I’d like to share a few things from my Sunday sermon. I plan on sharing bits and pieces of it to you over the next week or so. I hope it motivates and encourages you to stand for Christ and live for Him in the power of the Holy Spirit.
This past Sunday many churches and synagogues throughout the world celebrate this day as Pentecost Sunday or the Feast of Weeks. For the Jew, this day starts their commemoration of when God provided them the Torah on Mt Sinai. (Ex 34:22, Num 28:26 and Deut 16:10).
For the Christian, we celebrate this day because we were given the Holy Spirit. It marks 50 days since Christ’s resurrection. (Acts 2:1-13)
We will do most of our discussion from Acts 4. As the story starts, we quickly see the key characters and the conflict. Please note the establishment (priest, Roman Officer and Sadducees) “were greatly disturbed because the Apostles were teaching the people, proclaiming in Jesus the resurrection of the dead.”
There will come a time when people will not like you because you’re a Christian and what you stand for. They won’t like hearing you talking about Jesus! Your faith will offend them.
Did you notice that three sectors of people confronted them? The priests, Captain of the Temple guard and some Sadducees. To be brief, these were basically the same section of people who condemned Christ to the cross.
They were disturbed because the Apostles were preaching on the Resurrection. The Resurrection is KEY to our belief system. If Jesus didn’t rise again, then our entire Christian belief system is a fake.
The predictable thing happened next. Yes, they put the Apostles in jail. They thought if the Apostles would back down if they were put in jail. But what happened? Acts 4:4 says, “Many who heard the message believed.”
My question to you is simple? Are more people coming to the knowledge of Christ and the Christian lifestyle by the way you live and talk? Are you actions congruent with your faith? The Apostle stood firm. Just like the millions of Christian who are persecuted throughout the world today.
We all do a lot of talking but is it the right talk? How many came to believe? 5,000! These men took action and the number of believers increased to 5,000! This means that any where between 15,000-20,000 people came to believe. This would be true if each man was married and had a child or two. Ironically, this number is small considering the population at the time. There were an estimated 200,000 people in Jerusalem at the time. The key issue to note is that more people learned about Christ through their willingness to talk about Him.
What do you like about being a Christian? What do you like about your church? Tell everyone you can about it so they’ll know also. You’ll entice the unbeliever and encourage the believer.
What do you dislike about your church? What are you going to do about it? Some people think church attendance is about them. They’re wrong. It’s about Him! It’s not just about what you can get out of it. It’s also what can you GIVE to it! I was speaking to someone who stated, “I’m not growing in my church.” I asked, “How involved are you in your church? Do you take notes during the sermons? Do you attend bible study? Do you have a home bible study program?” I asked a few other questions also. This person stated (I’ll paraphrase), “I come to church and the pastor is supposed to feed me.” This person is missing the point and is missing a lot. A participator receives a whole lot more out of the worship experience than the attender.
Many of you have talents your church doesn’t know about but would be greatly blessed by. God has given you traits and abilities for His use. Your church can only grow as strong and great as you help her. Help out where you can. There is a lot of work to do but many hands lighten the load. It’s often said that 20 percent of the people do the work while 80% do nothing or do nothing and complain. Ok, I changed the saying a little but you do get my point.
Each week churches throughout the world hold prayer meetings as well as ask for her members to pray for people who are sick or for other issues. Do you pray for them throughout the week? Do you pray for your leader? Your pastor and your church need your support.
You can and should be one of the reason your church and her members are growing stronger. Your task, your challenge, my request to you is to become involved in your local church. Share your talent (skills, knowledge and abilities) and time (any amount is better than none).
You’re not called to be the next Billy Graham or T.D. Jakes. You are called to spread the Gospel to the ends of the world. This is a command from Christ Himself. Preach (tell people or show people) what you know about Him. As my friend Pastor Rory Brooks says, “and leave the results up to God.”
Let me know how it goes for you.
Let your leaders know you appreciate what they’re doing. Don’t let silly people with silly sayings (i.e. the church is full of hypocrites) stop you from helping further the Kingdom for God. I’m glad there are people in church who are hypocrites. They’re there to learn how not to be.
 Quest Study Bible, NIV, pg. 1509.