Summary: This is an outreach sermon with the release of the movie "The passion", but could be used at any time.

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Answering the Call 2/19/04

Acts 8:26-40

The hot topic, at least for me, has been about Mel Gibson’s movie “The Passion”. There has been a lot of excitement over the release of the movie that we have heard about for so long. From the Actor getting struck by lightning, to the deepening of Mel’s faith. My phone has been ringing constantly with the question of “Do you have any more tickets left?”

I don’t know if I can ever think of a time where there has been so much excitement over any event of this kind. It is not only in this community, but all over the world. This event has the potential to blow into something bigger than I’ve ever seen in my lifetime.

I’m excited. This church is excited. Our Association is excited, (over 1000 tickets sold). But when I think about it, I have to ask why are we so excited. It’s like having these big expectations and I want to make sure that I’m not let down. Even though I should be use to it with going to the WVU bowl games. So tonight the Lord laid on my heart a sermon to deal with what I expect to happen after the viewing of this movie.

Tonight we will look at a story in the New Testament and from this we can learn how to be prepared for the reaction of the release of this movie.

The Calling (vs. 26-27)

Here we find Philip receiving the call to go to Gaza. The call was to arise (Vs 26) and he answered the call by arising (vs.27). Little did he know what God had prepared for him, and when God calls us, our job is to answer the call and find out what he has prepared for us as well.

a. It is a calling for us all.

Before He ascended into heaven he left us with these words in Acts 1:8, But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.

We find the same words at the end of each one of the Gospels.

Mark 16:15 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.

Some people think that every preacher is the “ye”. My mom didn’t name me ye, but if you have accepted Christ into your heart, you can say your name is ye. It is our job to do our part to reach the lost.

A lot of times we have selective hearing. We only hear what we want to hear.

A true story about a job opening for a telegraph operator in the late 1800’s. Times were tough and many were lined up to apply for the job. As they all stood out there waiting to be called in for an interview, one man abruptly went to the inside of the office and came out a little later with the boss who said the position had been filled. Others complained that they had not had the chance to even interview. The employer replied that had put out a message in Morse code, that the first one to come in the office had the job.

He was looking for a good listener. Are you a good listener to God’s calling or do you use that selective hearing that our kids use?

b. It is a choice for us all.

Now Steven could have not responded to the call. He could have said, I think that I’ll just sit this one out. This is a sin that is not talked about much. The sin of silence. Some times it’s not what you say, it’s what you don’t say. When the Holy Spirit calls you to do something then we must obey. When Phillip heard the call in verse 30, we read that he RAN to answer the call. We should all willingly run to our call as well.

c. It will be a prepared call.

He heard the call; he obeyed the call; God prepared the call. God will never ask you to do anything that He has not prepared the way for you to do it. Sometimes we may question, but as we mature as Christians we trust God to prepare the way for us to do it. Think about Noah and the Ark. Can you imagine the call of God to build a boat when there was no water even close.

But can you imagine what would have happened if Philip had not answered the call. Not only did his obedience affect this Ethiopian but no telling how many others as well. And the same is true for us as well. You might be the only sermon that someone might see.

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