Faithlife Sermons

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Anger
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Four Questions About Christ's Commission
Acts 17:16–34
INTRODUCTION:
I- WHY DO WE OBEY CHRIST'S COMMISSION?
A- Because we are moved into action by the clear need.
(Acts 17:16 )
B- Because we have a clear mandate from the Lord.
(Matthew 28:18–20 )
C- Because the love of Christ motivates us to share his message.
(2 Corinthians 5:14) " For the love of Christ compels us..."
II- HOW DO WE OBEY CHRIST'S COMMISSION?
A- By speaking with whomever will listen.
Acts 17:17 (NLT)
B- By presenting a clear message to those who listen.
(Acts 17:22–31)
III- WHO DO WE ENGAGE WITH CHRIST'S COMMISSION?
A- People who hold different and unbiblical beliefs.
(Acts 17:18)
B- People who hear, but do not accept our message.
(Acts 17:19–21)
IV- HOW DO WE MEASURE SUCCESS IN OBEYING CHRIST'S COMMISSION?
Acts 17:32–34
A- The reactions of those who reject the message is not the indicator of success or failure.
1- Some reacted negatively to Paul's witness.
a- Some laughed at him.
b- Some put off making a commitment to follow Christ.
2- Jesus warned his disciples that not everyone would respond positively.
a- Parable of the sower (Matthew 13:18-23)
1.) Some fail to understand the message
2.) Some entertain a surface belief without commitment
3.) Some allow a worldly focus, life's worries or the pursuit of wealth to keep them from following Christ.
4.) Some follow Jesus wholeheartedly.
B- The responses of those who receive the message is indication of success.
1-Was Paul’s ministry at Athens a failure?
a- There is no record of a church being founded in Athens.
1) There were individual disciples made at Athens:
a) Dionysius, a member of the council
b) Damaris, a woman converted in Athens
c) Other people who believed during Paul's work in Athens
b- If no church was begun in Athens, the failure was not in Paul’s message or method but in the hardness of the Athenians’ hearts.[1]
1) Jesus' primary command for us is to make disciples.
"... Therefore, go and make disciples..."(Matthew 28:19)
2) It is Jesus' responsibility to build his church.
(Matthew 16:16–18 (NLT)
* Ultimately we are successful if we fully obey Christ's commission.
The results are His responsibility!
CONCLUSION:
A- Now What?
1- Will you choose to remain faithful in sowing the seeds of the Gospel, trusting God for the future harvest?
2- Will you remind yourself that God judges success by the criteria of faithfulness?
[1] Stanley D. Toussaint, “Acts,” in The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures, ed.
J. F. Walvoord and R. B. Zuck, vol. 2 (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1985), 404.
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