Summary: Vision casting message, also appropriate for missions and for preaching in the new year. THE CHURCH OF GOD, THE COMMANDERS OF GOD, THE CALL OF GOD, THE COMMISSION OF GOD. Powerpoint at website.
Revive ‘05--The Church on the Launching Pad
Powerpoint for this and hundreds more free sermons at our website:
In 1983, a movie was released called “The Right Stuff”, a documentary of the US Space Program. After years of testing and sending animals into space, it came time for the first manned space flight. And on May 5, 1961, Alan Shepard climbed inside a little capsule attached to a rocket…he was on the launching pad. The countdown began, and the entire future of our space program rested upon that launch being successful. It was a momentous few minutes in America. And since that day the US has dominated the race for space, and thru many ups and downs mankind has gone mostly up, accomplishing many great things throughout our solar system.
In Acts 13, the church is on the launching pad, the gospel is on the move, foreign missions gets it’s birth here, w/ the first missionaries sent out of the church. And what started in the hearts of a few people is about to be sent to the far reaches of the globe. And that’s what the Lord wanted, right?
…ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.
A broad outline of the book of Acts would be:
Chapters 1-7…the gospel fills the city of Jerusalem
8-12…to Judaea and Samaria
beginning in ch. 13…to the whole earth.
And this is our handbook, that’s our example…we have a mandate as the church of God, to get the gospel out. It’s why we have a missions program, God wants Christians to be involved in missions. [repeat]
You can pray, you can give, and you can go. And you ought to do all 3!
And another thing, technology is what has helped mankind go further and deeper into space, and today our church has more of a global impact because of technology. The website sermon ministry has made it around the world. And we ought to use technology. Paul used everything at his disposal. To speak to a crowd, he may have to cup his hands, or seat the folks on a hillside, but if he had a sound system, he’d use it! If he could have a 15 passenger van, he’d really go to town. He didn’t have anything over 1 horsepower [think about it!] But if he could have a world wide web, he would have!
Kyle led a friend to the Lord over instant messenger. Many of you receive daily devotionals by email. And just this week we received 8 new subscriptions to our website sermon ministry, taking us up well over 300 subscribers. And more than half of them are pastors and missionaries around the world using the outlines, illustrations, powerpoint visuals, and jokes that they feel need to be carried around the world! Seriously though, our impact as a church is multiplied hundreds of times as each of them shares the good news of the gospel to their congregations!
I’m proud of our nation taking on global responsibility for peace and protection, esp. of children and those living under tyranny. We need to help tsunami victims, and wed. nite I’ll be telling you about a unique opportunity we have as a church to help orphans created in this holocaust to have a place to live and eat, protected from child sex traffickers and rather hearing the gospel, receiving new life! Bro. Barlow’s brother, Jim Barlow, Missionary to Thailand, is all set up to help them. You’ll have to come Wed. if you’re serious!
It’s time for the church to be more than a building. We must be a monument that stands tall in the community. We must affect those across the street, but also around the world. We must each, individually, take on some global responsibility. It’s time for GBC to be famous for the gospel…again!
And Acts 13 lays before us the simple plan of how to get the job done. Let’s look at how they did it, God’s way…the gospel on the launching pad…
Look w/ me at the 4 elements present in our text:
1. The Church of God
v. 1 “in the church”—that’s where missions is supposed to begin, not thru the UN, the Red Cross, or otherwise, tho’ we should be thankful for any good work that may be done by such organizations.
Missions should begin in the local church. It was the church that confirmed the calling of Saul and Barnabus, and we’ve had young people right here come before us to tell us of THEIR calling, praise God! It was the church that confirmed those men/commissioned them to go/sent them forth…it was the church!
Within the first few words of this missions handbook of chapter 13 we find that it is to begin “in the church”!