Friday: Further Thought – You Will Be My Witnesses

Further Thought: “The whole interim period between Pentecost and the Parousia [Second Coming] (however long or short) is to be filled with the world-wide mission of the church in the power of the Spirit. Christ’s followers were both to announce what [H]e had achieved at [H]is first coming and to summon people to repent and believe in preparation for [H]is second coming.

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They were to be [H]is witnesses ‘to the ends of the earth’ ([Acts] 1:8) and ‘to the very end of the age.’ . . . We have no liberty to stop until both ends have been reached.”—John R. W. Stott, The Message of Acts: The Spirit, the Church & the World (Downers Grove: InterVarsity, 1990), p. 44.

“The Saviour’s commission to the disciples included all the believers. It includes all believers in Christ to the end of time. It is a fatal mistake to suppose that the work of saving souls depends alone on the ordained minister. All to whom the heavenly inspiration has come are put in trust with the gospel. All who receive the life of Christ are ordained to work for the salvation of their fellow men. For this work the church was established, and all who take upon themselves its sacred vows are thereby pledged to be co-workers with Christ.”—Ellen G. White, The Desire of Ages, p. 822.

Discussion Questions:

  1. Acts 1:7 recalls Mark 13:32: “Concerning that day or that hour, no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father” (ESV). Ellen G. White says: “There will never again be a message for the people of God that will be based on time. We are not to know the definite time either for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit or for the coming of Christ.”—Selected Messages, vol. 1, p. 188. She adds: “Any one who shall start up to proclaim a message to announce the hour, day, or year of Christ’s appearing, has taken up a yoke and is proclaiming a message that the Lord has never given him.”—Advent Review and Sabbath Herald, Sept. 12, 1893. What is the relevance of such statements for us today?
  2. Someone once said: “God needs witnesses more than lawyers.” What do you think of this statement?
  3. What was the role of prayer in the early church? Is it a coincidence that at almost every decisive moment in its life, we find a reference to prayer (Acts 1:24Acts 8:14-17Acts 9:11-12Acts 10:4Acts 10:9Acts 10:30Acts 13:2-3)? What is the role of prayer in our lives?
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Source: Daily Sabbath School Lessons