To the Ends of the EarthSeries: To the Ends of the Earth
We wrapped up our series, “What is Church” with a look at the future—God’s desire for bringing the gospel to everyone, and His desire to use us (the Church) in the process. The culmination of the last series actually begins another.
In my last sermon, I started off with an illustration about an experience with a leaky gutter—a leaky gutter ignored for years by a previous owner of our house which turned into a lot of time and labor for us. A simple, ignored gutter leak turned into days of ripping up the floor, jacking up the house and replacing sill plates and rim joists. Sometimes simple problems turn into big issues. Some may have been confused as to why I started off a sermon about evangelism with a story about a house problem. The reason is simple—our house (the church) has been ignoring a real issue (evangelism) for years and it will come back to bite us in the future if we don’t take things more seriously.
In Acts 1, Jesus is ascending to heaven and makes a statement to his disciples: You will be my witnesses to the ends of the earth. This is statement is huge. Jesus was looking at a group of followers still scared they were going to be crucified too in the aftermath of their friend’s death. These followers were not from a powerful or influential country such as the United States. They were from a poor, Roman occupied corner of the world most people living outside of Judea knew little to nothing about. Judea—or the nation of Israel for that matter—was never a major player in world affairs. Yet, here was Jesus was telling them that they would change the world by taking the gospel to the far corners of it.
This week, we will begin our new series “To the Ends of the Earth,” looking at the early Christians and their efforts to share their faith with the world. In the process of studying their examples, I hope we can ask ourselves how much we truly desire to be His witnesses, too.