Summary: Message about the important of our testimony. Also how the Lord can use it to bring others to Christ.
Title: Our Testimony
Theme: Showing the importance of our testimony.
Text: Acts 16:35-40
Acts 16:35-40 And when it was day, the magistrates sent the officers, saying, "Let those men go." (36) So the keeper of the prison reported these words to Paul, saying, "The magistrates have sent to let you go. Now therefore depart, and go in peace." (37) But Paul said to them, "They have beaten us openly, uncondemned Romans, and have thrown us into prison. And now do they put us out secretly? No indeed! Let them come themselves and get us out." (38) And the officers told these words to the magistrates, and they were afraid when they heard that they were Romans. (39) Then they came and pleaded with them and brought them out, and asked them to depart from the city. (40) So they went out of the prison and entered the house of Lydia; and when they had seen the brethren, they encouraged them and departed.
Revelation 12:10-12 Then I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, "Now salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren, who accused them before our God day and night, has been cast down. (11) And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death. (12) Therefore rejoice, O heavens, and you who dwell in them! Woe to the inhabitants of the earth and the sea! For the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, because he knows that he has a short time."
I have read this passage over and over again trying to find meaning to what Paul is doing. What difference does it make if Paul goes out the front door or the back door? What difference does it make if he goes out privately or publicly? I mean is Paul trying to make something out of nothing.
But then it hit me. Isn’t that just like the devil? He would love to keep us quiet. He would love to keep others from hearing our testimony of overcoming.
Today I want to remind you that its not enough to pull through and to make it but every trial should become our testimony. God didn’t put us through the fire for no reason but that we would become as pure as gold and as fine as brass so that God can receive the glory.
This is what Paul was saying. “I may have been beaten, I may have been bound but I am not going out like this. You may be able to see the trials and persecution on my face but I am not going out silent and I am not going out like this. He said no matter what I face. I count it an honor to suffer for my king.
The Jewish leaders tried their best to stop the church. But they could not. Every time they beat them they would leave “rejoicing because they were found worthy to suffer shame for the name of Christ”. When they would stone them God would steal one of their own and raise him up to preach the gospel. This movement was different.
I am not ashamed of the Gospel
Paul said, “I am not going to cower away and hide for “I am not ashamed of the gospel for it is the power of God unto salvation”. This crowd needs to see me beating and hurt but most importantly they need to see me lift my hands to the Lord and give him praise and honor. Oh we are going to face the trials but oh think about the testimony.
Too many times we want to hide our trials afraid of what people will think. It is like trying to apologize but we are afraid because people may think we are weak. Yet we are not weak but strong.
Davis said in Psalms 34:3 Oh, magnify the Lord with me, And let us exalt His name together.
Psalms 34:1-3 A Psalm of David when he pretended madness before Abimelech, who drove him away, and he departed. I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth. (2) My soul shall make its boast in the Lord; The humble shall hear of it and be glad.
Paul said in Philippians 4:4 Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!
This sounds great and inspiring. Do you realize that he wrote this from a Roman prison waiting on a trial? On the outside some were doing everything they can to tear down the church.
Paul and David had learned the art of turning their "test" into a testimony.