Summary: This message deals with the Principles of Perseverance and Preservation from the Perspective of the Church and God.
“Is your all on the altar of sacrifice laid?
Your Heart does the Spirit control?
You can only be blessed and find peace and sweet rest,
As you yield him your body and soul.”
Pursuing that theme of commitment, I want you to turn to Acts 2:41-43. For a few moments let’s see if the Spirit of God would speak to our hearts and minds in order that we might glean some grapes of goodness from the vine of these verses of Scripture. Commencing at verse 41 and ending with verse 43 this Second Chapter of Acts says (read).
Highlite and underscore that phrase in the first part of verse 42 that says “And they continued …”
We believe the Scriptures teach that such only that are truly regenerated by the Spirit of God shall not utterly fall away and finally perish, but shall endure unto the end. For one to Continue or Persevere, one must be born again; one’s life must be touched by the redemptive hand of God. Many have started but few are Continuing. Only genuine faith continues when confronting overwhelming odds, surveying Herculean hindrances and marveling at mountains of difficulty.
In this Book of Acts we find the record of the Church of God Continuing. And one mark of anything which Jesus has established is that it Continues. What God has started, planted and nurtures Continues. For He created the world, this vast universe with all of its planets in the beginning, and it Continues. He dug out canals, scooped out great and deep cavities, filled them with water and the oceans and seas continue to ebb and flow. The earth still rotates on its axis spinning around the sun since creation, and the seasons Continue. Whatever God has instituted and constituted Continues.
Many oppositions, perils and obstacles try to thwart and hinder our individual and collective progress toward the prize, but if God has laid His heavy yet hopeful hand of redemption on our souls, there is this impetus, this propensity to Keep On! So we find THREE THINGS in Verses 42 and 43.
Number One, we find that the Church Kept On Doing Something in verse 42.
Number Two, in the first part of verse 43, we find that the Church Kept On Feeling Something.
And Number Three, in the last part of verse 43, we find that God Kept On Working Something.
The Church Kept On Doing and Feeling Something and God Kept On Doing Something.
And so subsequently, I had to re-examine my life in the light of these verses. For Jesus said one of His top priorities for entering this time-space continuum we call Earth was so that I might have life and have it more abundantly. So I had to ask myself, How deep, how fruitful and productive is my life? Because verse 43 says They Kept On Feeling Something: “Fear came upon every soul.” Which means, they kept on feeling a Sense of Awe; always Sensing God’s Presence, knowing God was always around, ever mindful that God could at any moment break in and do the unexpected. I had to ascertain How abundant was my life, because the later part of verse 43 says God Kept On Signing His Name: for “many signs and wonders were done by the apostles.” So I wondered, How abundant is my life? And the Holy Spirit caused me to check out again verse 42 and informed me that if I want to Keep On Feeling Something and Keep On Seeing God Signing His Name, then I must meet that:
I. First Requirement in Verse 42, I MUST CONTINUE DOING SOMETHING.
So Luke writes in verse 42 “And they Continued Steadfastly …”; meaning, those who in verse 41 had gladly received Peter’s word of witness about Jesus being the Christ of God and who were baptized and who were consequently added to the church, those who had been convicted, convinced and converted by the Spirit of God were the very ones who Continued Steadfastly in Doing Something.
Now, to Continue Steadfastly intimates that you are headed in a certain direction toward a specific goal. And that is significant because all of our lives are headed in a certain direction, particularly if we are saved, sealed and satisfied with Jesus. For the goal or end of our life is Eternal Glory, to be raptured out of this world and be found in Christ not having our own righteousness but to be clothed in Him without a blemish, spot, wrinkle or any flaw or stain. So the goal to which our life is headed is God’s Eternal Glory. The direct object of our trek of faith here on earth is to be Conformed to the Image of Christ Jesus. Our lives are to be a perfect pattern, an exact copy of the Original. Christ’s imprint, His stamp has already been impressed on the film of our soul; and so daily that image is being developed in the dark room of our soul by the Spirit. It is being processed in the dark room and very shortly the photograph of Christ shall be manifest. Now, that’s our direct object.