Summary: A sermon about following up decisions after an evangelistic event
Introduction: One of the biggest problems with evangelism efforts is the lack of translation into new, committed members of the local church. Often in times of crusades and revivals, many people will make decisions. Programs like the power teams and other events even such as Billy Graham crusades while attracting large numbers and even registering large numbers of decisions, show little net growth in churches. Somewhere along the way, following up the decisions gets lost in the shuffle.
Often it is difficult for people to commit to baptism
Why is that? Are we afraid to ask for the same commitment that Christ demanded?
I. The New Church Began with Joy-filled Converts (v. 41)
1. Peter’s sermon cut them to the quick.
2. Instead of reacting with hostility or sadness, they responded with joy.
3. He told them to repent and be baptized.
4. They followed with believer’s baptism, and three thousand souls came into the church.
David’s prayer in Psalm 51 was that t the Lord would restore the joy of his salvation.
1. For them it was difficult to identify with Christ. That was why Peter emphasized being baptized in his name.
2. Because they had already received forgiveness of sins (v. 38). Repentance is an essential part of the gospel presentation. This should make us joyful.
3. If we present the gospel faithfully and trust in the Spirit of God to bring conviction, he will add to his church.
4. If we rely on man-made techniques, we will ultimately fail.
II. They Continued without Coercion (v. 42)
1. They continued steadfastly—They adhered completely. No one had to force them. They were diligent, they persevered in these areas:
2. The Apostles doctrine—teaching, the foundational content for spiritual growth and maturity. They had an appetite for it.
3. Fellowship—partnership. They worked together. They strove to encourage each other in their development.
4. Breaking of bread—Communion which all of us need to observe from time to time (What is the purpose of Communion?)
5. Prayer—The source of power for the believer and the church.
One of the indications of maturity is when kids develop a taste for other kinds of food besides Twinkies and potato chips.
1. These practices are what lead us to spiritual maturity and Christ-likeness.
2. We need to develop a taste for doctrine. Often people believe that it is bland and uninteresting, but it can be very rewarding to study.
III. They Engaged in Community (vv. 44-47)
1. Not a commune. They did not pool their resources equally redistributing their wealth. They sold what they had to help those in need.
2. They were “together”; they enjoyed being with fellow believers.
3. They were of one mind, one purpose—literally the same fierceness. (v. 46)
4. Day by day, they gathered at the Temple. They did not see themselves as separate from the Jews. They simply wanted all of them to know that Jesus was their Messiah.
5. They went house to house where the believers were taking meals.