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Summary: When I was in Bible College, one of my professors repeatedly told us we needed Acts 20:20 vision, and take the Gospel of Christ from door to door as well as in the public. The apostle Paul was a man with this type of Acts 20:20 vision. His vision for t

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*THE MAN WITH ACTS 20:20 VISION*

Acts 20:17-21

Dorn Ridge January 29, 2012

INTRODUCTION:

1.) The scene I want you to imagine this morning is that of a meeting.

2.) In fact this scene might be what we would consider an ideal Elder’s Meeting.

A.) Paul called the leaders of the Ephesian Church together.

B.) It was not a meeting that would waste a lot of time on insignificant matters.

C.) The purpose of this meeting was to say good-bye to the Elders and to focus them on the task of soul winning.

ca.) After three years of ministering with the church at Ephesus, it is time for Paul to move on to Jerusalem, and ultimately to Rome.

2.) It was also a meeting to look back and to prepare for the future.

A.) Paul rehearsed the basics of his past ministry at Ephesus.

B.) He wanted these Elders to return to their mission.

C.) He reminded them of his vision and motivation for ministry.

3.) He was the man with the poor eyesight, but the 20:20 Vision.

I. PAUL HAD TENDER VISION.

-- Acts 20:19

1.) “With great humility.”

A.) Paul never came across with arrogance and knowledge, but in his weakness relied on the power of the Holy Spirit.

2.) “With many tears.”

A.) Paul’s ministry there had been very productive, but it had still been a difficult one because of the Jews who wanted to go against him.

B.) The plots of the Jews had severely tested him.

C.) Paul was moved by the needs of the people. ca.) Like Jesus, he saw their tears and shed his own.

cb.) These were people with great spiritual needs.

cb-1.) Paul watched those with unrepentant hearts, who would not turn to Christ, and it broke his heart.

cb-2.) It was upsetting to him to see people who needed Jesus Christ, but would not make that decision to follow Christ.

cb-3.) Paul knew well their need. He had once been in the same position as they were.

cb-4.) Paul also knew that the answer to that spiritual need was Jesus Christ.

cb-4i.) What made it so hard for Paul and for all who try to win others to Christ is that even though he knew the need, he could not make the choice of salvation for anyone else.

cb-4ii.) Each person must choose to accept or reject Jesus Christ himself.

3.) Paul remembered his compassion for those in bondage.

A.) They were in the bondage of idolatry.

aa.) In our Mid-week Bible Study we have been looking at Romans.

ab.) One of the issues Paul had to deal with was that of idolatry.

ab-1.) Rom. 1:25 “…worshipped and served created things rather than the Creator…”

ab-2.) One of the challenges in bringing people to Christ is idolatry.

ab-2i.) Reality is that when Jesus Christ and our God are not worshipped, something or someone will take their place in the heart of sinful man.

B.) They were in the bondage of unbridled passion.

ba.) Again as we have looked at Romans we find this in the first chapter of the book that by their rejection of God and his word, that man in his natural state is given over to every kind of wickedness.

ba-1.) Rom. 1:21,28

bb.) Because of all these things Paul had a tender vision for the lost, because he saw their need for Jesus Christ.

C.) They were in the bondage of anger and

enslaving substances.

ca.) These are all characteristics of the natural man apart from Christ, and the working of God’s Spirit in their lives.

ca-1.) Rom. 1:28-32

cb.) When we look at people who are like this, our first thought is often disgust, and avoidance of their presence.

cb-1.) Paul had a strong love for these people, because he realized that what he was seeing was merely the lack of the saving influence of Jesus Christ in their lives.

cb-2.) Paul had a very tender vision of these people because he knew they were in bondage.

cb-3.) Paul knew that it was because of the bondage to this world and to Satan, that these individuals acted the way they did.

4.) Paul reminded these elders of his passion for souls.

A.) Paul was getting ready to leave the church at Ephesus.

aa.) In all likelihood, this would be the last time Paul would ever see any of them in this life. (20:38)

aa-1.) Knowing this, Paul wanted them to know his passion for the lost.

aa-2.) Paul also wanted to instil this same passion for the lost into these leaders of the church at Ephesus.

II. PAUL HAD TARGETED VISION.

--Verse 20

1.) “Publicly, and from house to house.”

A.) Paul did much of his preaching and teaching in the public areas where he could get the best audience.

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