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Summary: Will the church accept the challenge of Christ to share the Gospel to the ends of the earth?

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"Accepting the Challenge" (Acts 1:1-11)

INTRODUCTION

Now that Christ was physically gone, he gave the disciples (and the church) their "job description."

* Matthew 28:18-20

* Mark 16:15-16

* John 20:21

The perpetual message and challenge for believers is to go and transform the world.

Challenge must be accepted before anything else can happen

What we must do in order to accept the challenge...

1. If we are going to accept this challenge, we must be convinced that Christ is alive (v. 1-3).

Why being convinced is important:

A. If Christ is not alive, he has no desire to transform lives. (2 Peter 3:9)

B. If Christ is not alive, he has no power to transform lives. (Zeph. 3:17)

C. If Christ is not alive, he cannot use me to transform lives. (Matt. 5:14-16)

Most would say we believe Christ is alive: But do we live like it?

2. If we are going to accept this challenge, we must be directed by the Holy Spirit (v. 4-5).

John 14:16-17

Why we must be directed by the Spirit:

A. This is a spiritual challenge: impossible to do spiritual things without being directed by the Spirit

B. This is a difficult challenge: we will be tempted to give up

C. This is a dangerous challenge: we oppose the forces of hell

3. If we are going to accept this challenge, we must be focused on the right task (v. 6-8).

* Disciples’ focus: restoration of a political kingdom

* Their challenge wasn’t related to the establishment of a government, but on the transformation of the world by their witness.

* Possible to have a "good" focus, but not the "right" or main focus (i.e., an inward focus on meeting needs of church members at the expense of not focusing on reaching the lost)

* The right task for the church today: to be a witness (v. 8)

4. If we are going to accept this challenge, we must be reminded of the importance of our task (v. 9-11)

* The task is important because Christ will return one day

* When Christ returns, the call to be transformed will be over and those who failed to embrace the Gospel will be eternally lost

* Christ first came as a Savior; he will come again as a Judge


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