The Importance of Visitation
It was in Galilee, on the mount of Olivet, forty days after his resurrection that Jesus met with his disciples for their last appointment.
1. He charged them to continue His work Mt 28:18-20;Mk 16:15-16
a. He assured them of His continued presence and power.
2. With the giving of this plan, "The Ministry of Visitation: burst into full bloom
3. Notice how Luke record the commission: Ac 1:8
a. To be sure the mission effort included preaching in "regions beyond" ... But their FIRST responsibility was to tell the gospel story in Jerusalem. Is 2:2,3;Lk 24:47; Ac 8 4. The word "mission" is derived from the Latin, and it means "to send."
a. The word "visit" is also a Latin word meaning "to go."
b. A missionary is one who "is sent." A visitor is one who "goes."
c. The terms are synonymous in the final analysis. They are the Siamese twins of the gospel.
5. Part of the task of the church that Jesus built was to evangelize the world through "personal ministry" and "visitation" Ep 3:10
6. Why is visitation so important?
I. VISITATION WAS ESTABLISHED BY THE HEAVENLY FATHER
A. It began in the Garden of Eden.
1. It originated in the mind of God
a. God walked in the garden in the "cool of the day" Ge 3:8.
b. It may have been that God had done this many times previously and talked with Adam and Eve.
c. After their sin, God promised a redeemer, and covered their nakedness Ge 3:15,20
d. Here we see the God of heaven who had all the resources at his command chose to commune with those that he loved by "personal visitation."
2. Visitation served as a contact between God and His people.
a. Visited Abraham to prepare him to become the father of a great nation
b. Visited Moses in a "burning bush," and again at Mt Sinai.
c. In the darkness of the night He visited the boy Samuel
d. Visited Isaiah with the revelation of the coming Messiah.
3. It was culminated at Calvary.
a. Calvary consummated the visit of all visits.
b. It was here that God gave Himself through His Son, to save the world He 1:1-2
c. From that day visitation has been inseparably associated with salvation.
II. VISITATION WAS THE CHIEF METHOD OF JESUS
A. He visited in the homes of people.
1. First miracle performed while visiting in a home during a wedding in Jn 2
a. While visiting in Peter's home, He healed Peter's mother-in-law who was sick
b. Home of Levi
c. In the home of a Pharisee, a woman found Him and washed His feet with her tears.
2. He sent His disciples into homes.
a. Mt 10:6, 12
b. Admonished the seventy Lk 10:5
3. He made wayside visits
a. As He journeyed from Jericho to Jerusalem he healed two blind men sitting by the way.
b. On His way to visit Jairus, He paused long enough to heal a woman who had an issue of blood.
4. He visited specific individuals.
a. Jn 4 woman of Samaria at Jacob's well
b. Zacchaeus Lk 19:5
5. He visited family groups.
a. Frequent visits to the home of Mary, Martha, Lazarus
6. He visited crowded places
a. He went to where the people were.
III. VISITATION WAS PRACTICED BY THE EARLY CHURCH
A. They knew that they were to go to every person they could find, that even though a Christ like life was important, that few people could be reached by wordless examples.
1. Peter may have been a frequent visitor in the home of Dorcas Ac 9
2. Peter visited Cornelius Ac10
3. John possibly visited in the home of Gaius many times 3 Jn 1:14
4. Paul was a consistent visitor Ac 20:18-21 "went from house to house."
IV. VISITATION WAS THE PROGRAM OF THE N.T. CHURCH
A. Jerusalem church had such a program Ac 2:46
1. Antioch church established as a result of such a program
a. Ac 8:4;11:19
b. Jerusalem church sent Barnabas to help Ac 11:22, 26
c. This church became the home post for Paul and his missionary work.
2. Possible the church in Rome Ro 16:7
V. THE RESULT OF THIS PROGRAM
A. Caused the remarkable spread of Christianity
1. Accused of ".... turning the world upside down" Ac 17:6
2. Preached to "every creature under heaven" in a short period of time Co 1:23
3. Built enormous church memberships Ac 2:41,4:4;32, 6:7 etc.
4. Believed by many that by the time of the persecution that came upon the church in Jerusalem, they may have had as many as 50,000 members.
Why did they grow so fast? Ac 5:42 gives us the answer "daily in the temple and in every house,,,,,," The Jerusalem church did not have all the equipment that we have to work with. Think of what we could accomplish if we only would put into practice that which God began with Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden.
The harvest is waiting jn 4:35.
The Lord recognized the importance of visitation.
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