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How to Live Until His Kingdom Comes - Part B

Connect with Skip Heitzig / Skip Heitzig
The Truth Network Radio
May 24, 2024 6:00 am

How to Live Until His Kingdom Comes - Part B

Connect with Skip Heitzig / Skip Heitzig

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May 24, 2024 6:00 am

Pastor Skip shares how the Holy Spirit empowered the apostles—and how He empowers you.

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I think it's mis-titled. It's really the Acts of the Holy Spirit through the disciples, because 50 times in the book of Acts the Holy Spirit is mentioned.

50 times. And He is given the credit as one who convicts, one who saves, ones who identifies missionaries, the one who sends missionaries, the one who directs the affairs of His church. What made the difference in the lives of the apostles? Today on Connect with Skip Heitel, Pastor Skip shares how the Holy Spirit empowered the apostles and how He empowers you. But first, here's a resource that will help you know God's character and His plans for mankind. The best biographies contain the kind of intimate details that make you feel like you're getting personal access to the person you're reading about. From timeless icons to contemporary celebrities, it's exciting to learn about influential people. But one biography stands out above the rest, the biography of God.

Here's Skip Heitzig. There's this vast, unfed hunger to know God personally. Discover the omnipotence, paradoxes, and mystery central to God's being and remove the limits you may have placed on who God is. There's something uniquely elevating about focusing not on me but on God. It will do something to you. Skip's perspective shifting book is our thanks when you give a gift of $50 or more to help keep Connect with Skip Heitzig on the air.

Call 800-922-1888 or give securely online at connectwithskip.com slash offer. Okay, now let's turn to Acts 1 as we join Skip for today's lesson. At Lystra, he has seen the power of the Lord working in his own life, and he begins to say to the people what he has seen. He says, we preach to you that you should turn from these useless things to the living God who made heaven and earth. Later on, he's in Athens. He stands on Mars Hill, the Areopagus, speaks to all the philosophers and the people. And Paul says, you know, I'm going through your town, and I see that you have a statue to the unknown God, the God that you worship without knowing Him I proclaim to you. What he saw, he said he was a witness. So we are to be witnesses because that's what the early church did with the gospel message.

They were witnesses. I have a question for you. What if you were sent a message but you never received the message? Or let me put it another way.

What if somebody sent to you the most important message of your life but that message was never delivered? You know, that actually happened. Back in 1949, a man named John Currier was convicted of murder. He claimed he didn't do it, but he was convicted of murder. He was sentenced to life in prison. Later on, he was paroled to a work farm somewhere down in the South. In 1968, so 19 years later, 19 years later, his sentence was terminated.

They got more information on the case. They terminated his sentence. He was a free man.

And so a letter was sent to where he was being incarcerated that he was a free man. He never got the letter. He never got the letter. He never saw the letter. He kept working for another 10 years. Even though the letter had been sent, it was never delivered. He never read it. He worked for another 10 years. So 29 years of John Currier's life were wasted years.

Finally, a state parole officer found the letter, got it to him, and he was a free man. What if the most important message the world has ever been given never got delivered? So we can become preoccupied, but we should become productive. And we're productive by being witnesses, by delivering the mail that has been sent.

Now, dig a little bit deeper with me. Notice in verse 8 that Jesus gives a three-point strategic plan for the Great Commission. You know the Great Commission, go into all the world and preach the gospel. That's the Great Commission. Now he gives a three-point strategic plan. He goes from locally to globally, Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth. And here's what I want you to know about that.

That happened literally. That happens to be the outline of the book of Acts, Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, end of the earth. Chapter 1 through 7, the gospel goes to Jerusalem. Chapter 8 and 9, the gospel goes to Judea and Samaria. Chapter 10, through the rest of the book, it goes throughout Asia Minor, all throughout the known world at that time.

Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, to the end of the earth. So it happened literally. But something else, it happens sequentially or subsequently. In other words, what happened then happens to be a pattern for today.

The best example I can think of is that's how our church was birthed and developed. I left my Jerusalem. My Jerusalem at the time was Southern California, Jerusalem and Judea. I left Jerusalem and came to my Samaria, New Mexico. But now, New Mexico is my Jerusalem and your Jerusalem.

And from here, the gospel goes out to our Judea, our Samaria, and the ends of the earth. So it happened literally. It happened subsequently. But it should also happen personally. That is, in each of our lives, ever-widening circles of influence are touched. So you get saved, you tell your family.

That's the smallest circle. That's the most intimate circle. Like Jesus said to the young man who wanted to follow Jesus everywhere, Jesus said, go back home and tell your family the great things that I have done. So we begin with our family, then our friends, then extended relatives, then people at work, and then different people groups within the city. And the kingdom is spread throughout our city. So we can become preoccupied. We should become productive. You know, listen, people get distracted and church people get distracted.

D.L. Moody once said, the church reminded him of firemen straightening pictures on the wall of a burning house. Hey, the building is burning. Yeah, but the picture isn't quiet. Stop.

Right? There's bigger fish to fry. Don't worry about the minutia. So we can become preoccupied. We should become productive. And then finally, the must. We must become prepared. We must become prepared. Now we will look at the power to be productive. Verse 4, being assembled together with them, He commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the promise of the Father.

Anybody know what that is? It's the Holy Spirit. He kept promising that in the Gospels, the promise of the Father, which He said, you have heard from Me, for John truly baptized with water, but you will be baptized, here it is, with the Holy Spirit not many days from now. Verse 8, but you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, to the end of the earth. The disciples had been commissioned by Jesus. In Matthew 28, He said, go into all the world, go into all the world, preach the gospel to every creature. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved.

You know the script. The disciples, having seen the risen Christ, are fired up. They're full of zeal.

It's like, okay, let me lose. Turn me loose. I'm going to go get them, because I have just seen somebody dead alive again. That's enough for me.

I've been with you three years. You died. You rose again. I am ready to go. Jesus says, go, but don't go quite yet. Wait. You have to wait for something. Before you just go in your own strength, you need to wait for the power to go, the power source, because otherwise, you're going to go out on your own. You'll fall flat on your face. You cannot do this task alone. So you will be filled with the Holy Spirit. Don't go yet.

You need the right equipment for the job. Now, I mentioned that Jesus promised the Holy Spirit several times. He said, it is to your advantage that I go away. If I don't go away, I can't send the Holy Spirit. If I go away, I'll send the Holy Spirit, who is the helper. He will direct you into all truth. He'll convict the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment. So that's the promise of the Father, the Holy Spirit, and in particular, the empowering with the Holy Spirit.

So get this. The Book of Acts, we call it the Book of the Acts of the what? The Apostles. That's what it says at the top of your Bible. It doesn't say that in the text of Scripture itself.

I think it's mistitled. It's really the Acts of the Holy Spirit through the disciples. Because 50 times in the Book of Acts, the Holy Spirit is mentioned.

50 times. And He is given the credit as one who convicts, one who saves, one who identifies missionaries, the one who sends missionaries, the one who directs the affairs of His church. And listen, you will never be able to understand the apostles unless you understand this.

Because here's the question. What is it that turned a small group of timid, discouraged, weak men hiding in a room with locked doors into bold, courageous witnesses for Christ? What changed for them? Two things. Number one, the resurrection. They saw the resurrected Christ.

Number two, they were empowered by the Holy Spirit. Now just think for a moment. The impossibility of the undertaking of taking 12, actually 11, because one defected. So you've got 11. One's going to have to be added to that.

You take 12 guys. Seven of them we know are fishermen. They're not college educated. They don't have business backgrounds. They're not entrepreneurial. They don't get along with each other.

They get easily distracted. They have a hard time obeying him, and he lays world evangelism on them. Boys, go into all the world and change it. Preach the gospel to every creature.

Really? Them? You're giving that task to them? That sounds impossible, not just by virtue of the enormity of the task, worldwide evangelism, but by the people you chose. And yet, the book of Acts records the story of how within 30 years, the gospel spread virtually throughout the Roman Empire, and the world was changed. And the world was changed.

What accounts for that? This. This, the empowerment of the Holy Spirit. Now there's three key elements as we bring this to a close, three key elements to understand this experience. First is the word power. You shall receive power. The word power is the word dunamim. We get our word dynamite from that. We also get our word dynamic from that, and I prefer thinking of it as a dynamic, not dynamite.

There's too many people going to pieces already. This is a dynamic, a new capacity. The Amplified Bible renders that you shall receive power, that is ability, efficiency, and might.

You're going to receive a new capacity, a new ability, a new might, a new efficiency. Power. Second, look at the word upon.

You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit, that's the person, the third person of the Trinity, the Holy Spirit has come upon you. You stop there. That little word upon is a preposition. I'm going to take you back to your English class days in high school. You know what a preposition is, right?

Preposition expresses the function of nouns and pronouns. So the preposition in Greek is epi. I put a little Greek word up there just so I can impress you. Does that impress you? If so, go, wow. There you go.

Yeah, it makes me look smart. So epi is the word upon, but there's two other prepositions that show us the relationship of the Holy Spirit to the believer. Jesus said in the Gospel of John concerning the Holy Spirit, he dwells with you. That's the Greek word para, with you or beside you. But then he said, and he will be in you. That's the word en. So we have three prepositions. The Holy Spirit is with you, para.

That's the middle word. He will then be in you. And now Jesus said the Holy Spirit will come upon you.

These are three different experiences. So before you're saved, as an unbeliever, the Holy Spirit comes by you. He comes with you. He's with you to convict you and convince you that you need Christ.

That's his job. He convicts the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment. So the Holy Spirit is first with you to convince you that you need Christ. And when you go, I get it. I need Christ. Jesus, come into my heart. Now the Holy Spirit comes in you. He comes in you. He's dwelling in you. You're the temple of the Holy Spirit. He was with you. Now he's in you. But Jesus said this.

You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you. Epi, different preposition. So here's the illustration. You're probably wondering, why does he have water up on stage? So here's a picture of water. Here's a glass. If I put the glass next to the water, the water's relationship with the glass is it's with it. It's with it. That's it. But if I pour water into the glass, now the water is in it. But if I keep pouring, now it's overflowing. It's upon it.

This is epi, in or with, in, upon. Now that's what Jesus said in John chapter 7. Remember, he said this. He said on the last day of the feast, Jesus stood up in the temple and cried out and said, if any man is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture says, out of his innermost being will flow torrents or rivers of living water.

Torrents of living water. He said, if any man is thirsty, out of his innermost being will flow torrents or rivers of living water. Then John explains what Jesus just said.

John writes this. This he spoke of the Holy Spirit, which was not yet given, for Jesus was not yet glorified. He'll be with you, convincing you you need Christ. You say, I need Christ. Jesus, come in now.

He's in you. But then he comes upon you, and he comes upon you to empower us, empower you to be a witness. And that's the next word, witness. You will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you. And the third element is that word, witness.

And here's what I want you to see. The purpose. The purpose for the power is proclamation.

Don't miss this. The purpose for the empowerment, the filling, the coming upon of the Holy Spirit is to empower you for proclamation, to be a witness. The Holy Spirit comes upon believers not primarily so they can speak in tongues and prophesy and shake and jitter and say hallelujah.

That happens fine. That's not the purpose. The purpose is for being a witness, proclamation.

You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you shall be witnesses to me in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, to the end of the earth. When I was a kid, my dad had this cool little steam engine. It was chrome or aluminum. It had big red wheels and a long cord. And you'd plug it in, and you'd fill it with water, and it'd heat up, and it would actually move.

It would actually move down the little or on the table until it reached the end of the cord. Then you got to bring it back and let it do it again. It also had a whistle. And you pull a little chain, and the whistle opens up, and you hear a little toot toot. And the steam did that. So the steam did two things. It empowered the locomotive, and it made a sound. Too many people are all about toot, toot, toot, making all the noise but not being empowered for service.

So if you let all the steam go out of the whistle, you got nothing left for the service. And so the purpose of the power is the proclamation of the gospel. Now, we'll bring this to a close. Yes, thank you, Lord, for your Holy Spirit. Verse 9, I want you to notice something, and here's what I want you to notice right before we read it. These are the last words spoken by Jesus on earth. This is his final statement. What you just read is his final statement.

How do I know that? Verse 9, when he had spoken these things while they watched, he was taken up, and a cloud received him out of their sight. So the final message of Christ to his followers was this. Don't be distracted. Stay at the task. Hand to the plow.

Don't do it on your own but in the power of the Holy Spirit. A news article in the Associated Press from Glasgow, Kentucky, said this, Leslie Puckett, after struggling to start his car, lifted the hood and discovered that someone had stolen the motor. Pretty frustrating. Car won't start. Car won't start.

How come? Oh, there's no motor. Don't try to run your life without power. Don't try to live the Christian life without power.

Allow the Holy Spirit to come upon you for service, for proclamation. As we close, I want to put up a saying in a moment. This is found inside the Washington monument in Washington, D.C. When they were renovating the Washington monument, they found graffiti in the lobby underneath the marble wainscoting. It's from the 1800s, but it can be seen today, and it says this. Whoever is the human instrument under God in the conversion of one soul erects a monument to his own memory more lofty and enduring than this. We go to Washington, look at that monument, and go, ooh. What this guy is saying is you are the monument, and the monument you erect is better than that monument that you look at and go, ooh, ah, at. The monument that lasts eternity is the monument of my life has been an instrument to lead one or two or more to the kingdom of God. I brought the kingdom to my city.

I brought kingdom rule to the lives of people. So we must never let the most important message ever sent fail to be delivered. We deliver the goods. We deliver the message. We open the letter.

We read the letter. We tell people the truth, and that is evangelism. How to live until his kingdom come, be filled with the Holy Spirit. Stay at the task. Hand to the plow.

Don't do it on your own. That's Skip Heitzig, encouraging you with the biblical truth about the Holy Spirit's power in your life. Find the full message as well as books, booklets, and full teaching series at connectwithskipp.com. Now, here's Skip to share how you can connect you and many others with the truth of God's Word with a gift to keep these messages going out around the world through Connect with Skip Heitzig.

God's Word is filled with timeless wisdom that you can apply to every aspect of your life. And this ministry exists to connect you and others around the world to God's Word so you can experience the life change that comes from knowing and following Christ. Through your generosity, you can grow the reach of Connect with Skip Heitzig into more major U.S. cities and share the life-changing truth of the Bible with even more people.

Plus, you'll keep these teachings that you love available to you wherever you listen. Would you partner with me in this effort? Here's how you can give today. Visit connectwithskip.com slash donate to give a gift. That's connectwithskip.com slash donate or call 800-922-1888.

800-922-1888. Thank you for your generosity. And did you know that you can find full message series and libraries of content from Skip Heitzig on YouTube? Simply visit the Connect with Skip Heitzig channel on YouTube to watch or re-watch your favorite teachings or find new ones to dive into more solid biblical teaching to help deepen your walk. And be sure to subscribe to the channel so you never miss any new content. That's Connect with Skip Heitzig on YouTube. Tune in again next week for more verse-by-verse teaching from God's Word with Skip. ... Connect with Skip Heitzig is a presentation of Connection Communications, connecting you to God's never-changing truth in ever-changing times.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-05-24 05:12:42 / 2024-05-24 05:21:23 / 9

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