The Work of Missions - A Summary

A Summary of the Book of Acts


DATE: 12 Mar, 2000   AM         PLACE: BBC Blarney


I.         Introduction (Matt 11:28; Mark 16:15)


A.      Our Lord's Greatest Command to the Sinner - Come!

B.       Our Lord's Greatest Command to the Christian - Go!

C.       If you get nothing else from this message this morning, it must be those two thoughts


1.        To get to heaven, you must by faith come to Christ - and only to HIM!

2.        To have joy as a Christian, you must by faith go to sinners, and be a witness - there is no fullness of joy outside of telling someone the good news


II.       Background ()


A.      Acts is our Mission's handbook.


1.        It tells us as a church how to please the Lord, and what is expected of us

2.        It describes the obstacles that we will encounter

3.        And it explodes the myths about the condition of this world

4.        Acts is our mission's handbook - as a matter of fact, the whole Bible is about Missions


a.       Who was the first Missionary? Jesus (John 1:14)

b.       Who is the most remembered missionary? The Apostle Paul

c.       Who was the most unhappy missionary? Jonah


5.        The world has yet to see what God can do with just one person so totally dedicated to living God's will - Paul came close


B.       So to the Book of Acts we turn this morning


1.        We are looking for a summary - a plan of action - a Mission Statement

2.        Something that works - with a proven track-record

3.        Something that most of all, honours our Saviour, and sees people saved

4.        That will be found in the Book of Acts

5.        Let me forewarn you - Missions is HARD WORK!


III.     Message - The Work of Missions - A Summary (Acts)


A.      The Work of Missions Begins With Prayer (Acts 1:12-14)


1.        Jesus had told the disciples (500 of them) to go back to the upper room (a large warehouse type of room), and wait, and pray for God's power


a.       They didn't know how to fulfill Acts 1:8, and Matthew 28:19,20, and Mark 16:15, and John 20:21

b.       They didn't know to witness to people that looked differently than them, and spoke different languages, and talked differently


2.        As soon as Jesus ascends to heaven, the disciples run back to Jerusalem, and start to pray - and pray they did - only 120 gathered, but God blessed!


a.       The next ten days were spent in prayer - agonizing prayer

b.       No monastic type of lifestyle - just a hunger for God

c.       They were waiting - the Christian life is not something that can be done "naturally" - you have to have the power of God's Holy Spirit


3.        All through Acts you will see the saints praying, and God blessing (3:1; 6:3,4; 12:5) it can be no other way! Constant prayer is the life-blood of any true Christian church that wants more than just religious exercises!


a.       We pray together as a church every Saturday evening at 7pm

b.       We will gather together tonight at 6pm, specifically to pray for a mission's heart - nobody is excused!

c.       We must pray again tomorrow, and Tuesdays, as families, and Wednesday, and on Thursday, and during our Men's retreat!

d.       We NEED to pray folks - it is the starting block of all spiritual activity for God!


B.       The Work of Missions is Directed by the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:1-4,7,8)


1.        What was happening? The Holy Spirit was taking over! The disciples had prayed for such Now it was happening

2.        Why was it happening?


a.       Because Biblical Christianity is NOT a work of the flesh - not something people can "just do!" Doesn't come natural!

b.       It is a work of faith, in obedience to God's word, constantly relying on the Holy Spirit as He works (Col 1:27-29)


1)       Ahead of you - preparing people's hearts

2)       With you - confirming what you say

3)       After you - convicting them of their sins, and their need for the Saviour


3.        Always according to God's pattern-book - the Bible!


a.       This is not a do-as-you-please church.

b.       We go by the Book! We let the Holy Spirit coach us, convict us, convince us, conform us, and compel us to do what needs to be done in His kingdom


C.       The Work of Missions Delivers a Message (Acts 2:11,22-24,36)


1.        The New Testament church is not about candles, altars, buildings, money, and helping the poor!

2.        It's about delivering a message, that must be heard, understood, and fully believed (Acts 2:11)! People will never know about the wonderful works of God, unless they hear about them from the lips of believers!


a.       It's a message first about Jesus (2:22) - not welfare, not politics, not hunger, not the weather, not injustice, not sports, not teen problems - it's about God becoming flesh, and dwelling amongst us! AMEN!

b.       It's a message about sin (2:23) The world hates these subjects! People need to know it was not the Romans that nailed Jesus to that cross! It was not just the Jews who said, "CRUCIFY HIM!" It was OUR sins - it was US! We, and all our righteousnesses are filthy in God's eyes!

c.       It's a message about Calvary (Acts 2:23,24)


1)       Oh the message gets sweet when it turns to Calvary


a)       Jesus crying out - IT IS FINISHED

b)       And then dying - Jesus taking our place - dirty rotten sinners

c)       And being buried for 3 days and 3 nights

d)       And then rising again, victorious over death


2)       That's the Gospel message - the good news - from the small hill


d.       It's a message about coming judgment! (2:34-36)


1)       The future is not bright - at least not for those who are not saved

2)       This world is getting ready for asteroids, and aliens, and WWIII, but everybody laughs when you tell  them GOD'S JUDGEMENT IS COMING!

3)       To be ready involves simply repenting, and allowing Jesus by faith to wash away your sins in His blood!

4)       Have you responded to that message?

5)       You are either saved, or still lost in your sins! You are either headed for heaven or hell. Heb 9:28!


D.      The Work of Missions Builds New Testament Churches (Acts 2:47; 8:1; 11:26) How?


1.        By binding Christians together with a Mission - a purpose


a.       Reaching their Jerusalem - with a constant, simple testimony of God's grace and goodness!

b.       Also reaching Judaea, and Samaria - not ignoring the responsibility of reaching out further and further. Paul, and Barnabas, and Silas, and Timothy, and Luke, and John Mark didn't stop with just the one church in Jerusalem, or with the second church in Antioch, but they crisscrossed over tens of thousands of miles, starting churches in EVERY village and town!

c.       And even reaching unto the uttermost parts of the earth! So, who was supposed to discover America, and Antartica, and cross the North Pole, and sail the Pacific? Bible believing Christians searching for souls! AMEN!


2.        By Training servants (Acts 13:1-3)


a.       You may not realise it

b.       And you might not enjoy it

c.       But every time we get together (Bible Study, preaching, fellowship, Dinner, Prayer Meeting), I am "secretly" training you - to serve!

d.       There is no greater calling (Rom 1:1) - Paul loved that title!

e.       Right in this room - in the Sunday School room, there could be a Paul, or a Peter, or a Barnabas, or a William Carey (India), or a Hudson Taylor (China), or an Adoniram Judson (Burma)! AMEN!!!


3.        By Sending and supporting those servants (Acts 13:2,3; 1Tim 5:17)


a.       They cannot go it alone (1Cor 9:7)

b.       We cannot live unto ourselves anymore


1)       If you are not tithing, you haven't lived yet - at least not by faith

2)       If you are tithing, let me encourage you to give above your tithe, again by faith, so that we as a church can have a part in specifically supporting more missionary families, and reaching more of the world

c.       The finances of this church is not only FOR this church - it is for the starting of other churches, and the reaching of the lost, worldwide!

d.       This church one day will have its own Irish pastor - that's God's way

e.       I believe out of this church could go a great missionary! We have already had a taste of it with Olivia Walsh going for a short time in Bangladesh.


E.       The Work of Missions Stays At It (Acts 20:17-24) Some of the most precious words in the New Testament!


1.        Mission work is NOT a passing fad - Just faithfulness, and consistency

2.        It is about being faithful to our Lord, and His command of Go ye!

3.        That's what Jesus was talking about when He said, take up your cross and follow Him! He was saying, "Stay at it, no matter how hard it may get!"

4.        The only reason why ANYONE in this room is saved, is because THANK GOD somebody hadn't given up, and thrown in the towel! THANK GOD somebody kept going - even after 2,000 years, someone stayed at it, and talked to some rebellious teenagers, and gave us the straight Gospel!

5.        We have to be willing to stay at it


a.       Bro Mike Robinson is counting on us

b.       Untold Millions are in darkness today

c.       Our Lord is calling us - to be faithful to BEING what He has designed us to be!


IV.    Conclusion -


A.      The Work of Missions Begins With Prayer

B.       The Work of Missions is Directed by the Holy Spirit

C.       The Work of Missions Delivers a Message

D.      The Work of Missions Builds New Testament Churches

E.       The Work of Missions Stays At It