UNTO THE UTTERMOST PART OF THE EARTH
Between the resurrection and ascension of our Lord Jesus Christ there are two great concerns on His heart and these two concerns are very evident in His last recorded words immediately before the disciples saw Him taken up into heaven.
The first of these concerns was the coming of the Holy Spirit with which the disciples were soon to be baptized in Jerusalem at the Feast of Pentecost. The second was the spread of the Gospel to the uttermost part of the earth. These two concerns are intimately connected, for there can be no faithful and effective preaching of the Gospel without the power and work of the Holy Spirit.
In Acts 1 verse 6 the disciples ask a surprising question. Surprising because it was a question which showed how much they needed the Holy Spirit to teach them the true Not currently available. If you have a copy of this item please let us know.ture of the Kingdom of God, the means by which it was to be established and through which it would expand through all the world.
‘Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?’ On this question John Calvin has some very plain comments.
‘There are as many errors in this question as words. They ask him concerning a kingdom; but they dream of an earthly kingdom, which should flow with riches, with dainties, with exterNot currently available. If you have a copy of this item please let us know.l peace, and with suchlike good things; and while they assign the present time to the restoring of the same, they desire to triumph before the battle; for before such time as they begin to work they will have their wages. They are also greatly deceived herein, in that they restrain Christ’s kingdom unto the carNot currently available. If you have a copy of this item please let us know.l Israel, which was to be spread abroad, even unto the uttermost parts of the earth. Furthermore, there is this fault in all their whole question, Not currently available. If you have a copy of this item please let us know.mely, that they desire to know those things which are not meet for them to know’.
As the Lord reproves and corrects the way in which they had failed to understand His teaching during the years He had been with them, Calvin comments;
‘First he shows that they must fight before they triumph; and, secondly that the Not currently available. If you have a copy of this item please let us know.ture of Christ’s kingdom was of another sort that they judged it to have been …. There follows another correction when he says that they must be his witnesses. For hereby he meant to drive out of his disciples’ minds that fond and false imagiNot currently available. If you have a copy of this item please let us know.tion which they had conceived of a terrestrial kingdom, because he shows them briefly, that his kingdom consists in the preaching of the gospel. There was no
cause, therefore, why they should dream of riches, of exterNot currently available. If you have a copy of this item please let us know.l principality, or any other earthly thing, whilst they heard that Christ did reign when as he subdueth unto himself all the world by the preaching of the gospel. Whereupon it follows that he reigns spiritually, and not after a worldly manner’.
If our Lord’s last thoughts and words were concerned with the faithful testimony of the disciples and of their preaching of the gospel in all the world and to every creature, then it is undoubtedly to be a concern of all believers down to the end of the world’s history.
If God has chosen the ‘foolishness of preaching’ as the means of gathering His elect people out of every kindred and tribe and tongue down to the end of time then it is surely to be the concern of every believer today. The Saviour promised His presence to the disciples as they fulfilled His calling and, if we would know His presence and blessing in our day, then the concern of every church and every believer is to be the making of disciples from all Not currently available. If you have a copy of this item please let us know.tions followed by the teaching of all who become disciples, even to the end of the world, Matthew 28.19-20.
The parochial and Not currently available. If you have a copy of this item please let us know.tioNot currently available. If you have a copy of this item please let us know.listic views and hopes of the disciples had to be radically altered and the coming of the Spirit most certainly did alter their short-sightedness. Peter had to be persoNot currently available. If you have a copy of this item please let us know.lly changed to realise that he was not to call any man common or unclean (Acts 10, 14 & 28).
It is a great blessing to have churches in which believers are faithfully instructed in their holy faith and in which they are encouraged in the battle of the Christian life, but that is not enough. Indeed, if that is the only concern of a church then it will be no wonder if that church declines into a ‘ghetto’ kind of mentality and becomes guilty of hiding the light of the gospel under a bushel.
To neglect so plain a concern of the great Head of the Church as the worldwide spread of the truth and the preaching of His own holy gospel must surely be grieving to the Spirit. If that attitude is not repented of then the gracious Spirit’s influence will be withdrawn and a church’s testimony quenched.
One of the most striking illustrations of the early church’s missioNot currently available. If you have a copy of this item please let us know.ry zeal,is found in Acts 8 where we read that Saul was making havoc of the church and committing men and women to prison because of their uNot currently available. If you have a copy of this item please let us know.shamed faith in the Lord Jesus. Yet it is written, ‘Therefore they that were scattered abroad went every where preaching the word’. This ‘preaching’ was simply carrying the evangel and gossiping the gospel wherever they went.
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