Sunday, January 3, 2016

Is the Gospel Message True? - Pt. 1 - Opposition

Last week - Peter & John heal cripple, draw crowd, preach gospel.  
So......  Acts 4:1-31 - questionable as to how many days after the feast, Pentecost, etc?  Still a large crowd around the area.

(Remember, the Chief Priest was #1 man in the Jewish culture, and the Captain of the Temple Guard was #2.)   And, they were not happy that Peter & John were preaching the resurrection of Jesus from the dead.  Acts 4:7 - they didn't object to the healing, but the name (Jesus).

Question:  Is the Gospel Message true??
In other words: 
1)  Jesus is the Christ
2)  Jesus died for our sins (for our forgiveness) - must come through Christ
3)  Jesus rose from the dead - literally, bodily, in glorified state
4)  Jesus rules - King of kings, Lord of lords
5)  Jesus is the Only Way

IF the Message is true........ then:
#1.  The message is vitally important - (necessary, indispensable, of eternal consequence)

#2.  We are obligated to share it (proclaim it) - Rom. 1:14, Great Commission, Acts 1:8 - this has never been thought of as only for preachers, teachers, evangelists, etc. - it is for ALL. 

I have something that makes a difference!!!

AND we can expect -
#1.  Conversions -- because the gospel = powerful = Rom. 1:16-17   If we shared the gospel message
more, would see more people saved!!!! 

#2.  Opposition - because the gospel id offensive - gospel says you are a sinner, bound for hell.
WARNINGS:  Luke 21:12-19
                       Matt. 10:34-39
The question is NOT is the gospel message foolish?  The question IS, is it TRUE??

AND, remember, there is a vast difference between the message being offensive, and the messenger being offensive.  Gospel message is to be presented with compassion, and kindness, and respectfully


#1.  The opposition is not merely human, but is demonic.  Eph. 6:10-12 - people are not the enemies, Satan is behind this opposition (dark forces)

#2.  The first appeal from friends, family, officials will be to "closet Christianity".  - Keep it at home, in the church, but don't take it out in public, to work, school, etc.  Acts 4:17-18

#3.  God uses "unschooled, ordinary men" - (Acts 4:13) to further the gospel.
1 Cor. 1:26-29

NOTE:  learning and training are in order!!!  2 Tim. 2:15, 1 Pet. 3:15 but don't have to be 'degreed' to share the gospel.

Basic essentials -
1)  allegiance to Christ
2)  submission to the Holy Spirit

This all applies to the 21st. century church as well as it did to the 1st. century church!

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