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Summary: Moving ahead can be scary... Moving ahead can seem like a waste of time if we don't see the need But this morning we are also going to look at where moving ahead may seem impossible b/c we MAY feel like all is lost! Look at the story of Paul and Silas...

Sermon Brief

Date Written: January 15, 2014

Date Preached: January 19, 2014

Where Preached: OPBC (AM)

Sermon Details:

Series Title: Moving Ahead

Sermon Title: Moving Ahead – When All Seems Lost

Sermon Text: Acts 16:16-40 [ESV]


Prior to 1880 if you wanted to have light in your home, you were forced to burn a candle or lantern or kerosene lamp.

Electricity was in its infancy and there had been SOME people who had experienced VERY LIMITED success in producing a lamp/bulb that would work on electricity… but NONE of them lasted and they were FAR too expensive for the general public to afford!

The general consensus of the public was that electricity was nice but there would NEVER be a way for everyone to have it or enjoy the artificial light it could bring into a home.

“It just cannot be done!” was what just about ALL people believed… but NOT Thomas Alva Edison! He not only believed the cheap and reliable light bulb was possible, but he also believed that electricity would one day be in EVERYONE’s home!

On Jan 27, 1880 the US Patent office granted Edison the patent on the 1st commercially viable light bulb and the electricity rush was on…

Where so many people DOUBTED and even opposed him, Edison believed and persevered…

Where so many people resigned humanity to a life limited to fire burning lamps and NO electricity… Edison compassionately fought for electricity for ALL people!

Where so many people tried and gave up… Edison remained focused on the vision he had and saw it come to pass!

Moving ahead and moving forward in a church…as we have said… is a scary thing for many believers! In fact, there have been MANY believers who have felt that there is NO need for them or for their church to move forward…

There are believers who have failed to move forward because they were afraid of what may be out there… afraid of what lay ahead…

There have also been believers who have also refused to move forward because they simply had lost all hope that they could ever move ahead! They had lost hope and believed God was done with them…their church…

Whatever category of believer you fall into… You need to know and understand that it is God’s desire for us, as individuals and us as a fellowship of believers to move forward in our service and walk with Him.

In the letter to the Colossian church the Apostle Paul urged that fellowship church to move forward in their walk with Christ by maturing in their faith… He urged them to grow by getting to know God more and more!

Paul understood that when believers grow closer and become more intimate with God and what He wants from us…THEN our eyes for the Kingdom are opened and THEN we can know and want what God wants!

Today is the last sermon of this series and I want us to look at a story found in Acts 16… this is the story about Paul & Silas… this is a story about knowing and understanding what God wants from us and then remaining faithful to God’s calling, regardless of the circumstance or situation…

Oak Park… today God is calling us… He is calling us to move forward and move ahead as individuals as well as a fellowship of believers!

I believe if we want to be the church God wants us to become… then we have to begin to move forward with His commands and instruction.

To move ahead, we cannot be paralyzed with the fear of the unknown OR fear of what we may believe is an enemy that cannot lose!

To move ahead, we cannot be lulled to sleep with our own apathy and our lack of desire to rock the boat…

But this morning I also want us to understand that, as a fellowship, we cannot give up… even when it seems as if what we are doing is NEVER going to make a difference… even if we believe all hope is lost…

We cannot give in and surrender… We must move ahead by trusting in God and being obedient to His calling!

In the Scripture this morning we can see 3 actions Paul took when all hope seemed lost…3 actions Paul took to move ahead…

I believe these 3 actions are 3 actions that WE, as believers today, should take for us to effectively move ahead as a church (serving God for WHO He is and what He has called us to be)

The first action we see Paul taking here can be found in v16-23… Paul was ministering and now opposition was rearing its ugly head!

This reveals to us today that when we are working for Christ that there are going to be times when opposition is going to rear its ugly head… so for us…

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