The Movement of the Gospel Acts 2:4 CLICK TITLE FOR AUDIO
Notice what was necessary for the movement of the gospel in accordance with the Lord’s commission [Matt 28:19-20; Mk 16:15]. The movement of the gospel entailed:
The filling with the Spirit – Acts 2:4 – you can’t even get started without the Spirit of God – the idea that men can duplicate the work of God with their sensual atmosphere is a lie – God’s not in that stuff.
God called preachers – Peter Acts 2:14; Lk 22:31-32 – see also Stephen [Acts 6:8]; Philip [Acts 8:5; 6:5-6]; Paul [Acts 9:15-16]; etc – they were God’s men boldly preaching powerful scriptural messages Acts 3:12-26 – they were preaching these messages to saved and lost folks – and they gave themselves continually to prayer and the “ministry” of the word [Acts 6:4].
A church centered on God’s things – Acts 2:42-47 – apostles’ doctrine, fellowship, breaking of bread, prayers [i.e., Acts 4:24-31; 12:5], all things common, one accord, gladness, and singleness of heart and they were praising God – so the church was one and very healthy and very spiritual – people in church centered on these things are still getting the gospel out today.
Changed lives – Acts 3:9-10 – “the people were filled with wonder and amazement at that which had happened unto him” – if a person merely changes religion or quits going to one church so that he can start going to another and there isn’t some noticeable evidence that his life has changed, his testimony isn’t going to have much effect on others – but if his life has changed, others are going to take notice, at least initially [Acts 6:7].
Opposition and Persecution – Acts 4:16-20; 5:41; 8:1-4 – this kept them hot, strong and moving – Acts 11:19-21 – opposition and persecution have the opposite effect on God’s people than what their tormentors desire – instead of quitting, Christians, under persecution, redouble their efforts to preach the gospel – Christians are always much more zealous under pressure than they are when they are in their comfort zone.
Great fear of the Lord – Acts 5:11; 9:31 – the element missing in most churches today is the fear of God – so men are not as holy, as fervent, or as concerned as when the fear of God is on them – the fear of God livens up the word, makes heaven very real and paints a picture of the world that’s exactly how God sees it.
Men and women standing for Jesus – Acts 8:3 – they didn’t leave the work to the preachers – these folks were stirring up “trouble” by their testimony – Paul knew exactly who they were and was perturbed enough by what they were doing to stop them – God stopped him, praise the Lord!! Men and women who are sowing the word today are still reaping [2 Cor 9:6] and keeping the gospel moving.
Preacher’s willing to go where God sent them – Acts 8:5, 26, 39; 10:19-20; 13:2-4 – these guys weren’t stuck – they were flexible and moved as the Spirit moved them – there’s a lot of work left to be done and when God leads you to get up and go, you need to get going.
Conclusion: Now I don’t see a program in this movement of the gospel – I see God, I see God’s men and women (together, courageous, unashamed, fearing God and not men, zealous and holy), I see God’s word, I see changed lives, I see opposition, I see God’s folks and his word moving, and I see souls saved. Which of these things do we have now? Which of these things do we need in our church? Which of these things do we need in our lives? God help us to keep it moving.