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A BLESSED CONFLICT
C: Purpose of the Community
Th: A People with Purpose
TS: The story of Stephenís death demonstrates three comparisons between good and evil.
Pr: WE HAVE GOOD NEWS TO TELL.
I. REVELATION (54-56)
II. RESPONSES (57-60)
III. REPORTS (1-8)
PA: How is the change to be observed?
ē We have good news to tell.
ē We should demonstrate courage.
ē Randall issue: We keep moving out by keeping our core healthy (financially invest here, speak good news here)
RMBC 26 March 06 AM
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 wifeís 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.
"Itís 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?"
Peterís 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.
"Donít you understand yet? This is Heaven, itís free!," Peter replied with some exasperation.
"Well, where are the low fat and low cholesterol tables?" the old man asked timidly.
Peter explained, "Thatís the best part Ė 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 manís 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 werenít for your blasted bran muffins, I could have been here ten years ago!"
Well, we donít get many descriptions about heaven, but we do know thisÖ
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.
You see, as we have been following the story the past two weeks, we see thatÖ
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 Stephenís accusers did not.
The Jewish people loved to review their history.
They loved to review Godís blessings on them as a nation.
They enjoyed being Godís 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.
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