THE EXPANSION OF THE CHURCH
The Final Sermon in ‘The Early Church’ Series
The huddle is one of the most important times in the game, but it is also one of the least exciting.
Video segment from above movie included in sermon.
Dr. Tony Evans –
“Now what Christians often do is get high on their huddles. We gather together on Sunday morning and Sunday nights and Wednesday nights and we go nuts over the huddle! We say, “Boy did we have a huddle!! My quarterback can call plays better than your quarterback. And boy do we go off on the huddle. But what people don’t seem to understand is that the huddle is so that we can play the game. The effectiveness of your church cannot be measured by how well you do on Sunday morning. … The test of the church is what it does in the marketplace. What we need today is churches that are representative of Jesus Christ not only when gathered but when disseminated.”
Acts 7:59 – 8:4
59 And they stoned Stephen, calling upon God, and saying, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.
60 And he kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, Lord, lay not this sin to their charge. And when he had said this, he fell asleep.
1 And Saul was consenting unto his death. And at that time there was a great persecution against the church which was at Jerusalem; and they were all scattered abroad throughout the regions of Judaea and Samaria, except the apostles.
2 And devout men carried Stephen to his burial, and made great lamentation over him.
3 As for Saul, he made havoc of the church, entering into every house, and haling men and women committed them to prison.
4 Therefore they that were scattered abroad went everywhere preaching the word.
ACTS 1-7 WAS THE HUDDLE
ACTS 8-28 IS THE EXECUTION OF THE PLAY
Gathering to be Empowered
- They had been carrying out the Great Commission, but in a limited way.
- They gathered in Jerusalem to be empowered by the Holy Spirit, but they did not go once the Spirit came upon them.
- Sometimes God has to nudge us in strong ways to move us into the place of service where he wants us.
- In order to reach the world, Christ put his people in different places to be His witnesses.
- Persecution can have harmful effects on the church, but so can prosperity.
- Persecution was meant to put out the fire of the believers in Jerusalem; but instead, it spread the fire.
The Gospel in China
In 1949 in China, when the National Government was defeated by the Communists, six hundred and thirty seven China Inland Mission missionaries were deported.
3 Principles – Scattered Believers
#1 – When scattered, they did not agonize!
#2 – When scattered, they did not criticize!
#3 – When scattered, they evangelized!