The Responsibilities of the Church

Responsibilities of Missionaries

Book of Acts Chapter 14

The goal of every church is to make disciples of Jesus Christ.
The goal of every disciple should be to lead someone to the Lord Jesus Christ.
The goal of every missionary must be to start a new church.

The truth in every step is to make sure we keep the Lord Jesus Christ the Head of the Church, the Head of each disciple, and the Head of every mission work.

No one can care for the Church like the Lord Jesus Christ can!

At every step in mission work, we must give God the glory!

It must be the responsibility of every missionary to keep in touch with the sending church and those that support them.

There is no other work more fulfilling than the Lord’s work!

There are certain responsibilities that go along with every mission work!

There are certain responsibilities that come from being a Christian!

We should understand this passage from Chapter 13 through Chapter 14 as the first great missionary journey of the Apostle Paul.

Remember Paul was not alone as Barnabas was with him and he may have picked up some disciples along the way, but I do not believe Luke was with him yet.

John Mark had departed from them and had returned to Jerusalem.

I believe we can understand that time spent around Elymas the sorcerer had scared Mark as he was still a young man and did not know what to expect from the spreading of the Gospel.

Mark became a victim of feelings and emotions.

John Mark got to see just how wicked and powerful the Devil truly is.

We know that Mark learned from these things and later became a valuable missionary in the cause for Christ.

Missionary work is not easy!

One man wrote that there are three stages of God’s work.

1) It is impossible.
2) it is difficult.
3) It is done.

In this passage we see another city named Antioch, but this city is in Pisidia and not Syria.

These are two different cities in two different countries.

This Antioch was the most important city in Galatia which is located in what is now modern day Turkey.

This same Antioch was a military center for Rome to control this area where there was much rebellion against Rome.

The major commercial route between the west and Ephesus and the Cilician cities ran right through Antioch of Pisidia.

There was now a church whose head was Jesus Christ that was started in this same city even through great difficulty.

There were enough believers in this city that it divided this city helped along by the vicious Jews that hated the Apostle Paul and the Lord Jesus Christ.

The Apostle Paul was even stoned.

Act 14:19 And there came thither certain Jews from Antioch and Iconium, who persuaded the people, and, having stoned Paul, drew him out of the city, supposing he had been dead.
Act 14:20 Howbeit, as the disciples stood round about him, he rose up, and came into the city: and the next day he departed with Barnabas to Derbe.

Churches were established!

Evangelism will always have the goal that we must go to where the lost are located.

This is what the Lord Jesus did for us!

Jesus came looking for me and for you and for all that are now saved.

We will also see that once the Apostle Paul took the lead in Paphos, he continued to lead throughout this first journey.

Barnabas continued to support Paul throughout this journey.

Paul would soon be known to us as the Apostle to the Gentiles.

We can believe that the Holy Spirit was engaged in this also.

Paul made a habit of first going into the Jewish synagogues when coming to a new location before going to the Gentiles if one was there and he had his reasons and his reason was biblical.

Act 3:23 And it shall come to pass, that every soul, which will not hear that prophet, shall be destroyed from among the people.
Act 3:24 Yea, and all the prophets from Samuel and those that follow after, as many as have spoken, have likewise foretold of these days.
Act 3:25 Ye are the children of the prophets, and of the covenant which God made with our fathers, saying unto Abraham, And in thy seed shall all the kindreds of the earth be blessed.
Act 3:26 Unto you first God, having raised up his Son Jesus, sent him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from his iniquities.

The Apostle Paul became a preaching machine.

1Co 1:21 For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.

Paul instructed Timothy how to be a Preacher in today’s world:

2Ti 4:2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.
2Ti 4:3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;
2Ti 4:4 And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.

We must understand that preachers are instruments in the hands of the Lord.

We must understand that true preachers are so surrendered to the cause of Jesus Christ that the Lord Jesus is able to use them to the fullest to bear witness to the “Grace of God” and His desire to save all.

In fact we are all that love Christ to be so surrendered that we want to be His servants through which He can live today inside us.

After Paul and Barnabas had completed this first missionary journey he made a U-turn and went back to each new church that was formed.

Every new church will still need some guidance.

*Act 14:21 And when they had preached the gospel to that city, and had taught many, they returned again to Lystra, and to Iconium, and Antioch,
Act 14:22 Confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God.

The first great task of the Church was to preach the Gospel, the Good News, and make disciples.

The instruction centers upon the truth of the Word of God.

Once the missionary leaves following the Holy Spirit then that new church, that new group of disciples must depend on the Bible to instruct them.

This is why the devil spends so much time trying to discredit the Word of God.

This is also why there are now so many different versions of the Bible with most of them being perversions of the Scriptures.

Act 13:38 Be it known unto you therefore, men and brethren, that through this man is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins:
Act 13:39 And by him all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses.

Did Paul mean the laws of Moses were wrong? No!

Paul preached that salvation can come only by the Lord Jesus Christ. The laws of Moses were still good laws to live by for the Jews who they were given to.

The goal of the preacher is to make disciples and all the Word of God is important.

We must first accept that our creation was an act of God so we can acknowledge the power of God.

If God cannot create from nothing as He says, then He would hardly have the power to save.

The purpose of the Church will always be to make disciples that are usable to the ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ.

The city of Derbe was the furthermost frontier city of the Roman Empire in Galatia.

Derbe was located about 30 miles from Lystra on a road built by the Romans.

These roads built by the Romans did make it easier to spread the Gospel.

A church was established in Derbe by the Apostle Paul.

Paul revisited this church on his second missionary journey.

We should all understand that it takes a commitment to serve the Lord.

Rewards come by faithfulness!

There will be much persecution from many sources come to the Church all of which will be inspired by Satan.

We must believe that persecution will increase in these last days for it will. For some it will be much more severe than others.

Mat_5:11 Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.

Joh_15:20 Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also.

We should also understand it takes time to strengthen and make true disciples and the work of the Church is not done until this takes place.

It is a lifelong thing!

This is why the growth of the Church is not in numbers. The growth of the Church is the Spiritual strength of its disciples!

Paul clearly understood these things.

For the preacher, the evangelist, the missionary, making disciples is not as exciting as leading the lost to the Lord, but it is just as important. It requires a commitment from both parties!

1) A group of good Christians can reach far more of the lost than one good missionary.

2) It takes a good group of Christians to support that good missionary.

The Word of God is not so hard to the faithful!

Continuing in the faith means much more than just believing in Jesus!

We must believe upon Jesus!

Every doctrine spoken to us by our Lord must be followed as He commands.

We must adhere to the written “Will of God”!

The Lord Jesus Christ did not come to debate the Word of God.
The Lord Jesus Christ came to give us the truth of God and His will for us.

His first will was for us all to be saved!

1Ti_2:4 Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.

2Pe 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

Some people always ask, why has the Lord not returned because this world is so evil and wicked, we see this is the only reason that we should understand and continue in the work the Lord has given to us.

We need to be patient as the Lord is patient!

It is not God’s will that anyone perish in the depths of Hell.

We do this when we reject the Gospel of Jesus Christ!

We must understand and teach the basic beliefs and the doctrines of God’s Word!

What is the preacher to do?

2Ti 4:2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.
2Ti 4:3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;
2Ti 4:4 And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.

When we know the truth, we will not so easily fall by the wayside but remain true to the “Gospel”

Every believer must know that when our job is done here upon this earth the Lord will make sure to take us to our Heavenly home and nothing upon this earth can stop this.

Joh 10:27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:
Joh 10:28 And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.
Joh 10:29 My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand.
Joh 10:30 I and my Father are one.

Every Church needs to be organized.

*Act 14:23 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.
Act 14:24 And after they had passed throughout Pisidia, they came to Pamphylia.
Act 14:25 And when they had preached the word in Perga, they went down into Attalia:

We must know that the Church is not a building, but it is that group who meet together in that building is the Church. In Derbe at this time they probably met in someone’s home, but they still needed to be organized.

With Paul’s help they ordained elders.

Ordination means to appoint, to elect, to choose normally by a show of hands.

This is God and men choosing.

1) Peter wrote:

Act 10:41 Not to all the people, but unto witnesses chosen before of God, even to us, who did eat and drink with him after he rose from the dead.

2) Paul wrote:

2Co 8:18 And we have sent with him the brother, whose praise is in the gospel throughout all the churches;
2Co 8:19 And not that only, but who was also chosen of the churches to travel with us with this grace, which is administered by us to the glory of the same Lord, and declaration of your ready mind:

This of course was Luke who was trusted by all the different churches.

Remember those first seven deacons were elected by the Church body and appointed by the Apostles.

This is how the Church works and they are to be independent bodies of Christ, linked together only by the truth of the Gospel and the love of Jesus Christ.

The main thing to remember in this is that it is the Holy Ghost that first chooses the preacher.

Act 13:2 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.

Act 20:28 Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.

Every separate body of believers all belong to the Lord who purchased us all with His own blood!

Elders must be appointed according to these examples.

1) The Holy Spirit
2) The Church
3) Other preachers

Remember that we are all just instruments in the hand of God and He is still no respecter of persons and each of us are rewarded for the work that we have done ourselves.

Not only was the door of faith opened to the Gentiles but the entire world was open to the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

With the organization of the church at Derbe complete for now, Paul and Barnabas moved on to the other churches that had been established to do the same thing, the choosing of elders for that particular church.

Only then could Paul and Barnabas return to Antioch Syria to tell the Church what the Lord had accomplished.

*Act 14:26 And thence sailed to Antioch, from whence they had been recommended to the grace of God for the work which they fulfilled.
Act 14:27 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.

During this first missionary trip we see some of the things that the Apostle Paul suffered.

Paul was stoned and left for dead because of certain Jews from Antioch and Iconium.

Some believe that Paul may have actually been dead and that this is the time that the Lord allowed him to view Heaven.

Notice these wicked men fell upon Paul and not Barnabas for they said Paul was the chief speaker and Paul vexed them much more than Barnabas.

These certain Jews were seditious and dangerous people.

These Jews could not bear that the “Gospel of Jesus Christ” should get started anywhere in the known world.

They simply did not understand the truth of the God that they to worshipped.

Paul was stoned by a mob without any judicial proceedings. Paul had committed no crime.

They had predetermined that Paul was not good enough to live in any city, anywhere.

Today we call this “bias” and it is “bias” that is causing most all the problems in our own nation and this “bias” is instilled by our own government!

When these things are not restrained it is very easy for them to instill evil on the other side and it is intentional.

There are now ears on both sides ready to hear and to react to anything said whether it is the truth or not.

Those that do this simply will not accept the truth of God because they do not want to hear the truth of themselves!

Paul was delivered by the power of God so he could continue the ministry of Jesus Christ.

As Paul revived, he returned to those same cities and preached the same salvation message and made many disciples.

All the stones that were thrown at the Apostle Paul could not stop him from preaching the ‘Gospel”.

It is more than possible that Timothy joined up with Paul as he returned to those cities after being stoned.

2Ti 3:10 But thou hast fully known my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, charity, patience,
2Ti 3:11 Persecutions, afflictions, which came unto me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra; what persecutions I endured: but out of them all the Lord delivered me.

God’s plan is always working whether we understand all these things or not.

God’s “grace” is sufficient for us all!

As we worry, even though the Lord says not to, we do not have to worry about losing our salvation.

Whatever trials we face, Christ Jesus will give us the strength to go through them and still be victorious!

All we need do is to continue in the faith!

As they returned to Antioch Syria, they had much to tell the Church and they needed a long rest.

*Act 14:28 And there they abode long time with the disciples.

It is always good to be back with your church family after an extended absence.

The door of the Gentiles was permanently opened but the call of the missionary is a continuous calling.

There is no entering into the Kingdom of God without faith in the work of the Lord Jesus Christ.

This message will never change because it is the truth of Abba our Heavenly Father!

It is Christ our Lord who opened the door of faith and it is Christ our Lord who will keep that door open until He returns.

This is why it is called GRACE.

God’s Riches At Christ Expense.

Rom 16:24 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.
Rom 16:25 Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began,
Rom 16:26 But now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith:
Rom 16:27 To God only wise, be glory through Jesus Christ for ever.


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