Acts 1:8 is a Both/And Scripture!

We have become convinced that that familiar mission’s verse Acts 1:8, is essential to seeing the whole Church bring the whole gospel to the whole world. And yet, that verse is often misunderstood misquoted for example… What it actually says is this “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.”. [00:00:32][27.3]

[00:00:33] But when people read it as, or understand it as, often they are thinking it says “you will be my witnesses either in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria or the uttermost parts of the earth. So the way that works out is “Hey so glad your call to the nations, I’m called to be here in our hometown. Bye bye. Have fun storming the castle. You do that. I’ll do this.” Either/or and yet every believer, if we understand things correctly can be involved in the Great Commission. They can be involved in reaching the uttermost parts of the earth. It’s not either/or there are some who are called to go but those who don’t, have key roles in sending and covering and prayer and all those vital vital roles. So it’s not it’s not either/or. [00:01:19][46.6]

[00:01:21] But another one that’s also out there is a misquotation, misunderstanding that says “you shall be my witnesses first in Jerusalem then Judea and Samaria then to the ends of the earth.” So first then is commonly works out like “hey why should we fly over a mission field to go to a mission field” let’s do our city first and then we’ll think about reaching the nations. And that has some problems in that that’s not what the original language says, but also when will you know that you’re done. [00:01:53][32.3]

[00:01:54] By what standard will we measure our city being finished and reached? Is it everybody being saved, everybody being discipled? And by the way, that city is not a closed system, there are people going out and coming in all the time. Many of the people coming in to our cities are from the Muslim Hindu and Buddhist worlds. And it’s really wise of course to reach them as they come. And yet it’s very strategic to go to the roots of those ideologies with the gospel. So we cannot just think first/then it has to be both/and. And that’s what the verse actually says both/and. [00:02:31][37.0]

[00:02:33] And yet somebody could say well how can I do both/and I am one person I can only be at one place at one time. Well again, if we put prayer and sending into the equation it takes off all geographical and vocational barriers. It’s very clear that you anybody could be involved in reaching the uttermost parts of Europe no matter where they’re located geographically, and no matter what they’re called to do vocationally. And so this is so important to understand because yes some will go. But if we had one out of two hundred go to the nations that would be amazing but those other hundred and ninety nine could be crucially involved in supporting and praying and sending those guys. And that’s not a second class calling, that’s not a lesser calling to be those who enable and launch and support and sustain those who go. That’s a crucial role in fulfilling the Great Commission. So it’s definitely possible for us to be Acts 1:8 Christians and to start Acts 1:8 businesses where we’re not only focused on being a blessing locally but we adopt an unreached people group or we support missionaries who are over there from our our business, from our local churches and be Acts 1:8 in our both and this as we go forward. [00:03:57][84.3]

[00:03:58] So let’s avoid first/then thinking in terms of the Great Commission, that’s avoid either/or thinking in terms of the Great Commission. Acts 1:8 is a both/and verse and we are called to be both/and disciples who can be involved locally and globally. [00:03:58][0.0]

Photo by Andre Benz on Unsplash

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