Summary: If we follow God’s handbook written in 28 chapters, we can continue this ongoing movement in chapters 29 and beyond! [THE PURPOSE, PERSONALITY, AND POWER OF THIS BOOK!] Powerpoint at website for entire Acts Series!
Writing Acts Chapter 29
Turn in your Bibles to Acts 29 [no such chapter!]
You’ll notice there’s only 28 chapters…this is a new series (like Moses running a special: “bonus…11th commandment!”)
Ill.--Schubert’s 8th—known as the “unfinished symphony”
28:30-31—could this really be the end?
The book ends rather abruptly…and many contend Luke the Physician intended to write a 3rd volume (Luke, Acts, and ?)
But I think it’s to send the message of unfinished business, a continuing movement!
Untold Millions are still untold, and so a Bible-Believing, Evangelistic Church like ours continues to write the book, even today.
(I like to imagine Luke continuing to document the work of the local church in heaven today)
The revival of GBC / blessings of unity / a great missions conference / 3 baptized last week / healing of a family / restoration of a marriage!
And that book would abruptly end w/ a trumpet, and the return of Jesus Christ!
Ill.—Billy Graham going to a major crusade / a liberal in area didn’t want him to come / went to cmte. and said, we don’t want him here, he’s too old fashioned…he’ll set evangelism back 50 years in this city! / when Graham heard that, he said, I apologize for misrepresenting my intentions…I don’t want to send it back 50 years, but 2,000!
We need to get back to doing things the way they did in the early NT church…the one that turned the world upside down!
As you read about the early church, you’ll notice the absence of some things we think are imp’t: Wed. nite meal / Projector / even pews!
But you’ll be thrilled by the PRESENCE of certain things:
Power of God / record of the lives of people just like you, marvelously transformed into dynamic witnesses / a church growing by leaps and bounds / how a normal church is SUPPOSED TO OPERATE!
Vance Havner: “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 to lead us back to being more like an early NT church!
It’s back to the basics, go back to the book.
Ill—Vince Lombardi was famous for the basics, the fundamentals / blocking and tackling… “do it right and you’ll win” / one day his Packers lost a game they shouldn’t have / they made some serious errors in the basics / coach didn’t say much on the bus to hotel / nor on the jet to Green Bay / finally, Monday morning he called a team mtg. / pulled the pigskin out of a canvas bag and said, “team, I need to go over something with you: this is a football!”
Let’s look together at what God can / will do if we get back to the basics:
3 things from opening verses:
I. Purpose of the church
1st—That the Lord’s ministry should be continued.
v. 1 “began”
“former treatise”=first book—Luke
I wrote that Gospel to show you what Jesus began to do. That was only the beginning! But He’s still working / acting
The book is called The Acts of the Apostles by the publishers, but that’s not inspired, just like Revelation of St. John the Divine!
This is actually the Acts of Jesus Christ!
…what Jesus continues to do
He’s still alive and active, He’s just changed bodies, from physical to spiritual…we are it, we are His body, a spiritual body, we are His hands, His feet!
That’s why we should be very careful w/ His Temple, His Body, what we put in, what we allow to come out! 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…
2nd—That the Lord’s mandate should be completed.
v. 2 before Jesus went to heaven, he gave mandates to the apostles, given at the end of each gospel in some words or another. (Great Commission, clearly presented in Mt. 28:19)
2 important words in the Great Commission:
“Go” Somewhere along the way the church has gotten the idea that a beautiful bldg. will attract people to flock into it…not so, lost 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…GO!
Nowhere does the Bible command the lost to come to church. Rather, the church is told to go!