Are You on Duty? | Part 2 | What is Our Duty?

Are You on Duty? | Part 2 | What is the Duty? by Rev. Shine. P Thomas

Are we Doing our Duty?

What is the Duty God has Put in our Lives?

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.” “9 After he said this, he was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight”.

“10 They were looking intently up into the sky as he was going, when suddenly two men dressed in white stood beside them”. 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 is the Task that we Need to be doing?

The Bible says that God sent his son into this world to give us the gift of salvation. Jesus completed his task, died, buried, and on the third day he rose again from the grave. The resurrected Jesus then appeared to the apostles for 40 days and was then taken up into heaven leaving behind a promise that He will come back in the same way he went into heaven. Last Sunday we saw the first part of this message where I spoke to you that we have a task left behind by Jesus, we have the task of sharing the love and message of Jesus to the world.

Recap on the last week’s bullet points

  • 1. Jesus has given us an unfinished task, Acts 1:1.
  • 2. Jesus has given us an unchallenged message, Acts 1:3.
  • 3. Jesus gave us unquestionable love, Acts 1:3.
  • 4. Jesus gave us an unmistakable plan to witness, Acts 1:8.

5. What Jesus Gave us is an Unshakable Testimony

When I talk about testimony, let’s see the testimony of Jesus.

 John 8:18 

I am one who testifies for myself; my other witness is the father who sent me”. Jesus kept his own testimony as a man and God. The testimony of Jesus was also witnessed by the Father. Evening during Jesus’ baptism God the Father testified about Jesus. Also we find that John the Baptist came as a testimony of Jesus Christ. 

John 1:7 

He came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him all men might believe”. The testimony of Jesus was also validated by John the Baptist and others who lived in the time of Jesus. So we have Jesus testifying about himself, God the Father testifying about Jesus Christ, people also testified about the life of Jesus Christ.

How is our testimony? Are we walking worthy of our call? Our personal testimony is very vital when we proclaim the gospel.

Acts 1:10 

They were looking intently up into the sky as he was going, when suddenly two men dressed in white stood beside them. See the word ‘looking intently up into the sky.”

Illustration

I remember going to HAL Airport as a child. There was not much security at airports then. Those days we could have a clear view of flights landing and taking off. We had to wait for at least half an hour to see an aircraft take off and once it takes off we used to see every glimpse of it until there is nothing left to see.

I suppose the disciples were looking likewise into the sky, looking for any glimpse of Jesus. I just want take the term in terms of our Christian testimony. If we Christians could just look steadfastly toward heaven we could be great believers. If we can look just on Jesus we can have a great testimony.

Our testimony dear brothers and sisters is very, very important. Our testimony will either exalt Christ or it will shame the name of Christ. In order to complete the task of Jesus we need to have a good testimony; otherwise, people are not going to buy our message.

How can we have a good testimony? What are we to do?

 Fix our eyes on Jesus.


Hebrews 12:2 

Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God”. If we look up, if we look on Jesus, we can have a godly testimony.

1 John 3:2-3 

2 Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when he appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. 3 Everyone who has this hope in him purifies himself, just as he is pure”. 

If we live everyday looking at Jesus and with the hope that He is coming again, then we will purify ourselves. When we purify ourselves we automatically lead holy lives and hence have a good testimony. If a person does not have the hope of Christ coming soon, I probably doubt that he or she has a good testimony.

How is our testimony?


When we fight at home, or late for work, if we do injustice or
When we take another Christian or others to court, we lose our testimony.
If your neighbor speaks ill about you, you have lost your testimony.
Then when a Christians walk into the bars, maybe for a drink or maybe for a company we lose our testimony.
When an unmarried believer boy and girl cross the moral line, you lose your testimony.
When a Christian is wearing clothes that are not modest, you lose your testimony.

We all have good testimony in the church, but our testimony in the marketplace is also as important. The devil is waiting to steal our good testimony. 

1 Peter 5:8 

Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy, the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour”.

See the word meaning of Devour. Devour means to eat greedily. The devil is waiting to eat away your testimony. It takes years and years of effort to build a good testimony; but just a second to ruin it all. It took years of effort to get a good testimony of our church, and we can ruin it in just a second.

So, let’s fix our eyes on Jesus. Through Jesus we have an unshakable testimony.

6. What Jesus gave is an Unstoppable force, the Holy Spirit

In order to accomplish the task of witnessing, Jesus has given us the Holy Spirit.

Jesus promised the Holy Spirit many times. 

Luke 24:49 

I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high”.


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”.
And by Acts 2 the New Testament church received that power. 

Acts 2:4

All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them”.

Who are these people who became this unstoppable force? 

Acts 1:11 

“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.” 

“Men of Galilee,” these men have become an unstoppable force, they received the Holy Spirit.

Who are these ‘men of Galilee?’

 These men were the 11 disciples and some close followers of Jesus, just 120 people. The Galileans were despised and rejected by the Jews. They were people with hardly any education. Humanly speaking the Galileans were ordinary, poor people. They were not an unstoppable force by their own. It is only by God’s strength and power they became an unstoppable force.

How did they receive the unstoppable force? 

This group of men returned that day to the upper room and began to call upon the Lord in prayer when suddenly the Holy Spirit came upon all of them. Once the Holy Spirit came they became an unstoppable force. The group of 120 started increasing. We need that force today, we need the Holy Spirit.

By the end of Acts 2; 3000 people were saved and added to the church. 

Acts 2:41 

Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day.


By Acts 4 more people were added, the church grew to 5000 members. 

Acts 4:4 

But many who heard the message believed, and the number of men grew to about five thousand.


By Acts 5 it became a great multitude. 

Acts 5:14 KJV 

And believers were the more added to the Lord, multitudes both of men and women. 

There are no more numbers mentioned, it is now a huge group, a great gathering at the first church. The 120 became a mega church.

See, it all started with a few people. Compared to the crowd who followed Jesus, this was a minority group. Every church has such people, they receive the unstoppable force. They are the ones who come for cell meetings, fasting prayers, night prayers. With those people God can shake the city of Bangalore.

Acts 4:31 

After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly. 

When was the last time we prayed and the place was shaken? We have an unstoppable force to shake Bangalore.

a. Man cannot stop the work of the Holy Spirit

By the time we come to Acts 5 there arose strict opposition against the church. The high priest and his associates arrested the apostles and put them in the public jail. But during the night an angel of the Lord opened the doors of the jail and brought them out. Jail could not stop this force.

Acts 5:21-23 

21 At daybreak they entered the temple courts, as they had been told, and began to teach the people. When the high priest and his associates arrived, they called together the Sanhedrin—the full assembly of the elders of Israel—and sent to the jail for the apostles. 22 But on arriving at the jail, the officers did not find them there. So they went back and reported, 23 “We found the jail securely locked, with the guards standing at the doors; but when we opened them, we found no one inside.”

Acts 5:27-29 

27 Having brought the apostles, they made them appear before the Sanhedrin to be questioned by the high priest. 28 “We gave you strict orders not to teach in this name,” he said. “Yet you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching and are determined to make us guilty of this man’s blood.” 29 Peter and the other apostles replied: “We must obey God rather than men!

They took their command personally. “Go into all the world…” Everyone witnessed in the church. These people weren’t going to let some men or the government hinder their work. No man can stop the power in us.

b. Persecution cannot stop this force

Acts 8:3-4 

3 But Saul began to destroy the church. Going from house to house, he dragged off men and women and put them in prison. 4 Those who had been scattered preached the word wherever they went.


They were scattered because of persecution. They had to literally run for their lives. Saul was leading the persecution against them but persecution could not stop this force. Persecution allowed them to take the Gospel to the “uttermost parts of the earth.”

Where ever they were, they witnessed and by Acts 19 all of Asia heard the word of God. 

Acts 19:10

This went on for two years, so that all the Jews and Greeks who lived in the province of Asia heard the word of the Lord. 

In 2 years they reached Asia. Can we reach out to Bangalore? Yes we can! Let us rise up, let us wake up. We have an unstoppable force to finish the task.

7. What we have is an Unfailing Promise

Acts 1:11 

“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.”


Jesus is coming back and that is going to be reward time. We are going to be rewarded in full for fulfilling the unfinished task now. Our work for the Kingdom will be rewarded.

1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 

16For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air.

We have an unfailing promise; promise that Jesus is coming back again to receive us. One day the trumpet will blow and we will be gone to heaven. This time around it will be we who will ascend. This time it will be we who will be hid in the cloud like Jesus. What a day that will be! It is going to be our best day. Child of God, so do not be troubled, our best days are ahead. Jesus is coming soon and until he comes we are to continue his work.

John 14:1-3 

1 Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. 2 In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.

We have a great heaven awaiting us. Do you know that for the last 2000 plus years Jesus is in heaven preparing a place for us. Can you imagine what a city that will be, what a place that will be? A perfect city and a perfect home await us, so do not be troubled. 

1 Corinthians 2:9 

No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him. Do not be discouraged, do not be troubled.

Are we on Duty?, Are we ready?

It is the question to you and me. Are you ready for His coming? If He comes today, What will be your answer?, will you go with Him? Until He comes, you and I are to be part of what He left behind to do, His work! Jesus has given us a work to complete. Let’s participate in fulfilling the Great Commission.

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