The Acts 2 Church: Get Your Hands Dirty

A Sermon Series by Rev. Aaron Powers based on the book by Rev. Toby Morgan

Acts 2:41: “Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.”

Introduction:  What Am I Talking About?

Ok… I know what you may be thinking…

“Preacher, Psalm 24:3-4 clearly says, ‘Who shall ascend into the hill of the Lord? or who shall stand in his holy place? 4 He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully.’  So, are you saying we have to get dirty like sinners?”


I am saying it is time to WORK.

We should be unafraid to reach out to the lost.

The mission of the Acts 2 church is to engage the gospel with the lost.

Engage with those who are ignorant concerning the Gospel.

Engage with those who are unaware of the Gospel.

Even engage with those who are hostile to the Gospel.

Yes, the church is a fortress for us to come and refresh and be restored, but it is far more than that.

The church is also an OUTPOST in order to OCCUPY the land and take back the territory that God has given to us!

Now, I am going to say something that might make some of you uncomfortable.

I believe that the church should be the most beautiful building in town.

I don’t care if it is a road-side mission.

I don’t care if it is the great gothic cathedrals of Europe.

I don’t care if it is a store-front building.

I don’t care if it is the white, clapboard schoolhouse and church of the prairie.

I don’t care if it is the little, brown church in the vale.

It should be cared for, no doubt.

BUT…It is not enough for the church be an imposing cathedral crypts or manicured landscapes of graveyards or stained-glass mausoleums which have become monuments to what God USED to do with His church.

Again, I am thankful for the churches that God has caused to prosper and have grown large and impactful.

I am thankful for the little churches that go where no one else can.

However, we cannot just inhabit these structures and shift our focus from the vision of Acts 2, which is winning the lost, to the care-taking, undertaking church focus.


What is the edifice called that we have gathered into today?

A sanctuary.

What is a sanctuary?

A sanctuary is defined as “a place of refuge or safety.”

Let’s be honest today.

We have taken the sanctuary the wrong way.

Hear me today…I am not bashing the fact that we should feel a sense of security and safety in the house of God… BECAUSE WE SHOULD.

We should feel the comfort of God’s presence!

After all, the Holy Ghost is THE COMFORTER!

I am not arguing for going back to unpadded pews.

I am not arguing for turning off the HVAC and bringing back the pot-belly stoves.

I am not arguing for throwing out the technology, even though sometimes I want to.

I am saying that we have forgotten, in America, what the sanctuary is actually for!

SO… I am arguing for picking up the prayer lives we lost!

I am arguing for starting to fast again!

I am arguing for Bible study and praying for our lost loved ones again MORE than just in the prayer requests on Sunday.

I am arguing for having a relationship with God for ourselves and not relying on the church folks to get a prayer through for us and knowing that when we go to God, HE HEARS US!

Listen, I am not saying that we should not be dependent upon one another as a family, but I am saying we cannot expect for the pastor, the teacher, the church clerk to do all the praying, fasting, bible reading, and tithing FOR us!

There are some things that we have to do for OURSELVES!



Because in America, we have made the church a sanctuary FROM the world instead of a sanctuary FOR the world!

In America, we have made church about RELIGIOUS ENTERTAINMENT and not DELIVERANCE MINISTRY!

We must be a strong sanctuary that can minister life to those who are being bombarded by the wiles of the devil every single day and have absolutely no way to deal with it!

NO, we are not DOPE dealers giving out the opiate of the masses, Karl Marx.

We are HOPE DEALERS providing a way of escape from the reality of demonic strongholds!

That is what we are! 

We are, the Living Church of God, is a place of refuge from the storms of the world!

Point 1:  The Church Meets Together

The church of Acts had no walls.

Do you realize that?

Acts 2:46 says, “And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart,”

Acts 3:11 says, “And as the lame man which was healed held Peter and John, all the people ran together unto them in the porch that is called Solomon’s, greatly wondering.”

The church met all over the place.

How could it do that?

It could do that because the church was ALIVE.

It went wherever the people went.

It moved wherever the people moved.

It meet in public.

It met in private.

It met in the market.

It met in dungeons.

It met in jails.

It met in prisons.

It met in businesses.

It met on the streets.

And sometimes, can you believe it, the church even met in the temple and the synagogues!

The first fully building fully dedicated to be a Christian church building did not come into existence until 235 AD!

“SO PREACHER…What’s the point?

The point is that the church has lived many years without a dedicated building and can do so again anytime that God deems it necessary!

BUT what the church CANNOT live without is PEOPLE!


Stupid arguments about “THEM” or “THAT KIND” of people make me sick.

Jesus died for EVERYBODY.

If the church of Acts could worship around sinners when there were no laws to protect it, then WHY CAN’T WE?

How radical is the idea that we go OUT of the church, enter the mission field, and tell people about Jesus?

How radical is the idea that we PRAY in front of people?

How radical is the idea that AT WALLY WORLD or the DRY CLEANERS or the PIZZA PLANET we pray for a hurting person?

It is called EVANGELISM!

We have the wrong idea about evangelism!

We think having an evangelist come means we are going to have revival.

Maybe so, but in the mean time, we are all commanded in 2 Timothy 4:5 “But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry.”




Some churches and preachers are so lazy they even skip the book of JOB because they thought it said job!


Allow people trapped in bondage and fear to see the Holy Ghost moving and SIGNS FOLLOWING!

What a radical idea?

Who came up with it?

Oh yeah, JESUS DID!


Point 2:  The Problem With Them…

OK… Let’s just be honest.

Many churches DON’T LIKE SINNERS.

Listen, I love people.

I may not like the way someone uses language that I don’t use.

I may not like someone else’s politics.

I may not like the way they have modified or damaged their body.

I may not like the smell of booze and skunky marijuana.

I may not like to see someone strung out on drugs.

But that does not give me the right to ignore the fact that they are there!

It does not give me the right to withhold the life-giving gospel because I am afraid I will get my hands dirty if I feed or clothe one of them!

Jesus was criticized most often because he ATE with sinners!

He had sinners around Him all the time!

In all actuality, that is all He had to work with!

BUT…we would not do that do a doctor!

We would not criticize the doctor for spending too much time with his or her patients!

We would not criticize the doctor for spending too much time at the hospital or the clinic!

We would not criticize the lawyer for spending too much time at the jail with his or her clients!

We would not criticize the janitor for getting the house TOO clean!

So why should we criticize Christian people who are doing the work of the Evangelist and meeting people where they are?

When I say that, you must realize that I am saying that we are not going to socialize.

We are going to evangelize.

We are not going to fellowship.

We are going to evangelize.

Yes, I have walked into bars at Myrtle Beach, gave out tracts, and left.

No, I did not drink with them.

No, I did not cuss with them.

No, I did not party with them.


Rev. Toby Morgan said, “None of us would dare say we don’t want to be like Jesus, but one has to winder if this is a true statement of our real desire when we look at how we feel about the lost.”

Look at who God uses!

Moses was a murderer.

Joseph was a braggard.

Jeremiah was a coward.

Jonah was a bigot.

Mary Magdalene was a prostitute.

Rahab was a prostitute and she is one of Jesus’ ancestors!

Abraham was a liar.

The Evangelist of Gadara was possessed by LEGION!

Take a gander at the motley crew Jesus CHOSE!

Matthew was a tax collector.

In the first century, that was the same as a MOFFIA BOSS!

But Jesus picked Matthew to follow Him!

Simon Peter was a foul-mouthed liar!

In Luke 9:54, James and John wanted to call down fire from heaven on people who offended them!

When we consider Jesus’ crew, many of them were considered notorious sinners in their day…BEFORE Christ entered their lives!

We have got to realize that BUT FOR THE GRACE OF GOD we would still be just as lost!

REMEMBER what Paul told the church at Corinth in 1 Corinthians 6:9-11?

“Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, 10 Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.”

Paul does not stop there!

He gets in their business in verse 11!

And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.”

Seeing the lost should not move us to fear…it should spur us to action!

It should motivate us to work for the Lord in order to set the captives free from whatever bondage they have in their lives.

Yes, some will reject you, ok!

Yes, some will accept you, sure!

Some will, some won’t, so what?


Point 3:  Why The Lost STAY Lost…

This is a sad commentary, but here it is.

  1. Many stay lost because they simply do not know about Jesus.

Millions do not know.

Even with the advent of the Internet, many still are unaware.

Many are unreached.


  1. Many stay lost because they have never seen the power of God at work.

Ghandi said, “I would have become a Christian, had I ever met one.”

The Apostle Paul said in 2 Corinthians 4:3-4, “But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: 4 In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.”

Many are lost because they have not seen a lived-out Christian life.

They have not seen Holy Ghost fire and power from on high in these last days.

They see nominal religion as a means of charity and philanthropy and nothing more.

  1. Many stay lost, knowing the salvation story, but love sin too much to let it go.

What do you do with a person who says, “I know what I am doing is wrong, and I don’t care.” or “I don’t know how to stay free.”?


Pour out prayer until the Holy Spirit breaks the blinders of Satan off of them.

Pray for God’s Spirit to work at the opportune time and someone somehow someway will get to them and say something that will cause them to see the light and want freedom. 

Pray until God’s power rests upon them and strengthens them with the will power to resist the devil so that he will flee from them.

In Closing:  What Do We Do About It?


Acts 2:41 says, “Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.”

The LORD did something about it.

The Lord added to HIS church.

Matthew 9:38 and Luke 10:2 tell us that JESUS said, “…The harvest truly is great, but the labourers are few: pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he would send forth labourers into his harvest.”

Why is this verse important?

Well, I have a startling statistic for you.

Herb Miller said, “When laypersons (that means regular church members) make a 15-minute visit to the home of first-time visitors (to the church) within 36 hours of the initial contact, 85% of them return the following week.  Make this home visit within 72 hours and 60% return.  Make it 7 days later and 15% return. The pastor making this call rather than laypersons (regular members) cuts this result in half.”

Does this absolve the pastor from visitations?


But it means that the WHOLE BODY is called into the harvest work of evangelism, NOT JUST THE PASTOR!

So, let’s get down to brass tacks.

We have to strike a concise balance between what we say we believe and what we actually do!

Do we really want to be like Jesus?

Then do it!

Have compassion for people.

Weep over the lost.

Love them.

Reach out to the hurting and the broken.

Change whatever we have to change about us that causes us to be uncaring and cold towards the lost all around us!

We must never forget about the power of the Holy Ghost!


He will empower you to do whatever you need to get your corner of the field harvested!

My inadequacies do not matter when I am equipped in His all sufficiency!

My duties do not matter when I am adapted to His priorities!

My frailties and weakness do not matter when I am endowed with His power from on High!

We can adapt to what works.

This is more than a program.

This is more than a plan.

This is more than a strategy.

For what worked when I was a kid may not work now, but it might!

You have to get to know the DNA of your corner of the field and find out what attracts and what works here!

Something that works here may not work in California, but something that works in Virginia may work here.

“What if I try and I fail?”

What if you try and succeed?

What if I look stupid?


Philippians 4:12, “I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.”

“What if I put in the effort and they go to another church?”

So what?

Just give God the glory and keep going!

1 Corinthians 3:5-7, “Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers by whom ye believed, even as the Lord gave to every man? 6 I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase. 7 So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase.”

You and I must prioritize the lost with the HIGHEST level of attention, not just as a passing fad!

Receive power to WORK for the Lord and do the WORK of the Lord!