Sermons

Summary: . AS CHRISTIANS WE BELIEVE THAT WE HAVE TO MAKE A CHOICE AS TO WHAT IS RIGHT AND WHAT IS WRONG. TO BELIEVE IN CHRISTIANITY MUST MEAN THAT WE, ALTHOUGH WITH RESPECT AND COMPASSION,, STATE THAT WE DO NOT BELIEVE IN ANY OTHER RELIGION IS CORRECT.

THE AUDACITY OF THE CHURCH

ACTS 26:16-23

SPORTS FANS WILL ALWAYS ARGUE OVER QUESTIONS SUCH AS, WHO WAS THE GREATEST OF ALL TIME IN A PARTICULAR SPORT. I THINK IN REALITY IT IS AN IMPOSSIBLE QUESTION TO ANSWER BECAUSE YOU CAN’T FACTOR IN THE TIME VARIABLE. I CAN SAY GORDIW HOWE WAS THE GREATEST OF HIS TIME, AND WAYNE GRETZKY WAS THE GREATEST OF HIS TIME, BUT I CAN’T SAY EITHER OF THEM WERE GREATER THAN THE OTHER.

I THINK THOUGH, THAT IF WE WERE TO CONSIDER THE SPORT OF BOXING, AND WERE TO ASK MOHAMMAD ALI WHO WAS THE GREATEST OF ALL TIME, HE WOULD HAVE NO PROBLEM ANSWERING THE QUESTION. IN FACT HE MAY BE ANNOYED THAT WE WOULD BE SO STUPID AS TO ASK HIM THE QUESTION.

ALI WAS A FLAMBOYANT CHARISMATIC INDIVIDUAL WHO TRANSFORMED BOXING, STOOD UP FOR HIS POLITICAL AND RELIGIOUS BELIEFS, AND COULD BACK UP WHAT HE SAID ABOUT BOXING IN THE RING.

ALI WAS SOMEONE YOU EITHER LIKED OR HATED, WITH NO ROOM FOR A MIDDLE OF THE ROAD OPINION. THE CHARACTERISTIC THAT REALLY BROUGHT THIS OUT WAS HIS AUDACITY. ONE THING THAT HE WOULD DO THAT REPORTERS LOVED AND OPPONANTS HATED WAS PREDICTING, WITH GREAT ACCURACY, THE ROUND IN WHICH HE WOULD WIN THE FIGHT.

“YOU SHOULD GET IN FOR FREE CAUSE IT’LL BE DONE IN THREE.

DON’T BE LATE. IT’LL ONLY TAKE EIGHT.

IN ROUND SEVEN HE’LL BE IN HEAVEN.

SOME BOXING SCHOLARS BELIEVED ALI WOULD LET FIGHTS GO ON PURPOSELY SO HE COULD MAKE HIS PREDICTIONS COME TRUE.

THE WORD “AUDACIOUS” MEANS, DARING, BOLD, OR IMPUDENT, AND, IS OFTEN LOOKED ON AS A NEGATIVE QUALITY, OFTEN MISTAKEN FOR BRAGGING, OR A PERSON BEING FULL OF THEMSELVES.

A PROBLEM PEOPLE HAVE HAD WITH THE CHURCH, IS THAT THEY FEEL A DEGREE OF AUDACITY IN SOME OF IT’S CLAIMS. IT DOES NOT TAKE AWAY FROM THE FACT THAT THERE ARE SOME ISSUES THAT ONLY THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION ADDRESSES. IT MAY NOT BE WHAT PEOPLE WANT TO HEAR, AND SO THEY ARE ANGERED BY ITS TRUTHS.

THIS IS, IN SOME CASES DESERVED. SOME TELEVANGELISTS FOR EXAMPLE HAVE DISPLAYED SELF-RIGHTEOUS ATTITUDES, AND MADE STATEMENTS THAT HAVE HURT THE CHURCH, RATHER THAN BUILT THE KINGDOM.

1. HOW DARE THEY CLAIM TO BE THE ONLY ONES TO HAVE THE TRUTH?

2. HOW DARE WE CLAIM TO KNOW THE ONLY WAY TO GET TO HEAVEN?

3. HOW DARE WE SAY THAT JESUS IS THE ONLY WAY, TRUTH, AND LIGHT?

THERE IS A FACT THAT PEOPLE HAVE TO DEAL WITH AND THAT FACT IS THAT WE HAVE TO MAKE A CHOICE AS TO WHAT IS RIGHT AND WHAT IS WRONG. TO BELIEVE IN CHRISTIANITY MUST MEAN THAT WE DO NOT BELIEVE IN ANY OTHER RELIGION. WE CAN RESPECT PEOPLE WHO HOLD TO OTHER RELIGIONS, BUT WE MUST COME TO THE CONCLUSION THAT THEIR BELIEFS ARE WRONG.

WE, AS BIBLE-BELIEVING CHRISTIANS BELIEVE ON THE BASIS OF FAITH, IN A PERSONAL RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD THROUGH HIS SON JESUS CHRIST. WE BELIEVE THAT JESUS WAS GOD IN HUMAN FORM, LIVED A SINLESS LIFE, SACRIFICED HIS LIFE FOR OUR SINS ON CALAVRY, AND THREE DAYS LATER AROSE FROM THE DEAD. WE BELIEVE THAT LIFE IS ETERNAL AND WILL BE SPENT EITHER IN HEAVEN OR IN HELL. WE BELIEVE THAT GOD WANTS A PERSONAL RELATIONSHIP WITH US, THAT WILL BEGIN IN THIS WORLD AND TRANSCEND ETERNITY.

NO OTHER RELIGION PRESENTS A GOD WHO IS AS PERSONAL AND INTIMATE AS YAHWEH. IT IS NOT AUDACIOUS TO STATE WHAT HE HAS DONE IN OUR LIVES AND CAN DO FOR OTHERS. IT IS NECESSARY TO DO SO AND IS A STATEMENT OF FACT.

TODAY WE ARE GOING TO LOOK AT PAUL’S TRIAL BEFORE KING AGRIPPA. MANY WOULD VIEW PAUL TO BE AUDACIOUS IN HIS CLAIMS HERE. NOWHERE THOUGH IS PAUL TRYING TO FORCE HIS BELIEFS ON KING AGRIPPA, BUT IS PRESENTING HIS TESTIMONY IN DEFENSE OF THE CHARGES BROUGHT AGAINST HIM BY THE JEWISH LEADERS.

PAUL’S GREAT MISSION WAS TO PRESENT THE GOSPEL NOT ONLY TO THE GENTILES, BUT TO KINGS AND THOSE IN RULING POSITIONS. PAUL WOULD USE HIS TRIALS, AS HIS OPPORTUNITY TO PRESENT THE GOSPEL TO THE ROMAN LEADERS ALL THE WAY UP TO AND INCLUDING THE EMPEROR HIMSELF.

THE ROMAN TRIALS TOOK PLACE ON A SERIES OF LEVELS. IF A PERSON WERE FOUND GUILTY ON ONE LEVEL, THEY COULD APPEAL THE VERDICT TO ANOTHER LEVEL. ROMAN CITIZENS COULD APPEAL ALL THE WAY TO THE EMPEROR.

PAUL HAD BEEN ARRESTED AND FOUND GUILTY BY JEWISH RELIGIOUS LEADERS, BUT THEY DID NOT HAVE THE AUTHORITY TO ENFORCE CAPITAL PUNISHMENT. THE ACCUSED HAD TO BE HANDED OVER TO THE ROMANS FOR THE SENTENCE TO BE CARRIED OUT. PAUL BECAUSE HE WAS A ROMAN CITIZEN HAD THE RIGHT TO APPEAL TO HIGHER COURTS, AND IS NOW BEFORE KING AGRIPPA.

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