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Summary: After the ascension and before Pentecost, the disciples seemed to have the attitude "so, what do we do now?"

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Title: "So, What Now?"

Text: Acts 1:12-26

Introduction

In the days following the Ascension and prior to the coming of the Holy Spirit, the disciples seemed to have the attitude, "So, what do we do now?"

QUOTE: William P Barker wrote, "If the last mighty act of God had been the resurrection and ascension, today there would be no church. If the pattern outlined in the first chapter of Acts had continued, the apostles and others would never have left Jerusalem to witness. They would have formed a religious club, perhaps a "Jesus Memorial Society". Like other such groups, it would probably have had meetings, dues, minutes, and the usual club peraphernalia. In spite of valiant endeavors by loyal adherents to "keep the organization going," the band of believers in the Risen Jesus Christ would eventually have dwindled away and in time the memory of Jesus would have become an interesting footnote in the history books of the Middle East" (William P. Barker, "The Stood Boldly", pp. 19-20)

Body

1. Don’t Just Stand There, Do Something

During the experience on the Mount of Transfiguration, Peter was quick to want to take controll and take action. Here again, Peter takes the reigns of the early church and the first thing he does is hold an election. His attitude seems to be, "don’t just stand there, do something"

2. That’s Just the Way We Do Things ’Round Here

Peter decided that since "we have always had 12 apostles, we better make sure we have 12, cause that’s the way we do things around here".

Illus: Robert Townsend, in his book "Up the Organization" wrote that it is about 11 times easier to start something than it is to stop it. The british created a civil service job in 1803 calling for a man to stand on the Cliffs of Dover with a spyglass. He was instructed to ring a bell if he saw Napoleon coming. The job was finalloy abolished in 1945!

3. Here’s the Plan---oh, btw, let’s pray about it.

The 120 people in the upper room were sincere, and anxious to do the right thing. But basically, they handed THEIR plans to God for Him to put His stamp of approval on it. They drew lots. Interestingly, after Pentecost, the disciples never used the casting of lots again.

Conclusion

BUT...let’s not be too hard on these early Christian...because the Church of today frequently makes the same mistakes.

1. Instead of the attitude, "don’t just stand there, do something"; sometimes, we need to have the attitude, "don’t just do something, stand there". And that is when you will see the glory of the Lord come!

2. Instead of the attitude, "That’s just the way we do things round here", we need to make sure that the reason why we do the things we do still exists...if not; perhaps it is time to try something new!!

3. Instead of the attitude "here’s the plan--oh, yeah, let’s pray about it"...let’s seek God and let Him give us the plan!

Idea for this outline came from "Do It Again, Lord" by Randal Earl Denny, pp. 38-48


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