Both In

Below are notes to a sermon preached Sunday evening, July 16, 2000, at Gospel Light Baptist Church, Albany, Georgia. 


By Michael D. O’Neal                   Pastor, Gospel Light Baptist Church                   Albany, Georgia

Scripture Reading: Acts 1:1-11

Text: Acts 1:8

Acts 1:8 But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.

Introduction: The last verse of tonight’s scripture reading concerns the second coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. Verse 8 of the passage concerns the coming of the Holy Ghost. In the passage we find

THE POWER OF HIS COMING – “But ye shall receive power”
THE PRODUCT OF HIS COMING – “and ye shall be witnesses unto me”

The Holy Ghost did not come so that we might become known as spiritual giants.
He did not come so that we would jump pews and run around the building during the message.
He did not come so that we might “shout it out” as we say in camp meetings.
He did not come that we might be “slain in the spirit.”


EVANGELISM, or SOUL-WINNING, is the life blood of the church. A church that does not win souls is not an obedient church. A Christian who does not win souls is not an obedient Christian. Practically speaking, any church or Christian which does not win souls is a DYING or DEAD church or Christian.

The word, “missions,” is not found in the Bible. When we think of missions, we usually think of giving money to the support of people overseas who are building churches. However, the MISSION of the church is EVANGELISM, EVERYWHERE. The MISSION of the Christian is SOUL-WINNING, EVERYWHERE! Please notice the words, “both in” in our text:

Acts 1:8 But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.

I want to use the words, “both in,” tonight to present a balanced view of what we call “the Great Commission.”


Acts 1:8 But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.

A. Soul-winning in our community and country is MISSIONS

  1. In a sense, every person in our town is either a missionary, or he is a mission field.
  2. A church must be strong in order to support foreign missions.
  3. The pastor should be a church’s first concern of missionary support.
  4. A church must win souls and disciple converts in order to grow enough to support foreign missionaries and to take on additional missionaries.
  5. Support of the pastor, tracts, radio, TV, bus ministry, is all home missions.

B. Soul-winning in other countries is MISSIONS

  1. Our church should PROVIDE for missionaries in foreign lands – Faith Promise giving
  2. Our church should PRAY for missionaries in foreign lands
  3. Our church should PRODUCE missionaries in foreign lands. It is the task of the church — not Bible colleges and missions boards — to send forth missionaries!


Of course, the primary meaning of “conversation” in the Bible IS conduct, but I am referring to your speech in conversation.

Acts 8:4 Therefore they that were scattered abroad went every where preaching the word.

Matthew 5:16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

A. People will listen to our talk, what we say

  1. They are hearing all kinds of junk, much of it in the name of religion.
  2. Much of the junk they hear is in the name of Jesus!
  3. We need to tell them about the TRUE Lord Jesus Christ and about the TRUE GOSPEL of the grace of God!
  4. We need to TELL them! There is no such thing in the Bible as a “silent” witness. Rather,
  5. 1 Corinthians 1:21 For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.

B. People will look at our walk, what we do

  1. Our actions should match our advertisement.
  2. Our practice should match our preaching.
  3. No Christian is perfect, but we should endeavor to live a godly life.
  4. You are the only Bible that some people will ever read.

On July 5, a Somalian refugee living in Yemen was given a 7-day ultimatum to either return to Islam or face the death penalty. Mohammed Omer Haji, got saved two years ago. He has been convicted of being a Christian. They beat him and threatened him. If it were against the law here in America to be a Christian, would there be enough evidence to convict YOU?


Shouldn’t God Show Through?

There is a story about a little girl who, on the way home from church, turned to her mother and said, “Mommy, the Preacher’s sermon this morning confused me.”

The mother said, “Oh! Why is that?”

The girl replied, “Well, he said that God is bigger than we are. Is that true?”

“Yes, that’s true,” the mother replied.

“He also said that God lives within us. Is that true, too?”

Again the mother replied, “Yes.”

“Well,” said the girl. “If God is bigger than us and He lives in us, wouldn’t He show through?”



Jude 1:22-23 And of some have compassion, making a difference: 23 And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh.

A. There is power in tears

  1. Psalms 126:5-6 They that sow in tears shall reap in joy. 6 He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.
  2. People will care more about how much we know if they first know how much we care.

B. There is power in terror

  1. John the Baptist thundered in his preaching:
  2. Matthew 3:7 But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come?
  3. Soul-winning IS telling people the “good news.”
  4. However, it is ALSO telling people the BAD news!
  5. One way to put soul-winning in other words is to say that “we are keeping people out of HELL”!!!


Acts 20:20 And how I kept back nothing that was profitable unto you, but have shewed you, and have taught you publickly, and from house to house,

A. Publicly we reach people in groups

  1. Street preaching
  2. Radio
  3. Television
  4. Newspaper ministry
  5. Internet ministry – Man called us this week to tell us about how he got assurance of salvation and that his wife got saved as a result of reading our online article, “The Sinner’s Prayer.”

B. Privately we reach people in their homes or individually

  1. Going to people’s homes. EVERY Christian should participate in his church’s soul- winning program!
  2. Witnessing to a Sunday School visitor after class.
  3. Winning your family members
  4. Witnessing to a fellow employee at break time or after work.
  5. Witnessing to people in your daily routine — the grocery store, the doctor’s office, the gas station, the post office, the restaurant.


Philippians 4:15 Now ye Philippians know also, that in the beginning of the gospel, when I departed from Macedonia, no church communicated with me as concerning giving and receiving, but ye only.

The work referred to above involved GIVING AND GOING. Paul went, and they gave to support his travels, preaching the gospel. However, every Christian should give and go, although his going may be more localized than that of an evangelist (missionary) like Paul.

A. Witnessing takes money

  1. Philippians 4:16-17 For even in Thessalonica ye sent once and again unto my necessity. 17 Not because I desire a gift: but I desire fruit that may abound to your account.
  2. A local church has regular expenses – pastor’s support, mortgage, utilities.
  3. Outreach costs money — tracts, books, bus ministry, advertising, special meetings

B. Witnessing takes manpower

  1. Matthew 9:37 Then saith he unto his disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few;
  2. Every Christian should GO soul-winning.
  3. Someone must GO to the prospect.
  4. Someone must GO to the foreign field.
  5. Someone must GO and build strong churches in the USA.
  6. If you will come to our church soul-winning night, we will send you with someone who will do the talking until you get more boldness.
  7. Additionally, I have started a 90-day soul- winning training program. Our first trainee will graduate the end of this month and will become a trainer. If you are interested in this special training program, let me know. We will start up a new training session on August 6.

Let’s be balanced about the Great Commission:
Let’s win souls in our neighborhood and in other nations.
Let’s win souls in conversation and in conduct.
Let’s win souls in weeping and in warning.
Let’s win souls in public and in private.
Let’s win souls in giving and in going.
Let’s be witnesses “BOTH IN.”

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