I. "ALL POWER IS GIVEN UNTO ME IN HEAVEN AND IN EARTH."
A. How much power do you suppose that is?
1. Look around at the vast universe, it speaks to us of the glory or the power of God.
a. Look at the star Arcturus, it is about 30 light years away from the earth. It is traveling through space at the rate of 70 miles per second, or 4,200 miles per minute which is 252,000 MPH. I am sure that God was just kidding when He said to Job, "How would you like to guide Arcturus." It is about 30 times larger than the sun. Which is 1
,250,000 times larger than our earth.
b. Betelgeuse is estimated to be between 300,000,000 and 400,000,000 miles in diameter. If you would place the sun in the middle of Betelgeuse, the earth could rotate around the Sun, and have a couple hundred million miles to spare.
2. When Jesus said, "All power is given unto Me," that would include the power that brought the Universe into existence and thrust the stars into their orbits.
B. Paul declares something interesting in Col. 1
Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light:
Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated [us] into the kingdom of his dear Son:
In whom we have redemption through his blood, [even] the forgiveness of sins:
Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature:
For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether [they be] thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:
And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.
1. The word translated consist we are told in Greek means also held together.
2. The mystery of the atom is what holds it together.
a. According to Coulombs law of electricity, like poles repel.
b. Seek to bring the positive poles of magnets together and you will note how they repel.
c. It has been suggested that if you have one gram of protons which is just 1/454th of a pound, at the north pole, and 8,000 miles away at the south pole another gram of protons, the repelling force at that distance would be so great that it would take 26 tons to hold the protons down.
d. The nucleus of an atom is made up of protons or positive charges that are tightly clustered together. According to Coulombs law of electricity they should be repelling each other. What holds them together?
e. We know that when we can upset the nucleus of the atom with slow moving neutrons we can release these protons, and the result is an atom bomb.
f. The amount of power that holds the atoms together has to be greater than the power released in the explosion of an atom bomb.
g. We are now beginning perhaps to understand just a little of what Jesus was saying when He said, "All power is given unto Me in heaven and in earth."
C. That is power in the physical universe, but there is another dimension beyond the physical, and that is the spiritual. When Jesus declared "All power is given unto Me in heaven and in earth." He was referring to the spiritual as well as the physical.
1. In the Lord's prayer we say, "For thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever, amen."
2. Jesus spoke of His power to forgive sins.
3. We read where He gave His disciples power against unclean spirits.
4. We read that the angels authorities and powers of were made subject unto Him.
5. He has authority and power over all the powers of darkness. All of those forces that are opposed to your walk with Him.
D. What would you do if you had that kind of power?
1. Power is very difficult to handle. Very few people can do it.
2. There is a saying, "Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely."
3. To me the greatest strength is manifested in power that is held in check.
a. When they arrested Jesus and Peter drew his sword to defend Jesus, remember the words of Jesus. "Put away your sword, do you not know that I could call for 12 legions of angels to come to My defense?"
b. When Pilate said, to Him, "Do you not realize that I have the power to release you or to put you to death?" Jesus answered, "You have no power at all against Me except that which is given to you by My Father."
II. "GO YE THEREFORE AND TEACH ALL NATIONS, BAPTIZING THEM IN THE NAME OF THE FATHER, SON AND THE HOLY GHOST."
A. This is known as the great commission, and is accepted as the duty of the church.
1. This is the motivation behind all the mission programs of the church.
a. We are commissioned by Jesus to take the message of His love to all people.
b. "God is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
c. "For God so loved the world."
d. "But how can they believe in Jesus if they have never heard of Him, and how can they hear of Him without a preacher, and how can they preach except they be sent?"
2. Those who have heard and received the message of salvation through Jesus Christ thus become debtors to share that message with the world.
I am debtor both to the Greeks, and to the Barbarians; both to the wise, and to the unwise.
So, as much as in me is, I am ready to preach the gospel to you that are at Rome also.
For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.
a. Paul saw himself as a debtor to all men, to let them know of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
b. Note that he refers to it as the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believes.
B. Imagine what those disciples must have thought when they received this commission from Jesus.
1. All nations?
2. Mark records the words of the commission as, "Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature."
3. I imagine that they were wondering how in the world could they ever do this. All the world? every person?
4. They had no doubt heard stories of Rome, and exotic places like India, but how could they possibly take the gospel to all these people?
C. Jesus had said that all power had been given to Him in heaven and in earth, now you go and teach all nations.
1. I have the power, but you are to go.
III. "LO I AM WITH YOU ALWAYS, EVEN TO THE END OF THE WORLD." OR AGE.
A. Here is the tie between all the power in the universe being given to Him, and they're going into all the world. He will be with them.
1. Thus this power will be available to them to carry out this mission.
2. I think of the sheer folly of trying to carry out this mission without the power.
3. Jesus promised them that they would receive power after the Holy Spirit came upon them, and they would be witnesses of Him to the uttermost parts of the world.
4. This power thus that was given to Him, would be available to them through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.
B. In Paul's prayer for the Ephesians recorded in chapter one of his letter to them he prayed.
That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him:
The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints,
And what [is] the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power,
Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set [him] at his own right hand in the heavenly [places],
Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come:
1. His desire and prayer was that they might know just how much power was available to them.
2. I believe that it is the goal of Satan to keep you from knowing the power that God has made available to you.
3. God has committed Himself to your salvation, and all the power that it might take to accomplish that task is there and available to you.
4. You do not have to be mastered by the desires of your flesh, sufficient power is available to you to set you free.
C. The book of Acts is the story of this power given to Jesus being manifested through the disciples as they took the gospel into all the world.
1. When the lame man was healed and the people came and began to look in awe at Peter, he said, "Don't think that by our own power we have done this."
And with great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and great grace was upon them all.
And Stephen, full of faith and power, did great wonders and miracles among the people.