January 2017

Destination: Antioch!

 

To   me, the very least of all saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unfathomable riches of Christ, and to bring to light what is the administration of the mystery which for ages has been hidden in God who created all things; 10 so that the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known through the church to the rulers and the authorities in the heavenly places. 11 This was in accordance with the eternal purpose which He carried out in Christ Jesus our Lord, 12 in whom we have boldness and confident access through faith in Him. (Ephesians 3:8-12)

On Sunday, Emmanuel Baptist Church will begin a message series on making the church what God intended.  To do this, we will look at what is probably the best example – the church at Antioch.  This was the first Gentile congregation founded by the early church, and it’s faithfulness and obedience caused the Gospel to be spread to the non-Jewish world.  It was the place in which the “mystery” of God’s plan for the spread of His church to the non-Jewish population would have its genesis.  It was the “around the world” from which the Acts 1:8 church would spread.

The church is God’s ultimate purpose for the universe.  It is why we exist – for the praise of God and the spread of the Gospel throughout the world, until the whole world hears.  That is our legacy, and our hope for the future.

As we look at what made this church, the church at Antioch, literally pulsate with the Holy Spirit, my prayer is that we will be challenged to take up their mantle.  To be the church that we have been created to be, we must be transformational, spiritually empowered, Gospel-advancing, committed to the truth, and generous.  As we learn to be all of these things – individually, and corporately – we will see how this early church laid the foundation for us and our Kingdom ministry.  They are a part of us, and, if we are to succeed, we must be everything they were, and so much more.  Advancement of the cause of Christ deserves no less than our very best.  This is what we will study over the coming weeks.
 
So, join us on New Year’s Day at 10:00 a.m., and every Sunday after that at our new time, 10:30 a.m.,
 as we search for the characteristics that will lead us to take the Gospel to the ends of the world.  It’s Destination:  Antioch!

 

In His Love,

Bro. Heath