The Purpose of God for this time –
Matthew 16:15-18 He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-jona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.
God’s purpose for His glory is to build His church until the Lord returns to take us unto Himself and continue His plan for the nation Israel. Seeing that we are still here, we must focus on His purpose which He stated in no uncertain terms –
Mark 16:15 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.
John 20:21 Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you.
Acts 1:8 But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.
John 14:27-31 Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. Ye have heard how I said unto you, I go away, and come again unto you. If ye loved me, ye would rejoice, because I said, I go unto the Father: for my Father is greater than I. And now I have told you before it come to pass, that, when it is come to pass, ye might believe. Hereafter I will not talk much with you: for the prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in me. But that the world may know that I love the Father; and as the Father gave me commandment, even so I do. Arise, let us go hence.
We find a pattern in this work through the ministry if Philip in Acts chapter 8 –
I. We are to be occupied in the work of the Lord where we are.
Acts 8:5,12 Then Philip went down to the city of Samaria, and preached Christ unto them………..But when they believed Philip preaching the things concerning the kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women.
This pattern is repeatedly taught throughout the New Testament –
Peter, John and the Apostles in Jerusalem, Barnabas and Saul in Antioch, Timothy in Ephesus (Do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry)…..
II. We are to be Obedient to the purpose of the Lord – going anywhere
Acts 8:26-27a And the angel of the Lord spake unto Philip, saying, Arise, and go toward the south unto the way that goeth down from Jerusalem unto Gaza, which is desert. And he arose and went…..
Again, we see this obedience in the lives of Barnabas and Saul in Antioch, and in Peter’s life while at Joppa to go to the house of Cornelius (even though many would be angry for him visiting the home of Gentiles)
III. We are to be Observant of those in need of the Lord – opportunities
Acts 8:27-30 And he arose and went: and, behold, a man of Ethiopia, an eunuch of great authority under Candace queen of the Ethiopians, who had the charge of all her treasure, and had come to Jerusalem for to worship, Was returning, and sitting in his chariot read Esaias the prophet. Then the Spirit said unto Philip, Go near, and join thyself to this chariot. And Philip ran thither to him, and heard him read the prophet Esaias, and said, Understandest thou what thou readest?
Racheal reading the Bible while sitting in her car. Beginning conversations with colleagues, classmates, in shops and restaurants.
IV. We are to Offer exposition of the Word of the Lord – must be knowledgeable.
Acts 8:31-35 And he said, How can I, except some man should guide me? And he desired Philip that he would come up and sit with him. The place of the scripture which he read was this, He was led as a sheep to the slaughter; and like a lamb dumb before his shearer, so opened he not his mouth: In his humiliation his judgment was taken away: and who shall declare his generation? for his life is taken from the earth. And the eunuch answered Philip, and said, I pray thee, of whom speaketh the prophet this? of himself, or of some other man? Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached unto him Jesus.
Read, study, and learn –
2 Timothy 3:16-17 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.
V. We should Oblige them to obey the Word they have heard –
Believe and be baptized
Acts 8:36-40 And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized? And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him. And when they were come up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip, that the eunuch saw him no more: and he went on his way rejoicing. But Philip was found at Azotus: and passing through he preached in all the cities, till he came to Caesarea.
Again, how are we to continue in this work of the Lord?
Acts 17:16-17 Now while Paul waited for them at Athens, his spirit was stirred in him, when he saw the city wholly given to idolatry. Therefore disputed he in the synagogue with the Jews, and with the devout persons, and in the market daily with them that met with him.
Think about this – when is the last time your spirit was stirred up in you when you considered the unbelievers around you?
If it has been a while, it has been too long! This morning, surrender your heart and life again to God and ask Him to stir your heart, rekindle the flame for a passion for lost souls.
Make use of the opportunities that we are given as they did –
As they did in the Synagogue – what more natural place than church to ask someone if they are saved or how did they come to the Lord for salvation.
As Aquila and Priscilla did, opening their home for meetings and using their business as a place of witness.
As Paul id in the market, using people’s curiosity of that which was new to them
In paying attention to those around you –
Give them a tract, an invitation, an word of encouragement.
Will we carry out the Lord’s purpose for His glory until He returns? What decision do you have to make this morning?