Summary: God wants us to be people: 1. Who have problems for the right reason. 2. Who remember that God is in control. 3. Who rely on God's help. 4. Who risk caring for other people.
The Kind of People God Wants Us to Be
The Book of Acts - Part 62
Sermon by Rick Crandall
Grayson Baptist Church - October 26, 2014
*In tonight's Scripture, the Apostle Paul was still in the city of Corinth, and some pivotal things had happened. Verse 2 tells us that there Paul met important new partners and friends: Aquila and his wife Priscilla.
*Verse 4 tells us that Paul began in Corinth, as usual, by preaching in the Jewish synagogue. And I like what vs. 5 says about Paul: He "was constrained by the Spirit, and testified to the Jews that Jesus is the Christ."
*Unfortunately, many of them rejected the gospel, and in vs. 6, under the leadership of the Holy Spirit, Paul "shook his garments and said to them, 'Your blood be upon your own heads; I am clean. From now on I will go to the Gentiles.''' But praise the Lord, in vs. 8, many of the Corinthians who heard the good news about, Jesus Christ "believed and were baptized."
*Then in vs. 9-10 Paul received amazing encouragement from the Lord:
9. Now the Lord spoke to Paul in the night by a vision, "Do not be afraid, but speak, and do not keep silent;
10. for I am with you, and no one will attack you to hurt you; for I have many people in this city.''
*That's why in vs. 11, Paul "continued there a year and six months, teaching the word of God among them."
*But in tonight's Scripture we see some trouble arise, and these verses God helps us to see the kind of people He wants us to be. Let's begin by reading vs. 12-17.
*What kind of person are you? You may have heard that old song "It takes all kinds of people to make the world go round," and in a way, that's true. But today a lot of people are as mixed-up as they can be.
*I read about a 23-year-old man from Portland Oregon. His name is Matt Wilkinson, and Matt was a snake collector. One day he caught a 20-inch rattlesnake on the highway. Three weeks later, Matt wanted to impress his ex-girlfriend, and he decided to put that snake's head in his mouth! It happened at a barbecue with friends. Yes, there was alcohol involved. Yes, he was bitten. And yes, he almost died. "It got a hold of my tongue," he later said. (1)
*There are some kinds of people in this world that we don't want to be like. We need to be the kind of people God wants us to be! But what kind of people is that?
1. First: God wants us to be people who have problems for the right reason.
*Everybody has problems. Some people have problems because they do stupid things to impress their ex-girlfriends. But Paul was having a problem in these verses, because he was doing his absolute best to serve the Lord and spread the good news about Jesus Christ.
*Again in vs. 5, Paul "was constrained by the Spirit, and testified to the Jews that Jesus is the Christ." In vs. 8, "many of the Corinthians, hearing, believed and were baptized. And in vs. 11, Paul "continued there a year and six months, teaching the word of God among them."
*But then in vs. 12-13, pow, out of the blue:
12. . . When Gallio was proconsul of Achaia, the Jews with one accord rose up against Paul and brought him to the judgment seat,
13. saying, "This fellow persuades men to worship God contrary to the law.''
*Everybody has problems, and sometimes they will jump on us with no warning whatsoever. But let's make sure that since we are going to have problems, we are having them for the right reason.
*If we have to be tired, let's be tired for the Lord. If we have to do without, let's do without for the Lord. If we have to get passed-over for a promotion, let's get passed-over because we refused to do something shady. If someone chooses to reject us, may it be because they are really rejecting the Lord.
*Everybody has problems. Let's make sure we have them for the right reason. An ultimate example of this was in the sacrifice of a young man named Daniel Rohrbough. Most people have never heard of Daniel, but he is a modern-day hero. Daniel Rohrbough was a student at Columbine High School on that horrible day when two other students went on a rampage of violence and terror.
*It happened on Tuesday, April 20, 1999. Twelve students and one teacher were massacred. It could have been a lot worse. Around 11:14, the killers carried two 20-pound propane bombs in duffel bags and placed them near tables in the cafeteria. The timers were set for 11:17, but the timers on both bombs failed. If they had gone off, there was a chance that all 488 kids in the cafeteria would have been killed.