A great sermon bomb.
OCTOBER 28, 2021
A great sermon bomb. Let’s talk about it, on Key Life.
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Thank you Matthew. We’re looking at Stephen and we’re going to do that this week. And then next week, my friend Matt Heard is going to be here. He’s an author and a wonderful Bible teacher, and he’s going to be a part of Key Life in some ways. And I want you to meet him and I want you to be sure and be here next week, when Matt gives me a rest for a week and he teaches. I’m not going to let him teach more than that because I need this job, but you’re going to like him. And then the next week we’ll come back to Stephen cause I’ve got a lot more to say about him. But the first thing that you ought to note was that Stephen was normal, normal, like you in that he was a sinner, that he was human, that he was scared, that he was fragile, that he didn’t want to die anymore than you want to die, but he did and God used him in a wonderful way. Now, the next thing I want you to see is that he was misunderstood.
When my friends misunderstand thou who knowest all about me; stand by me.
That happened in spades. At the end of Stephen’s sermon. And you’ll find that in the seventh chapter, it’s almost that whole chapter and it’s an incredible sermon. It’s historical, it’s accurate, it’s to the point, it lifts up Christ, it gives people an opportunity to come into a relationship with the King of Kings. It’s wonderful, but it bombed and he could see it in their eyes. Now, I kind of landed the plane if you were listening yesterday, in a kind of dark way, I said, they didn’t listen. And so, Peter said, you’re a bunch of stiff necked people and they killed him. And as soon as I finished the broadcast, Jeremy, who’s our producer said, my that was kind of dark. Well, it was kind of dark. I probably should have said something a little bit more positive, but I was out of time. So, I’m going to say something more positive today.
When my friends misunderstand and I’ve done the best I can thou who knowest all about me; stand by me.
The leaders had their power to protect. They had their empire to protect. They had their reputation to protect. They had their stuff to protect. And their position to protect. And so, they didn’t hear a word that Stephen spoke, which was the word of life. And, because it’s included in the actual text of Scripture, it is also the word of God. Stephen could have led them to the throne of grace. It would have made all of the difference in the world, but they misunderstood. So, if you’re a Christian and you’re going to be faithful, face the fact that you’re going to be misunderstood. I can’t tell you how many times when I’ve seen my brothers and sisters characterized as narrow, as homophobic, as mean-spirited, as guilt producing, as people who are shallow and superficial. And sometimes I want to throw my shoe at the television set, and say, that’s not it. You misunderstand. And then I hear a voice sometimes that says, they always do. And so, you’re going to be misunderstood when you witness, you’re going to be misunderstood by some people when you love, you’re going to be misunderstood by some when you’re faithful. But do it anyway because if you do it and even if you get hurt and ostracized, God will use that in a way that will blow you away. That’s what happened with Stephen. Stephen’s witness got to a man by the name of Saul. Saul was the one who hunted up Christians, got them executed. Finally getting rid of the riff raff in the covenant people of God and Paul saw Stephen, whose face the text says, looks like an angel. He saw Stephen die. I’ll tell you, if I’d been there, I would have called all of my friends and say, come, come quickly, I want you to see how a godly man dies. And Paul was there and he watched it. He looked at Stephen when he looked up into the sky and said, I see Jesus sitting at the right hand of God. He heard Stephen say, Father, just the way Jesus had on the Cross. Don’t hold this against these people. And he watched Stephen die and God used that in Paul and Paul spoke the word of God to millions and millions and billions of people. And he still does to this day. Yeah, they’re going to misunderstand, but that’s not your responsibility. Your responsibility is to be kind, to speak truth, and to speak it clearly and kindly. And, let the devil take the hindmost because God uses normal people in a wonderful way. So, he not only uses normal people, not only will Christians be misunderstood. I want you to note the presence of a committed Christian shows. I love that statement that Luke includes in the text, when he says they looked at Stephen and he had the face of an angel. Now listen to me, and I’ve said this before, but it’s important to remember, you do too. You say, no, I don’t. You don’t, you have no idea what I’ve done, where I’ve gone, the sins I’ve committed, I don’t have the face of an angel. Yeah, you do. That’s what Galatians 2:20 means.
I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me.
That’s not a command. That’s not something you have to do. There isn’t a four-step program, so you can be crucified with Christ. That’s a fact of who you are. And as a Christian, believe it or not, even when you’re not good and you’re not doing it right, you smell like Jesus and you can’t help it. And that’s what happened with Stephen here. Stephen was doing what he was supposed to do, in the way he was supposed to do it. And they said, you know, I’m going to kill him, but he does have the face of an angel. They say the people who run the world are the people who stay for the meetings after everybody else is gone. That’s true. That’s what Christians do. They stay in the meeting after everybody else is gone. And the only ones left are the ones who hurt and are afraid and know that they’re sinful and that they need a savior. Christians need to be involved in everything. You know, we’ve gone through watching so much devastation with a hurricane Ida, a few weeks ago, and the lost homes and the lives that were destroyed. I’ve been there. I went through Andrew, which until Katrina was the largest natural disaster America had ever experienced. We lost our home. We went through an awful time and I don’t want to go there ever again, but let me tell you something, I learned some things. And one thing that I learned is that the first people that were there to help were not government people, they were Christians. And the last people to leave were not government people, they were Christians, they stayed and they were involved and they loved, and they rebuilt houses, and they nailed boards, and they fix things, and they brought food, and they brought kindness and compassion and everywhere I went after hurricane Andrew and that’s true of Ida and every natural disaster that ever takes place, Christians will be there and they’ll smell like Jesus. You can’t help it. We worry so much about being good enough to serve Jesus, about hurting your witness. Quit it. You can’t do that. You’re going to get better, I promise. It’s called sanctification and it’s not your business. Your business is to go where sends you. To say what he says for you to say. To be who you’re supposed to be. And if you show, the world will look at you, even despite your sin, your flaws, your failures, the dumb things you say, people will look at you and say, son of a gun, he or she has the face of an angel. You think about that. Amen.
Thank you Steve. As Steve mentioned, we’ll continue this series soon, but next week, our friend, Matt Heard will join us all week and you are going to love him. Don’t miss it. And don’t miss Friday Q&A. That’s tomorrow and one of the questions Steve and Pete will field is this one, is cancer satanic? Hmm, tune in for that one. So, here’s a question, have you ever considered the fact that Jesus is actually alive right here and active right now? Well, Steve gave a sermon a while back called When Jesus Leaves the Building. In that talk, he teaches from Luke 4 on what happens when Jesus is in the building. No spoilers, but here’s the gist. It’s all good. It’s all grace. It’s all quite irritating. And it’s all there is. Would it be okay if we mailed you that whole sermon on the CD, for free? If so, let us know. By calling 1-800-KEY-LIFE. That’s 1-800-539-5433. You can also e-mail S[email protected] and ask for the CD. If you’d like to mail your request, send it to
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