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Summary: 1. It puts us together with good people (vs. 10-11). 2. It helps us search the Scriptures (vs. 11-12). 3. It is destined to win the greatest war (vs. 13-15).

The Book of Acts - Part 57

Acts 17:1-15

Sermon by Rick Crandall

Grayson Baptist Church - September 7, 2014

BACKGROUND:

*In tonight's Scripture, Paul was still on his second missionary journey, leading a team that included Silas, Timothy and Luke. They left Philippi after being severely beaten. But they also saw great things happen as people were saved, and new churches were started.

*When Paul's missionary team got to Thessalonica, they ran into trouble again, because some unbelieving Jews stirred up a mob against them. And in last week's Scripture we heard an accusation against these Christians that was actually turned out to be a great testimony for them. Acts 17:6 says: "But when they did not find them, they dragged Jason and some brethren to the rulers of the city, crying out, 'These who have turned the world upside down have come here too.'"

*Of course, the truth is that our sin-sick world is already upside down, and God is using His Church to help turn the world right side up for Jesus! That's one of the great things about God's Church. And as we read vs. 1-15, tonight, we can see some more great things about God's Church.

INTRODUCTION:

*Dick Van Dyke told the story about a Sunday School teacher who asked her students how they felt about their church. Most of the students answered in the usual ways. Some said silly things to get the other kids to laugh, and others tried to be more serious.

*One of the girls was new to the class, and she felt uncomfortable about entering into class discussions, so she never raised her hand, or volunteered an answer. But that Sunday after class, she did have an answer for her teacher, and it was unforgettable. That girl said for her, going to church was, "like walking into the heart of God." (1)

*That’s the way church ought to be. That's the way it can be. And in tonight's Scripture, God shows us some of the great things about His church.

1. First: God Church puts us together with good people.

*We see this happening in vs. 10-11, when Paul and Silas got to Berea. There the Word of God says:

10. Then the brethren immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea. When they arrived, they went into the synagogue of the Jews.

11. These were more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so.

*God helped Paul and Silas find some fair-minded, honorable, noble people, and He will do the same for us. Yes, there are a lot of hate-filled people in this world. We can see some of them back up in vs. 5, where "the Jews who were not persuaded, becoming envious, took some of the evil men from the marketplace, and gathering a mob, set all the city in an uproar and attacked the house of Jason, and sought to bring them out to the people."

*Christ-rejecting hate-filled people are still all over the world today. But thank God, there are lots of good, godly people in this world! Thank God there are people who know and love the Lord: People like the Christians from Thessalonica in vs. 10. They were concerned about Paul and Silas' safety. That's why "the brethren immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea."

*Also thank God that there are fair-minded, peaceful people in the world today who have not yet trusted in the Lord. There are people out there like the Bereans in vs. 11. And I like what the Scripture says about these Bereans.

*In vs. 11, God gives them three great compliments: They "were more fair-minded." "They received the word with all readiness." And they "searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so." Many people today are like the Bereans: They are hungry for God, hungry for His Word, hungry for the truth, and ready to do the right thing.

*When I got to go on a mission trip to a Muslim country in 2006, we wondered how we would know when and where to share the good news. One of the local believers pointed us to the Scripture in Luke 10:5-6. There Jesus said:

5. "But whatever house you enter, first say, 'Peace to this house.'

6. And if a son of peace is there, your peace will rest on it; if not, it will return to you."

*That local Christian told us that we would be able to tell when we had met a man of peace. And he was exactly right. Perhaps some people will be able to fool us. But we will almost always be able to find people of peace when we are looking for them. And Jesus wants us to look for them.

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