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The Acts Factor - Sharing the Light

(45)

Sermon shared by Jeff Strite

October 2008
Summary: Paul was plunged into darkness and given sight when Ananias placed hands upon him. Every Christian has the ability to bring people out darkness... but how do we do it?
Series: Max Factor
Audience: General adults
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Sermon:
OPEN: A mother was busy making supper in the kitchen, and needing a can of tomato soup, she asked her 5 year old son to go into the pantry and get one for her. But the light in the pantry was out and he didnít really want to go in there. "Itís dark in there and Iím scared" he said.
She asked again and he persisted. Finally she said, "Itís OK honey, Jesus will be in there with you."
So, the little boy walked hesitantly to the door and slowly opened it. Looking inside, he saw it was dark, and he started to leave when all at once an idea came. He peeked back inside again and called out, "Jesus, if youíre in there, would you hand me that can of tomato soup."

(pauseÖ)
Whatís happening October 31st?
Thatís right Ė Halloween.
Halloween was actually celebrated hundreds of years before the birth of Christ. In the British isles, a group of people called the Celts observed a festival they called Samhain on Oct 31st.
But unlike todayís Halloween, theirs was no childrenís holiday.

You see, the Celtic New Year began on November 1st. The fall harvest was complete and winter loomed. At this season of the year the Celts knew that the power of the sun was fading. For the next several months, darkness would prevail.

For the Celts this impending darkness was a fairly scary time.
It was especially scary because they believed that there was a something like a curtain that separated the living from the dead. And they believed - that at this time of the year - that curtain was at its thinnest.
On the evening of October 31, it was their belief that evil spirits and souls of the dead passed through this barrier and entered into the world of the living. And when the dead crossed that barrier they would torment the living. Crops might be destroyed, babies stolen, farm animals killed.

To appease these dead spirits, various sacrifices -including human - were performed the Celts. And food was left out for the spirits, hoping that this "treat" would prevent an evil "trick."
(based upon an article by Ken Klaus)

APPLY: Thus, Halloween originally began because people were afraid of the dark.
People generally donít like darkness.
Darkness, too often, is a time when life becomes uncertain and even scary.

Knowing that darkness has this kind of effect on people, God has made us a promise.

* Isaiah tells us that the reason the Messiah was being sent, was to ďopen eyes that are blind, to free captives from prison and to release from the dungeon THOSE WHO SIT IN DARKNESS. Isaiah 42:7
* Matthew (quoting Isaiah) tells us that when Jesus came ďthe people LIVING IN DARKNESS have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned." Matthew 4:16
* Jesus Himself declared: "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will NEVER WALK IN DARKNESS, but will have the light of life." John 8:12
And ďI have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness.Ē John 12:
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