Not My Usual Clean and Somewhat Classy Blog…
Book of Acts, Chapter 1, Verses 6-8 (continued)
Verse 6. “When they therefore were come together, (they came together on the Mount of Olives, just east of Jerusalem. At one time it was covered with olive trees. Jesus often came here to pray. Several important events took place on this mountain.) they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?”
Verse 7. “And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power.”
Verse 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.”
In one of his books, author Harrold Luccock offered the story of Mrs. Sara Iselin, a ‘social arbiter’ of New York and Newport. When she died, an Associated Press story carried this paragraph: “She was known as the most exclusive of ‘the great ladies of the city.’ No new names had been added to her invitation list in twenty-five years.” Mrs. Iselin had not reached out to include a new person in twenty-five years! Some churches should name themselves the “Sara Iselin Sanctuary.” As Luccock put it, such churches have had no widening circles, no agitated movements from Judea to Samaria, to the ends of the earth. They sit like “great ladies” in musty parlors, awaiting rigor mortis.”
“Pentecostal power came to the disciples when they faced the Pentecostal task.”
Acts 1:8 is a key verse. To begin with, it explains that the power of the church comes from the Holy Spirit and not from man (see Zech. 4:6).
Ordinary people were able to do extraordinary things because the Spirit of God was at work in their lives. The ministry of the Holy Spirit is not a luxury; it is an absolute necessity
“Witness” is a key word in the Book of Acts and is used twenty-nine times as either a verb or a noun. A witness is somebody who tells what he has seen and heard (Acts 4:19-20).
Acts 1:8 also gives us another way to outline the Book of Acts as it describes the geographical spread of the gospel: from Jerusalem:
- (Acts 1-7) to Judea
- Samaria (Acts 8-9)
- The Gentiles and ends of the earth (Acts 10-28)
While we can criticize the disciple’s delay in taking the gospel to Samaria and the uttermost parts of the earth, it should be pointed out that no matter where we live, as Christians we should begin our witness at home. Dr. Oswald J. Smith put it: “The light that shines the farthest will shine the brightest at home.”
Missions were part of the focus left behind by Jesus Christ. There was urgency for geographical and numerical expansion. Such progress to reach the lost with the gospel is a permanent compulsion laid on the heart and mind of the church. When that compulsion to fulfill a mission is relaxed, a creeping paralysis sets in. The church becomes moribund and ineffective.
 Luccock, volume 1, p. 16
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