Monday, January 24, 2011

Evangelism: Every Believer’s Calling!

Christian belief is not built on speculation or myth but on the sovereign acts and words of God incarnate in the time-space universe. The birth, ministry, death, resurrection, and ascension of the Lord Jesus Christ are solidly rooted in history. The kingdom of God was the central topic of discussion between Christ and His apostles during the forty days between Jesus’ resurrection and ascension. The goal of history is not the Cross, but the crown—the time when King Jesus reveals Himself in all His majesty and reigns in glory (Isaiah 11:1-2; Daniel 7:13, 14; 1 Corinthians 15:24–28; Revelation 20:4–6).



At Pentecost (Acts 2:1-4) the Holy Spirit was made available to all who believed in Jesus. We receive the Holy Spirit (are baptized with Him) when we receive Jesus Christ. The baptism of the Holy Spirit must be understood in the light of His total work in Christians:




(1) The Spirit marks the beginning of the Christian experience. We cannot belong to Christ without His Spirit (Romans 8:9); we cannot be united to Christ without His Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:17); we cannot be adopted as His children without His Spirit (Romans 8:14-17; Galatians 4:6, 7); we cannot be in the body of Christ except by baptism in the Spirit (1 Corinthians 12:13).



(2) The Spirit is the power of our new lives. He begins a lifelong process of change as we become more like Christ (Galatians 3:3; Philippians 1:6). When we receive Christ by faith, we begin an immediate personal relationship with God. The Holy Spirit works in us to help us become like Christ.



(3) The Spirit unites the Christian community in Christ (Ephesians 2:19-22). The Holy Spirit can be experienced by all, and He works through all (1 Corinthians 12:11; Ephesians 4:4).



Now with this brief history lesson of God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit behind us, let us take our Bible out and turn to the book of Acts 1: 6-8. Let us study carefully and meditate on God's Word as we read what our Lord and Savior had to say to His disciples just before He ascended back up into Heaven (Acts 1:9).



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. But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” (Acts 1: 6-8)



Therefore: Christ’s statement that the Spirit was about to be given evidently triggered concern among the disciples about the establishment of the kingdom. Connecting the coming of the Spirit and the coming of the kingdom was consistent with Old Testament thought (Acts 3:21; Isaiah 32:15–20; 44:3–5; Ezekiel 39:28, 29; Joel 2:28–3:1; Zechariah 12:8–10).



at this time: expresses the anxiety of the apostles as they anticipated the kingdom rule that Christ had spoken of in the preceding days and weeks (Acts 1:3). The popular expectation and hope was that Christ would establish His kingdom immediately.



It is not for you to know: Jesus did not correct His disciples’ views concerning the restoration of the kingdom to Israel (Acts 1:6). Instead He corrected their views concerning the timing of the event. This was the same erroneous thinking that He had sought to correct with His parable in Luke 19:11–27, the parable of the minas.



times or seasons: These words speak to the issue of timing differently. Times refers to chronology or the duration of time—“how long.” Seasons refers to the epochs or “events” that occur within time. The disciples were not to know how long it would be before Christ set up His kingdom, nor were they to know what events would transpire before the establishment of it. Peter points out that even the Old Testament prophets did not know the timing between the sufferings of Christ and the glories that would follow (1 Peter 1:11). Instead of being concerned about the date of Christ’s return, the disciples’ job was to carry His message throughout the world.



you shall receive power: This does not refer to personal power for godly living, as demonstrated in the lives of Old Testament saints (See Abraham in Genesis 22; Joseph in Genesis 39; Moses in Exodus 14; Daniel in Daniel 6). This was power for a new task—namely, to take the gospel to the ends of the earth.



be witnesses: This is Christ’s command to His disciples to tell others about Him regardless of the consequences. Church tradition tells us that all but one of the eleven apostles who heard this promise became martyrs (John died in exile). God empowered His disciples to be faithful witnesses even when they faced the most vehement opposition. That same power for witnessing is available to us today. Our task is not to convince people, but to testify of the truth of the gospel.



During the years of Jesus' ministry on earth, the disciples continually wondered about His kingdom. When would it come? What would their role be? In the traditional view, the Messiah would be an earthy conqueror who would free Israel from Rome. But the kingdom Jesus spoke about was first of all a spiritual kingdom established in the hearts of lives of believers (Luke 17:21). God's presence and power dwell in believers in the person of the Holy Spirit.



Like other Jews, the disciples chafed under their Roman rulers. They wanted Jesus to free Israel from Roman power and then become their king. Jesus replied that God the Father sets the timetable for all events - worldwide, national, and personal. If you want changes that God isn't making immediately, don't become impatient. Instead, trust God's timetable.



Power from the Holy Spirit is not limited to strength beyond the ordinary - that power also involves courage, boldness, confidence, insight, ability, and authority. The disciples would need all these gifts to fulfill their mission. If you believe in Jesus Christ, you can experience the power of the Holy Spirit in your life.



Jesus promised the disciples that they would receive power to witness after they received the Holy Spirit. Notice the progression; (1) they would receive the Holy Spirit, (2) He would give them power, and (3) they would witness with extraordinary results. Often we try to reverse the order and witness by our own power and authority. Witnessing is not showing what we can do for God. It is showing and telling what God has done for us.



Jesus had instructed His disciples to witness to people of all nations about Him (Matthew 28:19, 20). But they were told to wait first for the Holy Spirit (Luke 24:49). God has important work for you to do for Him, but you must do it by the power of the Holy Spirit. We often like to get on with the job, even if it means running ahead of God. But waiting is sometimes part of God's plan. Are you waiting and listening for God's complete instructions, or are you running ahead of His plans? We need God's timing and power to be truly effective.



In Acts 1:8 it describes a series of ever-widening circles. The gospel was to spread, geographically, from Jerusalem, into Judea and Samaria, and finally to the whole world. It would begin with the devout Jews in Jerusalem and Samaria, spread to the mixed race in Samaria, and finally be offered to the Gentiles in the uttermost part of the earth. God's gospel has not reached its final destination if someone in your family, your workplace, your school, or our community hasn't heard about Jesus Christ. Make sure that you are contributing in some way to the ever-widening circle of God's loving message.



After 40 days with His disciples (Acts 1:3), Jesus returned to heaven. It was important for the disciples to see Jesus taken up into heaven. Then they knew without a doubt that He was God and that His home was in heaven. The two men dressed in white were angels who proclaimed to the disciples that one day Jesus would return in the same way He went - bodily and visibly (Acts 1:10-11).



History is not haphazard or cyclical; it is moving toward a specific point - the return of Jesus to judge and rule over the earth. We should be ready for His sudden return (1 Thessalonians 5:2), not by standing around "looking into the sky," but by working hard to share the gospel so that others will be able to share in God's great blessings. Have you shared the gospel with someone today?



References: NKJV Holy Bible, Life Application Bible (NIV), the Nelson Study Bible.

41 comments:

Gorges Smythe said...

Good post, Lloyd. God bless you.

Richie said...

Amen. Absolutely agree. Every believer has the calling and command to preach the gospel.

It is also significant that Jesus did answer their question, just not concerning the timing. God's restoration of the kingdom is directly related to preaching the gospel to the ends of the earth.

So, as Christians, we look forward to and hasten the coming day of God (2 Pet 3:12) ...

God bless, Richie
http://rcsthe.blogspot.com

DeanO said...

As always brother Lloyd. Preach the Word. God Bless - you have an awesome ministry with your blog. God is good...all the time

The Unknowngnome said...

Wonderful Word.

WORLASI said...

I just can't believe this. A master gives you a job and also gives you all the things you need or all the resources you need to execute the job. He tasks us to go and spread the word worldwide and in addition gives us the Holy Spirit to strenghten us. What excuse then do we have for not being able share the word? We lack nothing to do it.
God bless you Lloyd for sharing and taking us a step further in the word.

Solange Belém said...

Lloyd, muito obrigada a você, pela visita ao meu blog. Seja sempre bem vindo!
Abraço

Sol

Amina said...

Hello Loyd!

This is "Little Auntie" from Dear Little Auntie (hehe). Thank you for stopping by earlier and for inviting me to your blog.

You know, as a Muslim, this was interesting to read. I'm sure you'r quiet familiar with the fact that we believe in Jesus (peace and blessings be upon him) as well. In fact, we also believe that we should share the message of Jesus to everyone, as well (except we believe that message was 'Islam' or submission to the One God). We believe Jesus showed the way to the One True God.

So this was interesting to read. I had a blog earlier called "When She Got a Blog" where at the very end, I started reading through the New Testament. I only shared my notes on the very very very beginning of the Book of Matthew, but I thought I would invite you to that blog -

www.whenshegotablog.blogspot.com

(You will see me referring to myself as Sarira, there. That means "little secret" ;)

GOD thinker said...

Very sound and thorough teaching on the subject. Thank you!

dfish said...

When you meet a young person who is in love with something or somebody, they talk about it without hesitation. If we are in love with Christ we should talk about him equally freely. If we don't we must be ashamed of our relationship.

Author Aleja Bennett said...

Your blog is just awesome! Praise be to God I have really been inspired on this new day that the Lord has made. I would love for you to add me as your friend http://facebook.com./alejabennett http://twitter.com/8bestbooks2read

Cherie said...

I am praying for you and your blog today. You know why. God be exalted and truth be revealed. In Jesus name!

Crystal Mary said...

Hello Lloyd, I don't think we fully realise the hardness of the Bible days. I watched a movie recently on the nativity and I was overwhelmed by it. There were no take away food bars. Showers or toilets, cars or comfort. Just real life. Actually we get the easy part of believing and giving out the message. We don't have as much struggle and yet we may still deny Him?? God bless you brother.

Lady Verlane said...

Thanks for your insight and blessings in this lesson. It is so encouraging to know that someone out there is telling others and so many people are listening about Christ. God Bless

Hafsa Zainab said...

Thank you :-) However i'm a firm believer that there is not god but Allah and Muhammad is his messenger.

May God bless you & show you the truth.

Lloyd said...

Gorges , The Unknowngnome, Solange Belem, GOD Thinker – I want to personally thank each of you for your visit and comments. God bless.

Richie – It is interesting sometimes to me that being we are all called to spread the Good Word, that so many believers find reasons why “they” can not do it and expect someone else to do the job. Thank you for mentioning 2 Peter 3:12…. Sort of says it all. God bless.

DeanO – Thank you so much for your visit and encouraging comments. It is so true—God is good all the time – All the time God is good. Blessings my brother.

WORLASI – It is pretty hard too believe isn’t it. I can think of no excuse why we can not go out and share God Word! Maybe it’s the devil trying to get a foot-hold in our lives to make it seem like it is not all that important to do the Great Commission. Thank you so much for your visit and kind comments. God bless.

Amina and Hafsa Zainab – I want to personally thank both of you for visiting my blog and your honest comments. I really did not expect to convert either of you to Christianity, however my Lord and Savior did command me to go out and spread the TRUTH of the Gospel to the unsaved world. I will be praying for both of you. Lloyd

dfish – You are so right with your comparison between someone who loves another person. If we love them we can’t get them off our mind and we are not ashamed to introduce them to our friends or to strangers. The question I then ask all believers is this: Do you love Jesus enough to introduce them to a stranger, friend or family member? Blessings my friend.

Aleja – Thank you for your visit and encouraging comments. I am so happy that my blog was a blessing too you. God bless you my friend.

Cherie – Thank you for praying for me. I believe that prayer is so important in a Christian’s life. I will also be praying for you my sister in Christ. God bless.

Crystal Mary – You are right, back in the biblical days there were not to many luxuries that we see today. In fact most were so poor that they did well just to find a cave or a cleft in a rock to shelter themselves from the elements. The big problem today is that we sometimes begin to worship materialism and put God aside until we find ourselves “hurting”, then we will call out to God for help. Not every Christian today would be willing to give up everything they possess, money, houses, cars etc to pick up their cross daily and follow Jesus. Blessings.

paul Agaba said...

THANK YOU LLOYD....GOD BLESS YOU. PAUL

mushroom said...

Excellent teaching, Lloyd. This is going in my "Nutrient Rich" section.

Lloyd said...

mushroom - I want to thank you for your visit and encouraging comments. It is a privilege to be included in your "Nutrient Rich" section. God's blessings to you and your blog ministry. Lloyd

Danilo Sergio Pallar Lemos said...

I was very grateful for their access on my blog, I am a constant student of theology, which I work as a teacher some years ago, today I am doing another course, pedagogy, which even struggling to afford college I sold? Endo, and I intend to get a doctorate. God be with you.
www.vivendoteologia.blogspot.com

Alice Grace said...

Lloyd, thank you for visiting my blog. I was pleased to come over and look at your blog, and even more pleased to see you are preaching the Word. I have noticed this day and time that many fear to speak about our belief in the Lord Jesus Christ, the Saviour of the world. I am glad to see there are people like you who are inspired by God to have no fear to speak of Jesus.
God bless you!

Anonymous said...

Jesus is a MAN. He eats drinks and poops. God doesn't do that.

Seriously think about. I believe in Jesus but he is definitely NOT god.

Robin's New Song said...

So great to meet another "Solid Rock" believer! Thank you for your invitation. Keep up the good fight!

Robin :)

One Heart said...

Carrying the message throughout the world...our privilege. Thank you for sharing sound teaching and refreshing truth as always. And thank you for your encouragement yesterday.

Blessings!

Lloyd said...

Anonymous - I want to thank you for your visit and giving us your own personal opinion as to the divinity of our Lord Jesus. You say that you believe in Jesus but "he is definitely NOT god." The Incarnation of Christ is a central Christian doctrine that God became flesh, assumed a human nature, and became a man in the form of Jesus Christ, the Son of God and the second person of the Trinity. Jesus is both divine and human. In other words, He is both God and man. God has a divine nature, and Jesus possesses the divine nature as well as the human nature. This dual nature characteristic is called the hypostatic union. This is a sound Christian doctrine.

I have listed a few scriptures that show that Jesus is God in the flesh. It is my prayer that you study them and allow the Holy Spirit to bring you to the TRUTH regarding this very important Christian doctrine: John 1:1, John 1:14, John 5:18, John 8:24, John 8:58, Exodus 3:14, John 10:30-33, John 20:28, Col. 2:9, Phil. 2:5-8, Heb. 1:8 , and Psalm 45:6.

Ken Maes said...

Amen and amen my brother.

WINDOWLAD said...

Hi Lloyd,

Thank you for reading my poems and becoming a follower... it's good to have you there and forever welcome... and you seemed to be famous here... sooner you'll reach a thousand followers.... that's a great achievement... i became a catechist way back my high school years... and it's really enjoyable and a great way to share God to our peers... i enjoyed the read though i must confess i didn't reach the end... i actually don't read much 'bout God... but i appreciate and recognize Him in every way i could... i've put Him in my heart the way I understand Him.... just simply my way...^^

Have a nice day to you my friend.

Blessings.

~Kelvin

Anonymous said...

God does not take human form. God created humans. God created prophet Jesus and many other prophets who are HUMAN to spread his word and with God's will the holy prophets could perform miracles. That's what I believe.

Lloyd said...

Anonymous - Jesus was more than a prophet, He was the Son of God who was raised from the dead (1 Peter 1:3). No other prophet or religious leader can make this claim--their bones are still in the grave.

The decision to accept Jesus as your Savior and Lord can only be made by you. I will continue to pray for you. God bless, Lloyd

Zim said...

Some people thinks that Jesus could be prophet, good man or preacher, but they don't think about Him like God. I know one girl in my university, who is Free Bible Student - this is denomination like Jehova's Witnesses. One year ago we had some discussions about Jesus. They teach that Jesus is Son of God, but not God in the sense of the Trinity.

Lloyd said...

Paul - The blessings are mine when you visit my blog. May our Lord continue to shine on you and your blog ministry.

Danilo - I want to thank you for your visit and comments. I will pray that our Lord will assist you in your struggle with finances so you can complete your education. Blessings my friend.

Alice - It was a pleasure to visit your blog. I really enjoyed reading several of your posts. Thank you for your visit and encouraging comments. Blessings to you.

Robin - Thank you for your visit and comments. When I surf the internet for Christian blogs I find several that are "Solid Rock" in their teachings. God bless. Lloyd

One Heart - It is always such a blessing to have you visit. Your comments are so encouraging. I continue to pray for you and your family that the Lord will continue to give you the peace and comfort just knowing that, in God's timing, we will all be united again with our loved ones. God bless. Lloyd

Ken and WINDOWLAD - Thank you both so much for the visit and comments. I want to thank you personally Kelvin for sharing your faith with us. Blessings to you both.

Zim - I really look forward to your visit and comments. It is true that there are a lot of false religions and cults out there in the world who deny Jesus Christ. It is God's will for us (Believers) to go out into the world and spread the gospel. There will be a lot of folks that will never turn to Jesus as their Lord and Savior. However, if we can save just one lost soul from eternal separation from God, it is well worth the effort. God's word will never return void. Blessings my friend in Christ.

Mya said...

The verses about waiting for the Holy Spirit have always, not troubled but concerned me. It must be a grand feeling to have that sense - I never have. Perhaps there are ways that God uses some of us and we do not even know it. I feel that God knows me best and he knows I can not represent him the way I should, because though I am a believer I have never felt called on by God.

Anonymous said...

Hello Llyod. Thanks for the comment on my blog and inviting me to yours. However as a Muslim I believe Jesus is a prophet and he was raised to heaven by God before his enemies could harm him.

Grammy Blick said...

It was a blessing to read your blog. Thanks for stopping by mine, too. It's been very interesting reading the comments. I've prayed for Anonymous, that (he) may come to understand. I'll be stopping back and spending some time with His word with you. God bless your ministry.

Biljana said...

Great post, thanks for visit:-)
I am your newest follower too.
Greetings from Biljana

fer said...

Thank you for visiting my blog!

A Tua palavra é A Verdade ! said...

Hello brother Lloyd, grace and peace.

I am honored to have him as a follower of 'meu'blog, and I'm glad to have liked the publications.
I'll be visiting your space and will follow it as well, I'll be publishing their work for my friends and contacts.

At the beginning of a great partnership and brotherhood, his fellow servant,
Iveraldo Pereira.

Richard Collins said...

Good post, Lloyd - I do follow you, no worries.
God bless.

TheNote said...

Thank you for visiting. I enjoy your blog, you have so much to offer.
Blessings to You!
-g-

Real Life In A Minute said...

Thanks for visiting my blog. I am Christian and I believe God speaks to different ones of us in the world through many diff ways. Jesus/God knows our hearts. That is what matters. I usually don't read blogs that are as long as yours no matter the topic. I love short, to the point thoughts. God Bless.

bibelaventyr said...

now it was a while since I checked out your blog:) hope you all right?
oh wow that was a long post: P but very well written, it is seen in a long road. visit my blog, if you want


//Ellen

Stephen Baird said...

Lord bless all you do here Lloyd.
I see you everywhere!
My favorite verse is Philemon 6.
It indicates there is a special blessing for those who are active in sharing their faith.
nikonsniper steve