Summary: 1. It’s stronger than our worst enemies (vs. 16-18). 2. It’s worth the worst suffering (vs. 19-23). 3. It gives a joyful song in our darkest night (vs. 23-25). 4. It will save anyone who believes in Jesus (vs. 26-34).
Why God’s Good News Is Great
Sermon by: Rick Crandall
McClendon Baptist Church - July 11, 2010
*If you came to the United States from another planet last week, you might think the greatest thing in the world was basketball superstar Lebron James going to the Miami Heat. A Google search for “Lebron James decision” gave 12,700,000 results.
*Today we are talking about the most important thing in the world and it’s not the NBA. The most important thing in the world is the gospel of Jesus Christ!
*That word “gospel” simply means “good news.” So the gospel is the good news about God’s salvation through His son Jesus Christ. And we must never underestimate the power and importance of the gospel. It is so important that God directly speaks about it over 100 times in the New Testament.
*The Apostle Paul understood the power and importance of the gospel.
-In Romans 1, Paul felt that he owed everybody the great blessing of hearing the gospel, and he declared:
15. So, as much as is in me, I am ready to preach the gospel to you who are in Rome also.
16. For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.
-In 2 Timothy 1, Paul encouraged and challenged his young friend with these words:
7. God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.
8. Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me His prisoner, but share with me in the sufferings for the gospel according to the power of God,
9. who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began,
10. but has now been revealed by the appearing of our Savior Jesus Christ, who has abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel,
*That is the greatness of the gospel, and we see it lived out in Acts 16.
-Here in God’s Word we find at least 4 reasons why the gospel is so great.
1. First: The gospel is stronger than our worst enemies.
*In Acts 16, Paul and his mission team were trying to find out where the Lord wanted them to go next. Then in vs. 9&10:
9. A vision appeared to Paul in the night. A man of Macedonia stood and pleaded with him, saying, "Come over to Macedonia and help us.''
10. 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.
*So they went to Philippi, and began to share the gospel. But starting in vs. 16, they ran into some serious opposition.
16. Now it happened, as we went to prayer, that a certain slave girl possessed with a spirit of divination met us, who brought her masters much profit by fortune-telling.
17. This girl followed Paul and us, and cried out, saying, "These men are the servants of the Most High God, who proclaim to us the way of salvation.''
*Friends, we still have the same enemy at who was work in vs. 16-17.
-This poor slave girl was as real as you are.
-That evil spirit was as real as you are.
-Satan and his fallen angels are our enemies.
*How do they work?
-Well, they can still possess nonbelievers, especially those who seek that evil.
-And they can still pretend to be a believer’s friend.
-The devil can pretend to be your friend.
-And he still promotes his lies by tying them to the truth.
*The devil is our enemy. But most Americans don’t believe that today. According to a Barna survey in 2007, only 24% strongly believe that Satan is a real spiritual being. (1)
*But Satan is real whether we believe it or not! Many years ago a man went to revival preacher Charles Finney and said: "I don't believe in the existence of a devil." The preacher replied: “Don't you? -- Well, you resist him for a while and you WILL believe in him.” (2)
*David Holwick says that Satan is more than a symbol. Jesus believed in him.
*Your devil is too small if he is consigned to long-ago times and faraway places.
-Job 1:7 tells us that Satan roams over the whole earth.
*Your devil is too small if you decide he is not capable of performing miracles.
-The Bible says he can in 2 Thess 2:9 and Rev 13:13