Are you on Duty? | Part 1

Are you on Duty ?| Part 1| by Rev. Shine P Thomas

Are we Doing our Duty?

What is the Duty God has Put in our Lives?

One of our Assemblies of God pastors went to a village in Tumkur and asked a woman, “Do you know about Jesus?” She said, “Jesus never came to our village, maybe he has missed the way and gone to the other village.” Late in the evening when the pastor was returning back to Bangalore he met this lady again. She asked the pastor, “Did you happen to meet Jesus in the other village?” The pastor told, “Jesus is not a person but the living God.” He shared the gospel to her and the whole family accepted Jesus Christ.

If we take a look at our city, there are lakhs and lakhs of people still unreached by the gospel. Whose job is it anyway to make Jesus known to them? Are we responsible believers? Are we doing our duty and Are we praying for the unreached? also Do we witness about Jesus Christ?

Today I want to point out the things that Jesus left behind and asked us to do when He is in heaven.

Acts 1:1-11 

1 In my former book, Theophilus, I wrote about all that Jesus began to do and to teach 2 until the day he was taken up to heaven, after giving instructions through the Holy Spirit to the apostles he had chosen. 3 After his suffering, he showed himself to these men and gave many convincing proofs that he was alive. He appeared to them over a period of forty days and spoke about the kingdom of God.

4 On one occasion, while he was eating with them, he gave them this command: “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. 5 For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.” 6 So when they met together, they asked him, “Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?”

7 He said to them: “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. 8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth. 11 “Men of Galilee,” they said, “why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven.”

What we need to learn From Christ as we carry on the Duty

When Jesus was in the world, he often spoke about the Kingdom of God that he was going to establish. The disciples saw Jesus’ miracles and power and on the mountain of transfiguration; Peter, James, and John literally saw Jesus’ glory. By now the disciples were very excited about ruling with Jesus in His kingdom. But when Jesus was arrested and crucified, all their hopes had failed. Some disciples went into hiding, some went back to their old profession, and some of them went into depression. They thought that everything was over. All of a sudden the resurrected Jesus appeared to them, the disciples would have been filled with great joy. Again the disciples thought that Jesus was going to establish the Kingdom of Israel and rule with them. They were filled with hope and joy. However, after 40 days of walking with them again, Jesus was taken into heaven.

As Jesus was taken up, I suppose one of the main thoughts on the disciples’ mind was, “Jesus, please don’t go, don’t leave us.” When Jesus left the disciples, all their hopes probably dashed once again. It was a hard goodbye for the disciples. If you have ever said a final goodbye to a loved one, you know how hard those goodbyes can be. They are left speechless looking at Jesus taken up into heaven.

He will be Back Again

What a spectacular scene that would have been? The disciples saw Jesus working miracles, they saw him preaching to multitudes but this sight was something amazing. They saw Jesus until He disappeared from their sight. As they were looking into the sky not knowing where Jesus is, two angels appeared to them and said, “This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven.”

When Jesus left this time to heaven he left the disciples with an authority to complete the task that Jesus had started. 

Acts 1:8

But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth. 

They were assured that Jesus will come back again and between his ascension and second coming Jesus had given them homework to do therefore You and I have been given this task or the duty to complete what Jesus has started.

1. Jesus has Given us an Unfinished Task, The Duty we must be On

Acts 1:1 

In my former book, Theophilus, I wrote about all that Jesus began to do and to teach…
Luke the author of the Gospel According to Luke and Acts of the Apostles is saying that in his former book, Gospel According to Luke, he wrote what Jesus began to do and teach. Jesus began something in the gospels and Jesus wants us to continue that task. His task is not finished.

Did Jesus not finish what he started?

 Did Jesus not say as he was breathing his last on the cross in 

John 19:30

“it is finished.”

 If Jesus finished the work, then what work has he given us? Jesus was saying that the atonement for sin was finished; the punishment for sin was taken. Nothing more need be done for the cleansing of man’s sins. Salvation is complete in Christ. But when Jesus has finished his job (taking the punishment of death, providing salvation, giving us the way to God), he has given us the remaining responsibility. He has left us to finish his work – also to lead others to Christ. Are you available? Are you doing your duty?

What was the task of Jesus? 

Luke 19:10

For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost.

Jesus finished his task on the cross but the task of taking this gospel to others has been left to us. As long as there is one person who has not heard the message, the task is not finished. Jesus left behind this task to be finished by the church, i.e. you and me, to seek and save the lost.

How do we do our task? 

Matthew 28:19-20 

19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.

There is unfinished work in our country. Our friends, our neighbors, our colleagues, our city cries out the work of Jesus is unfinished. Are you actively participating in carrying out His unfinished task? If you don’t do your task, much of the work will remain unfinished. Jesus is counting on you and me.

I know we are all busy, we have very less time. I tell you the task of witnessing should be as important and urgent as our regular tasks because a time is coming when the doors of the gospel will be closed. 

John 9:4 

As long as it is day, we must do the work of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work.

We need to work now. We need to share Jesus now. The people in our area of influence are our responsibility. There is no excuse, let’s complete the task.

2. Jesus has Given us an Unchallenged Message to take along as we are on Duty

Jesus has not only given us a task but he has given us a message that is powerful and unchallenged.

Acts 1:3 

After his suffering, he showed himself to these men and gave many convincing proofs that he was alive. He appeared to them over a period of forty days and spoke about the kingdom of God.

Can you notice the words, many convincing proofs?’ There are historical, scientific, and medical proofs of the reality of Jesus Christ. The message of salvation can’t be challenged. Jesus’ life, death, resurrection, and ascension even today remain unchallenged.

Man has attempted to produce numerous other methods of salvation and tried to distort the gospel of Jesus Christ also, Man over the years has not able challenge to the truth of the gospel, incidentally every argument failed.

Galatians 1:6-9 

6 I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you by the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— 7 which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. 8 But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned! 9 As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let him be eternally condemned!

Satan cannot challenge the gospel of Jesus. The gospel has life and over the centuries it still lives on.

Revelation 14:6 

Then I saw another angel flying in midair, and he had the eternal gospel to proclaim to those who live on the earth—to every nation, tribe, language and people.

See the word ‘eternal gospel.’ The gospel is eternal, it is everlasting, it has always existed, and it will continue to exist. Here in Revelation, it is talking about the time when the church is taken up and in tribulation when the antichrist is ruling the angels proclaiming the gospel. Satan cannot stop this gospel. It is this same gospel of the good news of Jesus that the angels will proclaim because the gospel is eternal and everlasting.

Man, cults, and Satan have tried to challenge and distort the gospel but they have been unsuccessful and It is a foolproof gospel, also there is no doubt about what we preach and believe. 

Romans 1:16 

I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile.

For all those who believe, for all those who share the gospel of Jesus, it is the power of God. So when you take this unchallenged message, it is power of God unto you. Jesus has given us an unchallenged message.

3. Jesus Gave the Unquestionable Love, Which is to be Carried on Duty

Love is the force of the gospel

Acts 1:3

To them also He showed Himself alive after His passion (His suffering in the garden and on the cross) by [a series of] many convincing demonstrations[unquestionable evidences and infallible proofs], appearing to them during forty days and talking [to them] about the things of the kingdom of God.

‘His passion.’ Dictionary meaning for this Biblical word Passion is: The sufferings of Jesus in the period following the Last Supper and including the Crucifixion out of his love, as related in the New Testament.

The force behind the message of the gospel is the passionate love of God. No one can question the love exhibited by God.

 John 3:16 

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

Unquestionable love of God

God loved the world so much. God loves every man and woman. 
That love compelled God to give up his only Son. 
That love compelled Jesus to give up his home in heaven and came to earth. 
There is no one in this room who would do that for a world of people who do not care. 
That love compelled Jesus to shed his blood for you. 
Jesus took your curse. 
Jesus died for you. 
He gave us salvation. Jesus gave us eternal life. Jesus gave us the way to God the Father. 
God loves you.

The nutshell of the gospel is God’s love and we need to let the people recognize the love exhibited by God. God gave us unquestionable love. It is that love that we have received which is the motivating factor for us to share the gospel.

4. He gave us an Unmistakable Plan to Witness

Jesus gave us a great Job or Duty

Acts 1:8 

But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth. God gave us an unmistakable job to be a witness. Listen, there is no substitute for you and me.

Witness: A witness is sworn to tell the truth of what he or she has seen or has experienced.

So God’s plan for us is to be witnesses. We just got to tell others what we know about Christ, what is our experience with Christ. Sometimes people act as a super salesman, attempting to persuade people with their ability, knowledge of theology, and the Bible. No, first tell others what Jesus did to you. Man can’t persuade another man to be saved. It is only when you have Christ in you and you share your experiences with Jesus can people be attracted to God.

John 6:44 

No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him, and I will raise him up at the last day.
It has to be Christ in us. We speak about what God has done to us and Christ in us will attract people.

How and where are we to witness? 

Acts 1:8 

But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.

We are to witness first in Jerusalem, then Judea, then Samaria, and finally to the ends of the earth. Now, how do we take these Middle East places into our context? We need to take it to the context of the people who received this. Therefore, Let’s see the map of Jerusalem. Jerusalem to Judea is 30 KM. Jerusalem to Samaria 75 KM. The people who heard this message were from Jerusalem, Judea was their neighbouring city. Samaria was a city still further.

So Jerusalem is our surrounding area: They are our neighbours, our co-workers, our friends and relatives. Jerusalem is our city, Bangalore.
Judea is for us is farther out from home base. We are to be witnesses in Karnataka.
Our Samaria is still further out, our nation.
Then we need to be witnesses in the uttermost part of the earth – That is foreign missions.

Every one of us needs to be a witness

Let’s not mistake the plan. Every one of us needs to be a witness. We need to first witnesses in Jerusalem, then Judea, then Samaria, and then the world. All this has to happen simultaneously now. Our Jerusalem is definitely within our capacity, everyone of us should participating in witnessing in our city and bringing people to church.

But then we also have a responsibility to witnesses in Bangalore, Karnataka, and India. When it is far we partner together and witness. If you cannot reach Karnataka and India; then we have a responsibility to pray about it. We have a responsibility to give and support missions and missionaries so that they can witness and inturn we partake in ministry with them. Jesus has given us a great job, to be a witness and there is no substitute for you. He is counting on you.

Am I on Duty?

Jesus has completed his work but are you doing your bit? Are you on Duty?to complete what Jesus has started? Let’s commit ourselves to pray first for the unreached souls, witness in our city, support missions to take this gospel to this world and always take time to recheck “Am i on Duty?”

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This Post Has One Comment

  1. Dheeraj

    Thank you Pastor for sharing this sermon and notes…

    It is indeed a reminder for all of us to check we are on a duty to fulfill the great commission or not.

    We are sharing this message in Kuwait and people are richly blessed with spiritual food.

    Thanks & Regards

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