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Summary: A generosity initiative that will enable us to cooperate with God in achieving the vision to make a greater impact for Him; to push back the darkness faster & better.

October 8 Unleash the Gospel (Acts 1:8) (Ephesians 3:20-21)

In every contest, there comes a turning point; something that changes the momentum and even the outcome of the game.

We are at that place right now at Rush Creek. With all that God has done in and through us in the past, He has a new and more impactful challenge than any time in the past.

Unleashed: a 2 year generosity initiative that will enable us to cooperate with God in achieving the vision to make a greater impact for Him; to push back the darkness faster & better.

Don’t make Unleashed just about money. It’s about generosity: being generous with God with our time, with our talents, and with our treasure. Generosity is a way of life; study after study shows that the happiest people on earth are those who live a lifestyle of generosity. And so Unleashed is a journey that will increase our inner joy and our outward impact for Jesus.

Unleashed is about each of us taking our (on tablet) surrender to a new level, our faith to a new level, and our generosity to a new level so that we can push back the darkness faster/better

There is a lot of darkness out there. In the Bible, darkness is a metaphor for evil, ignorance, and lostness. Jesus flat out said in John 8:12, ““I am the light of the world. Anyone who follows Me will never walk in the darkness but will have the light of life.”

Jesus said those who don’t know Him and follow Him live in darkness; in lostness. Let’s talk about what lostness means. It means being separated from the One who loves you the most. Living each day without knowing the Lover of your soul; without knowing your purpose in life; without knowing the peace that passes understanding. An existence that will eventually give way to an eternity separated from all that is good. Hell is a place where there is no joy, no peace, no love, no good; only emptiness and despair and pain and suffering for all of eternity. Anybody here want that for ANYONE? I hope not.

Do you know Darkness: (build) Out of approximately 7.5 Billion people on earth, 5.3 Billion live in darkness worldwide. (boy in India, man in London, neighbor) 2 Billion have no gospel witness. (N.Korea; Saudia Arabia; Stans in Eurasia) 260 Million live in darkness in the U.S. 5000-7000 churches are closing their doors each year

90% of American churches have plateaued and/or are dying

Do these statistics bother you? They should. Each statistic is a person; a real person. Each percentage tells a story of advancing darkness. As Christ-followers, we have a responsibility to step up and push back the darkness faster and better.

This is why Jesus said in Acts 1:8 “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come on you, and you will be My witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

Jesus was talking about an unleashing of the gospel locally and globally, wasn’t He? And He was inviting us to join Him in pushing back the darkness by participating in the Unleashing.

I want you to notice that When the gospel is UNLEASHED: (build)

1. We are empowered by the Spirit

Jesus said, “you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come on you” He was pointing toward Pentecost when the Holy Spirit came like a mighty, rushing wind and the church was born. And by the power of the Spirit, the gospel was unleashed throughout the known world, starting in Jerusalem, then Judea, then Samaria, then to the uttermost corners of the known world.

But the unleashing was not just for them back then; it is also for us right now. Are you walking in the Spirit? Are you filled with the Spirit? To be filled is to be under the control of the Spirit. And if you are under control of the Spirit, you’re walking in victory over sin and you’re seeing the unleashing of the Spirit in your world.

Was visiting with a guy at our campus who stepped out of the darkness two years ago and now he’s walking in the light and the power of the gospel has absolutely changed his life—and everyone in his circle of influence has seen the change. When we are empowered by the Spirit, the gospel is unleashed in us and through us.

2. We each share our personal story

Notice what Jesus said, “You will be My witnesses”

He didn’t say you might be; you could be; you should be. He said you WILL be. You’re a witness for Jesus whether you like it or not. You may be an awful witness, but you’re a witness.

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