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A Good Death, A Blessed Conflict

(43)

Sermon shared by Paul Decker

March 2006
Summary: We have good news to tell.
Denomination: Baptist
Audience: Believer adults
Sermon:
A GOOD DEATH,
A BLESSED CONFLICT
Acts 7.54-8.8

S: Proclamation
C: Purpose of the Community
Th: A People with Purpose
KW: Comparisons
TS: The story of Stephen’s death demonstrates three comparisons between good and evil.
Pr: WE HAVE GOOD NEWS TO TELL.

Type: Narrative

I. REVELATION (54-56)
II. RESPONSES (57-60)
III. REPORTS (1-8)

PA: How is the change to be observed?
• We have good news to tell.
• We should demonstrate courage.
• Randall issue: We keep moving out by keeping our core healthy (financially invest here, speak good news here)

Version: ESV

RMBC 26 March 06 AM


INTRODUCTION:

ILL Heaven

An 85-year-old couple, having been married almost 60 years, had died in a car crash. They had been in good health the last ten years mainly due to the wife’s interest in health food and exercise. When they reached the pearly gates, St. Peter took them to their mansion, which was decked out with a beautiful kitchen and master bath suite and Jacuzzi. As they "oohed and aahed," the old man asked Peter how much all this was going to cost.

"It’s free. This is Heaven."

Next they surveyed the championship golf course behind the home. They would have golfing privileges every day, and every week the course changed to a new one representing the great golf courses on earth. The old man asked, "What are the green fees?"

Peter’s reply, "This is Heaven, you play for free."

Next they went to the clubhouse and saw the lavish buffet lunch with cuisines of the world. "How much is it to eat?" asked the old man.

"Don’t you understand yet? This is Heaven, it’s free!," Peter replied with some exasperation.

"Well, where are the low fat and low cholesterol tables?" the old man asked timidly.

Peter explained, "That’s the best part – you can eat as much as you like of whatever you like and you never get fat and you never get sick. This is Heaven!"

With that the old man went into a fit of anger, throwing down his hat and stomping on it, and shrieking wildly. Peter and the man’s wife both tried to calm him down, asking him what was wrong.

The old man looked at his wife and said, "This is all your fault! If it weren’t for your blasted bran muffins, I could have been here ten years ago!"

Well, we don’t get many descriptions about heaven, but we do know this…

1. Heaven is going to be great!

Without a doubt, it is a place of unending joy.
It is worth going to.
And, it is worth bringing our friends to.

When we come to our text today, we find Stephen is facing the very real prospect of experiencing heaven.

TRANSITION:

You see, as we have been following the story the past two weeks, we see that…

2. Stephen has courageously stood before his accusers and given them a history lesson.

Now in case you think history is boring, let me assure you that Stephen’s accusers did not.
The Jewish people loved to review their history.
They loved to review God’s blessings on them as a nation.
They enjoyed being God’s chosen people.

But when Stephen gives this history lesson, they are not so happy with what he is teaching.
Stephen has given them the facts, but they were facts that they were not interested in hearing.
You see, there had been a recurring theme in their history.
Whatever God sends, they resist it.
Whoever God sends, they reject them.
It happens over and over again.

This
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