Summary: 1. We must speak boldly (vs. 8). (How? - With confidence in the Lord and concern for the lost.) 2. We must speak reasonably (vs. 8-9). 3. We must speak persuasively (vs. 8). 4. We must speak persistently (vs. 9-10).
How to See More Victories for the Cause of Christ
The Book of Acts - Part 67
Sermon by Rick Crandall
Grayson Baptist Church - Revised July 14, 2018
*Remember that here in Acts 19, Paul was on his third missionary journey. His team was reaching many people in the city of Ephesus. They saw many victories for the cause of Jesus Christ. And tonight, we will study how they got there. Let's get started by reading Acts 19:8-10.
*Sometimes we can get discouraged when we are trying to serve the Lord. But Christians: We should be the most optimistic people in the world! Rodney Buchanan explained by saying, "The reason I am an optimist is because I serve a God who is in control. I often think about the early church and the culture in which it not only survived, but thrived.
*Most early Christians lived within the bounds of the Roman Empire where there were persecutions. It was literally a national sport to throw the Christians to the lions as cheering crowds watched them be torn apart. The Roman roads were often lined with crosses on which Christians hung because they would not denounce Christ. Not only was abortion acceptable, a father could kill his child at any age.
*The government was completely hostile toward Christianity and anyone who was a follower of Christ. And yet it was during this time of enormous opposition that the church grew from just 120 believers to untold thousands." (1)
*Our God is supreme! It doesn't matter how much opposition there is, God is in control, and he will have His way. So, we can see more great victories for the Lord and His church. But we must reach out and speak the truth about Jesus Christ. We need to make sure that everyone hears the Gospel. This is what the Apostle Paul was doing in vs. 8-10. And it's crucial for us to speak out today the way Paul spoke in Ephesus.
1. First: We must speak boldly.
*We must speak the way Paul spoke in vs. 8. There "he went into the synagogue and spoke boldly for three months, reasoning and persuading concerning the things of the kingdom of God." Paul was very bold to speak out for Jesus Christ. And there are two keys for us to have that kind of boldness:
 First we need confidence in the Lord.
*Paul had great confidence in the Lord Jesus Christ. There was no doubt in his mind that Christ had met him on the road to Damascus. There was no doubt in his mind that Jesus was the Messiah, the only begotten Son of God who died on the cross for our sins and rose again from the dead.
*There was no doubt that Christ was a merciful King who would save anyone who would receive Him as Lord and Savior. And there was no doubt that Christ would be with Paul in every hardship he faced. There was no doubt.
*Paul had great confidence in the Lord, and I'm sure that most of us here feel the same way. How much confidence do you have in the Lord? Most of us would say, "One hundred percent!" or "One thousand present!" We have great confidence in Jesus Christ, and that's great!
 We must have confidence in the Lord. -- But we also must have concern for the lost.
*The other key to Paul's boldness was his concern for the lost. Paul had oceans of concern for the los, and we need much more of it today. Remember that in Romans 9:1-3, Paul said:
1. I tell the truth in Christ, I am not lying, my conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Spirit,
2. that I have great sorrow and continual grief in my heart.
3. For I could wish that I myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh.
*If we had even a fraction of that kind of concern for the lost, we would be much bolder to speak out for Jesus Christ. But what happens when we don't have Paul's kind of concern?
*King Duncan helps us see in a story that hit very close to home. It was a testimony from Dr. Fred Craddock about a church he pastored in his student days. It was a beautiful little church in Anderson County in eastern Tennessee. That church was a white frame building, as pretty as a picture. There were good people in that church, too. It was a warm, loving family of fine people.
*But when Dr. Craddock got there, he noticed something wrong. None of the new people in the community -- the people who had come to work on the big government project over at Oak Ridge, and all those people living in trailers and quickly built rent houses with all those children, none of those people were in that church.