A wave of change
By Elvin McCann, director, International Mission Board Church Services Team
Text: Acts 2:1-12, 38-47
Topics: amazing acts of God, God’s heart for the nations
Introduction: Before His ascension, Jesus gave clear instructions to the young church to be His witnesses to the ends of the earth (Acts 1:8). The church’s first response was to huddle together in prayer (Acts 1:14). Then God really got their attention.
1. He gave them astonishing power (v. 2-4).
• He empowered and emboldened them to speak in languages they had never learned.
• He still empowers and emboldens His followers in amazing ways.
2. He gave them an astounding audience (v. 5-12).
• To a mere 120 believers He provided a crowd uniquely qualified to hear, respond and reach the nations — people who sincerely sought Him from every nation.
• He still provides an astounding audience — He’s made it possible to go to all nations in ways the early believers couldn’t imagine.
3. He gave them amazing response.
• Three thousand accepted the message and were baptized in one day. (v. 41)
• He still brings people to Himself, sometimes in amazing numbers.
4. He gave them awesome transformation (v. 42-47).
• They impressed their neighbors by sharing unselfishly, devoting themselves to learning, worship and prayer, and performing wonders and miracles.
• He still changes lives in awesome ways.
Show sermon illustration “Unlikely Places” from the DVD included in this booklet.
Conclusion: God took 120 believers and made it abundantly clear He wanted to use them to reach the world. He still works in amazing ways to show us He wants to bring all nations to worship Him (v. 47b).
About the writer: After serving as an IMB missionary in East Asia, Elvin McCann now helps churches connect to God’s global mission.
CD-ROM included in booklet: After preaching “A wave of change” Sunday morning, present the “2004 Statistical Report” PowerPoint Sunday evening.
The Commission magazine: “On the front row of a ‘God thing’” — Find sermon illustrations or distribute to your congregation.
Children’s sermon: Before the adult sermon, share “Hearing is believing!” from http://pastor.imb.org/resources/childrens.
Web: Find sermon illustrations at http://pastor.imb.org/pastors.