If you thought Jesus’ death was the end of the story, you thought wrong. His perfect life, innocent death, and burial in a rich man’s tomb was just the start of his mission to save us from our sins. But Sunday came and Jesus’ intermission ended. His resurrection ripped back the curtain and gave us joy, hope, peace, forgiveness, and life with God. Jesus’ resurrection shows us that there is an Act II! So, if you are living in a “Good Friday” world, thinking your story is over, your life will never change, and you’ll never be good enough for God, you thought wrong. Easter is your Act II, too!
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. (1 Peter 1:3-4).
The church is always threatened by divisions—race, income, gender, age, etc. God’s powerful words opened Peter’s mind to the bigness of God’s Church. Could God bring rich and poor, male and female, black and white, young and old into one community of faith today?
“Christian-killer” doesn’t seem impressive on an apostle’s resume. Yet, that is who Jesus chose to grow his Church. Paul was an unlikely candidate to become a Christian, much less an apostle of Christ. In the same way, you might consider yourself under-qualified for the mission of Jesus’ Church, but God loves to be glorified through unexpected servants. Acts 9:1-20
Act II – Staying Steadfast through Persecution Stephen’s murder proves faithfulness leads to suffering. Yet, God was still at work in the suffering, bringing the gospel to new places, and fulfilling Acts 1:8 through Acts 8:1. In the same way, we don’t need to fear suffering and persecution, because we trust that Jesus’ name makes great gains through our pains. Scriptures: 1 Peter 5:1-4; John 10:11-18; Psalm 23 Sermon Text: Act 7:1-8:8 3
Peter’s Act I was marked by a cowardly denial of Christ. But his Act II was filled with a courageous sermon that launched the church into the first century. How? The same way that scared, timid Christians find the courage to boldly share the law and the gospel—by the Holy Spirit.
Sermon Text: Act 2:1-47
Jesus gave a mission to his followers left on earth to share the good news with all creation and proclaim Jesus as King. In the same way, the Ascended Jesus is sending every member of his Church on a mission to transform lives through the message of his grace.