Summary: It takes extra-ordinary people, living extra-ordinary lives to proclaim the truth of the Gospel. It takes extra-ordinary people, living extra-ordinary lives to proclaim that Jesus is Lord. It takes extra-ordinary people, living extra-ordinary lives to pro
Average is not good enough
I’m sure many of you are Peanuts fans like me. One day Linus came home with his report card. As he turned on the TV, his sister Lucy scoffed at his grade: “You got a “C” in history? That’s only average.” Linus defended himself: “So what? I’m an average student in an average school in an average community. What’s wrong with being average?” Lucy retorted, “Because you’re capable of doing much better.”
How many of us settle for just average eh?
Average man Average Woman
The average man is 34.4 years old. The average woman is 45.
He is married with two children. She has 2.5 children (married?)
earns £17,500 per year earns £16,000 per year
sleeps for 6 hours on a work night. Sleeps 6hrs 45 minutes (prob every night)
The average man is 5’ 9" tall. The average woman is 5’4” tall
weighs 175 pounds (12.5 stone) Weighs 152 pounds (10.8 stone)
Takes a size 9 shoe Takes a size 5 show
I wonder how close are you to the average?
The average Christian will, over the course of their life (about 35 - 40 years):
Attend more than 1,600 church services
hear more than 1,600 sermons,
sing over 20,000 christian worship songs,
participate in over 10,000 public prayers...
and will lead zero people to faith in Jesus Christ in the course of their Christian lifetime.
It’s a sobering and sad statistic. How close are you to being an average Christian? As Lucy said to Linus ‘we’re all capable of doing much better’.
Those 12 disciples that Jesus chose to follow him were just ordinary, average people. Peter, Andrew, James and John were just ordinary, average, everyday fishermen, living ordinary, average lives, doing ordinary, average jobs. Matthew was just an ordinary, average, everyday tax collector, living an ordinary, average life, doing an ordinary, average job.
But then they met Jesus and they became average, ordinary people, living extra-ordinary lives. That’s what happens. When ordinary, average people have an encounter with Jesus Christ they become average, ordinary people living extra-ordinary lives.
But it doesn’t end there. These disciples didn’t remain average people. They didn’t remain ordinary people. When they first met Jesus Christ they became average, ordinary people living extra-ordinary lives – but when they met the risen Christ – they became extra-ordinary people living extra-ordinary lives – and the book of Acts is where that transformation, from the average and ordinary, to the extra-ordinary, takes place.
Facts about Acts
So over the next few weeks we’re going to be looking at the ‘Facts about Acts’. Many people have pointed out how similar life in the first century is to life in the twenty first century. Back then Christians lived in a predominately pagan culture where the vast majority of people had no knowledge of God.
They lived under Roman rule and as Christianity began to spread the Roman rulers reacted first with apathy, then with curiosity, and then finally with outright hostility.
Those early Christians proclaimed a message that Rome just could not accept: Their message that - Jesus is Lord. In the first century if a Christian stood up in a public gathering and shouted, “Jesus is God,” no one would have objected because everyone knew the Romans permitted you to worship whatever god you chose. But, let that same man shout, “Jesus is Lord,” and he would be arrested and put to death - because as far as Rome was concerned - Caesar was Lord. So to proclaim the lordship of Jesus Christ was a direct attack on the supremity of Rome itself.
And we live in very similar days. No one cares about your religion as long as you keep it to yourself. No-one cares about what you believe – as long as you believe it quietly. No-one cares what religion you are – as long as you do it in private. But if you dare stand up and proclaim that certain things are right and others are wrong, if you stand up and claim the ultimate truth of the gospel - you will be branded an intolerant bigot—or worse.
We need to be extra-ordinary christians!
And it takes extra-ordinary people, living extra-ordinary lives to proclaim the truth of the Gospel. It takes extra-ordinary people, living extra-ordinary lives to proclaim that Jesus is Lord. . It takes extra-ordinary people, living extra-ordinary lives to proclaim that there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we can be saved – and it’s the name of Jesus Christ. We need to be extra-ordinary people, we need to be extra-ordinary Christians, we have to be living extra-ordinary lives.
And that’s why we’re going to be looking at the book of Acts. The Book of Acts shows us how the those early Christian responded when living in a predominately pagan culture. And it teaches us about the worldwide mission of the Christian church.