Sermons

Summary: Jesus can equip us as he did the early disciples so that we can be "History Makers" for God!

Partnering with God to Get the Word Out!

INTRODUCTION

Time Capsule—Riverside Elementary

The Monroe Evening News (Monroe, MI) reported that:

On Thursday Mrs. Matthews, a teacher at Riverside Elementary, and a group of her former classmates got together and opened the long-lost treasure box. For a short time, they traveled back to 1976 and reminisced about days gone by.

"It was awesome," she said. "It was so nice to see everybody after so many years. It was a lot of fun. Just a lot of fun."

The time capsule contained many items, including a John Denver 45 record and a Fonzie poster from "Happy Days," a hit TV show back then. There were coins and Greenfield Village artifacts since that’s where the class took a field trip that year.

Mrs. Matthews found her contributions. Prior to opening the wooden box, she thought she put in a bicentennial quarter. But it actually was a penny and a bookmark that she described as "lame."

They were remembering History. Remembering what was. They lived it. Most of us LIVE history, and some of us aspire to MAKE history

Hank Aaron

Einstein

Martin Luther King, Jr.

Bill Gates

Wilbur and Orville Wright

Gutenburg

DaVinci

They certainly have “made” history, and we can read about them in history—

Here are some other historical figures:

Stephen, Dorcas, Apollow, Ananias and Sapphira, Peter, Paul, & Mary, Dr. Luke, Festus—

What am I talking about? Not Gunsmoke—the book of ACTS! It is one of my favorite books of the Bible!

• Family album—of my Christian family and forefathers and mothers

• Time Capsule—what Christian life was like back then

• An eyewitness account—and reports of other eyewitness accounts, passed down through the ages

Acts is often viewed as a history of the growth of the early church.

• How does it get so big?

Luke shows how the church grew

• Numerically

• Geographically

• In spite of Problems

o Persecution

o Controversy

We are going to be camping out in Acts the next couple of weeks

KFC—Paul/Communication (HEY KIDS!! What are you learning about . . . we will be too, in church!)

Earlier this week, I was watching “the Brothers Grimm”—not a movie for young children—portraying them as money driven scam artists posing as Enlightenment era “Ghost Busters”—they promised to drive out ghosts and other scary creatures for cold hard cash. All goes well until they encounter a real, live, “fairy tale” story.

Set in Germany, it got me thinking about your heritage and my heritage. Though Germany was considered a “Christian Land” at this time (think of Martin Luther) it was still a land whose folk tales drew on their pagan past, with all kinds of gods in charge of music, trees, brooks, etc.

I am German. I could have been a tree worshipper.

And lest you think you could have escaped that fate, you out there that are English or Irish or Scottish, or French, etc, you also have in your history: druids, Stonehenge, “magic”, charms, superstition (THAT still exists today for some Christians!)

What is the difference?

ACTS 1:1-11

MOST, if not All of us sitting here today, are believers in Jesus, rather than the tree in our front yard, because of 12 men who came from all walks of life to follow Jesus, doing whatever it took to be history makers for Him.

How did they make such history? Jesus gave them exactly what they needed to turn he world upside down for Him. And just like them,

Big Idea: With the help of Jesus, We can be History Makers for God!

This little—but growing--collection of believers, this church, this family of believers in God almighty can continue the long line of history makers since the early days of the church, if we let Jesus equip us as he did the apostles:

How did he equip them?

Jesus started up by providing them

1. Proof: that he is really alive and resurrected!

3 After his suffering, he showed himself to these men and gave many convincing proofs that he was alive. He appeared to them over a period of forty days

40 days (ring any bells?!) he hung out with them, teaching, encouraging, giving fishing tips, eating

What was important about this?

His words are true and he is the Christ, the son of God

Paul, the Apostle, (KFC!!) says, if the resurrection (Jesus’ physical rising from the dead) is not true, then

• Our preaching is useless (not just mine!)

• Our faith is useless

• The Apostles are false witness

• Our faith is vain

• We are still in our sinds

• The dead in Christ are lost

• We are the most pitied of all men.

• (1 Cor 15:14-19)

This is not the time to go into a thorough defense of Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection, but if you want some good research on that, beyond what the Bible says, you might start with Josh McDowell’s “More than a Carpenter” or Lee Strobel’s “The Case for Christ (and a youth edition). Both men essentially started out as non-believers, looking to prove that Christianity was not based on a lot of fact, and ended up strong believers themselves.

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