Summary: This sermon encourages believers to embrace the confronting nature of the gospel message. Jesus said that the gospel I bring is a gospel of conflict and separation. It will disturb family lines and family ties. It will separate the closest relationships.
Introduction: As Paul and his company respond to the Macedonian call, directed by the Holy Ghost, they entered into the district of Macedonia. Some historians say that Luke the beloved physician grew up and was educated in this area. This area was thriving metropolis, a trade center and sea port. This was the beginning of Paul’s second missionary journey.
Although these new Christians evangelist had suffered disputes, stoning, and ridicule at the hands of the Jews in many places, this new venture would be totally different. In Macedonia, there was no synagogue, which means that there were less than ten Jewish males in the city. The area was steeped in idolatry, witchcraft, diviners, palmist, adviser, and seers of every kind. The official religion was "emperor worship" for each emperor declared himself as God. Judaism was a tolerated sect but, the Jews were not allowed to try to convert Roman citizens.
Paul, Silas and Timothy and others brought the disturbing message of the gospel to this region. The message of the Gospel is a disturbing message. To disturb means to excite from a state of rest or tranquility. It means to awaken, to agitate the mind, or to ruffle. The gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ is a gospel of the Kingdom. And the kingdom of God is in conflict with the kingdom of this world. Today, there is an attempt to lower the standards of Christianity in an effort to make it more appealing; to do away with the conflicting nature that it may be more easily accepted. But there has always been a gap between right and wrong. God has never tried to conceal the conflicting nature of the gospel message. Jesus said,
"Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. And a man ’s foe shall be they of his own household. He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me." Matthew 10:34-38
Jesus said that the gospel I bring is a gospel of conflict and separation. It will disturb family lines and family ties. It will separate the closest relationships. This gospel message is a call to love and self denial. It is a radical and disturbing message.
1. It is a disturbing gospel because it exposes the lost-ness of humanity. The message of gospel was not designed to avoid conflict. The very nature the gospel exposes the hopelessness of man without God. Paul always remained true to the message even though it created conflict. The scope of Paul’s preaching was to prove that Jesus is the Christ. This lesson is a reminder of the core of the message of the Gospel. The truth is, that God Almighty created man in his image and likeness. Mankind lost his place, his way and plunged headlong into sin. God hates sin, every single sin and has appointed a day to judge sin. (1) Every sinner in the world has the sentence of death hanging over his head. (2) Jesus, God’s Son took upon himself the sin of the whole world and completely satisfied man’s sin debt. It was the only way he could purchase redemption for us. (3) God raised him from the dead for our justification. His resurrection was proof that the debt had been paid and justice was satisfied. (4) therefore we preach that Jesus is the Christ and the only hope of salvation is in him. But not only are we saved by him, we are bound to him for Jesus is Lord.