Summary: In a day and culture when even people in churches believe they get to "vote" on everything we must remember that we are subjects in a kingdom and our King expects obedience.
Act 1:1-5 (ESV) In the first book, O Theophilus, I have dealt with all that Jesus began to do and teach, 2 until the day when he was taken up, after he had given commands through the Holy Spirit to the apostles whom he had chosen. 3 He presented himself alive to them after his suffering by many proofs, appearing to them during forty days and speaking about the kingdom of God. 4 And while staying with them he ordered them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the promise of the Father, which, he said, "you heard from me; 5 for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now."
Acts 2:1-4 (ESV) When the day of Pentecost arrived, they were all together in one place.
2 And suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. 3 And divided tongues as of fire appeared to them and rested on each one of them. 4 And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance.
Question: Are we being obedient to Christ in this church?
"Ye are my friends if ye do whatsoever I command you." - Jesus.
"Teach them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded." - Jesus
"If ye know these things, happy are ye, if ye do them." - Jesus
"Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the Kingdom, but he that doeth the will of my Father." - Jesus
"Be doers of the Word, not hearers only, deceiving your own selves." - James
"...hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar." - 1 John
1. The early church was obedient to Christ's commandments
(a) After 40 days Jesus left
i. Told them to go to Jerusalem and wait
A. They waited
10 days (pentecost=50 days after passover)
ii. Christ fulfilled His promise
A. They were filled with the Holy Spirit
(b) When the Holy Spirit came the church began to be obedient to another commandment
i. Great commission
A. Mat 28:19-20a 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, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.
B. They immediately began telling others about Jesus Christ and His message of salvation
(c) Some other of Christ's Commandments
i. Love the Lord thy God with all thy heart (Matt. 22:37)
ii. Love others as much you love yourself...
iii. Pray always; pray with brevity and simplicity; pray secretly (Luke 18:1; Matt. 6:7)
iv. Bless them that curse you (Matt. 5:44)
v. Esteem Christ more highly than all earthly things (Luke 14:26)
2. Most modern churches have failed to be obedient to Christ
(a) Recent survey said: 93% of professing Christians have never witnessed to anyone!
i. 1 profession of faith here in last 4 years! (all the data available)
A. How will they ever come to Christ unless they are told?
ii. East Gadsden UMC – pastor walkaround - invited – lived there 50+yrs 1st invitation – 1 block from church!
(b) Love our neighbors?
i. Who are they anyway?
ii. Most people don't even invite others to come to church
(c) Tithe? What's that?
(d) We have lost our way when it comes to being obedient
i. Kingdom vs. Democracy
(e) Not talking about works salvation here!
i. Ephesians 2:8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
3. We must become as obedient as the early church
(a) "Ye are my friends if ye do whatsoever I command you."
(b) We have the same Holy Spirit in us that was in those in the early church on the Day of Pentecost
i. He is still just as powerful as He was then
A. You may never speak in other languages when you never learned them
But, what's keeping you from telling someone else about Jesus Christ?
A. If you are not witnessing to others about Jesus Christ, you are not keeping His commandments
B. If you are not putting Jesus first in your life, you are not keeping His commandments
"Be doers of the Word, not hearers only, deceiving your own selves”
Mat 7:21 "Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 On that day many will say to me, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?' 23 And then will I declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.'