Summary: Exposition of Acts 8:26-40, 1 of 2 parts, about a vision for the coming new year in the church
Text: Acts 8:26-40, Title: In 2008 II, Date/Place: NRBC, 1/6/08, PM
A. Opening illustration: “I have resolved not to do drugs anymore, because I get the same effect just standing up really fast.” “I have resolved to live in my own little world, because at least they know me here.” “I have resolved to stay married, because it is so great to find that one special person you want to annoy for the rest of your life.” “I have resolved to not make any resolutions, because nobody is perfect. I’m a nobody, therefore I’m perfect.”
B. Background to passage: Having just seen the moving of the Spirit of God in Samaria and the entrance into the kingdom of the Samaritans, revival was happening, and Philip was right in the middle of it. Then God leads him away from the revival, away from the hot spot to meet an individual in need of Jesus.
C. Main thought: As today is the first Sunday of 2008, I want to look at this passage related to some New Year’s Resolutions for us in the coming year.
A. Let us prioritize personal evangelism (v. 35)
1. The translation is “preached,” but the Greek is euangellion, which means to tell the good news. There are other words for preach that mean to proclaim or herald loudly, but this means to excitedly share. And this was done “as they were going” or traveling. Philip just sat down beside him and told him about the scripture in Isaiah and Jesus. Later in the book of Acts Philip was called “the evangelist.” Good title that he had earned for himself, even though in our text, he was just doing what he was told. But the fact remains that he made personal evangelism a priority. And the bible is clear that it is the mandate for all Christians to share their faith. Yet many do not.
2. Acts 21:8, 1 Pet 3:15, 2 Cor 5:11, 1 Cor 9:19-22,
3. Illustration: I remember a time when I had two hours of conversation with this man on business who was an ex-Catholic, then there was that student from Yale doing a study on social-political groups, then there was that family of Catholics all together, Two out of three born again Christians (64%) accept Jesus Christ as their savior before their 18th birthday, “If sinners will be damned, at least let them leap to hell over our bodies. And if they will perish, let them perish with our arms about their knees, imploring them to stay. If hell must be filled, at least let it be filled in the teeth of our exertions and let not one go there unwarned and unprayed for.” – Spurgeon, tell about Shoshanna, D’Nise, Kelly, Ellen, and the rest…tell about Wal-Mart, Golden Corral, neighborhood,
4. I was thinking the other day how NRBC had experienced a little growth after taking a big step of faith; the growth had come from people who were already Christians. And one of the big differences in S. Ga and Maine is that you can’t just hang out a sign or website and have people pour in. And the only real way that our church is going to grow the kingdom here in Tifton is to go tell other people about Jesus, especially those that do not believe. And the way that you do it is just like Philip, when God provides the opportunity you walk beside or ride with or work with or family get together with that person and share how your treasure meets their needs conversationally. We are going to offer a class to help you deal with your fears, and perceived inadequacies. You will learn the necessary scripture, what to say, some common approaches, strategies (such as servant evangelism), and practice. And the least you can do is to go and invite others to church. TREASURE CHRIST BY MAKING THIS THE YEAR THAT YOU LEAD SOMEONE ELSE TO TREASURE CHRIST!