This message was preached by Gary Welsh at Word of Grace Church on February 7th , 2016. To listen/download the audio please click here.
Acts 7:54 -, Acts 8:1-8
These are the early years of the church in Jerusalem. The church has grown. It’s been successful by and large up to this point. Then Stephen gets arrested and Stephen is giving a history of Israel.
When I read Acts it’s a paradox – I’m encouraged and yet I have preached the gospel to some people over the years and they are still not Christians. They were doing exactly the same things that we are doing today.
Acts 8:8 My prayer is that there will be much joy in the city.
Let’s look at some of the same things that affected them 2000+ years ago that affects us today as well.
1. SAME REBELLION
The most serious problem facing the planet 2000years ago and now in Pune is rebellion.
Is. 53 WE all have gone astray. When Adam and Eve ate the fruit they decided they knew better than God. The problem is that we are rebels and that needs to be dealt with. WE have stopped listening to God. We are his representatives to represent His glory.
All have sinned. Rom3:23 All our scientific advances has not changed our rebellion. We have only become better rebels. When we share Jesus we need to realize that we are trying to persuade rebels to follow Jesus.
2. SAME CONSEQUNECES
None of the consequences have changed. The penalty for treason is death. With all their arguments and mocking the consequence of death is the same. The doctrine of death and hell should provoke us to share the gospel. We don’t just live and die. There is a judgment where we have to give an account of our lives. There will be no weighing up of good and bad. We need 100% to get through and we can’t get that on our own. That’s why we need the gospel. Even our “trying our best to live a good life” is a symptom of rebellion. How did you decide what is “best”; by what parameters?
3. SAME SOLUTION
The solution i.e Jesus is the same 2000years on. Its not good deeds, or a new lifestyle. Nothing is going to change that. It will always be Jesus.
4. SAME POWER
Jesus asked the disciples to wait for the Holy Spirit. He is a person who empowers us to do impossible things. Power comes to change weak scared disciples. They were hiding during the crucifixion but now they are preaching it boldly.
Acts 6 Stephen does signs and wonders and serves widows. The Holy Spirit is at work in their lives. We need His infilling daily. Every woman, man child can have the Holy Spirit.
5 SAME NEED FOR PRAYER
We need to be a people of prayer. We need to pray when we share the gospel. We plant seeds but God gives growth. There is no alternative to this. There is no option to this. It’s not a prayer machine. We pray in faith and expect results.
Amos 9:13 The days are coming," declares the LORD, "when the reaper will be overtaken by the plowman and the planter by the one treading grapes. New wine will drip from the mountains and flow from all the hills,
This comes through prayer. Have we decided that as Word of Grace this is the only way? Prayer is work. We need to devote ourselves to this!
6 SAME CONFIDENCE
If the above are true then we can be confident that God will hear us. The gospel is the power of God. Can you share WHY you trust Jesus? Can you share the tin one minute?
7 SAME PERSECUTION
We pray for peace but wherever there is persecution the gospel advances. The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the church. Tertullian
Ask God for opportunities to share the gospel every day. Find opportunities to do that.
Word of Grace is an Evangelical (Born Again), Spirit filled (Charismatic), Reformed, English speaking in Pune that upholds the Bible as God's inspired Word for life. We are a church community that have people from every part of India and parts of the world. We are here to put the Great Command and the into practice by equipping and releasing every member into works of service. To know about us please log onto www.wordofgracechurch.org.