Summary: Jesus instructs us to think and go global in our mission to reach and disciple others for Christ.
Title: Across the Street and Around the World
Text: Acts 1:1-11
Thesis: Jesus instructs us to think and go global in our mission to reach and disciple others for Christ.
Healthy Missional Churches have a global vision for sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ… Healthy Missional Churches see global as including people locally (Jerusalem), regionally (Judea and Samaria) and globally (the ends of the earth).
A church generally falls primarily into one of four categories. A church is either:
• A Healthy Missional Church
• A Stable Church
• A Critical Moment Church
• An At Risk Church
The objective of the At Risk Church is not to become a Critical Moment Church. The objective of the Critical Moment Church is not to become a Stable Church. And the objective of the Stable Church is not to remain a Stable Church. The objective is to always be moving toward Congregational Vitality, i.e., becoming a Healthy Missional Church… a church that is pursuing Christ and Christ’s priorities in the world.
In order to understand what being a Healthy Missional Church looks like, we are unpacking a series called: The Marks of a Healthy Missional Church. Researchers have found that there are at least ten marks, characteristics, traits, qualities, etc., that are consistently found in Healthy Missional Churches.
Series: The Marks of a Healthy (Pursuing Christ) Missional Church (Pursuing Christ’s Priorities in the World)
• Compelling Christian Community
• The Centrality of the Word of God
• Life Transforming Walk with Jesus
• Global Perspective and Intentional Evangelism
The first mark is Compelling Christian Community. We looked at Acts 2:42-47 as a prototype Compelling Christian Community. We then unpacked II Timothy 3:14-17 and found a second mark, The Centrality of the Word of God. The Bible is a primary way that God guides his Church and his people through life. A third mark of a Healthy Missional Church from the John 3:3, II Corinthians 5:17 and Philippians 1:6, is that people are experiencing a Life Transforming Walk with Jesus. They are growing and becoming more and more like Christ. Today we see that Healthy Missional Churches are marked by a Global Perspective and Intentional Evangelism in Acts 1:8 and Matthew 28:19-20...
So if we were to do a self evaluation as a Church and as people, are we experiencing Compelling Christian Community, is the Word of God Central in our lives and in the life of our Church and are we experiencing a Life Transforming Walk with Jesus and do we have a Global Perspective for and are we Intentional about Evangelism?
Our text begins with a greeting to a person named Theophilus. Theophilus is a very unusual name. I’m told that when babies were born back in the day, the midwife would the baby up by his heels, smack him on the bottom and name the child. In this case when the midwife held him up and smacked him on the bottom she said, “That’s the awfulest looking baby I’ve ever seen!”
Now to the text… The first verse of our text begins, “In my first book I told you, Theophilus, about everything Jesus began to do and teach until the day he was taken up…” So this book is the second book. There was a “first book.” A little research takes us back to the first three verses of the Gospel of Luke where Luke wrote, “Many people have set out to write accounts about the events that have been fulfilled among us from the early disciples. Having carefully investigated everything from the beginning, I also have decided to write a careful account for you, most honorable Theophilus, so you can be certain of the truth of everything you were taught.” Luke 1:1-3
In that Luke authored the Gospel of Luke which was written to Theophilus, we believe Luke also authored the Book of Acts, also addressed to Theophilus. While the Gospel of Luke is an historical account of the life and times of Jesus Christ, the Book of Acts is an historical account of the life and times of the early church. The Gospel of Luke is an account of what Jesus began to do and teach before his ascension and the Book of Acts is a continuation of Jesus did through the Holy Spirit after he was taken up.
An outline of the entire Book of Acts would begin like this…
Prologue (Acts 1:1-2)
A. Preparation for Pentecost (Acts 1:3-26)
1. Instructions Before the Ascension (Acts 1:3-8) (This is the last thing Jesus said before blast-of!)
2. The Ascension (1:9-11)
3. After the Ascension (1:12-26
B. Witness in Jerusalem (2:1 – 7:60)
1. The Day of Pentecost (2:1-47)
Our focus today is narrowed to verses 3-8 and verse 8 in particular.
Transition: Let’s begin with verses 6-7.