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Summary: LAST WEEK AS A CHURCH WE FACED OUR MUTUAL HURT. IT IS SAFE TO SAY THAT ALL WHO WERE HERE THEN AND ARE HERE TODAY HURT IN VARIOUS DEGREES. WE DIVERTED FROM OUR SERIES HERE IN THE BOOK OF ACTS TO ADDRESS THIS THE ISSUE OF OUR HURT AND THE WHY WE HAVE OUR

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THE MOVEMENT OF GOD THROUGH PAIN IN THE CHURCH

ACTS 8:2-8 GODLY MEN BURIED STEPHEN AND MOURNED DEEPLY FOR HIM. 3 BUT SAUL BEGAN TO DESTROY THE CHURCH. GOING FROM HOUSE TO HOUSE, HE DRAGGED OFF MEN AND WOMEN AND PUT THEM IN PRISON.

4 THOSE WHO HAD BEEN SCATTERED PREACHED THE WORD WHEREVER THEY WENT. 5 PHILIP WENT DOWN TO A CITY IN SAMARIA AND PROCLAIMED THE CHRIST THERE. 6 WHEN THE CROWDS HEARD PHILIP AND SAW THE MIRACULOUS SIGNS HE DID, THEY ALL PAID CLOSE ATTENTION TO WHAT HE SAID. 7 WITH SHRIEKS, EVIL SPIRITS CAME OUT OF MANY, AND MANY PARALYTICS AND CRIPPLES WERE HEALED. 8 SO THERE WAS GREAT JOY IN THAT CITY.

INTRODUCTION: LAST WEEK AS A CHURCH WE FACED OUR MUTUAL HURT. IT IS SAFE TO SAY THAT ALL WHO WERE HERE THEN AND ARE HERE TODAY HURT IN VARIOUS DEGREES. WE DIVERTED FROM OUR SERIES HERE IN THE BOOK OF ACTS TO ADDRESS THIS THE ISSUE OF OUR HURT AND THE WHY WE HAVE OUR HURT.

NOW IN RETURNING TO THE BOOK OF ACTS WERE ARE BROUGHT TO A POINT IN THE TEXT WHERE WE SEE WHAT CAN HAPPEN THROUGH ADVERSITY AND PAIN IN THE CHURCH.

I. THE ACTIVITY BEHIND THE SCENES

a. THE MOURNING OF THE LOSS

i. STEPHEN HAS DIED

ii. THOSE WHO ARE GODLY ARE MOURNING HIS DEATH

THOUGHTS TO REMEMBER:

· NO CHURCH WILL ESCAPE TRAGEDY

· NO CHURCH WILL ESCAPE ADVERSITY

· EVERY CHURCH WILL HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO CHOOSE HOW THEY WILL DEAL WITH THE ADVERSITY THAT THEY FACE

· IT TAKES GODLY PEOPLE TO DEAL WITH ADVERSITY CORRECTLY

· THESE WERE MEN WILLING TO TAKE THE CONSEQUENCES OF STANDING FIRM

b. THE DESTRUCTION OF THE CHURCH BEGINS

i. THROUGH THE ACTIONS OF SAUL

1. OFTEN THERE IS ONE KEY ISSUE THAT BEGINS ANY DOWNFALL

2. IN THIS CASE THE KEY ISSUE IS A PERSON – SAUL.

ii. PAUL’S ACTIONS ARE AGGRESSIVE AND CONTINUAL

1. THE WORD IS IN THE IMPERFECT TENSE INDICATING THAT THE ACTION (OF DESTROYING THE CHURCH) IS ONGOING.

2. THE WORD DESTROY ITSELF IS SIGNIFICANT – IT IS USED TO DESCRIBE THE ACTIONS OF A WILD BOAR AS IT TEARS THROUGH A VINEYARD.

iii. THIS IS THE FIRST TIME WHEN ALL OF JUDAISM IS AGAINST THE CHURCH

1. UP UNTIL THIS TIME THE JEWISH LEADERS HAD BEEN DIVIDED OVER THE “THREAT” OF THE CHURCH

2. SAUL WAS SIMPLY THE SPEARHEAD

THOUGHTS TO REMEMBER:

· PAUL WAS LOOKING TO UPROOT THE CHURCH

· IN REALITY HIS ACTIONS WERE EXPANDING THE CHURCH

· GOD HAD A POSITIVE PURPOSE IN A NEGATIVE ACTION

iv. INDIVIDUAL AFFECT

1. IN OUR HOMES

a. THE AFFECT OF SAUL HAD INDIVIDUAL CONSEQUENCES.

b. FAMILIES AND PEOPLE WERE AFFECTED

2. BY THE ACTIONS OF OTHERS

a. INTERACTIONS WITH OTHERS WERE AFFECTED.

b. PEOPLE RESPONDED TO THE ACTIVITY AGAINST THE CHURCH

II. THE ACTIVITY IN FRONT OF THE CHURCH

a. THE CHURCH IS SCATTERED

i. FOR ALL INTENTS AND PURPOSES THE SCATTERING OF THE CHURCH IS THE GENTILE BELIEVERS.

1. THEY WERE EASIER TO SPOT THAN THE JEWISH BELIEVERS

ii. THE WORD SCATTERED IS AN INTERESTING WORD

1. THE MEANING IS TO SCATTER AS ONE SCATTERS SEED.

2. SEEDS ARE SCATTERED IN ORDER FOR THEM TO TAKE ROOT AND PRODUCE!

ROMANS 8:28 AND WE KNOW THAT IN ALL THINGS GOD WORKS FOR THE GOOD OF THOSE WHO LOVE HIM, WHO HAVE BEEN CALLED ACCORDING TO HIS PURPOSE.


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