Summary: Keep trusting the Lord! 1. When your world spins out of control (21:27-30). 2. When you suffer for Christ (21:27-30). 3. When you don’t understand God’s strategy (21:31-36). 4. When you tell the story of your salvation (21:37-22:1).
Trust the Lord through Your Troubles
The Book of Acts - Part 77
Sermon by Rick Crandall
Grayson Baptist Church - March 8, 2015
*If you were writing the Bible, how would you change it? I think I would have put more in there about Jesus' life as a little boy and young man. Of course, God knows best, but there are so many other things He could have put in His Word.
*It's interesting to me how God chooses to skip over so much, and then go into great detail about certain events. He must have a reason. And these few days in Paul's life must be very important for us, because God goes into great detail about them.
*What can we learn from Paul's arrest? One of the most important things is to keep trusting the Lord!
1. First: We must keep trusting the Lord when our world spins out of control.
*That's what happened to Paul in vs. 27-30. His whole world started to spin out of his control:
27. And when the seven days were almost ended, the Jews from Asia, seeing him in the temple, stirred up the whole crowd and laid hands on him,
28. crying out, "Men of Israel, help! This is the man who teaches all men everywhere against the people, the law, and this place; and furthermore he also brought Greeks into the temple and has defiled this holy place.''
29. (For they had previously seen Trophimus the Ephesian with him in the city, whom they supposed that Paul had brought into the temple.)
30. And all the city was disturbed; and the people ran together, seized Paul, and dragged him out of the temple; and immediately the doors were shut.
*Remember the background here: Paul had bent over backwards to do the right thing. He had traveled hundreds of miles through Greece and Turkey spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ. But that's not all Paul did. He discipled the believers and strengthened the churches. On top of that, Paul and the Gentile churches collected a large sum of money for the poor Jewish Christians in Jerusalem. Then Paul travelled many more miles to bring the gift to Jerusalem.
*But instead of being treated with gratitude and honor, Paul was treated with suspicion and disrespect. Back up in vs. 20-21, the church leaders in Jerusalem said this to Paul:
20. . . "You see, brother, how many myriads of Jews there are who have believed, and they are all zealous for the law;
21. but they have been informed about you that you teach all the Jews who are among the Gentiles to forsake Moses, saying that they ought not to circumcise their children nor to walk according to the customs."
*The Jewish believers at Jerusalem were accusing Paul of terrible heresy based on nothing but rumors, but Paul didn't get angry or huffy. In vs. 23-24, the church leaders told Paul to go through a purification ceremony along with four other Jewish Christians. Not only did they ask Paul to be purified, they asked him to pay for the whole thing. And remember that it was a very expensive request. Paul had to buy a dozen prime animals for the sacrifices, along with other expenses. (1)
*And in vs. 26, that is what Paul did, even though it was unnecessary, even though it was unreasonable. Paul was bending over backwards here. He was "dotting all the 'I's' and crossing the 'T's'" But all of that wasn't enough, and Paul's world began to spin out of control.
*We like to be in control, and sometimes we think we are in control. But that can all change in a moment. Sometimes our best isn't good enough. Sometimes our life spins out of control no matter how much we do, no matter how hard we try. What are we going to do then? We must keep trusting in the Lord! Keep trusting God through all of your troubles.
*Carlyle Marney told about a wonderful family who kept trusting in the Lord. They were part of his church in Austin, Texas. One of their children was a beautiful baby girl, who tragically was born without arms and legs.
*But Marney said that family was tremendously courageous and resourceful. They were people with great strength and positive faith. They didn't wring their hands in anger or despair. Instead, the whole family pulled together when they took her home from the hospital. They gave her every kind of help they possibly could.
*As a result, she grew into an absolutely delightful young adult. And though she died at the age of 22, she had become a remarkable and wonderful person of strong faith and knowledge. Even though she was never able to move herself, feed herself, dress herself, or do many other things that we take for granted every day, she never stopped trusting in the Lord.