Summary: The world needs us to be stronger than ever.
Acts 6:7-10, 7:46-60
Standing Firm In An Unsettled Day
Here we see a man of God set up in His work serving God.
He stood and preached, witnessed, was a defender of the faith, even to the point of death
Some would say, "what a pastor", "he was a great evangelist", "If he lived today he would surely be the head of a great Christian organization"
So who was this Stephen-
Acts 6:2-6 Says that he was a laymember of the church.
He was filled with the Holy Spirit. 6:5, 7:55
Now you may say, "Well pastor we aren’t called to minister in this way"
You may not be filled with the Holy Spirit 7:51
This is the standard condition because of our sinful policies
Lets get these policies in the open
1. Having to do with Social Acceptance
A. Stephen was surrounded by more Jews than Christians.
- We cower about when we’re the minority
Matthew 18:20 "For where two or three come together in my name, there I am with them." NIV
God makes his children the majority
B. He had little support.
1 Kings 18:22 "Then Elijah said to the people ’ I alone am left a prophet of the Lord, but Baal’s prophets are 450 men" NASB
Elijah was victorious in the midst such an outnumbering.
Bumper Sticker – God + nothing= A Majority
2. Having to do with Comfort.
A. There was danger in being outspoken.
- Roman rule, Pharisees, etc.
- We too live in oppressive days,
(Civil Groups, Heathenistic Lifestyles, Pagan Religions, and even other Christians.)
-This was the atmosphere in which Saul persecuted the church
I Cor. 16:13 "Be on the alert, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong." NASB
Quote myself, "We are not called to serve in places we enjoy, circumstances we are comfortable with, or people we like- We are just called to serve Wherever, Whenever, and Whoever God dictates."
B. We are following a great precedent.
Hebrews 12:1 "Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance, and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes upon Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has set down at the right hand of the throne of God." NASB
Jesus, John the Baptist, James, even Southern Baptist men and women even the churchmember Stephen
3. Having to do with the Church.
A. Stephen was fulfilling the call.
Matthew 9:37-38 "The harvest is abundant, but the workers are few. Therefore, pray to the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into His harvest" HCSB
"We are a Great Commission people living Great Omission lifestyles"
James 4:17 "Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin." KJV
"Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn’t do it, sins" NIV
B. There were great results.
3000 saved at Pentecost – others on a
What are our results? – Acceptance, Comfort, Irrelevance, Deadness, Depression, Divorce, Scandal, Hatred, Bigotry, Sinfulness, and Laziness
-We have been sowing the wrong seeds for too long !!