Summary: A Short series on witness
Witnessing to your Jerusalem
Gladstone Baptist Church - 10/4/05
We are looking at our Witness in the next couple of weeks. Okay - here’s your chance for a chup-a-chup. Who knows our church’s mission statement ...
Through our Worship, Witness and Works of service, we aim to reach people with the good news of Jesus and lead them to Maturity in the Family of God
Through our worship and witness and works of service we aim to reach people with the good news of Jesus in order to lead them into maturity. We aim to reach people. How? Firstly, through our worship. 2 months ago we talked about worship and how it impacts on those around us. It attracts them, challenges them, and leads them to God. Secondly, through our Witness - what we say to them. How we live our lives. Thirdly, through our works of service - what we do for each other and for others. Witness and Works of Service are actually part of how we live our lives. As such it is part of our Worship.
Tonight, I want to continue our series on Witness. Who was here this morning. Pastor Roger spoke about ....
Tonight I am going to talk about Witnessing to your Jerusalem - that’s Gladstone for us. That’s why I’ve got an areal shot of Gladstone as a backdrop tonight. Next Sunday morning we’ll talk about Witnessing to your Judea and Next Sunday night we’ll talk about Witnessing to your world.
At the outset, I want to say that we have formed this series around Acts 1:8. Open up your bibles and have a look at this passage ...
Acts 1:7-9 So when they met together, they asked him, “Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?”
He said to them: “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
After he said this, he was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight.
A couple of things to note in this passage and many of you know what I’m going to say ... It is not Jerusalem, or Judea and Samaria or the ends of the earth. We’ve split this series up into 3 parts so we can talk about how we can practically witness in our local community (Jerusalem), in Australia as a nation (Judea and Samaria) and the rest of the world.
But in Jesus’ mind, these are inseparable. He didn’t say that you could choose two of the three to be involved in, or better still - only one. He said. No ... You will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, AND Judea and Samaria AND the ends of the earth. Jesus intended us to be involved in all of these areas. In his mind there was no distinction, it was all World evangelism.
So over the next couple of weeks and right through the next 5 months infact, we will be trying to help you to see how you can be involved in witness in This world - in Gladstone, Australia and indeed to the rest of the world.
Let’s Pray ...
Tonight I want to take a quick look at a time when Jesus sent out his 12 disciples out on an evangelistic trip. He sent them to villages and towns around Galilee - between Nazareth and Capernaum. This was where they had all grown up. This was their homes. This was their Gladstone and Central Queensland area.
Open our Bible to Luke 9:1-6 ...
When Jesus had called the Twelve together, he gave them power and authority to drive out all demons and to cure diseases, 2 and he sent them out to preach the kingdom of God and to heal the sick. 3 He told them: “Take nothing for the journey-no staff, no bag, no bread, no money, no extra tunic. 4 Whatever house you enter, stay there until you leave that town. 5 If people do not welcome you, shake the dust off your feet when you leave their town, as a testimony against them.” 6 So they set out and went from village to village, preaching the gospel and healing people everywhere.
There are some things I want you to note about this passage. Important things for us as we consider How we should witness to our Jerusalem....
1) Jesus CALLED them together for an evangelistic task. The disciples had been back in Galilee for some time and it was likely that they had returned home to their families for a time. But Jesus was calling them back out for a task. They were to go through all the villages in the region spreading the good news and healing the sick. Now they could have said - Go away, I’m happy where I am, I’m just getting back into life. But they didn’t they gathered.