“The Church is Unstoppable”
You see, the reality that the book of Acts is going to point out to us is that no matter what the world believes, and no matter how difficult things might get, the Church is unstoppable. Local churches will come and go, dynamic leaders will rise and fall, but the Church, the group of believers who are following the living Christ and willing to live by faith, there is no end to that group of people.
The reason is not because we are so powerful or influential, but because the God who controls the history of the world has provided the church with everything, we need to accomplish His Will. Notice the tools that the church has been given.
I. Direction——–Vs. 4, 8b
Here in the book of Acts once again we see Jesus telling the disciples “Wait for the Holy Spirit, and once He comes there is a big job for you to do, tell the whole world about me.”
The direction that Jesus gave is clear. Look at verse 8 again. “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” Our job is to be His witnesses, to tell others about the things that we know to be true about Jesus. It’s our mission here on earth to witness about Jesus.
I have noticed that we Christians are some of the best excuse makers in the world when it comes to not witnessing. Either we do not know enough, or we are too shy or we do not want to infringe on others private beliefs. There are all kinds of reasons not to tell, but despite all those reasons, Jesus told us to be His witnesses. When we do not, we are being disobedient to the one who died to save us.
II. Power——–V. 8a
The truth is that Jesus has not told us to do something that He has not given us every tool to accomplish. Notice right in the middle of His direction to be his witnesses is a promise to give us the resources to do the job. “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
This is something that I do not think we recognize. The Church is unstoppable not because we have it all together. The church is unstoppable because God has all the power to accomplish what He wants. If we will make ourselves available to Him, He will use us to do incredible things. But we must put our agendas aside and let Him set the agenda for the future of our lives, and of our church.
Just let that sink into your being for a minute. God has unlimited resources that He has made available to us through His Holy Spirit. And when we let Him do His work in us, Paul says, “He is able to accomplish infinitely more than we would ever dare to ask or hope.”
III. Hope——–Vs. 9-11
Jesus is gone for now, but that is not the end of the story. He is coming back some day. Behind that statement there is one of the most important understandings that all Christians must understand. God oversees history. History is His story, and He determines the course of it.
I am convinced that Jesus proved He is the Son of God by dying on the cross and being resurrected from the dead. Christians all over the world have placed their faith in that hope. And if He is in control, then the church is unstoppable.
You see, Jesus said, “The gates of Hell would not prevail against His church.” That means that the church lives in the firm hope that we have the power and direction to bang down the doors of Hell.
When Jesus ascended into heaven, it was with the promise that He would not leave us on our own. He is with us today through His Holy Spirit. He will come again in bodily form to claim those who are His followers. But He leaves every one of us with a choice. The choice is yours and it is mine. Will we follow His direction? Will we accept His power? Will we live our lives motivated by hope? If we do those, Cornerstone UMC, OKC will be that Unstoppable Church. Amen!
Pastor John N. Punni, II