+ WATCH “The Gospel of the Kingdom” from the Bible Project
+ PRAY for open hearts and minds, especially yours.
+ READ Acts 1-2 (ESV)
As we wrap up the Big Picture of the Bible, I don’t want you to think the story is over. You see, if you’re hearing this for the first time, your journey is just getting started. But before you head down that path, it’s important to know the answers to two big questions: (1) WHERE are you going? and (2) WHY are you going? The first question is pretty obvious. Just try to hit “GO” in Apple Maps without a destination and see what happens.
But what about that second one; why is WHY important? Well, unless you’re the freest of spirits (or exceedingly bored), you probably don’t just jump in your car and head off into the unknown. There’s probably a reason you’ve selected your destination. You need the WHY for other reasons too, like, When do I need to be there? When do I need to leave? If it’s for an event (family, work, fun, etc.) the WHEN might already be set. But you probably don’t treat all those as equally important. The WHY might dictate you will be there, no matter what.
So what is your WHERE and your WHY? For a Christian, the answer is simple: it all comes down to a WHOM: Jesus. To be a Christian means to be a disciple of Christ, walking in his footsteps, and obeying his every word in love. And that’s not an easy thing to do. Jesus says it best: “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me” (Luke 9:23). You see, we can’t come to him on our own terms. We can’t decide WHAT’s really important or WHEN’s the right time, because we know the WHY and he is a WHOM. And because of that, we follow—no matter how we feel, no matter what we have to give up, no matter how many times we fall—we take his hand and follow him.
Seven weeks to the day after Jesus rose from the dead, people from all over the world were gathered together in Jerusalem. Many of them had been there the day Jesus died, crying out, “Crucify him!” But when they heard what God had done for them through his own Son—by becoming human, dying for their sins, rising from the dead, and sitting at God’s right hand in heaven—there was really only one question that remained: “What shall we do!?” Peter doesn’t tell them to say a prayer, or to join the church of their choice. Listen to that first sermon:
“Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” … So those who received his word were baptized, and there were added that day about three thousand souls. And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. (Acts 2:38-42)
When you first come to Christ, it can be hard. You have so many questions. There seems to be so much to learn. Things just aren’t the same anymore. But don’t let that stop you. He is the one who created you. He is the one who died for you. He is the one calling you. He is the one that all history longs for. And he’s coming again. Be transformed. Be baptized. Give yourselves wholly to his church. Let us help you. And obey the voice of the one who calls, “Follow me.”
+ ASK Three Big Questions
+ DIG DEEPER with slides for group discussion.