Summary: A message on Missions.
RESOURCES FOR MISSIONS
INTRO: In an obscure room in the city of Jerusalem, eleven disciples huddled in fear. They possessed no equipment for missions until Jesus provided them with four resources.
I. THE PEACE OF HIS PRESENCE (v. 19).
From the beginning Jesus offered the disciples His peace and presence. This did not mean He would shield them from conflict, but it did mean He would sustain them with tranquility in the midst of difficulty.
The church was not designed to be a reservoir, ever receiving and retaining for itself God’s spiritual blessings, but rather a conduit conveying them on and out to others everywhere.
II. THE PARTICIPATION IN HIS PURPOSE (v. 21).
As our Lord was sent for a redemptive purpose, so His people are called to extend that purpose. The life and work of the church is resourceful when it acts in obedience to His commission.
Christianity is fundamentally missionary. Missions is not merely an extension of the church, but the church itself is the extension of a mission.
Although the church has many responsibilities, it has only one divine priority — to participate in the mission of Christ.
III. THE POWER OF HIS SPIRIT (v. 22).
Jesus literally commanded the disciples to take His Spirit. They could not witness on their own strength. Missions dwindles into casual philanthropy or social benevolence apart from the Holy Spirit. Everything they did in missions then and whatever we do today depends on the breath of His Spirit on our efforts.
The Holy Spirit is the one and only power in missions and to expect success in missions while we ignore the Holy Spirit is to look for an effect without a cause.
IV. THE PROCLAMATION IN HIS AUTHORITY (v. 23).
Jesus equipped the disciples with a message of forgiveness and judgment. He was not investing them with the power to forgive sins. Rather, He was entrusting them with a proclamation that forgiveness was available. Whoever forfeited His forgiveness remained in sin.
At every period in the history of the Church, the greatest sin of the Church, and the one which causes the greatest distress, is that she withholds the gospel from the world and from herself.
No church that isn’t interested and actively at work in sending the gospel story to other people has a right to exist.
CONC: In response to the question of why some churches grow and others don’t, growth specialist Charles Arn said, “A common denominator between growing churches is an emphasis on mission, reaching out to the surrounding community’s needs.”