Summary: Dealing with a number of issues at EBC led me to a series by Pastor Jerry Shirley which God has graciously allowed me to revise and use to speak to our congregation.
Last week as we began looking at Acts 3 we saw in verses 1-10 the lame man asking for something temporary when he asked Peter and John for money. However, he got something better when Peter reached down and took him by the hand because he got working legs. This miracle quickly led to Peter’s 2nd sermon.
If you remember, when the lame man was healed he not only walked, he leaped into the air, and he went into the temple praising God.
This commotion drew a big crowd and gave Peter yet another opportunity to preach the gospel to the crowd that had gathered around the former lame man.
Today I want to examine Peter’s sermon and ask a question. Is the church preaching the same message today?
The recent hot topic in the news has been that the Catholic Church is rewriting a few things to be more acceptable to the world we live in today and churches of many denominations are working at becoming more acceptable to society...
I wonder what Peter thought about being politically correct?
Well open your Bibles and let’s find out. PRAYER
Peter’s sermon has 3 main points that I believe should be closely examined:
1. Peter says…You chose a murderer over the Messiah: look at verses 13-14.
Barabbas was chosen over Jesus by Jews. You see the custom was that every year at Passover a convicted criminal would be set free as a demonstration of mercy.
Barabbas was the most notorious criminal of that day. He was guilty of treason, of rebellion against the government of robbery and even murder. But when Pilate asked the crowds to choose between Jesus and Barabbas as to whom they desired to be set free, the crowd which had been worked into a frenzy called out, “Give us Barabbas!”
When Pilate asked what he should do with this Jesus, the crowd in unison cried out “Crucify Him!”
They chose a murderer and rejected their Messiah. They chose a guilty man and condemned an innocent man. They spared the life of a murderer and ordered the murder of the one who had raised the dead!
Now you might be saying to yourself, “Well pastor, that’s a good Bible lesson but what does that have to do with me?” LET ME TELL YOU
Barabbas represents everyone who rejects Christ as Savior.
“So pastor, are you saying that all unsaved people are thieves? Well let me tell you something… I have never stolen a thing in my life!”
My answer to you is yes, you have, every day that you reject Jesus you are robbing God of the glory which belongs to Him.
You and I were created for fellowship with God and to bring Him glory.
He allows you to walk His earth, breathe His air, enjoy the life you received from Him—but when you refuse to love and serve Him you rob Him!
The same goes for those who gave their hearts to Jesus but refuse to completely surrender to Him.
Now most people get saved to avoid hell. That’s all they want and that’s a good reason, but not exactly the best reason. We preachers are guilty of warning of the pending doom of hell but surrendering to Jesus just to avoid hell is actually a bit selfish. Why not get saved first and foremost to give God the glory He deserves!
Can I tell you what happens when you rebel? Each person who rejects Christ is doing more than just missing a great blessing; they are in reality shaking their fist in the face of God and saying “I don’t need you! I don’t want you! I can make it on my own!” that’s rebellion!
Even the child of God is capable of the same thing. (Prodigal son) “I’m going to heaven!…I don’t need anything else from You…!
We read in Psalm 14:1 & 53:1 where it says “The fool says in his heart, there is no God…”
We usually apply to an atheist…but in studying the Hebrew text I found the words “there is” are placed inside [brackets]. In most cases the brackets mean that the words are not in the original text or at least not in the form we read.
If [there is] is NOT in the original Hebrew then it simply reads “The fool has said in his heart ‘NO, God!’”
In other words “God, I don’t want your authority in my life! I reject Your influence, Your rules, Your Word and I reject Your Authority etc.!
How many times have you been in a restaurant and the server asks if you would like desert but you are too full so you say, no dessert?
Now it’s not that you don’t believe in the existence of dessert, but that you don’t want any, or don’t have room for it and so you reject the offer!