Summary: My church expectations
“So the church throughout Judea and Galilee and Samaria enjoyed peace [without persecution], being built up [in wisdom, virtue, and faith]; and walking in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort and encouragement of the Holy Spirit, it continued to grow (new churches)” (Acts 9:31, Amplified)
1. When you offer salvation, you offer Me (John 14:6).
2. When you plant a church you introduce Me to communities (Eph. 1:22-23). “Isn’t the church called the Body of Christ?
3. When they persecuted the church, they persecuted Me. “I am Jesus, the One you are persecuting” (Acts 9:5, NLT).
4. When you look at a church, you see Me. “Where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there” (Matt. 18:20).
B. MY FIRST MENTION – FUTURE GROWTH. “I will build My church” (Matt. 16:18).
1. “I” – Jesus, activates the church and plants the church, but He uses humans.
2. “Will” – This is future tense, not a continuation of Old Testament, a new vehicle through which Jesus will deliver His message.
3. “Build” – continuous action. Jesus will continue His church.
a. Nothing stops it. The Roman Empire and other nations collapsed, denominations go liberal, people backslide or die, famine, depression, natural disasters. The church continues.
b. Crosses political, cultural, ethnic and geographical barriers.
4. “My” – a possession pronoun, the church belongs to Jesus.
a. The church does not belong to pastor, deacons, and people.
b. The church does not belong to Baptists, Lutherans, Presbyterians, Episcopalians, and Independents.
5. “Church” – means “to call” ecclesia is assembly of people.
a. Call to leave self – pursuit, sin, temptation.
b. Call to join Jesus, “Follow Me” (Mark 1:16-17).
c. Not a call to doctrinal position, church doctrine, membership, but to Jesus.
C. MY GREAT COMMISSION
1. First Giving – on resurrection evening in Upper Room. “As the Father has sent Me, so I am sending you” (John 20:21, NLT).
b. Didn’t tell where, what to do, when or how.
c. His personal challenge.
2. Second Giving – one week later in Upper Room. “Go into all the world and preach the Good News to everyone” (Mark 16:15, NLT).
a. Didn’t include only Jews.
b. Didn’t include only Jerusalem and Holy Land.
c. Preach to all.
d. Go to all locations.
3. Third Giving – 2 or 3 weeks later in Galilee. “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations (ethne, i.e., cultures) baptizing them . . . teaching them to observe all things I have commanded you” (Matt. 28:19-20).
a. Strategy for results.
b. Public identification.
c. Colonize them.
d. Disciple or train in belief and practice.
4. Fourth Giving – In Jerusalem (morning) on the 40th day. “The message is Messiah suffered and died, and arose from the dead on the third day . . . forgiveness of sins for all who repent and believe . . . witness these truths” (Luke 24:45-48, Amplified).
a. Not attached to Old Testament commands.
b. Content to believe.
c. Response in repentance and faith.
5. Fifth Giving – later on the 40th day on Mount of Olives. “You will be My witnesses . . . in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, Samaria and to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1:8).
b. Repent go.
c. Repeat witness.
D. SUMMARY AND APPLICATION
1. Different in practice from Old Testament worship, ministry, but same in principle.
2. Exceptional expectations have barriers; the old nature, selfish purpose, cultural difference, persecution, political opposition, religious attacks.
3. Exponential promises.
a. I will be with you.
b. Power of Holy Spirit.
c. Opportunity of answered prayer (John 14:13-14).
d. Eternal rewards.
If you have never really accepted Jesus as your personal Savior, would you do it right now? Do not delay or put it off. If you would like to receive Christ by faith, pray this simple prayer in your heart:
Dear Lord, I acknowledge that I am a sinner. I believe Jesus died for my sins on the cross, and rose again the third day. I repent of my sins. By faith I receive the Lord Jesus as my Savior. You promised to save me, and I believe You, because You are God and cannot lie. I believe right now that the Lord Jesus is my personal Savior, and that all my sins are forgiven through His precious blood. I thank You, dear Lord, for saving me. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
If you prayed that prayer, God heard you and saved you. I personally want to welcome you to the family of God and rejoice with you.
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