Summary: From this text, let’s consider how one man and his wife responded to the gospel and how this relates to people today. 1- Some are acquainted with the gospel 2- Some are willing to listen 3- Some are repelled when convicted
INTRO.- What’s the most difficult physical thing you ever did in life? Ride an unbroken horse? Climb an enormous mountain? Run a marathon? Fight a bull? Or run with the bulls as they did on Monday, July 7th, in Spain when 13 people were injured?
ILL.- The Spanish Red Cross said 13 people were injured, with head, rib or other injuries from falling or getting trampled. The worst off was a 37-year-old Spaniard with fractured ribs and a ruptured spleen, the Red Cross said. The whole run took just over four minutes.
YOU KNOW WHAT I SAY TO THAT STUFF? You guessed it. I don’t even want to go to Spain, much less run with the bulls. When you play with fire, you get burned. And they say that when you play with the bull you get the horns!
More than likely you’ve never done any of these things but you’ve done some things in life that you probably considered to be pretty hard or difficult in one way or another. They may not have been physical but they were tough!
ILL.- A couple with three children waited in line at San Francisco’s Pier 41 to purchase tickets for a boat trip to Alcatraz. Others watched with varying degrees of sympathy and irritation as the young children fidgeted, whined, and punched one another.
The frazzled parents reprimanded them to no avail. Finally, they reached the ticket window. "Five tickets, please," the father said. "Two round trip, three one way."
ILL.- I was in Walmart one day and passed by a man, his wife and children. He was holding a cute little baby girl in his arms. I asked how old she was. He said, "Four months old and these are my other children."
He had, I think, six or seven other children. He said, "But we’re not having any more." I glanced to look at his wife and you should have seen the look she gave me.
What’s hard or difficult in life? How about raising children? Now that’s a difficult thing for anyone! I dare anyone to say that raising children is an easy thing to do!
Life is full of difficulty and living for Christ is one of them. Even though we have the Lord on our side we will have trouble in this world. Why? Because we’re still human and ALL humans face difficulties in life. Also, because we’re in Christ the devil is going to throw the book at us, so to speak. He may well use every means possible to get us to fail and/or deny the faith. BUT REJOICE! Greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world! (I John 4:4)
And what’s the most difficult thing in living the Christian life? Many things can be difficult and one of them is witnessing for Christ. It’s so difficult that many people don’t do it.
I’ve read that only 5% of all Christians do 100% of the witnessing for Christ. This means that 95% of all Christian people never lead anyone to Christ in their lifetime.
If we truly believe with all our hearts that Jesus is the Son of God and Savior of the world then we must speak for Him! We must point others to Him! And sometimes that isn’t always easy to do.
Sometimes people don’t want to listen to us talk about Jesus. Some people turn away quickly and others may well get downright mean about it.
PROP.- From this text, let’s consider how one man and his wife responded to the gospel and how this relates to people today.
1- Some are acquainted with the gospel
2- Some are willing to listen
3- Some are repelled when convicted
I. SOME ARE ACQUAINTED WITH THE GOSPEL
22Then Felix, who was well acquainted with the Way, adjourned the proceedings. "When Lysias the commander comes," he said, "I will decide your case."
People can be acquainted with something but still not know anything about it in regard to any depth.
The sad truth is many people have only an artificial or a limited knowledge of Christ. What do people know about the gospel of Christ?
ILL.- Pollster George Gallup Jr. has long referred to America as a "nation of biblical illiterates." Only four in 10 Americans know that Jesus delivered the Sermon on the Mount. A majority of citizens cannot name the four Gospels of the New Testament. Only three in 10 teenagers know why Easter is celebrated.
Another poll by the Barna Research Group suggested that religious illiteracy has increased. For example, three out of four Americans (and nearly half of "born-again" Christians) believe the Bible teaches that "God helps those who help themselves."
I am amazed that people don’t know more about Christ and Christianity than they do. Here we live in a country that has long celebrated the birth of Christ and the resurrection of Christ! These are huge celebrations for Christians that take place every year and you would think they have some impact on people.