Summary: Principles that still apply to evangelism.
A Study of the Book of Acts
Sermon # 4
“Principles in Presenting the Gospel”
In our sermon last week we dealt with the first 13 verses of Acts 2, the account of the disciples in the Upper Room on the day of Pentecost. We saw the Holy Spirit had come on them with power, His presence was indicated by the sound of a great wind, the tongues of fire and the gift of tongues. As we ended last week a huge crowd was gathering in amazement trying to understand this strange phenomenon of each one hearing the Word of God in his own language (2:13). The noise started in the Upper Room, had attracted a giant crowd to the Temple courtyard. Very likely there were hundreds and hundreds of people crowding around the disciples hearing what the prophet Joel described as one of the most significant workings of God -- the initiation of the “last days” -- the pouring out of God’s Spirit Himself .We saw how this created a great commotion, and the Jews were astonished to hear Galileans speaking to them in their own native languages. The Jews were "amazed and perplexed (v. 13)," some even accusing the disciples of being drunk. "They have had too much wine." The accusation was made that this was the result of too much alcohol.
There are any number of ways to go about studying this passage, all of which would be beneficial, but I want to use Peter’s response to serve as a model for us in PRINCIPLES IN SHARING THE GOSPEL. There is much we can learn from the how the Holy Spirit worked through Peter in laying before this crowd of curious listeners, the truth of how salvation is through Christ alone.
Before we begin we must realize that these principles are of value it they are applied, not simply written down somewhere and forgotten. Each one of us from time to time finds ourselves in situations where we were surrounded by a group of curious listeners. Some were more ready to listen than others. Peter’s presentation of the gospel will help you, if you make it a point to apply what you learn.
“But Peter, standing up with the eleven, raised his voice and said to them, “Men of Judea and all who dwell in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and heed my words. (15) For these are not drunk, as you suppose, since it is only the third hour of the day. (16) But this is that was spoken by the prophet Joel:
1. THERE WILL ALWAYS BE THOSE WHO RIDICULE WHAT THEY DO NOT UNDERSTAND!
Whenever things get too serious, some try to avoid the reality by making fun. “This is just the result of too much wine.” Can you see how what is done in the guise of a mocking joke, is actually an expression of contempt for the things of God? You can see this kind of scene played out in any number of situations today. * A high school student is explaining to some of his peers the implications of Jesus’ life, death and resurrection after a thought- provoking sociology class when a few of them -- becoming uncomfortable -- verbally ridicule and make fun of him in order to squelch the discussion. * A young nurse is told she has no compassion and is sarcastically taunted when she tries to give a Scriptural perspective on euthanasia to some fellow nurses working in a rotation in the geriatric ward. * An auto mechanic in the car with three buddies going out for pizza after work is laughed into silence when he tries to share with them what God has done in his life.
This kind of mocking laughter could easily have crushed the enthusiasm of the disciples if it were not for the confidence they had through the Holy Spirit. Have you been the one who was laughed at? ... taunted? ... made fun of? ... shamed into silence? Then Peter’s response to those who mocked him, will be of great help to you as you, seek to give a faithful testimony to your Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
2. QUESTIONS CAN BE ONE OF OUR GREATEST
SOURCES OF OPPORTUNITY TO PRESENT THE
Certainly not every mocking comment is worthy of a response, but when there are ideas or explanations being made of some clear working of God that are false or misleading, it presents the believer with an opportunity to speak the truth!
The idea that what was going on here at Pentecost was the result of sinful drunkenness, was not only irreverent, it was foolish. The idea that 120 believers would all be drunk at 9 o’clock in the morning is rather absurd, particularly when drunkenness was a violation of God’s commands.