team to San Francisco!
  • This is why we support Chains Interrupted, an organization that does work all around the US, of course they are international, but we will get to that in a minute.
  • This is also why we have a heart for church planting not just around the world, but our Nation as well.

And Our Samaria is North America

  • And our Samaria, church, is North America.
    • Samaria was the nation next to Judea in Jesus’ time.
    • The nations next to us are the North American Nations…
      • Mexico, Canada, the Bahamas and Jamaica.
  • This is why we are going to start supporting Pastor Musa Laing in Jamaca.
  • Musa is a friend of mine and is a fellow Victory Family Centre Pastor. Just like VFC Singapore planted us here in Cedar Rapids, VFC Singapore planted Musa’s church.
    • Now there church is about the same size as ours, and in fact Pastor Musa has now planted a second Jamaica church.
  • There church, just like CLC, is Christ focused through Scripture… it believes in healing, love, grace, repentance, and holiness.
    • And most importantly, it preaches the gospel.
  • In fact they do all of their baptisms in the ocean! Can you imagine getting to do baptisms here? Must be nice!
  • So now we are supporting Pastor Mussa financially every month, you will be hearing more about Him and Jamaica in upcoming mission updates!

And to The Ends of The World!

  • So we don’t just go to Cedar Rapids, we go to Cedar Rapids AND the US, AND North America, AND the ends of the World.
  • This is why we love doing missions in Guatemala! What an honor it is to partner with Chains Interrupted to bring the gospel to so many in Guatemala and to help them overcome the horrors of human trafficking.
  • This is why we built a church in Sierra Leonne before we built one here! They are doing awesome by the way!
  • But not just Guatemala, not just Sierra Leonne… but to the ENDS of THE EARTH
    • Which is why I am so excited to announce A new missions focus… JAPAN!

Show MissionFocusJapan.png

  • We are going to be partnering with a handful of other North American churches that were planted by Victory Family Centre Singapore, and together we plant in the next 5 years to have planted a church in Osaka and in Sapporo.
    • I will be going there in the spring in fact to start laying the ground work.
    • So, if you feel called to live on the mission field, maybe it’s time to start brushing up on your Japanese!

Conclusion

GOSPEL PRESENTATION

The Boy, The Village, and the Well

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