29 Jul Preaching The Gospel Is A Supernatural Mission
Read <Acts 1:6-8>
<v7> Now, over here you will see that there are mysteries which the Lord withhold from us for our benefit. It is to our benefit to know that the Lord is coming again. But it is NOT to our benefit to know WHEN EXACTLY He is coming again. Why? Because God doesn’t want His people to be led by apprehension or idleness with regards to the 2nd coming of the Lord. It is not about sitting in one corner, being inward looking, and passively waiting for the Lord’s coming. Rather, we are to be involved, to be watchful and impactful witnesses of the Lord. “Go and be my witness!” the Lord said.
But how is this possible for the timid and inadequate people of God?
How is this possible when the world around us is so easily affected by war, by injustice, by famine, or by the pandemic, or by bread and butter issues. Now, this is why God has to send the Holy Spirit. The Divine One has to work with us, His divine presence has to go with us. Then, the impossible can happen.
This means, the work of the great commission is such a supernatural mission that involves such great spiritual obstacles that no human, however capable, can accomplish it. Once you are busy at work, you will forget about it. Once you start a family, you will be distracted from it. Or once a pandemic struck, or a war happen, or when an illness struck you, you will be just feeling overwhelmed. BUT <v8> (it’s the turning point): When the Holy Spirit comes upon you… Till where? Not just in your family, not just among your friends, but till the ends of the earth.
Now, the church of God is called by this promise and must experience this promise. A church is not a societal institution where it tries to co-exist with other religions, do some good works for the society, or get some politicians to come and cut the ribbon for an opening ceremony, and feeling so good about celebrating Christmas at every year end. No. That’s not the church essentially.
The church is called to preach the gospel, and because of that it is engaged in a constant spiritual battle with the prince of the world. As the church gain grounds in reaching the lost ones with the gospel, the evil one and its forces moves against it. A church can be persecuted, a church can be struck with a famine, or a church can be struck with division, or a church can be struck with the coronavirus, like we have experienced. But every time the church is struck, God, through the Holy Spirit advances the gospel to new boundaries and new groups of people.
And that is what exactly happened to us. Not only through the recent coronavirus incidents, but through many many challenges we faced through these 17 years. The bottomline is: The gospel goes out, faster and faster.
Now, when that happens, then <Acts 1:8> makes sense.
Personal Testimony: I grew up in a church which only talks about good works and being zealous in serving, and I never thought <Acts 1:8> makes sense. I only thought it makes sense to pastors and missionaries. And when you only have that kind of senses and thoughts, Christian living becomes natural. It is no longer supernatural to you. You do not see yourself leading people to Christ. You do not see lives being transformed through your prayers. Not much of these supernatural things happen in your lives. Christian living will just be about asking God for favor, for safety, for security, and that’s about all.
I believe if you read the bible, you will know that God did not call us to such a Christian life. But the realistic problem that we face is sustaining that faith and perspectives, which is so easily overtaken by the World. And that is why God has given us the church, together with the communion of Saints. The presence and love among the believers are to remind us of our ultimate mission and what provides true sustaining strength for us to finish that mission.