Summary: Let your voice be heard, because: 1. people will still believe in Jesus (1). 2. people are still belligerent against Jesus (2-7). 3. God is still big (8-10). 4. people are still blind to the truth (11-18). 5. eternity still hangs in the balance (18-20).
Let Your Voice Be Heard!
The Book of Acts - Part 46
Sermon by Rick Crandall
Grayson Baptist Church - June 15, 2014
*Life changing words: Hearing your boyfriend ask, "Will you marry me?" Answering "Yes!" or "No." Both of those answers are pretty life-changing. How about hearing your wife say, "I'm pregnant." That's life-changing!
*But the greatest life-changing words are the words of the gospel: God loves you. Jesus Christ died on the cross for your sins. Jesus rose again from the dead. Jesus will save you. These are the most life-changing words anyone can ever hear. And Christians, we must let people hear this good news from us! Tonight's Scripture helps us see why.
1. First: Let your voice be heard, because people will still believe in Jesus.
*Many people will believe and be saved. Verse 1 reminds us of this wonderful truth. There the Word of God says: "Now it happened in Iconium that they went together to the synagogue of the Jews, and so spoke that a great multitude both of the Jews and of the Greeks believed." Many believed. They trusted in the Lord, and they were saved, because somebody let their voice be heard.
*What an infinite blessing: To be saved and forgiven! To have eternal life! To be part of the family of God! To have a home in Heaven!
*Can you remember what it was like to be lost? Think of life without Jesus Christ, a life that is really not alive. A two-dimensional shell of a life in a three-dimensional world: That's what life is like without Jesus. But Christians: We are truly alive! We are saved, because somebody let their voice be heard. And people all around us need to hear.
*Richard Pfeil challenges and encourages us with these words: "I wonder sometimes whether the myths in our heads are really true, the myths in our churches that people don’t really want to hear about Christianity, the myth that people are satisfied with their lives, that they have everything they need, and don’t need the Lord in their lives. . ."
*Then Richard said: "When I look at the early church, they always spoke out about Jesus Christ. Throughout the history of the last 2,000 years, people have discovered that they do need Jesus. People have listened, and they will listen. People have responded, and they will respond. . . And every time the church caught fire and talked about their faith, people began to listen." (1)
*Bruce Larson gave this testimony about an unexpected salvation. It was a neighbor of his in Sanibel Island, Florida. And Bruce said, "I had a neighbor in his eighties who had been a vice-president for McGraw-Hill, one of the great publishing firms of our land. He was a brilliant businessman. He was a leader in his Episcopal church, and on the city council in Sanibel. He was, respected, and loved by all.
*One weekend, he went off to a renewal conference with a bunch of lay people who began praying with him and talking about Jesus. This beautiful man comes home transformed and says to his neighbors and friends, 'I met Jesus!' 'What happened to you?' they ask. He says, 'I don't know. I fell in love.'" He fell in love with the Lord God Almighty. He fell in love with Jesus Christ! "'He's always been a good man,' his neighbors said, 'but now he's a new man.'" (2)
2. Let your voice be heard, because people will still believe in Jesus, and because people are still belligerent against Jesus.
*Many people are belligerent against our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. And they are doing everything they can to poison other minds. We can see the poison spread in vs. 2-7:
2. But the unbelieving Jews stirred up the Gentiles and poisoned their minds against the brethren.
3. Therefore they stayed there a long time, speaking boldly in the Lord, who was bearing witness to the word of His grace, granting signs and wonders to be done by their hands.
4. But the multitude of the city was divided: part sided with the Jews, and part with the apostles.
5. And when a violent attempt was made by both the Gentiles and Jews, with their rulers, to abuse and stone them,
6. they became aware of it and fled to Lystra and Derbe, cities of Lycaonia, and to the surrounding region.
7. And they were preaching the gospel there.
*Those unbelieving Jews were hard-hearted and belligerent to the truth about Jesus. They also tried their best to poison other people's minds in Iconium. And the same kind of thing is going on today.
*You may remember the story from last Christmas about an atheist organization that put up 55 billboards around Sacramento, California to promote their unbelief. It was the Sacramento chapter of the Freedom from Religion Foundation. This is the same group that has instigated so much anti-Christian bigotry in our military. Those billboards last Christmas had a big picture of a typical Nativity scene, with the star overhead, and the three Wise Men headed toward the manger. But the main caption said: "You KNOW it's a Myth." (3)