Pastor Mike will be speaking on Resources for the Great Commission Part 2. He will be reading out of Acts 1:1-11.
God works through the prayers of His people. You say, should I keep praying? Absolutely, my friend. Keep praying for those people who are struggling in their lives because I’m telling you this morning that deliverance comes through prayer.
Hello, this is Pastor Mike Sanders from The Open Door Church, and I want to welcome you to our Hope Worth Having radio broadcast. We’re delighted to have you with us, and today we’re going to be studying the book of Acts chapter 1 and we are learning about the resources for the Great Commission.
Now every Christian is responsible for fulfilling the Great Commision but the question is how? How do we fulfill that? What are the resources available for us? So we’ve been learning and studying that so we want to continue our study in Acts chapter one verses one through eleven.
Let’s continue to learn together as we get into it right now. As we come to the book of Acts this morning, we must consider what is before us, and that as Jesus Christ concluded the Gospels, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, that He commissioned the disciples to take the Gospel to the ends of the earth.
It was the church that was responsible for sharing the good news of Christ to every person on the planet. In essence, we are called to proclaim the gospel to a culture that does not want to receive it.
We are proclaiming a message that the world does NOT want to receive, yet it is a MESSAGE that the WORLD is in DESPERATE NEED OF. And you might consider, how can we take on such a great task? how is it that we could do something so mammoth of the Great Commission that Christ gave to the church that he’s given to each of us individually and collectively?
How is that that can take the gospel to the ends of the earth? Well, the book of Acts tells us just how that all unfolds and how God has provided us the resources for the great Commission. A few weeks ago we started studying this and we learned that our first resource was the gospel message.
In verses 1 and 2 of chapter 1, the book of Acts, he is calling back each of us to the gospel of Luke and he’s reminding us of all that Christ began to do and all Christ said and that all Christ taught as he proclaimed a message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
How we have this message and it is It’s a unique message, but I want you to remember that the scriptures teach us that the gospel is the power of God unto salvation. It is important for you to remember that the message is a powerful resource in your life in sharing the Gospel.
And this is applicable if you’re a mother who is raising a little child, or you are serving in a ministry within our church or in the community, that you understand that this great resource you have of the message of the gospel, that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is effective in transforming lives.
That you don’t have to make the gospel more palatable. You don’t have to change the message because the message in and of itself transforms lives We live in a community, in a culture, and a time where everybody wants to cancel the message they want to cancel what people are saying church we can never let this culture cancel us we could never let them stop us from telling the wonderful good news of Jesus Christ you say pastor they might put us in jail they take privileges and freedoms from us it doesn’t matter we have to keep telling message now the devil likes to dangle things in front of us he likes to get us off message.
He likes to dangle things politically in front of us or even things that are happening in the world or in our communities and he likes us to get focused on those things and we forget to tell people the simple gospel of Jesus Christ.
You see the answer to church is really not going to be that you know more about CRT or whether you know how to culturally fight against all the political erosion and moral erosion that’s going on in this world, the answer is simply this, what you need more than anything is a great understanding of the message of the gospel of Jesus Christ and that you and I need to be committed more than ever to proclaim that message from heart to heart and person to person and that is how God will transform this World.
We not only have the resource of the Message we shared last time, but we also have the resource of evidence of resurrection. You’ll note in verse three again that he says to whom he also presented himself alive after his suffering by many infallible proofs, being seen by them during 40 days and speaking of things pertaining to the kingdom of God.
After the resurrection of Jesus Christ, Jesus assembled his team, his apostles, and his disciples, and he began to help them connect the dots and understand what is the redemptive plan of God. And that God would use the church as a platform to promote this great message to get the gospel to the ends of the earth.
And so, what it is that would give them the confidence it was the resurrection of Christ? We’re not asking you to embrace something that is fiction, we’re asking to you embrace something just a myth or some kind of manmade story, but rather something that has many infallible proofs and you can be confident as you go out there that there is much evidence to the resurrection of Christ and that should give you the strength to continue to share this wonderful message of the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Now the third resource was the Holy Spirit now look at verses Verse 4 and 5, and being assembled together with them, he commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the promise of the Father, which he said, You have heard from me, for John truly baptized with water, But you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.
You and I cannot be effective without the power of God. and without spiritual power, we will be ineffective in sharing the gospel message so Jesus does not leave us by ourselves and he does call us to operate in our own strength but in the strength of the Spirit of God Jesus said in John 16 7 Nevertheless I tell you the truth it’s expedient for you that I go away.
For if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you. But if I depart, I will send him unto You.” Part of this redemptive plan is that the Father would send the Son. The Son would live a sinless life.
He would die on the cross for our sins. He will rise again, affirming that the Father has received and accepted the sacrifice of the Son for the sins of mankind and then he would for 40 days before his ascension he would teach the disciples how and what they should do in this great commission.
He would help them to understand the concept of the church and the transition from the old covenant to the new covenant and how God was working in a profound way in that not only is he reaching out to to the Jewish nation and the Jewish people, but now he is reaching to all people all Gentiles and all can come to know the Lord Jesus Christ as their savior.
And then Jesus would ascend into heaven. He would sit at the right hand of the father and he would intercede as he today for you and I. But what he reminded them was this, in verses four and five he told them to wait for the coming of the Spirit.” He had already taught them about this in John chapter 16 and John chapter 14.
He’d already mentioned to them that the paranoia, that is the comforter, the spirit who would come and he would dwell within us and He would continue to empower us that we might do this great task that Is upon us.
Church, we have to make sure that that we do not get off message, but we gotta also make sure we don’t get off mission. And the mission is to take the gospel to every person. And how are we gonna do that through the power of the Spirit of God that lives in the heart of all who believe in Lord Jesus Christ?
This power is explosive. Consider this, the Apostle Paul said in 1 Thessalonians 1 .5, our gospel did not come to you in word only. it’s not like we just got up there and said here’s the gospel but he said it also came in power and in the Holy Spirit and much assurance as you know what kind of men we were among you for your sake so the message came with the power of the Spirit it came not only with the power the Message but the Power of the spirit of God when you take the word of god and you take the Spirit of God and you put that together, it is explosive power.
How do you know that, Pastor? First of all, we know that power is explosive because it produces courage in the fearful. Remember where the disciples were after the crucifixion of Christ? Scattered, running.
Peter had gotten off the mission. He had said, I’m going back to fishing. I am done with this thing. Jesus had to restore him in the Gospel of John chapter 21 in this time before he ascended into heaven after the resurrection.
Jesus reassembled the disciples and this fearful group that did not know what the future held for them all of a sudden through the power of the Spirit of God became a courageous people who were not afraid.
Remember that Peter denied the Lord, remember he said, I have nothing to do with this man. I don’t even know this, man, but by the time we get to Acts chapter two, he’s standing before thousands and he is preaching the gospel of Jesus.
And the Bible says 3,000 people came to know the Lord Jesus Christ as their savior, amen? That’s what the power of the spirit of God will do in your heart. You’re afraid, you’re living in fear. Wondered what would people think about me if I started telling them how to be saved.
What would people think about me if I gave them a track or invited them to church? Well, my friends, when you’re filled with the Spirit and you are fully submitted to the spirit of God and saturated in the truth of God, I want you to know that this power produces courage, but it also produces compassion.
You see, the disciples, they weren’t worried about others. They were always worried about themselves. They’re worried about what they thought their agenda should be. But Jesus had to keep bringing them back, you remember?
They were worried that there were too many people to feed and Jesus said look sit them all down We’re gonna feed the thousands Remember that the children wanted to come to Jesus and they said keep the Children away from Jesus He’s too busy and Jesus and let the little children come unto me Let me tell you the power of the Spirit You’re no longer concerned about your agenda and you have compassion for the souls of people When you are filled with the Spirit, it is explosive in your life in that it transforms you to be a person who has a burden for lost people.
You no longer look at people the same way. When the spirit of God is filled in your heart and you are under the guidance and you’re walking in step with the spirit of God, then you have the burden of a lost person and you want to see people come to know Jesus Christ and your not ashamed of the Gospel and your ‘e not an ashamed of Christ and you’re not as ashamed to tell others why?
Why? Because the Spirit of God is living in you and you have a new compassion for the souls of mankind. This power is not only explosive, but it is instructive. The Spirit of God’s power in instructive.
Jesus taught the disciples in Matthew 10 verses 19 and 20, when they deliver you up, do not worry about how or what you should speak. For it will be given to you in that hour what you should speak, for it is not you who speak but the Spirit of your Father who speaks in you.
Some of you are afraid, I don’t know what I would say. I dunno how I’d say it, how would I tell my children how to be saved? How would tell I my grandchildren how to be safe? How will I I’ll tell the neighbor?
How I will tell friends? How to tell co-workers? How tell a stranger about Jesus Christ? Well, the Spirit of God is so powerful in our life that it is instructive in our lives in that, at first, helps me to verbally explain the gospel.
That’s right. Jesus said to the disciples, don’t worry when you stand in front of those who want to throw you into prison and those who want to intimidate you and try to hinder you from sharing the Gospel.
The Spirit of god will give you the words to say. And friends, when you are totally reliant upon the Spirit of God, you might be afraid to interact with someone about the gospel and might be afraid to have a spiritual conversation, but I promise you this, if you’re praying, and if you’re seeking the spirit of god to fill you, and to control you that he will give you the words that you need to speak.
And sometimes you’ll look at yourself and think to yourself, wow, did I just say that? It’s not you. It is the spirit of the God in you And so, this power is instructive in that it helps us to verbally explain, but it also helps to visually express.
There is just a message that is preached so loud with the way that we live. You remember that Peter said to the disciples, there’s going to be a time that people are going ask about the hope that lies within you, and that when they ask you what is this hope that lies within you that you are to share with them the gospel of Jesus Christ and you see my friends as you and I live in these unique times with hope and joy and peace as we are living in the confidence of the Lord and as we’re living with the courage and the strength of the Spirit as We are standing before God knowing that He is sovereign in charge and in control as people see that in our life that we’re not panicking we re falling apart.
We’re staying focused on the message and on a mission. People are gonna see that in our lives. And they’re gonna say, what’s different about you? What’s your problem? Why aren’t you hiding in the basement?
Why are you living in fear? Oh, why aren’t you troubled? And why aren’t you full of anxiety? I’ll tell you why, my friends because when we have this power of the Spirit in us, it is instructive and not only what we say.
It is instructive to all who are watching our life as they are learning that there is something different about those who believe in the Lord Jesus Christ. The power of the Spirit is explosive. It’s instructing but it is also constructive.
It Is constructive in what God is doing in your heart and what He is in doing your life. First He enlightens us, the spirit of God enlightens us to witness. You see, there are times that you’re interacting and the Spirit of God is enlightening you that this is the moment, this the time to share Christ with them.
This is time the to talk to them about their faith. This the the to invite them to a special Bible study. The power of the spirit is constructive in that He is constantly guiding us to be a witness for Him.
It is constructive in that it enlightens us to witness, but it also energizes us, to witness. There are many times that in our flesh, we feel very tired, overwhelmed, and perhaps feel like there’s more in a day than we can get done.
And then all of a sudden, the pastor says, we’re having vacation Bible school. And you’re like, man, I am so tired. There’s so much going on in the day. But listen to me, my friends. The Spirit of God energizes you and says pick up that phone, go pick -up those neighborhood kids, go -pick- up those grandkids, go, pick those children, and bring them to vacation Bible school so they can hear about the Lord Jesus Christ.
That’s the power of the Spirit of God in your life. It not only enlightens and energizes us, but the spirit encourages us. Encourage us, to remember that Jesus said he is a comforter. He is an encourager is the idea.
and that’s what the Spirit of God does, continuing to prompt us and encourage us to be all that God has called us to, to continue to stay on the mission, even when we face opposition and obstacles in our lives.
There isn’t anybody living a life free of problems. There is no one getting up in the morning and saying, hallelujah, I have no problems in my life! The truth is, every day, you and I have challenges in our lives, And I know you like to whine about it on Facebook and Instagram and all the other social media platforms, but friends quit the whining and start shining.
I need you to quit whining on social because you’re embarrassing the kingdom of God and you are embarrassing in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. What I want you to do is shine on the social and I will need to show people that God is awesome and God is great and you can be an effective witness for him no matter what you’re experiencing in life and no what trials you are walking through and what is before you, you have confidence that God, is at work in your life.
When the Apostle Paul spoke to the Philippians, he found himself under house arrest. He was limited, his freedoms were taken away from him. He had a guard who constantly was watching him The apostle wrote the letter to the Philippian believers and he said in verse 19 of chapter one, I know that this will turn out for my deliverance through your prayers and the provision of the spirit of Jesus Christ.
What he is saying is that I know that somehow God’s gonna use all this, all these trials, all of these problems in my life that I’m dealing with right now. Now I know he’s gonna deliver me through this, and he is going to deliver and how does God deliver people through their trials and their challenges?
Hang on church, hang your hat on these two things. Number one, the prayers of God’s people. The prayers have God people, some of you look at the prayer sheet and you say, Man, it’s boring, but I’m telling you, there’s someone on the other side that needs God, people to pray for them.
There’s somebody who needs to know that the saints of God and the prayer warriors of God are bombarding the heavens and throne of grace with God’s prayers. Listen to me, church. God works through the prayers of His people.
Now does God have to work through prayers through His people? But He has chosen to do the work of the people of his people and He will deliver His People through the prayers of his people. You say, should I keep praying?
Absolutely, my friend. Keep praying for the sick. Keep praying for loss. Keep prayin’, for hurting. Keep praying for those people who are struggling in their life, because I’m telling you this morning that deliverance comes through prayer.
Deliverance from addictions. Deliverance from sickness. Deliverance from sin. And deliverance, from the challenges, the trials, and the problems of life will come through the power of prayer. Can God’s people say amen?
Don’t ever belittle prayer, and don’t be around me when you do, because I’ll bring the hammer down on you. Because my friends, your prayers matter to God, and this is how God works, and we must be praying.
But did you know what the apostle said? It is not only through prayer that we are delivered but through the provisions of the Spirit of God. It is the spirit that God uses to constructively build in our hearts faith and perseverance, comfort, and strength, and continue to move forward for Him.
Do not neglect the third person of The Trinity that lives in the heart of those who believe. And it is the third person of the Trinity that will provide all that you and I need so that we can continue to take the gospel to each person.
Now the fourth resource in the book of Acts is what I call the hope of a gospel or the hope for the future. Now we come down to verses 6 and 7 after we read what we’ve already read in verses 1 -5, certainly, we are inspired.
And you would think after all that has been already said in verses 1 through 5, enough would be said. But you see, Jesus, he was dealing with 12 apostles, and I have to be honest with you, there were times he said, oh ye of little faith, how long shall I be with ye?
And I wonder if Jesus after sharing all he has shared, after seeing the resurrected body of Christ before them what Jesus must have thought when they said these words in verse 6 therefore when They had come together they asked Him saying Lord will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel and He said to them it is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has put in His own authority.
Now let’s stop right there because the Apostles were expecting something great to happen and they believed in their heart and anticipated that God was getting ready to intervene and that the apostles were expecting Christ to set up the literal earthly kingdom of God immediately upon his resurrection.
Now we can’t be too hard on the Apostles because, in Jeremiah chapter 23, you don’t have to go there, I’ll just read it to you, Jeremiah 23 verses 5 and 6, surely they had learned what the prophet had said, behold the days are coming, says the Lord, that I will raise up to David a branch of righteousness, a king shall reign and prosper and execute judgment and righteousness in the earth and in his days Judah will be saved and Israel will dwell safely.
Now this is his name by which he will call the Lord our righteousness.” Now we know the apostles had had dreams and visions of the Messiah rescuing them from Gentile domination. The Zionists so much wanted to see the restoration of Israel that they refused to cooperate with the Roman Empire.
they refused to be a compliant citizen in the oppression of the Roman Empire so they asked Jesus in verse 6 they said are you gonna at this time restore the kingdom of Israel they do not mean spiritually but they mean physically is this the moment now remember Jesus has already been helping them connect the dots, he’s been already helping them understand what he is going to do.
He’s already been spending time with them because he has been getting ready to ascend. He has already spent time helping him understand the plan of redemption through the local church. And they said, is this the time?
Is this time that you are going to restore? Now Jesus’ response was, it’s not for you to know. the times or seasons in which the father has put in his own authority. You see he is saying in reference to the seasons, which is the Greek word epic or the idea of a time span, he’s saying it’s not your, it is not in your lane or your authority to understand the specific aspects of the time frame of what God is going to do prophetically.
I want you to get that church because so many of you are so easily led by prophecy to speculate, question, and even make predictions that do not align with the Bible. Listen to me church, the question was irrelevant to the work that Christ had for the church.
I know you struggle with me saying that, but Christ completed work on the cross and made evangelism the priority of the church. Jesus said in Mark or Matthew 24 verse 14 that this gospel of The Kingdom will be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations and then shall the end come and then shall the end come.
And when shall they end, come? When will the income church, not when you think you know the time or the date, not you when thinking the seasons or times, when will they income? The end will come when this church gets on fire and thousands of churches across this world get on fire and start sharing the gospel with every person with whom they come in contact.
And one day, my friends, it’s gonna be the last person to be saved, and when that person receives Christ, he is gonna rapture the church out of here, and we are gonna live with Christ and the tribulation period will begin, but it will not happen until the Church makes evangelism the priority.
You say, what’s wrong with America? The church? Because we’re too sophisticated to give a track out. We’re too sophisticated to invite our neighbor. They might not like us anymore. We are too good for that church to tell people about Christ.
Oh, we can share why we don’t like President Biden, but to share why love Jesus, well, that’s just too much. The priority of the church is evangelism. What I’m trying to say to you is the disciples asked a question about the end times, and Jesus redirected their attention to the task that is at hand.
Forty days after Jesus’ resurrection, he dramatically ascended into heaven. Now, just before he ascended to heaven, He gave instructions to His disciples on what their responsibility was and how they would fulfill it.
And that’s what we have been learning in relation to the Great Commission. So God has empowered us so that we can fulfill his calling. So make sure that you’re taking these notes and you are reminding yourself of what is available so you can be effective for the Lord Jesus Christ.
This is Pastor Mike Sanders reminding you that in Christ there is hope worth having.