Some thoughts from my Sunday morning message…
The book of Acts serves as a history of the spreading flame of the gospel throughout the Roman empire and beyond.
Thousands are baptized in Acts 2. Persecution breaks out against the church, but Christians keep sharing the great news of the resurrected Christ and every persecution just seems to cause an explosion in growth and passion for serving Jesus. Later we see the astounding conversion of the terrorist Saul of Tarsus. In Acts 17 Paul and Silas came to Thessalonica.
I believe we need to open up our thinking to embrace God’s vision for reaching the world for Christ.
I also believe we have closed the very doors we need to open in order to make this happen. These doors are closed by…
– Unwanted Change
These closed doors are closing churches.
God wants us to open up our minds and hearts to see the world as He does.
We need to enter the Open Doors (Acts 17:1-2). Paul and Silas went to the heart of the community to share the gospel. What are the open doors in your life? Conversations around you could contain clues to those who are open to hearing. In every place where you go, you are surrounded by people who need to hear what you know in your heart. Projects in the community offer opportunities to live out the gospel message. Maintaining an awareness of the people around you will help you to enter the open doors.
We need to express our Faith in Jesus Openly (Acts 17:3-4). Paul and Silas were among people who were unfamiliar with the gospel message, but they did not hesitate to declare the lordship and love of Jesus Christ. Notice their message was not about church dogma. They did not play the ‘my church is better than your church’ game. They talked about Jesus. He will draw all men unto himself if we will lift him up. Do you know Jesus? Simply read the gospels to gain the greater perspective of who He is. Be able to insert into conversations some of the things Jesus said. The old idea of thinking that if we’re nice people will one day ask us about our religion never was true, and it isn’t true now!
We should expect Open Disdain from Unbelievers … and Believers (Acts 17:5-9). I love Jason’s reputation – the place where troublemakers were welcomed – Godly Troublemakers! In our cynical secular world, the message of Jesus is not always welcomed. But there are many hurting people out there who want to know. We must be willing to accept some criticism and cutting remarks from others if we are to reach those who do care. They will not always be unbelievers … sometimes believers can be our greatest critics. We should expect such, and be willing to endure for the sake of the lost.
What doors do you need to enter?
How can you express your faith openly?
Are you ready to accept disdain from others?
Have we adopted God’s view of the world?
Thanks for reading,