Summary: To be involved in changing the world for Christ we must have integrity, intensity, and involvement in sharing our faith. (Acts 17:1-9)
Be a world changer
LAST WEEK: We are called to have a common purpose in what we do
-- The purpose is to worship, to love, and to celebrate Christ and share Him always
-- That is our challenge, mission, and it is STILL where we find ourselves today
This week we actually have a two part message which will conclude next week
Most will agree that Paul was a unique man; one who stood apart from others
-- Paul in my opinion is a behemoth of a man; a man on a destined mission
-- He was not swayed by public opinion nor worried about what others thought
APP: Paul understood that Grace was the key to life; for it had been shown to him
What do we know about this man many challenged and listened to?
-- He was Jewish by birth and a roman citizen
-- He lived in the city of Tarsus and parents were well off (re: Paul’s education)
-- His life was dedicated to studying the Law of Abraham
-- Most likely a member of the Sanhedrin and was a chief persecutor
Then, his entire life changed when he met Jesus Christ (Acts Ch 9)
-- God called him out of his life and into that of a missionary
-- This calling forever changed his direction and truly transformed his life
Paul was, without a doubt, a man who changed the world!!
Read Acts 17:1-9
TRANS: What does it take to be a world changer? 3 things needed today …
Point 1 – Integrity
Luke tells us (v.4) that Paul’s preaching was successful in Thessalonica.
-- “Some of the Jews were persuaded and joined Paul and Silas, as did a large number of God-fearing Greeks and quite a few prominent women.”
These were Gentiles drawn to morality & monotheism (one God) of the faith
-- They could never actually become Jews, but they were Jews from a distance
-- APP: The people of that day were looking for something “real” … just as your family, co-workers, neighbors are!
This world in which Christianity was conceived was a world of total immorality
-- Slavery was a universally accepted system
-- Homosexuality was rampant
-- Sexual permissiveness was the rule of the day
-- Prostitution & all forms of sexual immorality were a major part of religion
-- Human life was cheap & pleasure was primary
-- THEN, into world of immorality Christianity introduced: integrity
No wonder these Christians were causing trouble in their world.
-- They were doing something that had been forgotten in that pagan culture.
-- They were living lives of integrity and people didn’t know how to react to it.
-- 1 Thess. 1:9 tells us that these Christians had “turned to God from idols to serve the living & true God.”
D.L. Moody said that you can tell a person’s character by what they do in the dark
- “The measure of a man’s real character is what he would do if he knew he would never be found out.”
In recent years we’ve seen a lot of examples of suffering from a lack of integrity
-- Coaches have been fired, preachers failed to stand, respected politicians exposed
-- We’ve become a nation that doesn’t know what the word “integrity” means