After His resurrection and before His return to heaven, the Lord Jesus Christ spoke to His disciples and uttered the important words which we find in Acts 1:8...
"But ye shall receive __________________ after that the Holy Spirit is come upon you: and ye shall be ___________________________ unto Me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the _________________."
These words were spoken nearly two thousand years ago, but they carry a message which is vital for believers today. The Lord Jesus Christ has HIS WITNESSES in the earth. God is working in our world today. God is pointing Himself out and making Himself known so that all men might know "the ____________________ of His _________________" (Eph. 1:7). The wonderful thing is this: if you are a believer God wants YOU to have a real part in what He is doing in the world today.
In this set of Bible study notes we have been studying Gods program of missions and we have been learning what part man has in this program. Let us call to mind and review some of the things we have learned:
What is God doing in our world? What is Gods plan and program for this world? According to 1 Kings 8:43, what is Gods purpose (what does God really want)? _________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________
What are some of the things that every person needs to know about God? Can you think of any false ideas that people have about God even today? How can people come to know what God is truly like? Is there anything you can do to SHOW what God is really like?
Why did the Lord choose Israel and make Israel a special nation? Did God want to save Israel and damn all the other nations? What does Genesis 12:1-3 tell us about Gods plan for all the nations?
What is a WITNESS? In what way was the nation Israel a witness? How was the nation Israel a SIGNPOST? How did God make Himself known to all the other nations? What did the nation Israel have that made it different from all the other nations (Deut. 4:6-8)? As a believer in Jesus Christ, what do you have that makes you different?
How could the nation Israel be a good WITNESS? How could the nation Israel be a poor WITNESS? During the days of Solomon God made Himself known far and wide in a very special way. How did God do this (1 Kings 10:1-9)?
Do we learn anything about missions from the book of Jonah? What does this book teach us about Gods concern for wicked men? What does this book teach us about Jonahs concern for wicked men? What kind of concern does God want you to have for your friends and neighbors and people you attend school with?
What are some of the ways God has made Himself known to men in the past? What is the best way that God has made Himself known to men (Hebrews 1:1-2)? God, in the Person of His Son, made a personal visit to this planet earth!
Why was the Lord Jesus Gods PERFECT WITNESS? How well did He point to God (John 14:9; John 12:44-45)? How clearly did He represent God? See the illustration of a photograph of the President (see Chapter 3, p.17). God wants every believer to represent and picture the Lord by the way we live and act. How clearly did the Lord Jesus picture God? Do any believers represent and picture the Lord perfectly? Do some believers picture the Lord more clearly than other believers? Why is this so? Why is it hard to see the Lord pictured when we look at the lives of some believers? How do we sometimes fail to be the kind of witness we should be?
What is the Great Commission? What has Christ told His believers to do? What is our task and our assignment? (Look in Matthew 28, Mark 16 and Luke 24) What message of good news has our Lord given to us? Are you able to sit down with someone and tell them the good news (the gospel)? Are you able to sit down with someone and explain to them how to be saved? How would you begin? What does it mean to be a HERALD? Does God want you to be a HERALD for the King of Kings?
God has given His believers everything they need to carry out the assignment which He has given them to do. Could we carry out our task without the Bible, Gods Word? Why not? Could we carry out our task without the Holy Spirit? Why not? Could we carry out our task without Gods presence? Why not? Why cant we do it on our own? Could we carry out our task without Gods armour? Why not? What kind of enemies do we face as we seek to obey the Lords Great Commission? Could we carry out our task without the help of other believers (other members of the body of Christ)? Why do we need them?
The early Christians had a fire in their hearts that could not be quenched. Why was this so (Jeremiah 20:9,11)? The early Christians faced pressure from without and pressure from within. Describe the PRESSURE FROM WITHOUT (Acts 4:18). Describe the PRESSURE FROM WITHIN (Acts 4:19-20). Which pressure was greater? Why was this so? The more they were persecuted the more the believers preached and the more the church grew. Why was this so? Why didnt the fires of persecution stop them? Why did these people choose to OBEY GOD at any cost (Acts 5:28-29)?
How did God use Stephens life and death? How did God light a fire in the heart of Saul of Tarsus? Has God lit a fire in your heart? Do you have any kind of "pressure from within"? Has God filled your heart with a message that overflows from your life and lips? How can we keep the fire burning brightly in our hearts? How can we have that POWER and PRESSURE from within? Does the Holy Spirit have anything to do with this? Does prayer have anything to do with this?
Is there a difference between the churches that we read about in the book of Acts and the churches that we find in our world today? What differences do you find? What happened to the churches? Why did they lose their message and their power and their influence and their witness for the Lord? What caused the flame to be quenched? What were the reasons for such a "cooling off"? What has the devil done to the churches?
Is it possible for a person to break out of the coldness and deadness that is all around him and to begin to burn and shine for the Lord? How can this happen? Is God still looking for churches to be what they ought to be? Is God still looking for individuals to be what they ought to be? What is God able to do with you? for you? in you? through you? When will God do this? What will prevent God from doing this?
What is a martyr? Who were some of the early Christian martyrs? Why did they die? Why would they rather die then deny? Were they afraid to die? Why or why not? Are there heroes in the church today? Are there people suffering and dying for their faith in Christ even today? Where? Is it possible to "rejoice" in the middle of suffering and persecution (Acts 5:40-41)?
How can a person confess the Lord? Do people at school know that you are a Christian? Why or why not? How can they know that you are a believer? If you were arrested for being a believer would there be enough evidence to convict you?
What do we learn from the martyrs? Do we learn anything about being committed to the Lord? Do we learn anything about the sinfulness of man? Do we learn anything about the faithfulness of God to meet the needs of His believers even during difficult times? Do we learn anything about the indestructibility of the church (Matthew 16:18)? Do we learn that Gods plan for one believer may be quite different than His plan for another believer?
What is the believers responsibility when it comes to reaching the lost? What do we need to do? What does God need to do? What can we do? What cant we do? What can only God do? Are the heathen really lost? Why or why not? Can a person be saved without hearing the gospel? Can a person hear the gospel without a preacher (Romans 10:13-15)? What is wrong with this statement: "When God pleases to convert the heathen He will do it without your aid or mine!"
Can you think of some of the great missionaries of the past? Where did they go? What did they do? What made these men great? What does it cost to be a missionary? Is it worth it? Is any sacrifice too great in light of the greatest sacrifice of all when Christ died on the cross for us?
Can you think of some of the dangers missionaries faced? Can you think how God protected His servants? Can you think of any "missionary martyrs" and how God was able to use even their deaths for His glory?
Do missionaries always have "big results" with countless numbers of people being saved? If they do not have such results does this mean that they are not successful? Why is the work of translating the Bible so important?
What are some of the different kinds of churches in our world today? Do these churches all believe and teach the same thing? Do they all have the same kind of practice and customs? What does the parable of the mustard seed teach us? What do we learn from the parable of the leaven? How did SIMPLE Christianity get so tangled and complicated and messed up? Explain how water baptism has become all tangled up by the different churches.
What does the unsaved world think as they look at all the churches and see such a tangled mess? Is this a good witness pointing clearly to the Lord? What can we do to untangle this mess which today we call CHURCHIANITY? How can we get back to the SIMPLICITY of Gods Word? How can we go back to the way things were at the beginning? Is it possible for a church today to be a good witness for the Lord in the middle of CHURCHIANITY? Is it possible for an individual to be a good witness for the Lord even with everything messed up and tangled up all around him? How? What must he do? What will God do? Will God make a clear difference between what is clearly pointing to Him (a true witness) and what is not clearly pointing to Him (a confusing or false witness)?
How do the problems of CHURCHIANITY affect the mission field? How can the problems in the churches be reproduced on the mission field?
What are the simple facts (the "A,B,Cs") which every true missionary should know backwards and forwards? How are people today confused about what our true mission really is? Does God want us to make the world better, improve society and change the world? Why or why not? Explain how this world can be compared to a sinking ocean liner.
What is Gods simple program of missions? How important is prayer? preaching? the Holy Spirit? holy living? Those who are saved are responsible to preach the good news. Those who are unsaved are responsible to believe the good news. What is Gods responsibility? What can God do that man can never do?
What are some of the good things that Albert Schweitzer did for his fellow men? What did Albert Schweitzer fail to do for his fellow men?
What does it mean to "live by faith"? Do all believers need to learn to live this way?
How did Israel fail as a candle? How did Israel fail as an arrow? How did Israel fail as a witness? How did this nation fail in the days of the Lord Jesus Christ? What is the nation Israel like today? Is this nation a bright candle shining for the Lord or a sharp arrow pointing clearly to the Lord? Why did this nation fail to be what God wanted it to be? Did the failure of this nation come all at once or little by little? Do we as believers need to be careful about the little things?
What advantages and privileges and benefits did the nation Israel have? Did they take advantage of their advantages? Did they benefit from their benefits? Why not? What advantages and privileges and benefits do you have today? What has God given to you? What are you doing with all these things? Are you USING them or LOSING them?
What can we learn from Israels failure? Is it possible that what happened to Israel could happen to the church? Have some of these things happened already?
| God has a wonderful program.
He is making Himself known before men and angels. If you are not saved,
God wants to make Himself known to you in a very real and personal way.
The only way to come to know the living God is through His Son, the Lord
Jesus Christ (see John 14:6; 17:3). FAITH IN JESUS CHRIST is the
only key that unlocks the door to the knowledge of God (John 3:16,18,36).
If you are saved, God wants to involve you in His program of missions. You have an important part in Gods program. God wants you to be a light, a candle, a witness, an arrow and a signpost. God wants to make Himself known to others through you. Are you willing for Him to use you in this way? Are you ready to have a part in Gods program as outlined in Acts 1:8? God is not looking for your ABILITY. God has all the ABILITY. God is simply looking for your AVAILABILITY. This means that He wants you to be available to Him and useable and attainable. God wants to be able to get at you so that He can use you as He pleases. Are you ready to say what Isaiah said in Isaiah 6:8? Are you ready to say what Paul said in Acts 9:6?