Summary: This message is intended to encourage the members of the body of Christ, His Church, to get busy in the service ministries of the local body.
FILLING THE GAPS
A. How many of you can remember seeing a revolutionary war movie?
1. One of the most recent is the Patriot with Mel Gibson
2. I’m not a fan about the way they used to do battle
3. Line upon line of red coats on one side of the field and line upon line of revolutionary soldiers on the other side of the field
4. The order would be given to fire and many on the first line would fall
5. Then those who were in the rear ranks would move up to fill any gaps that had been created by the volley.
B. As I think about that type of confrontation it had to of taken quite a bit of courage to step up into a vacant spot of a former comrade
1. But it had to be done, if you were going to win the battle
2. Vacancies had to be filled.
C. Now I said that because we, as the church, are in a spiritual battle and often times vacancies occur within our ranks also
1. If the spiritual battle is to continue there must be rank upon rank of others who can step forward and fill the gaps left by those who have departed.
2. So this mornings message is entitled “Filling the Gaps.”
D. Our Scripture passage for this morning is Acts 1:15-26.
1. It was the passage you heard at the beginning of the service, so rather than reading it again let me give you our outline and then we will begin.
2. As a church we must realize
a. Gaps in the Ministry Will Come
b. Some Will Be Able to Fill The Gaps
c. God Will Chose Who Will Fill the Gaps
3. The ministry of FBCM needs Christian soldiers who are willing to step forward and fill the gaps.
As you and I serve the Lord it is inevitable that
I. GAPS IN THE MINISTRY WILL COME, Acts 1:15-20 And in those days Peter stood up in the midst of the disciples, and said, (the number of names together were about an hundred and twenty,)  Men and brethren, this scripture must needs have been fulfilled, which the Holy Ghost by the mouth of David spake before concerning Judas, which was guide to them that took Jesus.  For he was numbered with us, and had obtained part of this ministry.  Now this man purchased a field with the reward of iniquity; and falling headlong, he burst asunder in the midst, and all his bowels gushed out.  And it was known unto all the dwellers at Jerusalem; insomuch as that field is called in their proper tongue, Aceldama, that is to say, The field of blood.  For it is written in the book of Psalms, Let his habitation be desolate, and let no man dwell therein: and his bishoprick let another take.
A. The Context in Connection With Judas
1. In the very early stages of the Lord Jesus Christ’s earthly ministry He chose twelve disciples who would be known as Apostles.
a. The word apostle means “messenger” or “one sent forth”
b. Matthew 10:2-4 tells us who the first 12 were: Now the names of the twelve apostles are these; The first, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother; James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother;  Philip, and Bartholomew; Thomas, and Matthew the publican; James the son of Alphaeus, and Lebbaeus, whose surname was Thaddaeus;  Simon the Canaanite, and Judas Iscariot, who also betrayed him.
2. When Jesus chose them He knew who would betray Him for John recorded these words of the Savior in John 6:70-71 Have not I chosen you twelve, and one of you is a devil?  He spake of Judas Iscariot the son of Simon: for he it was that should betray him, being one of the twelve.
3. And all that took place concerning the betrayer did so because God said it would
a. The action spoken about was written a little over 1000 years before
1) Psalm 55 clearly depicts Christ’s betrayal
2) Psalm 69:25 predicted Judas’removal from his office
3) Psalm 109:8 promises Judas’replacement
4. We must understand that all of what took place did so under the direction and watchful eye of God in accordance with His divine will!
B. And so it is today within the church, many vacancies happen as a part of God’s divine plan.
1. There are many God ordained ways in which gaps come in a ministry.
a. People die – leaving a gap
b. People move – leaving a gap or gaps
c. Unfortunate and unexpected things happen in the lives of individuals creating a gap or gaps
2. And then there are other ways, not necessarily God ordained but none the less they create gaps.