Summary: Explores God’s perspective on the launching of a new church.
DATE: June 14, 1998
TEXT: Acts 17:24-31
THEME: "The God of Destiny"
Background - Paul at Athens.
I. WHAT IS DESTINY
A. Destine - to determine beforehand.
B. Predestine - to limit or mark out beforehand; to design definitely beforehand.
C. To be like Christ (v. 10-11)
II. OBSERVATIONS CONCERNING DESTINY
A. Everything that exists was designed in the mind of God before it came into being
B. God is a God of destiny because he is sovereign
1. He made everything that exists (v. 24).
2. He is self-sufficient and needs nothing (v. 25).
3. He sustains everything that exists (vv. 26a, 28).
C. Everything God created was created with destiny and purpose.
III. WHAT ARE THE ELEMENTS OF DESTINY?
A. Exact historical moments - “times set for them” (v. 26; Gal. 4:4)
B. Exact geographical locations - “places where they should live” (v. 26; Gen. 12:1)
C. Exact divine intentions/purposes - "God did this so that…" (v. 27).
D. This is true for individuals, for nations, for families and for churches.
IV. IMPLICATIONS FOR THE LAUNCH OF THIS CHURCH TODAY
A. The launch of this church today is not a chance occurrence. It is in fulfillment of God’s divine timing.
B. The location of this church is not a chance occurrence. It has been strategically placed by God in its particular locality.
C. The purpose of this church is clear. It is to fulfill God’s divine purpose (v. 27) "God did this so that men would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from each one of us."
1. It is to cause men and women to come to know Christ. (N.B. Matt. 28:18-20)
a. Because God is calling men and women to repentance.
b. Because men and women are going to face the judgment of God.
3. The church accomplishes this task
a. By proclaiming the Gospel to its community (Matt. 5:13-16).
b. By embodying the Gospel in the midst of its community.
1) By demonstrated love (Jn. 13:34-35).
2) By demonstrated unity (Jn. 17:20-23).
3) By demonstrated transformation (I Thess. 1:6-10).
I. This new church must function with a sense of purpose and destiny.
II. We must always ensure that we are in the place God wants us to be. We must listen carefully to God and hear what He says to us about how we are to reach our specific community.