Tuesday, July 7, 2020
A Church Indestructible | Lessons From The Early Church
This message was shared by Jo Kudalkar at Word Of Grace via zoom on July 5th 2020. to listen to the audio please click here.
A Church indestructible.
What does it take to have an 'indestructible church? Is it even possible? If the church is not a building but instead its people, then how do we get in on this in destruction?
Let’s look at Acts 5:17 – 25
What do we see?
- The leaders, those in authority, the High priest, the elders, those seen as the holiest of people were filled with jealousy and imprisoned the apostles.
- Angels showed up and freed them and gave them a command.
- Their response? Obedience. Instead of running they went back out and preached the gospel. Why?
- They were united with one goal and one purpose - to preach the gospel no matter the consequence
1. A Gospel centred people will always prevail
When we as a people have one goal, one purpose and that is the gospel and we are united in that. That the preaching of the gospel and the advancement of God’s kingdom is our highest priority, we can rest in one thing: that the gospel WILL prevail. If we are willing to hold our lives lightly and face any consequence as long as our purpose is fulfilled, this passage is proof, that we will succeed. When we are obedient to the call of God, we also rest in his supernatural protection.
Vs 26 - 39
- the apostles once seized did not fight or go by force, but when questioned spoke with authority and conviction. They preached the gospel to their persecutors!!!
- They decided where their obedience lied.
- when we know who and why we do what we do, we speak with freedom and boldness.
We are witnesses of these things, and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey him.”
Acts 5:32 NIV
- They knew whose business they were about. The work of men could not prevail, but the work of God will never be stopped.
- we trust in God's supernatural protection.
- seen or unseen, his angels carry us through.
2. Speak with the authority we've been given
The commission to preach the gospel was given to us by THE HIGHEST authority there is. The Creator of the Heavens and the Earth, the one who formed life from dust, the one who has your days and my days numbered and knows EVERYTHING has given us authority. We are not minions following something aimlessly. No, we have been given a commission, we have been given authority and we have been given the Holy Spirit that has equipped us to perform our mission and just like the apostles when we rest and are confident in who’s business we are about, we know that we have the protection, the God of Heaven and Earth on our side.
Like this passage says, the work of the Lord can be stopped by no man, but the work of men will come to no end. We are about the work of the Lord, and we can operate with confidence that no man can put a stop to it.
3. In all things rejoice
- The apostles considered themselves worthy of torture. They knew that they were bearing fruit and as a result a threat. Though they were flogged and instructed not to share the gospel, they continued to be obedient to God and carry out their mission.
- Famous saying by Joanne Clancy
Be the kind of woman who, when your feet hit the floor each morning, the devil says "Oh, no! She's up.
- If we're not a threat to anyone, we need to consider if we're being fruitful.
- We are called to be legacy builders, salt, light, atmosphere shifters.
- Persecution will come, that’s why the bible says in Hebrews
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
Hebrews 12:1- 3NIV
we shouldn't be surprised by persecution or trials, instead look at it as a test of our perseverance and endurance, and remain in an attitude of rejoicing, for it is him who carries us through. Do we rejoice at being persecuted? No. But we rejoice because we know that even in times of persecution and trial, our purpose, our goal, our highest calling, is still going to be fulfilled.
God is in the business of building his church.
• 19 of the top 20 countries where the church is growing the fastest are in Asia and Africa.
• Several reports of explosive church growth in Iran and other Middle Eastern countries. Operation World reports that due to prayer, increased Bible distribution, disillusionment with Islam, use of media, along with persecution, the church in Iran is the “fastest growing in the world.”
• There are an estimated 100 million followers of Christ in China. Some church growth experts estimate there are more Christians in China than in the United States
These are some of the most persecuted nations in the world. But Gods Kingdom is advancing.
And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.
Matthew 16:18 NIV
Jesus himself says, he is the builder of the church and any evil plans of the enemy cannot and will not prevail.
That is our hope - that we belong to an indestructible, heavily protected, absolutely loved body. We need to choose whether we want in or out.
Let's be a people who are united with one purpose - spread the gospel and expand the church.
Action time: Write down the names of 3 people you meet or speak to on a regular basis. Now lay your hands on that piece of paper, pray for opportunities to share the gospel with them.Word of Grace is an Evangelical (Born Again), Spirit-filled (Charismatic), Reformed, English speaking in Pune that upholds the Bible as God's inspired Word for life. We are a church community that has people from every part of India and parts of the world. We are here to put the Great Command and the into practice by equipping and releasing every member into works of service. Word of Grace is a part of a wider international family of Churches called RegionsBeyond.To know about us please log onto www.wordofgracechurch.org.