W&L Gold Brush (Light)

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  • Wilson Lim

Explosive Impact of the Church

Updated: Jun 3


Have you ever wondered what sort of difference the church should be making in our communities, our nations? What would God like the Church to do?


In Feb 2013, there occurred a spectacular meteor explosion over Central Russia. Russian scientists estimate that it was about 10,000 tonnes and entered the earth’s atmosphere at over 54,000 km/h (50 times the speed of sound) and exploded at least 30 km above land. Scientist estimated that the explosion was equivalent to 20 times the Hiroshima atomic bomb! The sonic shockwave shattered thousands of windows and collapsed some roofs and doors in over 3000 buildings in 6 cities. Over 1000 people were reported injured by shattered glass. All because of an explosive impact of a meteor in our atmosphere.


An impact can be explosive and have a ripple effect that changes the status quo. God’s mission for His Church is to impact this world with His Good News and redeem the world back to Himself. The Church is meant to multiply across every locality, every people groups, every nation of the world.


The challenge for us, is to be and do as God intended. To resonate God’s heartbeat and to make God’s mission our own. To allow God to work in us and through us. Because we are sons and daughters of God. Because we are simply faithfully living our Father’s way. When we do so as a people and as a church, we can make an impact that is explosive. That was the intent expressed by Jesus that is summarised in Acts 1:1-8


Acts 1:1 - 8 (NIV84) 1 In my former book, Theophilus, I wrote about all that Jesus began to do and to teach 2 until the day he was taken up to heaven, after giving instructions through the Holy Spirit to the apostles he had chosen. 3 After his suffering, he showed himself to these men and gave many convincing proofs that he was alive. He appeared to them over a period of forty days and spoke about the kingdom of God. 4 On one occasion, while he was eating with them, he gave them this command: “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. 5 For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.” 6 So when they met together, they asked him, “Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?” 7 He said to them: “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. 8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”


The challenge for us, is to be and do as God intended. To resonate God’s heartbeat and to make God’s mission our own.


The same intent that Jesus gave His disciples are intended to carry forward until today. We are supposed to make the same kind of explosive impact upon our world as the Early Church. It is not enough to reach our local communities; we must always have in mind the global communities. After all, Jesus’ command has not changed. The Holy Spirit is still with us.


Let us dive in and look at this passage and begin to see what it means to us today.



SOURCE OF IMPACT: THE RISEN CHRIST (v1-3)


At the very beginning of this book, Luke started with the key person to the establishment and growth of the church – Jesus Christ Himself. He reminded Theophilus that he recorded about what Jesus did and taught. How Jesus was crucified and rose from the dead and for 40 days instructed His disciples about the Kingdom of God.


It all begins with Jesus; He is the key to explosive impact. Jesus is the reason for the explosive impact. Without Jesus there would be no explosive impact. Without Jesus there would be no “Good News”. Without Jesus there would be no “lives transformed”. Without Jesus there would be no “supernatural encounters with God”. Jesus is the source, the epicentre.


Jesus is the source, the epicentre. It all begins with Jesus; He is the key to explosive impact.


I harp on this to make it clear that the very impact that we, the Church, are to make upon this world hinges totally upon Christ. If ever, we take God out of the equation and imagine that we could transform this world, we will fail miserably. Some liberal churches have tried that, and they all eventually decline and go backwards.


If we are ever to make a significant difference, it is all because of Christ. However, it is important for us to recognize that knowing about and relying upon the source of impact is not sufficient. It is crucial that we appreciate our role.



THE PLACE OF PERSONAL IMPACT (v4-5)


Acts 1:4-5 (NIV84) “4 On one occasion, while he was eating with them, he gave them this command: “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. 5 For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.””


God desires the explosive impact to occur through you and I, the instruments of His grace. But we cannot be such instruments unless we too have been impacted by God. The greater the extent that we have been impacted by God, the greater the extent we can be used by God to impact others. In these verses, we note 2 keys that help us be impacted by God.


The greater the extent that we have been impacted by God, the greater the extent we can be used by God to impact others.



Respond with obedience and faith


When Jesus commanded His disciples “Do not leave Jerusalem but wait…” What did His disciples do? Did they gripe about it or doubted His instructions? Did they say, “Jesus did not say when the Holy Spirit will actually come. After all, one day is as a thousand years to God!”


They obeyed, they believed in faith. As a result, they received what was promised. Obedience and faith are keys to experiencing God’s impact in our own lives. As I looked back, I realised that when I walked in faith and obedience to God, it puts me on the journey to be impacted deeply by God. When I disobey, I am pulling myself off track. If I may put it this way, if I obediently follow God’s GPS, it will get me to the right place. But if I disobey, it gets me off the correct road. I start wandering around, missing the right place.


Let us choose to obey God, obey His Word. Then God will bring us through that journey of faith to mature us, so that we can better impact others. Imagine when a potter seeks to mould a piece of clay to make a beautiful vase, but the clay protests and refuse to be moulded. It keeps resisting and will not maintain the shape the potter seeks. What will be the outcome?


Our obedience and faith will allow God to mould us much easier and shape us into the noble instruments of God to impact this world.


Our obedience and faith will allow God to mould us much easier and shape us into the noble instruments of God to impact this world.



Empowerment by the Holy Spirit


Jesus instructed His disciples to wait for the gift of the Holy Spirit through the baptism of the Holy Spirit. The reason for the baptism of the Holy Spirit is to give us power (v8). The baptism of the Holy Spirit opens the door into a realm of supernatural power in God.


It was critical that the disciples be baptised in the Holy Spirit, because without being empowered by God that way – it would not be possible to have the kind of explosive impact that God intended His Church to have. It would be like soldiers going to the frontline without appropriate weapons.


How much more impact can we make if we are to tap into supernatural gifts from God? What if we were just like the Early Church believers with signs, wonders and miracles?


Many Christians live mundane, natural lives because they fail to enter into the supernatural element of the Christian life that God intended. What a boring, limited existence. Take that step of faith and come with us into the supernatural realm. I trust that this year many amongst us will take that big step into the supernatural power of God.


Many Christians live mundane, natural lives because they fail to enter into the supernatural element of the Christian life that God intended.



EXPANDING KINGDOM IMPACT (v6-8)


Acts 2:6-8 (NIV84) “6 So when they met together, they asked him, “Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?” 7 He said to them: “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. 8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”


At that time, the disciples still had expectations that the Messiah would come to liberate them from the Roman Empire and establish an Israelite Empire. However, it was not God’s plan to restore national Israel but to establish the Kingdom of God.


Jesus revealed that with the power of the Holy Spirit, the Christians were to be witnesses at the local level, at Jerusalem. And at a regional level in Judea and Samaria and globally, to the ends of the world.


They were thinking Israel, but Jesus said the world!

This was far broader than the disciples had ever imagined. They were thinking Israel, but Jesus said the world! God wants to broaden our perspective and help us realize that with God, we can have an impact way beyond our local scene. That is why in all our churches, we have to focus on these 3 levels as well. Our local community, our nation and globally.


Our local community, our nation and globally.


Local front


On our local front we should be involved in God’s mission. That is, to make a difference by choosing to live God’s mission every day. Acts 8:4 (NIV) Those who had been scattered preached the word wherever they went. Wherever we go, whether the hairdresser, the local takeaway, down our neighbourhood street, we can be God’s missionaries.


In other words, be willing to be a witness to others about Christ, sharing with others about God’s goodness to you. If you are just willing to walk across the room, across your office, across the neighbourhood and touch someone’s life. One lady shared her testimony that she was depressed with problems with her husband. Her co-worker could see her unhappiness and invited her to church and talked to her about Jesus. She kept refusing until finally she relented. When she went, she was touched by the warmth and spiritual atmosphere. She kept going until she accepted Christ. What she needed was a Christian to take notice and be a friend at a crucial moment. Someone who just walked across the room with an offer of hope. That could be you.



National front


Beyond our local front we must consider our national front as well. Can we be involved in local missions to help establish another locality in our nation? Can we pray for, support even perhaps join a team to establish another church in our nation? In Thailand alone our churches aim to reach all 77 provinces in the nation over the next few years.


National church planting and missions is much easier as we do not need a visa and the language and culture is usually the same. Perhaps some of us make business trips to another city or state regularly or visit family and friends. Allow the Holy Spirit to lead you to reach out to them.



Global front


HIM is a Great Commission movement of churches. Faithfully carrying out Jesus ' commission. Our movement has been spreading to many different localities and now have people and conventional churches in over 400 locations around the world. When we include our house churches as well, we are now in almost 70 countries.


There are incredible opportunities for us to be involved in missions worldwide. Even in the existing countries with churches, there far more churches that are needed. Then there are over 130 nations where we are yet to have churches in. In Europe, our house church teams regularly visit other nations as part of their efforts to seek new opportunities to start new churches across Europe and beyond. Sometimes with just the leading of the Holy Spirit. Amazing stories emerge of divinely appointed meetings and souls saved! Our Australian churches now oversee churches in 15 countries, especially in Africa, and are continuing to press into more nations.


The Kingdom of God continues to expand, and we have a key role to play! God has called us to the world. We must start to think and act locally with a global goal.



CONCLUSION


God will fully establish His Kingdom one day. Jesus is at the epicentre of this explosive impact. We, the Church is the key to an explosive impact. The question is what role would we have in it? Will we choose to respond with faith and obedience? Would we have helped touch 10s of lives? 100s, 1000s? 10,000s? It starts by being missional. Making God’s mission our mission. We can reach locally, nationally and globally.


Copyright©️2021 by Wilson Lim & Lai Ling Lim. All rights reserved. Materials are free to be distributed in whole or part as long as proper acknowledgement is given to the author and not sold for profit.

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