Summary: 1. We surely have to speak up about Jesus (vs. 9-14). 2. God surely has to do the saving (vs. 14). 3. New believers should surely take a stand for the Lord (vs. 15). 4. All believers should surely serve the Lord (vs. 15).
The Sure Truth about Salvation
The Book of Acts - Part 53
Sermon by Rick Crandall
Grayson Baptist Church - August 17, 2014
*Larry Sarver once said: "There are very few things in life that you can be absolutely certain about. Many of the things we buy disappoint us despite the 'satisfaction guaranteed' label. And cars break down even when they are new and well cared for. . . If you've ever had the 'check engine' light come on when you are out in the middle of nowhere, you know how troubling uncertainty can be!" (1)
*Many things are uncertain in this world. Thank God that the most important things are sure! And here in the story of Lydia, we can see four sure truths about salvation.
1. First Christians: We surely have to speak up about Jesus.
*That's what Paul's missionary team was doing in these verses. After Paul had the vision in vs. 9 that led the team to Macedonia, vs. 10 says: "Now after he had seen the vision, immediately we sought to go to Macedonia, concluding that the Lord had called us to preach the gospel to them."
*Now God wants us to do the same things we see here: Go and tell. Go and tell. Keep walking with the Lord. Keep talking for the Lord. And notice in vs. 10 that they didn't waste any time. They "immediately" tried to do what the Lord wanted them to do, and so should we. Time is a precious thing. We must not waste it. We must do all we can for the Lord while we can.
*May God help us to do all we can to share the good news about Jesus Christ!
-That Jesus died on the cross to pay the price for our sins.
-That He rose again from the dead.
-That He will forgive our sins and give eternal life to everyone who turn to Him and receive Him as Lord and Savior.
*God wants us to speak up about Jesus, like we see Paul's team doing in vs. 13. Here Paul said, "And on the Sabbath day we went out of the city to the riverside, where prayer was customarily made; and we sat down and spoke to the women who met there."
*God wants us to speak up about Jesus too, and there are a lot of different ways to do it. I cannot begin to express how impressed I am by our adults and youth, who spent most of yesterday signing up over 70 children for Upward Football and Cheerleading. Every practice they will hear a devotional about the Lord, and every halftime they will hear something that points them to Jesus.
*Howard Hendricks went home to be with the Lord in February 2013. He was 88 years old when he went to Heaven. For over 50 years, Howard Hendricks was one of the best known Christian leaders in our nation. He taught at Dallas Theological Seminary, authored 16 books, and was a mentor to both Chuck Swindoll and David Jeremiah.
*How did all of that get started? When Howard Hendricks was 9-years-old, he was out in the yard playing marbles. A Sunday School teacher came by to invite him to Sunday School. Howard heard the word "school" and thought, "No way!"
*The teacher realized he wasn't getting through, so, he asked a different question, "Wanna play a game of marbles?" After he wiped-out the 9-year-old in a couple of games, he then asked, "Wanna learn how to play this game better?" Dr. Hendricks later said, "By the time he'd taught me how to play marbles over the next few days, he'd built such a relationship with me that I'd have gone anywhere he suggested." Dr. Hendricks ended up in a Sunday School class with 12 other boys, and 11 of them ended up in fulltime Christian service. (2)
*We never know how much good will come when we tell the truth about Jesus. And there are all kinds of ways to reach people. But we must speak up about Jesus Christ. That's the sure truth about salvation.
2. The second truth is that God has to do the saving.
*We see the sovereign Hand of God at work in vs. 14, where God's Word says: "Now a certain woman named Lydia heard us. She was a seller of purple from the city of Thyatira, who worshiped God. The Lord opened her heart to heed the things spoken by Paul."
*The Lord opened Lydia's heart to heed the things spoken by Paul. This verse points us to a key truth that is both comforting and humbling at the same time: Only God can do the saving!
*We cannot save anybody. Only God can save a soul. Only Jesus could die on the cross for our sins. Only Jesus could rise again from the dead. Only the Holy Spirit can bring people under conviction for their sins, and lead them to the truth about salvation.