Summary: Whenever God’s people are doing something good, Satan tries to destroy it by any means possible. Whenever the church attempts to do something great, Satan steps in to destroy the church. From the moment the church was born, this has been the war plan..
WHEN THE CHURCH BEGAN TO MULTIPLY…
ACTS 6:1-7: And in those days, when the number of the disciples was multiplied, there arose a murmuring of the Grecians against the Hebrews, because their widows were neglected in the daily ministration. 2 Then the twelve called the multitude of the disciples unto them, and said, It is not reason that we should leave the word of God, and serve tables. 3 Wherefore, brethren, look ye out among you seven men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business. 4 But we will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word. 5 And the saying pleased the whole multitude: and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Ghost, and Philip, and Prochorus, and Nicanor, and Timon, and Parmenas, and Nicolas a proselyte of Antioch: 6 Whom they set before the apostles: and when they had prayed, they laid their hands on them. 7 And the word of God increased; and the number of the disciples multiplied in Jerusalem greatly; and a great company of the priests were obedient to the faith.
INTRO: “WHEN THE CHURCH BEGAN TO MULTIPLY”
Songs: Do Something New / Be Magnified
Illustration: I am reminded of the story of the husband who always fell asleep during the pastor’s sermon. The wife had decided to keep him awake - so she took a sharp object with the intention of sticking him with it when he nodded off. Sure enough, right in the middle of the pastor’s message, he nodded off. It was just at the time that the Pastor asked a question. He said, "Now who was it that made the heaven and the earth?" Just about that time she jabbed her husband with the pen. He just up out of the pew and screamed, "Good God, Almighty". The pastor said, "That’s right Brother – that’s right". Sometimes even confusion can work out right.
SUFFERING, CONFLICT, CONFUSION PREDICTED AS A PART OF THE CHURCH:
1. Genesis 3:15 And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed; He shall bruise your head, And you shall bruise his heel."
2. Matthew 5:10 Blessed [are] they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
3. 2 Timothy 3:12 Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.
4. 1 Peter 5:8 Be of sober spirit, be on the alert, your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.
5. Revelation 2:10 Do not fear what you are about to suffer. Behold, the devil is about to cast some of you into prison, so that you will be tested, and you will have tribulation for ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life.
6. John 15:18 If the world hates you, you know that it has hated Me before it hated you.
7. Psalm 119:71: It is good for me that I was afflicted that I might learn your statutes.
8. Psalm 119:67: Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now I obey your word.
9. 1 Peter 2:19 19 For this is commendable, if because of commitment to God one suffers wrongfully. 20 But what credit is it if, when you are beaten for your faults, you take it patiently? But when you do good and suffer, if you take it patiently, this is commendable before God. 21 For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps: 22 “Who committed no sin, Nor was deceit found in His mouth”; 23 who, when He was reviled, did not revile in return; when He suffered, He did not threaten, but committed Himself to Him who judges righteously.
10. 1 Peter 5:10 And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you
WHAT KIND OF CHURCH DOES THE DEVIL ATTACK: SEE THE JERUSALEM CHURCH.
1. They Were A Waiting Church. Acts 1:4-5. 4 Jesus commanded them: “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about…”
2. They Were A Praying Church. Acts 2: In one accord they waited for the Holy Spirit.
3. They Were A Witnessing Church. Acts 4:10-13: After being beaten and told not to preach, Peter & John told the Sanhedrin Council "We ought to obey God rather than you."
4. They Were A Giving Church. Acts 4:32-35 They sold and shared everything they had.
5. They Were A Missionary Church. Jesus told them to be mission minded at all times. Acts 1:8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses...”