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The First Missionary Journey (8 of 19)
OPENING ILLUSTRATION: There was a great missionary rally at Royal Albert Hall in London. The Duke of Wellington, ''The Iron Duke'' who had defeated the armies of Napoleon was there. A minister was sitting next to him and the minister asked, ''My Lord Duke, How do you feel about all this talk on missions?'' To which the Duke replied, ''Does the Church have marching orders?'' The Minister said, ''In Acts the first chapter Jesus said we are to go into all the world and make disciples of Christ''. The Duke answered, ''Well it makes no difference how I feel about it - we have our orders''.
INTRODUCTION: Today we are going to get acquainted with a Church that understood it's marching orders - the Church at Antioch.
If I could be a member of any church in history other than Capshaw, without hesitation Antioch would be my choice. I believe we are hear today, 2000 years later on the other side of the planet worshipping Jesus, praying to Jesus, singing about Jesus because of the ministry of the Church at Antioch.
CONTEXT: Remember we said a few weeks ago that the stoning of Stephen was a decisive moment in church history because it scatted the believers. Acts 1:8 Jesus said you shall be my witnesses to Jerusalem, Judea and to the uttermost parts of the Earth. Acts 8:1 is when that started to happen, but not because they people were obediently going, but rather they were scattered in fear…
TEXT: Acts 8:1 (ESV)
1 And Saul approved of his execution. And there arose on that day a great persecution against the church in Jerusalem, and they were all scattered throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria, except the apostles.
So the Church that had grown to over 3,000 in one day was reduced to a handful of Apostles practically overnight.
Acts 11:19-21 (ESV)
19 Now those who were scattered because of the persecution that arose over Stephen traveled as far as Phoenicia and Cyprus and ...
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