Posts Tagged ‘Luke’

Acts:1 The former account I made, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both to do and teach, 2 until the day in which He was taken up, after He through the Holy Spirit had given commandments to the apostles whom He had chosen, 3 to whom He also presented Himself alive after His suffering by many infallible proofs, being seen by them during forty days and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God.  4 And being assembled together with them, He commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the Promise of the Father, “which,” He said, “you have heard from Me; 5 for John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.” 6 Therefore, when they had come together, they asked Him, saying, “Lord, will You at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” 7 And He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has put in His own authority. 8 But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me[a] in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.

Jesus was in the business of spreading good news, the gospel.  The Gospels of Luke and Acts have the same author, Dr. Luke, one of the twelve apostles.  The Book of Acts is a continuation of the gospel message in Luke’s gospel, not a separate group of stories.  What Jesus began in His earthly ministry He continues through the work of His church in Acts.  Luke tells the story of the first three years of the gospel and Acts tells the next 30 years of the gospel being taken to the ends of the earth.

The gospel message has 2 parts, water baptism (repentance), and Spirit baptism (empowerment).  A gospel of repentance only without the power is a partial and incomplete gospel.  Paul predicted a time when the church would have a form of Godliness, but would deny the power of God.  In recent years, I have seen the rise of a gospel that de-emphasizes repentance and focuses on God’s power.  Jesus told of this kind of thing happening in the last days in Matthew 7.  We need both repentance and power in our lifestyle and our message.  Without both, our message is incomplete.

The apostles had a burning question for their risen Lord, “…will You at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?”  Jesus replied, “…it is not for you to know…”   When did this command of Jesus get cancelled?  Nearly every false cult has started with a “fresh revelation” of the end time events.  Many revival movements have been distracted and derailed from their calling by a fascination with last days signs.  While it is healthy to be familiar with end time bible prophecies, it is not our focus.

Our focus should be receiving God’s power to be His witnesses and taking His gospel to the ends of the earth.  We have a calling, a mission that is clearly laid out in scripture.  We don’t need a new prophetic word to go and be witnesses, His written word has given us our directive.

The first part of the gospel is to get right with God.  The second part of the gospel is to be His witness and spread the good news everywhere.  We have a God-given mission.  Let’s be about our Father’s business. -Jeff Burke


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