Go, Stand, and Speak, pt. 1 Acts 5:12-20
The early church is having a huge impact on Jerusalem with thousands being saved and healed.
Lives are being forever changed!
The church is unified and God is being magnified.
The gospel is spreading like wildfire, the church is growing by leaps and bounds and everyone is happy about it… [Pause] Well, almost everyone is happy.
The religious leaders aren’t happy at all.
They opposed Jesus and His ministry and they were the major players in causing His death.
They resented as well as denied His resurrection and now they feel like they are losing their power over the people, in Jerusalem.
They are jealous because these unlearned Apostles are able to do something they can’t. These men have the ability to reach people in ways the religious leaders could only dream of.
These religious leaders have become envious, and indignant!
Look at verse 17 at the word “indignation”
The word, indignation, means envious, contentious rivalry or jealousy.
These religious leaders were filled with hate towards the disciples and these new believers.
Jump down to verse 28 for a second, where these leaders say; “you have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine”
They were not complimenting the dedication of these disciples.
This statement was meant to be nothing more than a complaint…
Don’t forget that these same men accused Jesus of being a friend of sinners!
I want you to know that the best compliment we could receive, as a church is the same complaint the disciples received from the religious leaders.
What I want for EBC is for people to say, “No matter what, that EBC bunch will stand firmly on the Word of God! They may not be the biggest church around but they are not afraid to let the truth be known!”
Let me ask you something. How can EBC, a small congregation off the beaten path, fill Florence County with God’s Word?
Look at verses 19 & 20.
Verses 19-20 give us a simple, 3 point outline. These three points, if followed correctly, will be our road to fulfilling the great commission!
We are to GO…STAND…SPEAK.
1. “Go” deals with the consistency or the reliability of our witness. What I mean is are we the same out there as we are in here!?
2. “Stand” deals with the courage of our witness.
3. “Speak” deals with the communication of our witness.
Today let’s just deal with #1 “Go”. Go is an action word!
There is no other way to use this word except to imply some kind of action.
You may say “Preacher I can use the word to suggest something other than an action when I tell my child to go sit down and DON’T move.”
Well “sit down” [which is an action] and “don’t move” can only happen AFTER the action of going! That child cannot sit down and be still until he/she goes to the place of sitting.
Jesus gave us something that we call “The great commission” and He never said to sit there in that pew and be quiet. He said, “Go”! “Stand” and “Speak!”
He said in, [Mat 28:19 NKJV] “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,”
Again He said in, [Mar 16:15 NKJV] “And He said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.”
Watch the ACTION in [Psalm 126:6 NKJV] “He who continually goes forth weeping, Bearing seed for sowing, Shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, Bringing his sheaves [with him].”
Listen to this verse in the NLT. “They weep as they go to plant their seed, but they sing as they return with the harvest.”
Nothing will ever happen until we go beyond these walls, weeping over the lost and carrying the message of Jesus Christ!
Jesus said it and Jesus did it!
He never once parked Himself in one spot and said “If they want what I have, let them come and get it I am not moving from this comfortable chair.”
Too many have taken the words of that old hymn literally and have planted themselves by the river of salvation, singing “we shall not be, we shall not be moved. We shall not be, we shall not be moved. Just like a tree planted by the water, we shall not be moved.” In other words “I’m not going anywhere and I’m not doing anything!”
In most cases the word translated go is in what’s called the present, progressive tense, which literally means: “as you are going”
Let’s say that you are sitting in your workplace, look over at your co-worker and say, _____, I’ve never asked if you go to church anywhere? This great singing group is coming to EBC and I wanted to invite you. I really believe you’ll love it!
***That’s a first step in being a witness! That is “As you’re going.”
There are hundreds of places you can start your going process.
• The Grocery store… (Suzanne’s developing a relationship with a cashier at Walmart). The drive-thru window, The hairdresser, while you’re Pumping gas and talking about the price of gas or maybe while you’re talking about the weather with the person on other side of pump: say, “nice talking to you, let me invite you come be my guest at EBC this Sunday!”
That’s a first step in being a witness! That’s the beginning of the going process!
Why else would God leave us here!? When He could have taken us to heaven at the moment of salvation?
He left us here so we could take as many as possible with us when we do leave this world!
Many people think witnessing is all about knocking on doors, which terrifies them.
*When you send a greeting card to a relative or friend, why not include some verses of salvation for them to read! That’s “As you are going!”
How about those vacations and trips? Those kind of things exclude us from the “Going.” Right?
Maybe you are traveling out of town and you feel that your church could never benefit from you being a witness. EBC may not directly benefit from you being a witness BUT you aren’t just representing Elim Bible church! You represent the Lord “AS YOU GO!”
Some of you are striving to be a living witness, on a daily basis or “as you are going” Your goal is that your unsaved family and friends, will see your steadfast faithfulness. You pray for them to know that you have got the real thing and your prayer is for them to want it for themselves!
Here’s some encouragement for you. If you keep this up, and if everyone, here today, would get involved in the “As you go” then we will have a revival on our hands! We’ll become the talk of the town!
BUT…Satan doesn’t like this kind of talk. He wants us to get lost in the muddy waters of ritual, tradition, social events like some churches do. He would love it if there was nothing but feel good messages in this place. He would rather I preach messages that say NOTHING…messages that are NOT controversial, messages with no mention of sin or conviction. He would rather there be no challenges to rise to a higher level, no accountability! He will plant the desire in your mind to look for that kind of church, IF you will allow him access to your mind.
Satan wants us to come to church with a shopper mentality, [rather than supplier] which is really selfishness:
Here are some things he would rather have happen in this place…
“Pastor, I’m sad, make me happy” “Pastor I’m down, lift me up I’m discouraged, encourage me. Pastor I’m weak, strengthen me”
The truth is, I hope I can do all of these things but not just so you can feel better.
My prayer, my goal is to help you so you can leave here and effectively do what God has called you to do!...Be a witness!
I read about a lady who took a first aid course and a few weeks later went back to her instructor all excited. She told her instructor about being on the scene of an accident as car slammed into oak tree head on! She was the only one there for several minutes.
She described the grisly scene of blood and limbs out of joint, she said it was a very gruesome scene. The instructor asked, “Did you remember your first aid?” “Yes I did!” “Did you use it?” “I sure did, I remembered that you said, if I put my head between my knees, I wouldn’t faint, and you were right!”
Unfortunately, that’s the same selfish attitude of many Christians: “Pastor, help me so I won’t faint as I go thru this cruel world!”
We live in a world that is bruised, bleeding, battered, and on its way to hell, and for the most part; all we can think about it how WE feel!
God will change that kind of attitude when you stop sitting still and “go” to work!
Jesus once told a group of men to “go fish”!
[Mat 4:19 NKJV] “…"Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.”
Did you know that you can’t catch any fish, sitting on the bank just staring at the water?
Next time we’ll talk about taking our stand, and how to speak…but it will never begin until we go…and the key is to do these things “as you are going”.
SO get off your back pew and GO!
We will close with this verse.
[Act 26:16 NKJV] “'But rise and stand on your feet; for I have appeared to you for this purpose, to make you a minister and a witness both of the things which you have seen and of the things which I will yet reveal to you.”