Summary: In our text, let’s consider the procedure of how good conquered evil. 1- Philip preached - that’s the good 2- Simon boasted - that’s the bad 3- People believed - that’s the good 4- Simon backslid - that’s the bad 5- Peter warned - that’s the good
INTRO.- ILL.- In Florida, an atheist became incensed over the preparation for Easter and Passover holidays and decided to contact the local ACLU about the discrimination inflicted on atheists by the constant celebrations afforded to Christians and Jews with all their holidays while the atheists had no holiday to celebrate.
The ACLU jumped on the opportunity to once again pick up the cause of the godless and assigned their sharpest attorneys to the case.
The case was brought before a wise judge who after listening to the long, passionate presentation of the ACLU lawyers, promptly banged his gavel and declared, "Case dismissed!"
The lead ACLU lawyer immediately stood and objected to the ruling and said, "Your honor, how can you possibly dismiss this case? Surely the Christians have Christmas, Easter and many other observances. And the Jews--in addition to Passover they have Yom Kippur and Hanukkah ...and yet my client and all other atheists have no such holiday!"
The judge leaned forward in his chair and simply said "Obviously your client is too confused to know about, or for that matter, even celebrate the atheists’ holiday!"
The ACLU lawyer pompously said "We are aware of no such holiday for atheists, just when might that be, your honor?"
The judge said "Well it comes every year on exactly the same date - April 1st!" (smart judge!)
It’s always great when good conquers evil, isn’t it? And good will conquer evil. Ultimately and eventually God will conquer ALL the evil in this world. When God is in it, good always and ultimately conquers evil. Want proof? Here a few examples.
- God delivered righteous Noah and his family from the destruction of the flood.
- God scattered the people of the earth after the tower of Babel because they were getting too big for their own britches.
- God rescued Lot and his two daughters from the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. Mrs. Lot made a fatal mistake, however.
- Joseph was delivered by God from his hateful brothers and eventually made the ruler over all of Egypt.
- God delivered the shepherd boy David from the giant Goliath with only a slingshot.
- God delivered the three Hebrew boys from the fiery furnace when they refused to fall down and worship an image of gold.
- Daniel was thrown into the lion’s den because he would not fall down and worship king Darius, but God shut the mouths of those lions and Daniel was unharmed. And the stories go on and on.
PROP.- In our text, let’s consider the procedure of how good conquered evil.
1- Philip preached - that’s the good
2- Simon boasted - that’s the bad
3- People believed - that’s the good
4- Simon backslid - that’s the bad
5- Peter warned - that’s the good
I. PHILIP PREACHED - THAT’S THE GOOD
4Those who had been scattered preached the word wherever they went. 5Philip went down to a city in Samaria and proclaimed the Christ there. 6When the crowds heard Philip and saw the miraculous signs he did, they all paid close attention to what he said.
Philip preached the Word. He preached Jesus as the Christ, the savior. That’s good! In fact, that’s probably one of the best things that could be done in our day and time. Why? Because people need to hear about Christ in order to believe and obey and be saved.
Rom. 10:14-15 "How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can they preach unless they are sent? As it is written, "How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!"
ILL.- I’m not sure if you got the whole story but our Austin Sandy went forward at the commitment time at church camp this summer. He said he wanted to become a minister, a preacher of the gospel. I asked him here in church if anything happened at church camp. And he said he got a pretty girlfriend. After church I asked him if he told his parents. He said, "No," so he went and told them. I said, "What did they say?" They said, "Where are you going to get the money to go to Bible College?" (that story may have changed now)
If somebody wants to preach then we should encourage them all we can, because this world needs more preaching of the gospel of Christ.
ILL.- Martin Luther is reported to have said, “Do your best. If you cannot preach an hour, then preach half an hour or a quarter of an hour. Do not try to imitate other people. Center on the shortest and simplest points, which are the very heart of the matter, and leave the rest to God. Look solely to His honor and not to applause.... Although I am old (he was 48) and experienced, I am afraid every time I have to preach.”