Summary: After praying for guidance God led me to Pastor Jerry Shirley's Acts series and the messages in this series has been revised to fit the circumstances we have been facing at EBC.
What Happened to Acts Chapter 29, pt. 1 Acts 1:1
Turn in your Bibles to Acts 29: 1 [no such chapter!]
You’ll notice there are only 28 chapters…but I wonder if you have ever noticed how the book of Acts ends. READ
Could this really be the end? Is there or should there be more?
The book of Acts just ends…and many believe that Luke must have intended to write a 3rd volume (Luke, Acts, and ?)
Could it be that Luke is sending the church a message? Could the way Acts ends be a reminder that the church must keep moving forward, finish the story?
Billy Graham was preparing for a major crusade but a liberal in area didn’t want him to come. This guy went to the committee and said, “we don’t want him here, he’s too old fashioned…he’ll set evangelism back 50 years in this city!”
When Billy Graham heard this, he said, “I apologize for misrepresenting my intentions…I don’t want to send the church back 50 years, but 2,000 years!”
The Church of the Lord Jesus Christ needs to get back to doing things the way they did in the early NT church.
Do you remember that church? It was the one that turned the world upside down!
As you read about the early church, you’ll notice the absence of some things that we think are important vital to ministry like:
Some churches can’t function without the Wed. nite meal or their video equipment.
Some can’t function without programs.
Some would even find it impossible to operate without pews!
But here are a few things that we could and should be thrilled by:
The Power of God and His presence in this place.
The record of the lives of people just like you/me, marvelously transformed into dynamic witnesses.
Seeing and being a part of a church growing by leaps and bounds.
This is how a normal church is SUPPOSED TO OPERATE!
Vance Havner once said: “the churches of today are so subnormal, that if one of them gets normal, everybody thinks it’s abnormal!”
Even Christian people in the community will say, what’s going on over there at that church?
I want Elim Bible to get back to being more like the early NT church!
To get back to the basics, go back to the book (hold up my Bible).
Let’s look together at what God can; what God will do if we get back to the basics:
Let’s pull 3 things from the opening verses Acts chapter 1:
I. Purpose of the church:
1st thing to understand is; the Lord’s ministry should be continued.
v. 1 “began”
“former treatise” or the first book was the book of Luke
Luke said, “I wrote that Gospel to show you what Jesus began to do but that was only the beginning!”
Because Jesus is still working! He is still acting.
The book is called The Acts of the Apostles by the publishers, but that’s not the inspired title, just like Revelation of St. John the Divine was not inspired!
This book is actually and should be called the Acts of Jesus Christ!
The book of Acts is all about what Jesus continues to do.
He’s still alive and active, He’s just changed from a physical body to a spiritual body.
And guess what!
We are it, we are His body.
We are His hands, His feet and His voice!
That’s why we should be very careful w/ His Temple, His Body, what we put in, what we allow to come out!
Because He won’t use a dirty vessel…He doesn’t put His Almighty hand into a filthy glove to do His work!
The first purpose of the book of Acts is to show us that the Lord’s ministry should be continued…
The 2nd is that the Lord’s mandate (command) should be completed. V.2
Before Jesus went to heaven, He gave mandates to the apostles.
They were given at the end of each gospel. (Great Commission, clearly presented in Mt. 28:19)
Let’s examine this verse for a moment…
[Mat 28:19 NIV] “19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,”
2. Notice two important words in the Great Commission: The 1st is “Go”
Somewhere along the way the church has gotten the idea that a beautiful building will cause people to flock to it.
But that’s just not so. ost people don’t care about our buildings, programs, big days…they care about that wayward child on drugs / marriage on the rocks / terminal illness!
They’ve got needs…they’ve got questions, and we’ve got the answer, His Name is Jesus Christ!
And it’s criminal for us who have the answer to not take it outside this building…