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Acts 13_42-52 The Ground Shaking Message

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Acts 13:42-52

The Ground Shaking Message

Secular: Start a journey with children…

… we always talk about what is to come

  • Disney Theme Park
  • Campground
  • Cousins

Excitement… anxious to get on with it!

Driving to LA (25 hours by car)

… focused on the goal – maintain heart and excitement

… focused on the journey – become disheartened

-          doesn’t sound as fun

-          not liking this extended period of journey

-          immediate gratification

… even worse they begin to resent the journey

-          it is not worth it

-          this is too much

-          nothing can be worth this (parents begin to agree)

Same is true with Marriage Counselling

Same is true with large projects

Same is true with the tough message of the Gospel

 

Biblical:

NAU Acts 13:42 As Paul and Barnabas were going out, the people kept begging that these things might be spoken to them the next Sabbath. 43 Now when the meeting of the synagogue had broken up, many of the Jews and of the God-fearing proselytes followed Paul and Barnabas, who, speaking to them, were urging them to continue in the grace of God. 44 The next Sabbath nearly the whole city assembled to hear the word of the Lord. 45 But when the Jews saw the crowds, they were filled with jealousy and began contradicting the things spoken by Paul, and were blaspheming. 46 Paul and Barnabas spoke out boldly and said, "It was necessary that the word of God be spoken to you first; since you repudiate it and judge yourselves unworthy of eternal life, behold, we are turning to the Gentiles. 47 "For so the Lord has commanded us, 'I HAVE PLACED YOU AS A LIGHT FOR THE GENTILES, THAT YOU MAY BRING SALVATION TO THE END OF THE EARTH.'" 48 When the Gentiles heard this, they began rejoicing and glorifying the word of the Lord; and as many as had been appointed to eternal life believed. 49 And the word of the Lord was being spread through the whole region. 50 But the Jews incited the devout women of prominence and the leading men of the city, and instigated a persecution against Paul and Barnabas, and drove them out of their district. 51 But they shook off the dust of their feet in protest against them and went to Iconium. 52 And the disciples were continually filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit.

Personal: Have you ever shared the Gospel with someone…

  • had the reply in earnest…
  • questioning… probing
  • a real sense of searching
  • you followed all the steps…
  • and yet you still wait… wondering… what is going on
  • It doesn’t always make sense to us…
  • NOW WHAT?
  • Greatest TEACHER ever to walk the EARTH…?
  • Of course Jesus!
  • NAU John 6:60 Therefore many of His disciples, when they heard this said, "This is a difficult statement; who can listen to it?" 61 But Jesus, conscious that His disciples grumbled at this, said to them, "Does this cause you to stumble? 62 "What then if you see the Son of Man ascending to where He was before? 63 "It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing; the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life. 64 "But there are some of you who do not believe." For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were who did not believe, and who it was that would betray Him. 65 And He was saying, "For this reason I have said to you, that no one can come to Me unless it has been granted him from the Father."
  • Sometimes we think it is our job to make the message “easy” or more “palatable”…
  • Paul with eloquence and understanding of Jewish culture was able to “gain a hearing”… there is a difference
  • BUT HIS MESSAGE WAS STILL TROUBLING!!
  • NAU 1 Corinthians 1:25 Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men. 26 For consider your calling, brethren, that there were not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble; 27 but God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong, 28 and the base things of the world and the despised God has chosen, the things that are not, so that He may nullify the things that are, 29 so that no man may boast before God.

Bridge: We are called to reach out to our community… not so that we can demonstrate mastery of scripture, or biblical principals… It is not in our power or wisdom… We are called to share the Gospel Message…

1)      We have fallen short of God expectation (Sinner’s)

2)      We can not make that ground up (Saviour)

3)      We need to live that truth (Sanctification)

NAU Romans 5:8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. 9 Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him.

  • We can add nothing to add to the Gospel of Hope… or job is to share it…

Body:

1) The Initial Reaction

Acts 13:42 As Paul and Barnabas were going out, the people kept begging that these things might be spoken to them the next Sabbath. 43 Now when the meeting of the synagogue had broken up, many of the Jews and of the God-fearing proselytes followed Paul and Barnabas, who, speaking to them, were urging them to continue in the grace of God. 44 The next Sabbath nearly the whole city assembled to hear the word of the Lord.

  •  They were pleased –
    • An initial offer of hope…
    • Solicited the expected response…
    • No atheists in a fox-hole
      • Prayers offered for the sick or dying
    • Hope is cool!...
  •  They were persistent –
    • come on back
    • imagine you are sharing your faith…
      • come on back…
      • when can we do this again?
      • That is exciting!
  •  They confessed faith in God –
    •  Paul and Barnabas urged them to keep walking that path… Perseverance is a mark of TRUE FAITH…
    • The apostle John talks about faith that isn’t genuine -
    • NAU 1 John 2:19 They went out from us, but they were not really of us; for if they had been of us, they would have remained with us; but they went out, so that it would be shown that they all are not of us.
    • Jesus too talks about genuine belief –
    • NAU John 8:31 So Jesus was saying to those Jews who had believed Him, "If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine;
  •  They continued to meet -
    • Nearly the whole city showed up the next week!
  •  Think Paul and Barnabas were excited!
  • Do think this initial response gave them a “Perma-Grin”
  • The Intial Response to the Message…

2) The Subsequent Response

45 But when the Jews saw the crowds, they were filled with jealousy and began contradicting the things spoken by Paul, and were blaspheming. 46 Paul and Barnabas spoke out boldly and said, "It was necessary that the word of God be spoken to you first; since you repudiate it and judge yourselves unworthy of eternal life, behold, we are turning to the Gentiles. 47 "For so the Lord has commanded us, 'I HAVE PLACED YOU AS A LIGHT FOR THE GENTILES, THAT YOU MAY BRING SALVATION TO THE END OF THE EARTH.'" 48 When the Gentiles heard this, they began rejoicing and glorifying the word of the Lord; and as many as had been appointed to eternal life believed. 49 And the word of the Lord was being spread through the whole region.

  •  The Gospel message is diametrically opposed to humankind’s own belief systems…
  •  The Jews thought they could synthesize their legalistic view of God with the Gospel of Grace…
  •  Many people are receptive initially to the Gospel… but then realize that it doesn’t fit well with some of the things society values…
    • Dedication
    • Commitment
    • Sacrifice
    • Loving One-Another
    • Recognizing our imperfections… we are sinners
    • Dealing with Pride!
  •   They wanted an exclusively Jewish faith… they were elitist… many were racist…
  • Because we don’t get the response we want… we carry on… We need to get the Word of God… the Gospel Message out!!... "It was necessary that the word of God be spoken to you first; since you repudiate it and judge yourselves unworthy of eternal life, behold, we are turning to the Gentiles”.
  • Paul straighten them out by quoting… NAU Isaiah 49:6 He says, "It is too small a thing that You should be My Servant To raise up the tribes of Jacob and to restore the preserved ones of Israel; I will also make You a light of the nations So that My salvation may reach to the end of the earth."
  • Those who heard that were Gentile rejoiced… the Redeeming Love of God was not just for the Jew but all the nations….
  •  … and note… it does not say all who heard believed…
    • or all that rationalized the argument
    • or all that saw miracles
    • or all who understood
    • “and as many as had been appointed to eternal life believed.”
  •  It is not a man thing… it is a God thing
  •  Faith does not originate in us… it originates in God
  •  NAU Romans 8:29 For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren; 30 and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified.
  •  The subsequent response was… what the Word always does… cuts like a Sword
  •  Jesus mission wasn’t “warm and fuzzy” or all about peace…
  •  NAU Matthew 10:34 "Do not think that I came to bring peace on the earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. 35 "For I came to SET A MAN AGAINST HIS FATHER, AND A DAUGHTER AGAINST HER MOTHER, AND A DAUGHTER-IN-LAW AGAINST HER MOTHER-IN-LAW; 36 and A MAN'S ENEMIES WILL BE THE MEMBERS OF HIS HOUSEHOLD.”
  •  The message of Christ divides… those who are elect to salvation according to the Gospel of Jesus… and those who rebel.
  • Those whoa re elect and respond in faith to the grace of God… are secure in his hand forever!!
  • James 2: 20 But are you willing to recognize, you foolish fellow, that faith without works is useless?
  • And the reaction of the  believing Gentiles is recorded… And the word of the Lord was being spread through the whole region.
  • The subsequent response isn’t in our control… it is in God’s…
  • Our mission expressed in Christ’s own words… "All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age."
  • The Mission has been given by God…. The Message has been given by God… and Salvation… the changing of lives rests with GOD alone.

3) The Results

50 But the Jews incited the devout women of prominence and the leading men of the city, and instigated a persecution against Paul and Barnabas, and drove them out of their district. 51 But they shook off the dust of their feet in protest against them and went to Iconium. 52 And the disciples were continually filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit.

  •  What happens when someone stands up and says I know the answer…
  •  Especially when you don’t think so…
  • Ever listen to a debate or dinner party conversation… and hear something you are sure is not true…
  • It gets all pent up inside…
  •  This was the Jews… God had not softened their hearts to the message… Paul was declaring Christ as Lord
  •  And they lost it…
  •  Despite early popularity the Offensiveness of the Gospel message… the cross, the deity of Christ, our position before God… rankled the Jews
  •  The mustered all the support the could…
  •   Have you ever seen it… (mob mentality)
  •   They probably were lashed or beaten with rods…
    • NAU 2 Corinthians 11:24 Five times I received from the Jews thirty-nine lashes. 25 Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was stoned, three times I was shipwrecked, a night and a day I have spent in the deep.
  •  This was an emphatic no to the Gospel…
  •  No soft-sell
  •  No modification
  • No grand finale miracle

  • Just as Jews would shake dust of leaving Gentile towns… to show the unworthiness of the Pagans…
  • NAU Luke 10:10 "But whatever city you enter and they do not receive you, go out into its streets and say, 11 'Even the dust of your city which clings to our feet we wipe off in protest against you; yet be sure of this, that the kingdom of God has come near.' 12 "I say to you, it will be more tolerable in that day for Sodom than for that city.”
  • It is not politically correct to pronounce judgement on those who deny the Gospel… but that was Jesus instruction… don’t cow to popular opinion… stand strong for the Gospel…
  • There are only two-sides in the battle for souls…
  • NAU Matthew 12:30 "He who is not with Me is against Me; and he who does not gather with Me scatters.

The conclusion:

The Initial Response

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The Subsequent Response

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The  Results

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