So we know not what awaits us, when we become his followers but we should cheerfully go, when our Saviour calls, willing to commit all into his hand--come honour or dishonour, sickness or health, riches or poverty, life or death. Be it ours to do our duty at once, and to commit the result to the great Redeemer who has called us."

C. God Called Paul – (Acts 9:6)

When Paul was on the road to Damascus going to persecute more Christians, God smote him to the ground and Paul said, "Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?" He wasn’t in a church service and didn’t have anyone there to tell him what to do. He knew that he was in the presence of a Holy God. He obeyed God’s command to go into the city and meet a man named Ananias that God had prepared for Paul to meet. God told Ananias about Paul. God said, "He (Paul) is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings and the children of Israel." (Acts 9:11-16)

In Acts 16:9-10, God called Paul to go to Macedonia.

"And a vision appeared to Paul in the night; There stood a man of Macedonia, and prayed him, saying, Come over into Macedonia, and help us. And after he had seen the vision, immediately we endeavoured to go into Macedonia, assuredly gathering that the Lord had called us for to preach the gospel unto them."

Romans 10:13-15,

"For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!"

We must GO! The church is never commanded to come into a building and gather as many people as you can squeeze in and then go out and spend a billion dollars and build bigger buildings. No God commands the church to GO.

-Matthew 28:19, "GO therefore"

-Mark 16:15, "Go ye into all the world."

-Luke 24:47, "And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem." In other words GO!

-John 20:21, "as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you." GO

-Acts 1:8, "ye shall be witnesses unto me."GO GO GO! And there is no place to stop!!!!

# 2. As we GO, WE MUST START NEW TESTAMENT CHURCHES - Acts 13, 14

Wherever Paul went, he left a church behind. This is the will of God. This is New Testament missions and the pattern left to us by the church in the time of the writing of the book of Acts. Churches were established and those churches (people) were then to go out and reach still others, until the whole earth was reached.

II Tim. 2:2,

"And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also."

Paul was writing to young Timothy that to continue the Lord’s work, we must commit what we have learned to others so that they can do the same thing and the Lord’s work perpetuates itself.

Acts chapters 13 & 14 show us the Biblical pattern for church planting and missions. Look with me at Acts 13:1-3,

"Now there were in the church that was at Antioch certain prophets and teachers; as Barnabas, and Simeon that was called Niger, and Lucius of Cyrene, and Manaen, which had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul. As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them. And when they had fasted and prayed, and laid their hands on them, they sent them away."

First of all you see that the church fasted and prayed and listened to the Holy Spirit’s leading and sent Barnabus and Paul out from among themselves.

In verses 4, the Bible says that the Holy Ghost led them to Cyprus,

"So they, being sent forth by the Holy Ghost, departed unto Seleucia; and from thence they sailed to Cyprus."

Acts 13:13-14 tells where they went next,

"Now when Paul and his company loosed from Paphos, they came to Perga in Pamphylia: and John departing from them returned to Jerusalem. But when they departed from Perga, they came to Antioch in Pisidia, and went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and sat down."

In Acts 13:15-41, Paul preaches to the Jews in the synagogue. But look what happens in verses 42-52,

"And when the Jews were gone out of the synagogue, the Gentiles besought that these words might be preached to them the next sabbath. Now when the congregation was broken up, many of the Jews and religious proselytes followed Paul and Barnabas: who, speaking to them, persuaded them to continue in the grace of God. And the next sabbath day came almost the whole city together to hear the word of God. But when the Jews saw the multitudes, they were filled with envy, and spake against those things which were spoken by Paul, contradicting and blaspheming. Then Paul and Barnabas waxed bold, and said, It was necessary that the word of God should first have been spoken to you: but seeing ye put it from you, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, lo, we turn to the Gentiles.

For so hath the Lord commanded us, saying, I have set thee to be a light of the Gentiles, that thou shouldest be for salvation unto the ends of the earth. And when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad, and glorified the word of the Lord: and as many as were ordained to eternal life believed. And the word of the Lord was published throughout all the region. But the Jews stirred up the devout and honourable women, and the chief men of the city, and raised persecution against Paul and Barnabas, and expelled them out of their coasts. But they shook off the dust of their feet against them, and came unto Iconium. And the disciples were filled with joy, and with the Holy Ghost."

So you see these church planting missionaries Paul and Barnabus being led by the Holy Spirit of God and preaching in these regions and going from place to place and souls being saved. Now let’s quickly look at Acts 14:1-7,

"And it came to pass in Iconium, that they went both together into the synagogue of the Jews, and so spake, that a great multitude both of the Jews and also of the Greeks believed. But the unbelieving Jews stirred up the Gentiles, and made their minds evil affected against the brethren. Long time therefore abode they speaking boldly in the Lord, which gave testimony unto the word of his grace, and granted signs and wonders to be done by their hands. But the multitude of the city was divided: and part held with the Jews, and part with the apostles. And when there was an assault made both of the Gentiles, and also of the Jews with their rulers, to use them despitefully, and to stone them, They were ware of it, and fled unto Lystra and Derbe, cities of Lycaonia, and unto the region that lieth round about: And there they preached the gospel."

The next few verses tell how they were stoned and left that city. Look down at Acts 14:21-28,

"And when they had preached the gospel to that city, and had taught many, they returned again to Lystra, and to Iconium, and Antioch, Confirming (supporting and strengthening) the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them (encouraged and persuaded) to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God. And when they had ordained them elders in every church, and had prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord, on whom they believed. And after they had passed throughout Pisidia, they came to Pamphylia. And when they had preached the word in Perga, they went down into Attalia: And thence sailed to Antioch, from whence they had been recommended to the grace of God for the work which they fulfilled. (They went back to the church that originally sent them out) And when they were come, and had gathered the church together, they rehearsed all that God had done with them, and how he had opened the door of faith unto the Gentiles. And there they abode long time with the disciples."

So the church sent out Paul & Barnabus, or God sent them, or Jesus sent them, or the Holy Spirit sent them because all are true, and they went all over that region and preached the gospel and souls were saved. Then Paul and Barnabus went back to where they started in Antioch and told the church all that had happened. It was exciting! And we should be excited as well when we hear what God is doing in the world with believers and churches that are obedient to send out church planting missionaries and start New Testament churches throughout the world!

Obedience to the commands of the Lord in carrying out His great work!

Story:

We often admire the obedience a dog shows to its master! Archibald Rutledge wrote that one day he met a man whose dog had just been killed in a forest fire. Heartbroken, the man explained to Rutledge how it happened. Because he worked out-of-doors, he often took his dog with him. That morning, he left the animal in a clearing and gave him a command to stay and watch his lunch bucket while he went into the forest. His faithful friend understood, for that’s exactly what he did. Then a fire started in the woods, and soon the blaze spread to the spot where the dog had been left. But he didn’t move. He stayed right where he was, in perfect obedience to his master’s word. With tearful eyes, the dog’s owner said, "I always had to be careful what I told him to do, because I knew he would do it."

God will bless the obedient church that desires to see itself reproduced and spreading the gospel message so that all the earth may know.

We must go, we must start churches and:

 

# 3. WE MUST GIVE SACRIFICIALLY -

The early church gave sacrificially! Many of the people gave ALL they had. Acts 4:33-

35 tells of such spontaneous giving.

"And with great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and great grace was upon them all. Neither was there any among them that lacked: for as many as were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the prices of the things that were sold, And laid them down at the apostles' feet: and distribution was made unto every man according as he had need."

In Acts 8:1-4 we see a church that gave sacrificially,

"Moreover, brethren, we do you to wit of the grace of God bestowed on the churches of Macedonia; How that in a great trial of affliction the abundance of their joy and their deep poverty abounded unto the riches of their liberality. For to their power, I bear record, yea, and beyond their power they were willing of themselves; Praying us with much intreaty that we would receive the gift, and take upon us the fellowship of the ministering to the saints."

The problem with spreading the gospel today is not a lack of money. It has never been a lack of money. It’s a lack of God’s people giving sacrificially and by faith and trusting the Lord to bless their gift and multiply it.

In the gospel of Luke 6:38 Jesus says,

"Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again."

God uses the sacrificial and faithful giving of His people to support the work of the ministry. Through tithes and offerings, God takes and multiplies the gifts of His people and uses it to be a blessing to those who are called to do His work. That’s how God’s work is funded.

God owns the cattle on a thousand hills and He doesn’t need our money. But He wants to show us that He will bless out faithfulness when we give to the furthering of His kingdom.

We must go, we must plant churches, we must give,

And lastly

 

# 4. WE MUST PRAY EFFECTUALLY - James 5:16 says,

"The effectual fervent (greek word "energeo" energetically) prayer of a righteous man availeth much."

We would all agree that the church of the book of Acts was a missionary church. But more than that, it was a praying church.

-It was when they prayed and fasted that God said, "Separate unto me Barnabas and Paul. for the work whereunto I have called them."

-It was when they prayed that the place was shaken and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and witnessed with boldness.

The book of Acts abounds with prayer meetings. The work of missions will go forward only as we get under the burden in fervent, effectual prayer. Prayer in the will of God, under the direction of the Holy Spirit, is what God wants. We cannot all go but we can all pray.

-Pray for Power for the Missionaries - Acts 4:33; Rom. 15:30

-Pray for Their Protection. - Eph. 6:18-19

-Pray for Their Provisions or needs. - Phil. 4:19

-Pray for Holy Spirit Direction. - Acts 8, 10, 17.

Stories:

1) Dr. Wilbur Chapman often told of his experience when, as a young man, he went to become pastor of a church in Philadelphia. After his first sermon, an old gentleman said to him, "You’re pretty young to be pastor of this church. But you preach the Gospel, and I’m going to help you all I can." Dr. Chapman thought, "Here’s a crank." But the man continued: "I’m going to pray for you that you may have the Holy Spirit’s power upon you. Two others have covenanted to join with me in prayer for you." Dr. Chapman said, "I didn’t feel so bad when I learned he was going to pray for me. The 3 became 10, the 10 became 20, and 20 became 50, the 50 became 200 who met before every service to pray that the Holy Spirit might come upon me. I always went into my pulpit feeling that I would have the anointing in answer to the prayers of those who had faithfully prayed for me. It was a joy to preach! The result was that we received 1,100 into our church by conversion in three years, 600 of whom were men. It was the fruit of the Holy spirit in answer to prayer!"

2) Things looked bleak for the children of George Mueller’s orphanage at Ashley Downs in England. It was time for breakfast, and there was no food. A small girl whose father was a close friend of Mueller was visiting in the home. Mueller took her hand and said, "Come and see what our Father will do." In the dining room, long tables were set with empty plates and empty mugs. Not only was there no food in the kitchen, but there was no money in the home’s account. Mueller prayed, "Dear Father, we thank Thee for what Thou art going to give us to eat." Immediately, they heard a knock at the door. When they opened it, there stood the local baker. "Mr. Mueller," he said, "I couldn’t sleep last night. Somehow I felt you had no bread for breakfast, so I got up at 2 o’clock and baked fresh bread. Here it is." Mueller thanked him and gave praise to God. Soon, a second knock was heard. It was the milkman. His cart had broken down in front of the orphanage. He said he would like to give the children the milk so he could empty the cart and repair it.

In Closing:

Remember what Jesus said again in the gospel of John,

"as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you."

We must go, we must plant churches, we must give and we must pray. If you’re here this morning and you have never asked the Lord Jesus Christ to forgive your sin and to save you, then you need to come this morning and trust Him and Him alone for your souls salvation.

If you’re saved here this morning, maybe God spoke to your heart about missions.

Is God calling someone to go and plant New Testament Churches?

Is God asking you to give sacrificially towards missions?

Maybe God is telling you that you need to pray and intercede on behalf of the ones that are going. Whatever your need today, you come during the invitation.