Summary: the first church was able to do all the did because they honestly believed in all Jesus ever began to do and teach..
“They Believed in the Kingdom of God”
4 Gathering them together, He commanded them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait for what the Father had promised, "Which," He said, "you heard of from Me; 5 for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now." 6 So when they had come together, they were asking Him, saying, "Lord, is it at this time You are restoring the kingdom to Israel?" 7 He said to them, "It is not for you to know times or epochs which the Father has fixed by His own authority; 8 but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth." Acts 1:1-8 (NASB)
We have before us the key verses to understanding the book of Acts. In them is an outline for Acts. The book of Acts is all about the building of the God’s Kingdom.
Vs. 8 tells us exactly how that building of the Kingdom is to take place. Jesus said, “and you shall be my witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.” A simple reading of Acts reveals that in Acts 1-7 is was the proclamation of the gospel in Jerusalem, Acts 8-12 it was the proclamation of the gospel into Judea and Samaria, and in Acts 9-28 it was the proclamation of the gospel into all the world.
It’s a good background for I want to speak to today. Our Lord called His church out for the purpose of building His Father’s kingdom. In John 17:18 in Christ’s high priestly prayer He said to the Father, “as you have sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world”. In other words just as God the Father had sent Jesus into the world to seek and save that which is lost so has Jesus sent His disciples into the world so that he may continue through them seek and save that which is lost.
And in Matthew 28:18-19 we have the great commission given by our Lord to His disciples; “Go therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit; teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you, and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” It is a very clear and definite call to build His kingdom. It involves evangelism and discipleship, not one or the other, but both carried on simultaneously. Just before Jesus gives the great commission He says in vs.17 “all authority has been given to me both in heaven and on earth”. When we are about the task of building God’s kingdom we are doing it by His authority. The church in Acts were kingdom builders. In a short period of time they had permeated every place in society and the known world with the gospel of Jesus Christ. Many historians have wondered how this could be. How could a people so simple in education and mostly impoverished accomplish such a great task in such a short time. The answer is simple, they believed they were called, commissioned and sent out into their world to be missionaries for Christ. The job of proclaiming the gospel wasn’t left to the few appointed preachers, pastors, and missionaries of the first century. The entire church understood that they were called and commanded by Christ to go into all the world. Everywhere they went, the Christians, whether at work or play or home or in the street; everywhere they went they proclaimed the gospel and built the kingdom.
Now, let’s look at our Scripture:
" 6 So when they had come together, they were asking Him, saying, "Lord, is it at this time You are restoring the kingdom to Israel?"
The disciples still did not fully understand the plan for the kingdom of God. They knew of the kingdom and they knew they were a part of the kingdom but they didn’t understand the full concept of this future kingdom. They would understand fully as time went by but for now this kingdom building was still being understood through their religious history.
They thought the kingdom would be a”
1. Political kingdom
They were still looking in the past and not ahead to a future kingdom. They used the word restore. To restore means to take that which is old or broken or worn and bring it back to it’s former beauty and splendor. They were looking back to the old testament and the Davidic kingdom. They thought the Jewish kingdom of old was going to be restored, rebuilt, revived. But that was not God’s plan for His future kingdom.