Summary: Outreach ministry and discipleship development are significant challenges. so we need to glean wisdom from the experience of the godly, especially Paul. Here are two pieces of advice we can glean from Paul's experience, even though our context of ministr
God's Faith Incubator
1. A few years ago, the WWJD fad was raging. It was a good fad. Do you remember the bracelets with WWJD that the kids would wear?
2. I saw a cartoon of Jesus with a bracelet on. It said, "WWI" for "What would I do?"
3. Two incidents happened within the past couple of weeks.
4. One involves Ron Erickson, our custodian. Ginny, Jane, Ron and I were talking for a moment about the fact that the old weather number was no longer in service.
5. I mentioned a Kokomo Perspective newspaper article , but already in the trash and taken outside.
6. Ron decided to head outside and look in the dumpster. While he was mulling around, a neighbor lady saw him and asked, "Are you hungry? I can give you some food."
7. The second occurred last week. Marylu and I love to walk four times a week; we enjoy cold weather over warm, but we bundle up. We were walking back home during the sleet storm. We had to keep our faces down because the sleet. A woman was driving by and asked us if we needed a lift. We told her we were walking for exercise.
8. These two stories have a lot in common. (1) false alarms, (2) misunderstanding, and (3) a willingness to reach out and get involved. They may have been asking, "What would Jesus do?"
9. As I thought about that, I asked myself, "How willing am I to reach out and get involved? How willing are you to reach out and speak to another about the Lord?"
Main Idea: Outreach ministry and discipleship development are significant challenges. so we need to glean wisdom from the experience of the godly, especially Paul. Here are two pieces of advice we can glean from Paul's experience, even though our context of ministry may seem like but a microcosm of Paul's.
I. Take Those Who Want to Serve God and Leave the Rest BEHIND for Now (42-48)
A. Week One: PROTO-commitments and commitments (42-43)
1. Note the cordial atmosphere: invited back (42)
2. Seekers gravitated to Paul and Barnabas (43)
I was talking to Doug Anderson…seven young men, some believers and some unbelievers over to discuss how we know the Bible is true…
3. Difference between the curious, the vacillating, and those with genuine interest
4. Explain Jews, devout converts, and God-fearing women (or men)
B. Week Two: POLARIZATION between believing and rejecting Jews (44-45)
1. Publicity brought Jewish and Gentile crowds (44)
2. The unbelieving Jews were jealous and nasty to Paul (45)
• They would "blaspheme" not the name of God, but of Jesus.
• This began a tradition of misinformation and growing blasphemy
• In the Talmud, Jesus is represented as the son of Miriam and a Roman soldier named Pantera and was an evil magician who was promiscuous and led his followers into idolatry and immoral parties
• Many Jews used the name Yeshu instead of Yeshua because Yeshu is an insulting acrostic…
• Modern Jews usually have no malice against Jesus, they just do not believe he was the Messiah…most believe there never will be a Messiah
C. The ministry turned to the GOYIM (46-47)
1. Paul's duty had been fulfilled to the Jews/commanded to reach gentiles next
2. since Messiah is a light to the gentiles, his delegates required to share that light
D. The Sovereign HAND of God works behind the scenes (48)
• Explain the cause and effect relationship here; not just correlation
• Still, those who do not accept Jesus are held responsible
• God gets the glory when someone believes, unbelievers accountable for unbelief.
E. Application: We are often unmotivated until God BREAKS through.
1. Gentiles who had shown no interest in the God of Israel now believe
2. Some of them accept Jesus because they were prepared by God
3. Most of the Jews and most of the gentiles, however, did not
Outreach ministry and discipleship development are significant challenges
II. When God Works MIGHTILY, Expect Evil Forces to Become Active (49-52)
A. The world, the flesh, and the devil are ALLIED
1. I've seen it here at HPC – when thing look really God, Satan does something
2. It is a war; and it escalates when we witness or are developing a brother/sister
B. God's Word spread REGIONALLY (49)
C. The enemies of the Gospel PULLED strings (50)
1. Many Gentile women were converting to Judaism throughout the empire
2. Their husbands were still pagans, but they were people of influence
3. Why prevent others? Here, the motive of jealousy is given
4. Behind this opposition is Satan; Paul – spiritual warfare in Eph. 6, Satan hindered in I Thess. 2:18, devil is god of this world, lost are blinded by him.