The text for this sermon comes from Acts 1:6-14, 2:41-47, 4:4, 31, 6:7, 8:4, 20:29, 24
The title of this sermon is God’s Mission Has A Church
There is some disconnect in the fact that Christians are at war. Paul says, that we wear armor, he says our fight is against spiritual forces not of this world, we are even called conquerors. Why is it today that we act less like conquerors and more like cowards?
In times of the Roman Empire, Rome had a mission. The mission was Rome. To spread the Empire to as far as they could by whatever means they could. If you were a soldier in the Roman army, you were on Rome’s mission.
Whose mission are you on?
Islam is a monotheistic and Abrahamic religion articulated by the Qur’an, a book considered by its adherents to be the verbatim word of God (Arabic: الله Allāh) and by the teachings and normative example of Muhammad, considered by them to be the last prophet of God. An adherent of Islam is called a Muslim.
Muslims believe that God is one and incomparable and the purpose of existence is to love and serve God. Muslims also believe that Islam is the complete and universal version of a primordial faith that was revealed at many times and places before, including through Abraham, Moses and Jesus, whom they consider prophets.
As of July 12, 2013: 23% of th world is considered to be Muslim. It is the fastest growing religion in the world
There are five pillars of Islam:
Shahadah (belief or confession of faith)
Salat (worship in the form of prayer) They pray five times a day as part of their ritual.
Sawm Ramadan (fasting during the month of Ramadan)
Zakat (alms or charitable giving)
Hajj (the pilgrimage to Mecca at least once in a lifetime.)
Muhammad is considered by Muslims to be the last prophet sent by God for mankind. Muslims believe that God spoke to Muhammad and his revelations became the Quran.
They are on a mission to convert the world.
Mormons trace their origins to the visions that Joseph Smith reported having in the early 1820s while living in upstate New York. In 1823 Smith said an angel directed him to a buried book written on golden plates containing the religious history of an ancient people. Smith published what he said was a translation of these plates in March 1830 as the Book of Mormon, named after Mormon, the ancient prophet-historian who compiled the book, and on April 6, 1830, Smith founded the Church of Christ.
In 2012 there were an estimated 14.8 million Mormons.
The church enforces general doctrinal uniformity, and congregations on all continents teach the same doctrines, and international Mormons tend to absorb a good deal of Mormon culture, possibly because of the church’s top-down hierarchy and a missionary presence. However, international Mormons often bring pieces of their own heritage into the church.
The concept of a united family that lives and progresses forever is at the core of Latter-day Saint doctrine, and Mormons place a high importance on family life. Many Mormons hold weekly family home evenings, in which an evening is set aside for family bonding, study, prayer and other wholesome activities. Latter-day Saint fathers who hold the priesthood typically name and bless their children shortly after birth to formally give the child a name. Mormon parents hope and pray that their children will gain testimonies of the “gospel” so they can grow up and marry in temples.
According to Mormons, a deviation from the original principles of Christianity, known as the Great Apostasy began not long after the ascension of Jesus Christ. It was marked with the corruption of Christian doctrine by Greek and other philosophies, with followers dividing into different ideological groups. Mormons claim the martyrdom of the Apostles led to a loss of Priesthood authority to administer the church and its ordinances. Mormons believe that God restored the early Christian church through Joseph Smith. In particular, Mormons believe that angels such as Peter, James, John, and John the Baptist appeared to Joseph Smith.
Mormons believe in “a friendly universe”, governed by a God whose work and glory it is to bring his children to immortality and eternal life. Mormons have a unique perspective on the nature of God, the origin of man, and the purpose of life. For instance, Mormons believe in a pre-mortal existence where people were literal spirit children of God, and that God presented a plan that would allow his children to progress and become more like him. The plan involved the spirits receiving bodies on earth and going through trials in order to learn, progress, and receive a “fulness of joy”. The most important part of the plan involved Jesus, the eldest of God’s children, coming to earth as the literal Son of God, to conquer sin and death so that God’s other children could return. According to Mormons, every person who lives on earth will be resurrected, and most of them will be received into various kingdoms of glory.To be accepted into the highest kingdom, a person must fully accept Christ through faith, repentance, and through ordinances such as baptism and the laying on of hands.
They start training children as young as two. Kids are taken to the temple to learn an hour before school, then they return to learn an hour after school. They are on a mission.
Both Muslims and Mormons are on a mission. They are just on the wrong mission.
God is on a mission and His mission has a church.
The church was only 120 people. In one accord they devoted themselves to prayer. They sought God in how best to do His mission.
3000 people are now part of the church. Let’s take these verses into our context.
42: They went to church to listen to the sermon that God has given to the pastor. They desire to be in the company of other believers. They desire to be equipped for the work of the ministry. They devoted themselves to prayer.
43: They never ceased to be in awe of God. When was the last time you were in complete awe of God?
44: They were on the same page doctrinally and theologically.
45: Community Groups
The church is now at 5000.
31: The church prayed and continued to speak the word of God with boldness.
There are now so many people in the church that it is hard to keep track of a specific number.
This is the church. The church scattered to spread the gospel. The apostles never left Jerusalem. Men who were never leaders became leaders. Men became pastors. Men and women saw themselves as missionaries. Men and women planted churches.
Wolves will come into your flock not sparing the sheep. Wolves like to eat, devour and kill sheep. They do this with false teachers that teach false doctrines and false truths.
How does a shepherd protect his sheep from being destroyed? He kills the wolf.
We are conquerors. Because of Jesus we are conquerors. Because of Jesus we can have boldness and confidence to proclaim the name of Jesus and the message of the gospel.
It is time to be conquerors and stop being cowards.
Paul said that we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.
To put Paul’s words into our context: Go Hard or Go Home
IT IS ALL ABOUT JESUS!