Summary: This sermon takes a close look at Simon Magus,the converted sorcerer whose heart was not quite right. It is designed to help Christian deal with old habits and attitudes that sometimes emerge during the Christian walk.
Subject: Heart Trouble In The Church
Text: Acts 8:9-24
Introduction: Up to this point, the early church had experienced its empowerment, which brought signs, wonders and miracles, and rapid growth. In chapter seven, it suffered its first martyr, Stephen. Saul kept the coats of those who stoned Stephen and watched as Stephen prayed for his enemies. Instead of the church being stopped, the church was strengthened and increased. Somehow God used Saul to cause the church to scatter. The disciples were forced to spread out, leave Jerusalem and take the gospel to surrounding area. Philip who was one of seven that was selected to wait on tables, went to Samaria. Philip preached Christ unto them, his life, death and resurrection. God worked with Philip confirming the word with signs following, many believed and were baptized, demons were cast out, the palsy was healed, and the lame walked. The Bible says, “there was great joy in the city.”
We have witnessed Power in the Church, Persecution of the Church, Corruption within the Church, Problems inside the Church, the First Martyr of the Church and now Heart Trouble in the Church. The hearts of the people of Samaria were changed by the word of God. One of the most notable converts was a man named Simon Magus. Simon was a sorcerer, who had bewitched the city of Samaria, giving out himself as some great one. The entire city gave heed to Simon, and was held under his spell. But when Simon heard the preaching of Philip, Simon also believed and was baptized.
I have titled this message heart trouble because Simon had a problem that was hard to detect. Most heart attack victims seem to doing well only moments before, then out of the blue, chest pains begin. Sometimes spiritually, the same thing happens. A person may receive Christ as his Savior and a journey filled peace and joy. He feels like he’s on top of the world singing, “Ain’t going to let nobody turn me around”. Some people say that Simon was not really saved, but let’s consider the scriptural evidence. I believe a person can be saved, but still have heart trouble. They can be saved but still have some issues.
1. You Can Be Saved, but still have Heart Trouble - Ac 8:9-13 But there was a certain man, called Simon, which beforetime in the same city used sorcery, and bewitched the people of Samaria, giving out that himself was some great one: To whom they all gave heed, from the least to the greatest, saying, This man is the great power of God. And to him they had regard, because that of long time he had bewitched them with sorceries. But when they believed Philip preaching the things concerning the kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women. Then Simon himself believed also: and when he was baptized, he continued with Philip, and wondered, beholding the miracles and signs which were done.”
The Bible said, Simon believed and was baptized, then Simon closed his business and continued with Philip. Then when Peter and John came down, Philip received the Holy Spirit through the laying in of the apostles’ hands. But still he had heart trouble.
Jer 17:9 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?
Adam Clark’s Commentary says of the heart that “the heart is full of windings. It even hides itself from itself; so that its owner does not know it. A corrupt heart is the worst enemy the fallen creature can have; it is full of evil devices,-of deceit, of folly, and abomination, and its owner knows not what is in him till it boils over, and is often past remedy before the evil is perceived. Therefore trust not in man, whose purposes are continually changing, and who is actuated only by motives of self-interest.” You see you can be saved but still have heart trouble. Secondly, most heart trouble develops from an underlying problem.
2. Heart Trouble Often Develops From An Underlying Problems - Ac 8:14-19 Now when the apostles which were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent unto them Peter and John: Who, when they were come down, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Ghost: (For as yet he was fallen upon none of them: only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.) Then laid they their hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost. And when Simon saw that through laying on of the apostles’ hands the Holy Ghost was given, he offered them money, Saying, Give me also this power, that on whomsoever I lay hands, he may receive the Holy Ghost.
Physically, medical doctors caution us about our blood pressure, cholesterol, stress and the like, they call them silent killers. Spiritually, we have conditions in our life that lie dormant until an opportunity presents itself and to our surprise we find ourselves in the middle of a crisis.