Summary: Living out the gospel always dispels false rumors.
Dealing With Rumors
Text: Acts 21:15-25
1. The perfect pastor preaches exactly 10 minutes.
He condemns sin roundly but never hurts anyone’s feelings.
He works from 8am until midnight and is also the church janitor.
The perfect pastor makes $40 a week, wears good clothes, drives a good car,
buys good books, and donates $30 a week to the church.
He is 29 years old and has 40 years experience.
Above all, he is handsome.
The perfect pastor has a burning desire to work with teenagers,
and he spends most of his time with the senior citizens.
He smiles all the time with a straight face because he has a sense of humor
that keeps him seriously dedicated to his church.
He makes 15 home visits a day
and is always in his office to be handy when needed.
The perfect pastor always has time for church council and all of its committees.
He never misses the meeting of any church organization.
and is always busy evangelizing the unchurched.
The perfect pastor is always in the next church over!
If your pastor does not measure up,
simply send this notice to six other churches that are tired of their pastor, too.
Then bundle up your pastor and send him to the church at the top of the list.
If everyone cooperates, in one week you will receive 1,643 pastors.
One of them should be perfect!
2. Well so now everyone know that I'm not the perfect Pastor. However, another thing that I've had to deal with as a Pastor are rumors.
A. Here at New Life I've had to deal with rumors that we're a cult because we speak in tongues.
B. I've also had to deal with the rumor, believe it or not, that we sell teenage girls into slavery.
C. Just to be clear, neither of those rumors are true.
D. But there is a way to deal with false rumors that takes care of the problem and glorifies God.
3. When we deal with rumors it's imperative that we...
A. Always give God the glory
B. Always live out the truth
C. Never compromise the truth
4. Let's stand together as we read from Acts 21:15-25
Proposition: Living out the gospel always dispels false rumors.
Transition: the first thing to remember is...
I. Always Give God The Glory (15-20a).
A. The Things God Had Accomplished
1. As Paul and his companions continue their journey to Jerusalem, some good things happen.
2. Luke continues the narrative with, "After this we packed our things and left for Jerusalem. 16 Some believers from Caesarea accompanied us, and they took us to the home of Mnason, a man originally from Cyprus and one of the early believers."
A. "We packed our things" probably means they saddled up horses.
B. Then Paul and his companions along with some of the disciples from Caesarea went up to Jerusalem.
C. These brothers from Caesarea knew a believer, Mnason, who, like Barnabas, was from Cyprus and "one of the early believers," that is, one of the 120.
D. Like Barnabas also, he would be sympathetic to Paul's ministry and not object to entertaining Gentile believers.
E. He was known as one who delighted to entertain strangers (foreigners).
F. The Western reading has Mnason's house between Caesarea and Jerusalem.
G. This indicates the journey "was broken at least once, and this is certainly more credible for a journey of at least sixty miles" (Horton, Acts: A Logion Press Commentary, 349).
3. Then in vv. 17-18 we read, "When we arrived, the brothers and sisters in Jerusalem welcomed us warmly. 18 The next day Paul went with us to meet with James, and all the elders of the Jerusalem church were present."
A. At Jerusalem "the brothers and sisters," including Mnason, welcomed them "warmly" (Gk. asmenōs, "joyfully"—they were very glad to see them) and, as the Greek indicates, entertained them hospitably.
B. The next day Paul took Luke and the rest of his companions to see James, the brother of Jesus.
C. "All the elders" of the Jerusalem church were also present.
D. But it is worth noting that the apostles are not mentioned.
E. Probably, as much Early Church tradition says, they were already scattered, spreading the gospel to many different locations (Horton, 350).
4. However the key to understanding how to deal with rumors lies in that Paul does next. In v. 19 and the beginning of v. 20 it says, "After greeting them, Paul gave a detailed account of the things God had accomplished among the Gentiles through his ministry. 20 After hearing this, they praised God..."
A. After greeting these elders, Paul gave them what must have been a rehearsal of his second and third missionary journeys.
B. Specifically, he told them everything that had happened since his being with them at the Jerusalem Council of Acts 15 (Horton, 350).