Early Church Evangelism, Part 2
Scripture: Acts 5:12–5:42
[00:00:00] Open your bibles if you would to Acts Chapter 5. We're going to cover a good portion of x5. We're going to finish the chapter today. I pray this is encouraging to you all. Let me open up the. Sermon and prayer. Father you want us to be bold. With the Gospel you give us countless examples
[00:00:35] Of that boldness in Scripture. Lord God we pray that you would help us to be a church that is mobilized to spread the light of the gospel to the world to spread the light of the Gospel Lord Jesus to
[00:00:55] Our neighbors or we need courage to speak up. We need convictions Lord deep convictions that are unchangeable
[00:01:10] To speak up give us those things.
[00:01:13] Lord we pray this morning help us not to leave here apathetic. Help us not to leave here unconcerned for those who don't know you but may we be able Lord Jesus to pour out your love through the Gospel to all who will hear give us ears this morning to hear Father we pray your precious name Amen.
[00:01:41] John Calvin was a Catholic.
[00:01:48] He was born in July on July 10 15 0 9 in France. He set out to study theology and then his dad had a falling out with the church and convinced his son. To study law. So John Calvin then began to study law. His father then passed away. And John Calvin then went back to his first love. Praise God for that theology. John Calvin at this point was still. Not saved. You can read about his testimony of how the Word of God was the sole source of information and inspiration that led him to the conviction that though religious he was unsaved. John Calvin wrote his first book. Around age 22 23 in that area
[00:02:54] And then persecution started to break out. This is in France and he and others were starting to come under conviction by those who were in power. And. Men started getting burned at the stake. Actually this had been going on for some time in other areas. But now the persecution had reached deep into France and the church was behind most of it. And their convictions were that this Lutheran like doctrine should be expunged from the city. And to do that they were going to take men out. So Calvin fled and some of the people who were preaching also fled and dispersed to surrounding countries. John Calvin made it out thankfully. While he was gone though.
[00:03:56] This is around 1534 to 1536. He felt guilty that he had gotten out. And so he began to write. What his convictions were. On the scriptures. You and I know these convictions as the institutes of the Christian religion. You see though he didn't want to put his flesh at risk. He was still convicted that he must write what are the convictions of the Bible. And so then that word could get spread out over time while he was gone in order to appease his conscience from not being fully engaged with the battle that raged in France. He also taught himself Hebrew just to console himself while he was gone so that he could read the Old Testament and the original writings. The institutes you may not know is highly highly regarded as the most influential Christian work ever written outside of scripture. Look up your heroes of the faith. See what they say are the most are the five most influential books and I guarantee you it's listed in the top two. Any influential man or over the last 200 years. John Calvin did not write these to be an author. He wrote these because men were dying for the gospel. And God allowed him to escape. And he wrote them so that all could hear the truth of the word of God. And the institutes for Christian religion are not light reading. They are deep. They are weighty. And the reason they are deep and weighty is because the man who wrote them was under great conviction that the truth needed to get out. Not just. Surface stuff. But everything somebody needed to hear to understand the Bible and its doctrines. He could not sit idly by
[00:06:19] With so much at stake. Friends I want to ask you. Today. What is at stake
[00:06:29] And our world. Can we sit idly by enjoying all the comforts that this world brings. While people are suffering. While people are without the truth. While people are dying and on their way to hell forever. Do we have enough courage and boldness to speak up. And that's really the single question I want you to hear today is do you. Personally have the courage to speak up in this world today.
[00:07:12] And I'm not immune to this. I speak up here. Week after week and I pray God continues to give this church the boldness to preach and proclaim the Gospel as it is written and not as people want to hear it. But I too need the courage to speak up. In our town and my neighborhood. Where I go and shop and play and work all those things. There are other people in our little office building who don't know Jesus. I need the courage and the boldness to speak up just like you do.
[00:07:50] May God give us that boldness. Look here in Acts Chapter Five with me. I'm going to read for you. Verses 17 to 42. And I hope that is ok to read such an extended portion of Scripture this morning I know it is. That's why you're here. This is what you want to hear. X Chapter 5 verses 17 and following. But the High Priest rose up and all who were with him. That is the party of the Sadducees and filled with jealousy. They arrested the Apostles and put them in public prison. But during the night an angel of the Lord opened the prison doors and brought them out and said Go stand in the temple and speak to the people. All the words of this life and when they heard this they entered the temple at daybreak and began to teach. Now when the high priest came and those who were with him they called together the council all the Senate of the people of Israel and sent to the prison to have them brought. Verse 22. But when the officers came they didn't find them in prison so they returned and reported. We found the prison securely locked. And the guards standing at the doors. But when we opened them we found no one inside. And when the captain of the temple and the chief priest heard these words they were greatly perplexed about them wondering what this would come to.
[00:09:21] And someone came and told them Look the men whom you put in prison are standing in the temple and teaching the people. Then the captain with the officers went and brought them but not by force. For they were afraid of being stoned by the people and when they had brought them they set them before the council and the high priest questioned them saying we strictly charge you not to teach in this name. In here you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching and you intend to bring this man's blood upon us. Verse 29 both Peter and the Apostles answered we must obey God rather than men. The God of our fathers raised Jesus whom you killed by hanging him on a tree. God exalted him and his right hand as leader and saviour to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins. And we are witnesses to these things. And so is the Holy Spirit whom God has given to those who obey him verse 33 when they heard this they were enraged and wanted to kill them. But a Pharisee see and the Council named Gamliel a teacher of the law held an honor by all the people. Stood up and gave orders to put the man outside for a little while. And he said to them men of Israel take care what you are about to do with these men.
[00:10:42] For before these days. The Otus rose up claiming to be somebody and a number of men about 400 joined him. He was killed and all who followed him were dispersed and came to nothing. After him Judas the Galilean rose up in the days of the census and drew away some of the people after him. He too perished and all who followed him. Were scattered. So in the present case I tell you keep away from these men and let them alone for if this plan or this undertaking is of men it will fail. But if it is of God you will not be able to overthrow them. You might even be found opposing God. So they took his advice and when they had called in the apostles they beat them and they charged them not to speak the name of Jesus. Then let them go. Then they left the presence of the council rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer dishonor for the name and every day in the temple and from house to house they did not cease teaching and preaching that Jesus that the Christ is Jesus. What you have here. Is a theocracy. It's a society controlled by religious leaders that society had the Roman government on top of them over over them so that they could only do so much yet in their fury.
[00:12:15] They wanted to kill Peter and the Apostles. What you have here is a situation where the church has begun the Holy Spirit has been poured out at Pentecost that's Acts chapter 2.
[00:12:28] And you have these men who are empowered by the Holy Spirit to preach and teach the gospel. Thousands of people are getting saved
[00:12:37] Thousands upon thousands. And then after that when when the scripture stops counting it says more than ever. Believers are being added. That's true. Gospel conversions to this man that the religious leaders had killed. These people were submitting to him and following him with their whole lives. Now Peter has gotten himself. And the apostles into trouble because they were willing to speak up. They would not be silent. Actually Peter never struggled with being silent. He was always talking about something except now his words had great power. They had great conviction on people. That people needed to repent
[00:13:34] And believe Chapter 3 God was doing great wonderful miracles through Peter he heal the man he was lame for 40 years and raised them up and went through the temple and had a worship service. I want you guys I want this to be burned into your mind how the church all began how the church they actually see the gathering of people started. And then Peter came out and started preaching
[00:14:04] Chapter 4. He was arrested examined by the council paraded before the council and then he preached to the council. Peter was not going to be silenced just because somebody arrested him. To him that merely gave him a new audience. What was the result. They told him not to teach in the name of Jesus anymore. So Peter went out. And with all of the disciples they rejoiced and had great fellowship that they had been counted worthy to suffer for the name of Christ and that the gospel was going forward. This is chapter for. All the believers got together they shared all things and they kept preaching and teaching the Gospel. Chapter 5 The church was purified of religious people who were true believers and the Lord brought down judgment the end of their days and took the life of an unwise and Sapphira for claiming to be prideful. And also for lying. Not claiming to be prideful they were prideful and so they lied to the Holy Spirit of God and because of that. They fell down dead.
[00:15:22] They lied about how much they had sold the property for and just how much they were giving to the church so the church was purified and great fear came on overall the church. I think today we don't have to worry about great fear coming on the American church. We're scared the news might be too much for us to handle. But we're not scared that that people are going to die if they lie to the Holy Spirit. We kind of ignore the end of first Corinthians 11 when we take communion together that some have fallen asleep because they take it in the manner. Right. There's only a couple of times believers are warned don't do this or else you may see Jesus this day.
[00:16:07] That's one of them. So great fear came on the church and Peter continued to preach and now it's starting to get under the skin of their religious leaders. They've had enough
[00:16:20] Has probably only maybe a week a few days after Pentecost and the whole city is stirred up and yet Peter continues to preach and teach.
[00:16:35] He's arrested again and put in prison.
[00:16:39] An angel breaks the mountain and he's arrested again. And now they bring him before the Sanhedrin. He and the apostles. So he's been arrested at least two maybe three times already and are setting today for our sermon that he's in front of the council. He's in front of the Senate. All the people that make decisions for the city. He's also in front of the Sadducees who did not believe in the afterlife and angels and yet an angel. Took
[00:17:12] Peter and the Apostles and busted them out of prison. So now there's this miracle that's undeniable that goes against their views. And they're wondering what are we going to do with these guys.
[00:17:23] How can we ever stop them with all of the things that they're doing and teaching these people and we come down now to Verse 27.
[00:17:36] This is the first point that I want us to think about and this is what Peter and the apostles were faced with. It is this Will you bow to the pressure and be silent. Christian believer. I'm talking to you this morning will you. Who claim the name of Jesus will you bow to the pressure to be silent and they don't really care if we preach in here. Most people don't. You just go do your thing and then you know be harmless in society or feed the poor or do something good. But will we proclaim from the rooftops the glory of Christ to people so that they too may be saved just like you and I. You see there in verses 27 and 28. What the council told them. Listen to this verse 28 quote We strictly charge you not to teach in this name. They didn't even want to say the name of Jesus.
[00:18:44] That's how irked they were.
[00:18:47] They didn't like him and they didn't like his followers. And they said we strictly charge you not to teach in his name.
[00:18:58] And yet you here have filled Jerusalem with your teaching and you intend to bring this man's blood upon us. Many people will try and muffle you in this life
[00:19:18] Many people will encourage you to live a happy life. Build that nice fence around your house and stay inside of it don't come out and talk to other people don't share your religious views with them. Don't say that Jesus Christ is the only way that makes people uncomfortable. And of course that's rude right. If we make people uncomfortable isn't that rude. Well no. That's like saying treat cancer treatment is painful. But it's treatment. It's to make you better. It's to change you from the inside. That's what the treatment is supposed to do. And if we bow to the pressure. Then I don't think we're really. Living the way Christ wants us to live. And we really need to think about this. We can't just come here today. And say somebody else is going to share the gospel but not me. That's Romans 116 Fry I'm not ashamed of the gospel for is the power of God and salvation for those who believe the Jew first
[00:20:37] And the Greek who is going to stand up to the pressure sometimes you're going to have pressure from outside and that's really what we love to talk about. Oh there is no railing on conservative Christians in the news. Well what do you expect nonbelievers to do
[00:21:00] To say yes we're all on our way to hell and these people over here are kindly letting everyone know we just love them and their message they think we're going to burn forever. Isn't that wonderful. Isn't that nice of them. They're doing what their nature tells them to do. That's the freedom of the will. That's the only freedom of the will. The Bible talks about is the ability to obey your nature and if you have a sin nature that's what you do. So we shouldn't be surprised by the outside pressure. But can I just tell you that outside pressure has never crippled the church. What do you see and acts. The outside pressure is fuel the fire. The outside pressure is not the problem.
[00:21:53] Changing society to tell them to stop pressuring us is not our mission. Our mission is to give those who don't know Jesus Christ as their lord and savior. Our mission is to give them the gospel. That's what we do when we go out and here we share the gospel. But this is a worship service so we worship God. That's why we come together to worship Him praise his name thank Him for forgiveness and that's who we are
[00:22:24] And we do so with great respect with great respect. You may also find pressure from your family at times. You know you're getting a little intense. With this scripture stuff and it's just your view. Right. Well that's not what I think it means as though subjective human opinion ever trumped scripture. As a subjective human thought
[00:22:58] Wins the day.
[00:22:59] Well that's what we call society that subjective human opinion based on popular thought. What we do is we subject ourselves to the Word of God knowing it's the word of God knowing the authority rests here. That's where our convictions come from
[00:23:17] From God's word. And we can watch each other's lives. And understand what we think truly about God's word if it's authoritative or not. All we have to do is look at our lives. But you may even have pressure from your own family from those who are saved or those who are religious but unsaved churches will diverge on this very issue. They will bow to the pressure. From Within. Many times it will split churches. It will bring down Christ's Bride and then you'll have people who will live their whole lives saying Oh I was burned by the church. No actually there were people burned by the church. That's what we call the 1400's. You just got your feelings hurt. That's not being burned by the church that's sinful people who aren't yet fully glorified. Still needing forgiveness and to be sanctified friends you can't love Christ and hate his bride. That's an impossibility.
[00:24:31] Do we really think that when we stand before God and we look at Jesus Christ and we say I love you so much I just hated your church. How's that going to go over. Not very well
[00:24:50] Not very well. You see scripture knows nothing of someone who loves Christ and hates his bride.
[00:25:02] Friends we need to really look at this and look at the pressure and see are there ways in which you and I have bowed to the pressure from within the church even that it's OK to say Oh well I just show up and leave and that's that's all I can handle.
[00:25:20] You mean that's all God can do through you the omnipotent holy righteous God who says he will change you and make you new and give you a new nature that he can do all things through you that you ask and receive and he will not deny it if your if your request is according to his will. You mean that God that's the one that
[00:25:42] You see we're limiting God and His power. If we think. That God can't restore us and his church and his people really we're just not willing to go through that process. People cave
[00:26:00] And they have no deep convictions. The reason why people don't have deep. Abiding convictions. Are many
[00:26:12] Are many. If you want to have deep convictions you go to God's word to get your convictions. Not the news not your favorite app. Unless it's a bible app. It's in God's word. That's where the power comes from. Some people who don't have deep convictions.
[00:26:38] Have these things in common.
[00:26:42] If you don't have deep convictions you probably have some of these things in common with each other.
[00:26:50] You don't really attend church much. You go to a church with weak preaching. You have a childlike knowledge of scripture. I mean you wouldn't go to your boss
[00:27:08] And tell him I learned something when I was 8. That I think could help our company. Right. That doesn't go over very well. I haven't learned anything new since then. But here's what I learned when I was 8. Right we're constantly learning and constantly growing and constantly. We need to be willing to be sanctified by God. Each and every week of our lives. And if you don't have deep convictions about Christ you probably don't have a deep knowledge
[00:27:42] Of scripture. Now I know knowledge can puff up. Knowledge can be hurtful. But we're also told to search
[00:27:58] The scriptures and to see if what these things that are being preached are so that's what the Breen's did.
[00:28:08] You probably don't have an appetite for meaty sermons either. And that's not just so that you'll come here like oh there's only meaty sermons here every other pulpit. America doesn't have that. Now what I'm saying
[00:28:22] I'm saying. Do you like sermons where the pastor explains the scriptures. Or do you have trouble falling asleep during sermons like that. We don't have trouble falling asleep during our favorite show or favorite movie or our favorite game all that kind of stuff. But does the word of God just
[00:28:42] Not do anything for you. Friends we need to beg God
[00:28:50] For a fire in our bones. We need to say Lord light in me a great fire that all will come to see and know what am I so excited about. When life is hard and I I look at that tragedy and the faith in the face and I say I don't know why that happened. I'll find out later but I know who does. I know God is still in control.
[00:29:20] When work gets tough or family life gets tough or school gets tough.
[00:29:30] Where do we turn.
[00:29:33] You can find out what your convictions are like by where you turn when tragedy strikes. When life gets really hard when the fire gets turned up that's when we see what comes to the surface
[00:29:47] And if we don't have those deep convictions you already know how to fix that.
[00:29:54] Have a prayer life.
[00:29:56] Have a deep and abiding knowledge of the word of God and beg God to give you the desire for these things. Spend time in church get rid of the rest of your schedule. OK get rid of the rest of your schedule and be here. Church. Should be inconvenient to the world schedule
[00:30:21] Because the world knows nothing of what we do here. Friends Peter and the Apostles
[00:30:30] Face so much persecution so much persecution and the church has gone through many many cycles of great and abiding persecution. And we're right now in America. We're in a time where you can just blast the Gospel everywhere. And all you're going to do is get kickback back from people who don't agree. That's about as bad as it's gonna get.
[00:30:58] And friends we need to take advantage of the times in which we live. Peter had a really good response. A really good response and this is the second point. Will you bow to Jesus and speak up. So the first point was is will you bow to the pressure and be silent. That's one category or will you bow to Jesus and speak up. Those are the only two categories verses 29 to 32 and 41 to 42. Show us what Peter did. Look at this with me. Verse 29. This is how he spoke up.
[00:31:45] We must still beg God rather than men.
[00:31:51] It doesn't say we should agree that God's plan is better than man's plan. That's what we normally do. We must obey. That friends is a man of conviction. A man is willing to put his life on the line. This is the same guy. Who just a couple months prior. Had since so many times in the face of Jesus Christ had rejected knowing Jesus Christ even. And now he's bold as a lion. So if you think that's Peter I mean his shadow was healing people.
[00:32:33] Well that's also Peter who denied three times to unimportant people that he even knew Jesus just a couple months before. If God can take that person and change him and make him into this bold line imagine what he can do with you.
[00:32:56] Living for Jesus looks like Peter's response. We must obey God rather than men. You want this for yourselves. You also want this for your pastor. You also want this for our church.
[00:33:18] Sometimes churches get a little upside down.
[00:33:24] And this isn't self-serving this is the truth. The sheep go around chomp on the bit at the pasture as if the sheep ever were supposed to lead the pastor and the elders in the church
[00:33:39] Right. Do we ever see that in Scripture. Be it in society we say one man who makes the decisions are you kidding me that's a horrible idea. Well that's actually a biblical idea to have a shepherd who loves you and gives you the scriptures. We're just so scared of sinful man and what he can do that we sometimes say. Obey me rather than God's word as a people. I know that's kind of hard to hear. But that's what God's word says God's word also speaks of a plurality of leaders that it's a group of elders who lead the sheep who love the sheep who tend to the sheep who submit themselves daily and regularly to God's word. So they will out of the abundance of their heart they will overflow with God's word into your lives. That's my calling and my commission is to as Ephesians 4 11 to 16 says to equip the saints for the work of the ministry not to do all of the ministry. If you wonder why churches are burning out their pastors is because they've got that verse wrong.
[00:34:55] The pastor equips the Saints for the work of the ministry. And now there's this whole army of people who are on fire for Christ and they're going forward
[00:35:05] And now it's unstoppable. If you want to speak up. If you don't want to be silent then we need to do the hard work of seeing our views truly in line with scripture. Could we actually say with Peter. We must obey God rather than men.
[00:35:32] And I think for most of us the voice that tells us not to share the gospel is our own voice. It's our own voice that says you know this is going to be uncomfortable. I mean that guy who came over to fix the plumbing. You share the gospel with him. He might not do a good job as he finishes. You might distract him maybe he'll put a part on upside down. There's all these excuses flow. When we lived in Hamilton. I remember being so convicted by this. We had this. Refrigerator. I think God divinely broke the refrigerator over and over again. I was so scared of sharing the gospel with the guy who came to fix the freezer. It was a torture situation. The fridge repeatedly broke and all the food. Spoiled. And you know when the fridge stopped. Breaking down. Was when I had finally shared the gospel the full gospel with the guy who came and he almost looked surprised. He came four times
[00:36:51] Four times. He almost looked surprised because he knew I was a pastor but telling him on the pasture doesn't give him the words of life. Telling him that maybe going to church is a good idea. That's not sharing the Gospel just telling people they need to go to church. I mean if you think that's the case then the church building is what saves right. We know that's not true. It's Jesus Christ who saves right by his death burial and resurrection. Third time still didn't get all the gospel out. Have you ever decided to live for Jesus. No. OK. You know it's like how many times do we need. I remember exactly how the conversation with it. How many chances do we need. To know this. This should be like TV all the guys stuck at your house and you're paying him to be there. Can you. Not just at least share the gospel with them once. And this is who Jesus is changing the world with me and you. You think you had it rough.
[00:38:00] This is God's plan. We're it. There's no other plan
[00:38:05] But we need to unleash the lion and let it do its work. When you let the lion out of the cage you don't need to tell it how to how to eat things. It just does. That's how it's created. When you give the truth when you let it out it does its work in peoples lives. It convicts them. The gospel is the power of God for salvation not our eloquent testimonies right that leave out the gospel. But it's our testimonies that share the words of this life
[00:38:36] That truly and honestly change people. Let me ask you what good is a silent witness. What good is a silent witness
[00:38:50] That was convicting. Right. It's even more convicting to preach because now it's recorded. Friends we cannot. Be silent. And then Peter gives them. More good news. Look at what he says.
[00:39:09] Verse 30 the God of our fathers raised Jesus whom you killed by hanging him on a tree.
[00:39:22] There's that death burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ and all the council now heard it.
[00:39:29] God exalted him at his right hand. That was blasphemous to say by the way. They could have stoned him on the spot
[00:39:44] God exalted him and his right hand as leader and savior. Listen to this to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins. There you go. Repent and believe receive forgiveness.
[00:40:00] That's the message that's always been the message for the last 2000 years. Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and be saved. And before that it was look forward to the coming of the Messiah.
[00:40:14] Look forward to this one. Go to Matthew can't go to Matthew and then turn back
[00:40:20] One book. Go to Malakai.
[00:40:27] Malakai. Chapter 3 Verse 1. This was written about 400 years before Christ came. Behold I send my messenger and he will prepare the way before me. What do you mean before me like God never showed up on the scene before. No there's one who's coming and someone needs to prepare the way for him. This is a prophecy of John the Baptist and the lord whom you seek. That's the messiah that they seek will suddenly come to his temple and the messenger of the covenant in whom you delight behold he is coming says the Lord of hosts
[00:41:13] The old testament looks forward to the coming of the Messiah Isaiah. Chapter 7. Read it. It speaks of one who's coming Isaiah Chapter 9 read it speaks of one who's coming Isaiah the end of Chapter 52 about Verse 13 all the way through Chapter 53.
[00:41:34] It's about the one who would suffer as a servant who would give his life as a ransom for many. And by whom. His stripes we would be healed. Friends. Isaiah was written seven hundred years prior.
[00:41:55] The prophecies came true and the fulfillment of Jesus Christ. This is not just a book that was slapped together last week. It has at least four to five thousand years of history in it
[00:42:15] Friends. Are we going to speak the words of this life that Jesus Christ died. And was raised that when he arose he conquered sin and death
[00:42:30] That for those of you who know your sinful and need forgiveness that that is only found in the name of Jesus Christ and all who believe are commanded to do what. In Matthew 28 to go and make disciples. Write to baptize those who believe
[00:42:53] This is the command not the suggestion. And worse I think we're just so comfortable we need to ask each other Hey when's the last time you shared the gospel with somebody. Never. Practice Sunmi. Ask them say share the gospel with me. Tell me how can I be saved you're going to hear that September 9th from four different people it looks different. The way people come to faith looks different
[00:43:25] But what they hear and the message that they receive that salvation is found and no one else. That's the same saves people look in Verse 32. It says We are witnesses to these things. A witness is just one who shares what he has seen and heard and what he knows of Jesus Christ. Are you a witness if you're saved. Can you just share with somebody how you got like that. That's it. In 30 seconds or less or maybe three minutes or less. They might not stand there for an hour and listen to all the details. But they want to know why do you think you're changed. Why do you think you're going to heaven.
[00:44:19] Save people are witnesses.
[00:44:24] There's a couple other things safe people have in verse 32.
[00:44:28] There are witnesses to Christ. And so is the Holy Spirit whom God has given to those who obey Him who obey him safe people have the Holy Spirit. Safe people have the Holy Spirit. God has given him. The Holy Spirit
[00:44:50] To those who believe and don't obey scripture doesn't know anything of that. They call that sin
[00:45:02] But it says to those who obey him. And we're talking about witnessing and sharing the gospel and Peter says look we must obey God. That's why he ends this with. I'm a safe person. I'm a follower of Christ and I obey him
[00:45:23] The obedience of faith is a gift of God. And we need to submit to it. Safe people are witnesses say people have a holy spirit save people. Obey. Are you saved. Then you're a witness and then you have the Holy Spirit
[00:45:47] And you obey. Why do you obey because you love Christ. Because there's nothing more important to you than Jesus Christ. We love others because he's first loved us. Same reason why we love him. Right. It's his love that compels us. And compels us to go out and share the gospel with people.
[00:46:14] What happens when it gets really really tough though. Look down there in Verse 41
[00:46:23] Acts 5 41. Then they left the presence of the council rejoicing that they were counted. Were they to suffer dishonor for the name. Verse 40 says they were beaten by soldiers.
[00:46:42] They were beaten.
[00:46:45] Don't let that escape your attention. I don't know if any of us have been beaten for Christ. I've met people who've been beaten for Christ. You talk about someone on fire for Jesus. One of my professors in seminary who taught me the book of flippy ins who came from China. He was physically beaten. His younger brother was beaten. And you may remember so bad that his younger brother died in front of his eyes. His father was beaten. In front of his eyes and his mother was taken to work camps. This is by the Chinese government. They have deep convictions you know why they were beaten because they heard the family had a Bible. That was about
[00:47:43] 30 years ago.
[00:47:47] People are still suffering like that. This guy is so on fire for Jesus Christ he loves Christ with all of his heart with all of his life.
[00:48:00] I've never met anyone that loves Christ that much. Simply amazing. They rejoiced in their suffering. Is that what we do when we suffer. We rejoice. That's what we should do. And then verse 42. They didn't just speak once a week. Every single. Day
[00:48:36] In the temple where they were arrested. That's where they went back. Every single day.
[00:48:46] And from house to house they did not cease teaching and preaching that the Christ is Jesus. Friends I want to ask you what is at stake. Those who burned in the 1400's their fire went out after a time but hell's fire will never go out.
[00:49:08] The Gospel sets people free and I want to give you an opportunity to share the gospel with people this week. OK three ways you can do it. One if you're in the corporate world you can hand out little business cards as just a way to share the gospel with them. They're on the back table. Too. If you're bold you can hand them a gospel tract. It's got everything in it. They need to know to be saved. K or 3 if you don't want that confronting personal way you want to build up to that kind of thing. Send them a postcard. All these things are on the back table. You see we can't just go out of here agreeing
[00:49:56] That we should be bold for the Gospel. We need to actually be bold
[00:50:03] Next week. Ask me
[00:50:07] If I've shared the gospel during the week with someone. OK. I need that accountability
[00:50:14] From you because Christ is worth it. Let's pray
[00:50:24] Lord God we we come before you just begging for the courage to speak all the words of this life to people. Lord help us to be loving as we approach people who don't yet agree or who maybe never will. Give us compassion give us courage Lord to not be silent or God. I just pray that you would embolden us with that today. So just take a moment friends and talk to God and ask him for the courage we need.
[00:51:15] Amen amen.
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