A Systematic Expository Study of the Word of God
Study 16: EXTENSIVE EVANGELISTIC MINISTRY OF AN ITINERANT APOSTLE
And it came to pass, as Peter passed throughout all quarters. Then Peter arose and went. And the Spirit bade me go. The Lord, Jesus Christ, had commanded the Apostles and disciples, all ministers and members in His Church to go and preach the gospel. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost (Matthew 28:19). Let us go into the next towns, that I may preach there also: for therefore came I forth (Mark 1:38). Go home to thy friends, and tell them how great things the Lord hath done for thee, and hath had compassion on thee (Mark 5:19). Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature (Mark 16:15). Let the dead bury their dead: but go thou and preach the kingdom of God (Luke 9:60). Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in (Luke 14:21,23). Go, stand and speak in the temple to the people ALL the words of this life (Acts 5:20). No converted disciple or commissioned Apostle, no trustworthy minister or true member of His Church could have denied or disobeyed such a clear, compelling command of his Saviour, Lord and Master. And they went. Apostles and disciples, they went; ministers and members, they went; Disciples, Apostles, Witnesses, Nationals, they went to Disciple A Whole Nation. And the disciples went, and did as Jesus commanded them (Matthew 21:6). And they went out, and preached that men should repent (Mark 6:12). And they went forth, and preached everywhere (Mark 16:20). And they departed, and went through the towns, preaching the gospel, and healing every where (Luke 9:6). They that were scattered abroad went every where preaching the word (Acts 8:4). The command and commission of Christ must be studied again and obeyed afresh. Christ has commanded; and no other pursuit or program should hinder our obedience. We are to evangelize men, women and children in every town, city and nation. Preaching the gospel, calling sinners to repentance and faith in Christ, baptizing genuine converts, teaching and discipling true believers, we are to bring all true and obedient followers of Christ into the fellowship of His Church.
EXTENSIVE MINISTRY THROUGHOUT THE LAND
Acts 9:32; 8:14,15,25,40; 10:19-21,28-33; 2 Chronicles 17:9,10; 19:4-7; Mark 1:36-39; Luke 8:1,4; 13:22-24; 23:5; Acts 13:49; 19:10,26; 26:16-20.
Then had the churches rest throughout all Judea and Galilee and Samaria (verse 31). And Peter passed throughout all quarters (verse 32). The churches were planted and established in these regions but the commission was to preach the gospel to every creature, teach all nations, that repentance and remission of sins be preached in His name among all nations and that they be witnesses unto Me unto the uttermost part of the earth. Though some thousands had been converted and discipled, the many millions (and billions) who have not heard the gospel must be reached. The little which we have done is not an excuse to neglect the much which we have not done. We must keep going and keep evangelizing as Christ has commanded.
Giving the Great Commission, Jesus announced, All power is given unto Me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore. We are to go with His power. Teach all nations, baptizing them. We are to go with purpose. Lo, I am with you alway even unto the end of the world. We are to go with His presence. The Apostles and the disciples faithfully committed themselves to the evangelization of all people in all nations in the whole world until much people was added unto the Lord, whole cities turned to the Lord, many believed in the Lord, all they which dwelt in Asia heard the word of the Lord Jesus, both Jews and Greeks. We must never forget that the command to evangelize every city in every nation in the whole world is from the Lord, Jesus, Himself.
EXTRAORDINARY MIRACLES TRANSFORMED THE LAME AND THE LIFELESS
Acts 9:33-41; 3:2-10; 4:14,16,22,29,30; 5:12-16; 8:5-8; 14:7-10; Matthew 10:7,8; John 11:39-45; 12:12-14; Acts 20:9,10; 28:8,9; Mark 16:15-20.
And Peter said unto him, Aeneas, Jesus Christ maketh thee whole: arise, and make thy bed. And he arose immediately. The Apostles as well as the believers had been endued with power to heal and authority to cast out devils and work miracles. Every time the need arose in the course of preaching the gospel and evangelizing the lost, they were ready and effective instruments in Gods Hand to heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils (Matthew 10:8). As they went about declaring the gospel of so great salvation, God was so mightily present with them, God also bearing them witness, both with signs and wonders, and with diverse miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost, according to His own will (Hebrews 2:4). In the house where Dorcas lay dead, Peter put them all forth, and kneeled down, and prayed. Not knowing Gods will in the matter, he sent out all the people that he might pray, concentrate without distraction or interruption, to seek the will of God. Knowing assuredly the will of God in this case, he turned to the dead body and said, Tabitha, arise. And she opened her eyes: and when she saw Peter, she sat up. God has not changed. Jesus remains the same. Miracles still come from God in answer to prayer, according to His own will. Unwavering faith in the never-failing miracle-working God and the unfailing authority of the Name of Jesus always brings miracles into reality.
EARNEST MULTITUDES TURNED TO THE LORD
Acts 9:35,42,43; 4:4,16-22; 5:12-14; John 4:48-53; 11:43-48; 12:9-11; Acts 11:21-24; 16:25-34; 19:11-20,26;1 Thessalonians 1:5-10; Matthew 11:20-24; Hebrews 2:1-4.
Those who saw or heard of the miracles at Lydda and Saron and throughout all Joppa turned to the Lordand believed in the Lord. They were not superficial or emotional observers of the great miracles which took place among them. They were in earnest as the testimonies led them to deep and serious conviction. The miracles achieved a divine purpose as the goodness of God led them to repentance (Romans 2:4). The long, painful affliction of the sick man was well known and his miraculous healing became the subject of discussion, consideration and decision for Christ. The people thought and meditated on the power of the risen, living Christ, in whose Name the man was instantaneously healed. Meditation led to the realization of the worthlessness of their dead religion and empty worship of an unknown God. As they thought on the presence and power of the Spirit in Peter, they realized how empty they were, without Christ, having no hope, and without God in the world (Ephesians 2:12). Their eternity-bound souls cried out for salvation and eternal life. The life of sinning became shallow, empty, distasteful and unsatisfactory. They turned from sin and turned to the Saviour; they stopped believing in religion, tradition, men or self. They believed on the Lord, Jesus Christ, as their only Saviour and Giver of eternal life. Their sins were forgiven, their hearts were cleansed and changed, their lives were transformed and made conformable to the life of Christ; all because they turned to the Lord and believed in the Lord.
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