Summary: The message deals with the costly mistake of being satisfied.
Avoiding Costly Mistakes - Satisfaction
Acts 1:8; 8:1
Pastor Don Jones
West Glendale Baptist Church
The mission of the church was given to the disciples in Acts 1:8.
But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.
Very simply Jesus gave them the future scenario of how they were to make disciples. He said in Matthew 28:
Then Jesus came to them and said, All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.
The Church was to go and make disciples. The word of command in verse 19 is "make" disciples. This was the imperative in the command of Jesus. The church in both verses was to receive power from the Spirit to carry out this mission. It seemed logical. Here’s the mission, here’s the places you are to carry it out, and, you will receive my authority and power from the Spirit to do this task. In hind sight it almost seems too simple but as most of us know, nothing is as simple as it sounds.
The Power came at Pentecost. The Holy Spirit came upon the believers in a rush of wind and anointing of fire and a powerful testimony was given about Jesus and His saving grace. Scripture tells us that on that day about 3,000 were saved and baptized. What a start to the mission of the church. Scripture continues to tell of us the remarkable works of God performed in the Jerusalem area. But something occurred in Acts 8 that gives us a warning today. It says,
And Saul was there, giving approval to his death. On that day a great persecution broke out against the church at Jerusalem, and all except the apostles were scattered throughout Judea and Samaria.
The church came under great persecution on the day that Stephen was stoned. Why? They were doing so well. They had great successes in Jerusalem. The seeds were being planted and the harvest was great. So why the great persecution? Look at where they went. They were driven to Judea and Samaria. I think it is interesting that the verse begins with mention of Saul who later became Paul the great witness to the utter most parts of the world.
The church had gotten comfortable in the city of Jerusalem. Acts 2:47 says,
enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.
There was no great opposition to what was going on. They were simply enjoying blessings from God, the salvations that were taking place and the blessings from the people and in the process they were neglecting their mission. I am sure the gospel would have wound up being another sect to Judaism centralized in Jerusalem had the persecution not taken place. They had gotten too comfortable in Jerusalem, so God turned up the heat.
I heard of a unique science experiment that had taken place on time. A student, a boy student most likely took his pet frog, the one used to scare all of the girls and put him in a pan of water over a Bunsen burner. The water was nice and cozy for the frog. Gradually the little boy turned up the heat. Te water became hotter and hotter but the frog did not move. He was comfy and cozy and because the rise in heat was gradual he didn’t feel the ever increasing temperature. The water eventually became so hot that the frog literally cooked to death without even moving from the same spot in the pan.
The church at Jerusalem was getting a little too cozy so God abruptly turned up the heat so the people fled the persecution. I fear that our churches are getting cozy. We live in a country that allows us to witness without persecution. Yes, we have some persecution but nothing to worry about. We can be comfortable.
C.S. Lewis tells in the Screwtape Letters the story of Screwtape, a minor demon. Screw tape approaches Wormwod, his "boss" and tells him of his woes. He is trying to cause a man of God to sin. He has offered him all kinds of temptations, great wealth, great power, and great pleasure beyond his wildest dreams. The wise old man had refused each and every temptation much the same way that Jesus refused His temptations. Finally, Wormwood gives him the key. He simply tells him, go and make him comfortable and the old man will become ineffective.