Sermon:
Rev. George R. Dillahunty
Mount Olive A.M.E. Zion Church
5567 County Line Road (Riverdale Community)
New Bern, North Carolina 28562

March 03, 2005

Text: Acts 1:8 (New Living Translation)

"But when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, you will receive power and will tell people about me everywhere - in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth."

Topic: The Church - A Seven-fold Mission!

This afternoon, my brothers and sisters, we have come together to celebrate the 34th Anniversary of Holtís Chapel A.M.E. Zion Church, in Oriental, North Carolina. On this anniversary day, the Lord would have me look at the mission of the church, through His Holy Scriptures, leaving us with the question, "Is my church accomplishing its mission?"

The Church - the "Body of Christ" - has a seven-fold mission - derived from our Holy Scripture text for this afternoon! Letís take a few moments and see what that seven-fold mission is, shall we?

1. The Church is to preach and teach the Word of Almighty God!

The Apostle Paul, in 2 Timothy 4:2 (NLT), tells his young preacher: "Preach the Word of God. Be persistent, whether the time is favorable or not. Patiently correct, rebuke, and encourage your people with good teaching." This work, my brothers and sisters, cannot be accomplished by anyone else other than your pastor! Rev. Irving Hickman has done just that!

The Apostle Matthew, in Matthew 28:19-20 (NLT), records Jesus, the Christ, saying: "Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. (vs. 20) Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you [alway], even to the end of the age."

The Gentile physician, Luke, in Acts 4:31 (NLT), records this event: "After this prayer, the building where they were meeting shook, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit. And they preached Godís message with boldness." Luke goes on to record, in Acts 8:4 (NLT): "But the believers who had fled Jerusalem went everywhere preaching the Good News about Jesus."

The Early Church did not seek to entertain folks! Listen to the Word of Almighty God as it is given in Acts 6:4 (NLT): "Then we can spend our time in prayer and preaching and teaching the Word."

2. The Church is to provide a "House of Prayer"!

The Prophet Isaiah, in Isaiah 56:7 (NLT), records Almighty God saying: "I will bring them also to My Holy mountain of Jerusalem and will fill them with joy in My House of Prayer. I will accept their burnt offerings and sacrifices, because My Temple will be called a House of Prayer for all nations."

Almighty Godís people have always been a "praying people"! In Acts 1:14 (NLT), we read: "They all met together continually for prayer, along with Mary the mother of Jesus, several other women, and the brothers of Jesus." The Apostle Paul, in Colossians 4:2 (NLT), tells the church at Colosse and us: "Devote