The book of Acts is largely the message of the birth and expansion of the early church throughout the first century world. It is called ‘Acts’ because it records the supernatural activity of God’s Spirit through the apostles. He is an active God working through an active church. That’s why Acts is such an exciting book, and it seems to end abruptly after 28 action packed chapters. The reason for this is that the story of the church continues well into the present day.
The first century church was committed to the task of making disciples among the nations. They took the Great Commission seriously. During the nearly three decades that span the book the Acts, the church went from being a tiny group of people in the city of Jerusalem to being a movement that had literally spread throughout the entire Roman Empire. They made the last words of Jesus their first priority.
The story of the church in Acts is still an ongoing story. As long as the church is in the world, we have a mission to carry out. The church today has the same mission that the church had in Acts. God has not saved us and taken us straight to heaven. Instead, He has left us in a world of massive need for a short time. Our time here is like a mist, or a vapor. Each one of our lives individually and collectively form a local church like this for just a short amount of time. We want to make that time count for the spread of the gospel in a world of urgent spiritual need.
God has called out of the world a body of people known as the church, made up of men and women and boys and girls who live under the lordship of Jesus Christ. He wants us to become disciples who make other disciples, who can then be sent into the world to infiltrate every part of it until every nation, tribe, and tongue has been reached.
Did you know that you are called to be a disciple at your work, on the job, bringing the good news of Jesus Christ into that environment? That’s why the church must encourage and equip Christians to be involved in the arts and entertainment, in politics and law, in economics and education—in order that Christ be introduced to a world that doesn’t know Him. We must recapture a sense of calling that applies to everyday life. You and I have a mission to fulfill. It starts in our own backyard, but it doesn’t stop there. It includes a global mandate. We are part of an ongoing story! How will it continue through you today?
For more, read Matthew 28:18-20; Acts 1:1-11