OCTOBER 2, 2023
Details, details. Let’s talk about it, on Key Life.
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Thank you Matthew. If you’re, hey, by the way, I hope you had a great week-end. And I hope your pastor’s sermon was as good as my pastor’s sermon. If you’re just joining us, we’re looking at the Book of Acts, and we’ve been there since the Noahtic flood. We’ve been doing this for a long time, but we’re getting close to the end of the Book of Acts. And we’re looking today at the next to the last chapter. And then when we finish the last chapter, I’m going to give you a study of the 29th chapter. And you say, Steve, there is no 29th chapter. I know. That’s the chapter that you write to the Book of Acts. But at any rate, we’re getting close, and in the 27th chapter of Acts, we’re going to look at the apostle Paul as he deals with storms. Before we do that, let’s pray, and then we’ll study. Father, we come into your presence rejoicing and surprised that we’re here. How in the world could a finite God have a relationship, or an infinite God have a relationship with a finite human being? Somebody so big with somebody so little, somebody who’s eternal with somebody who just tarries just a little while. But Father, we do. And it’s your grace and your mercy and your love, always amazing. And we thank you and we praise you that we can come into your presence, the control room of the God of the universe and bring every concern, every secret, every sin, every pain, every tear. Father, we worship you, not just because of what you’ve done, and your kindness and mercy, but because you’re God, the sovereign Creator, Ruler, and Sustainer of everything we perceive and see and experience and touch. You are God and worthy of our worship. Father, as always, we pray for the one who teaches on this broadcast, forgive him his sins because there are many. We would see Jesus and him only, and we pray in Jesus’ name, Amen. I’m not going to take the time because it’s a fairly long chapter to read the 27th chapter to you, but we’re going to be dealing with it as we go along. The question is, how does one deal with storms? The ones with wind and rain, and the ones that are personal storms in our lives. And we’re going to dig into that pretty soon. If you’ve been with us, we’ve been studying Paul as he was examined by Agrippa. As he was brought to trial, as he causes riots, and then we move up to this 27th chapter of the Book of Acts, and the apostle Paul is on his way to Rome, and Rome is paying for the trip. We have seen, as we’ve looked at those other chapters, that Paul was not defending himself, he was presenting Christ. He didn’t care what people said about him, but cared about what they thought about Jesus. His horizons and his vision was not limited. And he really believed that God was capable of defending him. And God did that. And at the close of the 26th chapter, Paul’s defense before Agrippa completed, we find Agrippa sending Paul on a boat to Rome to stand trial before Caesar. Now, Paul had been told by God that he was going to Rome, and we don’t have the conversation that took place there, but I know, because Paul is a friend of mine. Paul said, you’re kidding, how am I going to get to Rome? And God said, trust me, I’ll take care of it. And that’s exactly what happened. Paul was placed in the custody of a Roman centurion named Julius, and they set out by boat to Lycia, where they transferred to another boat from Alexandria. which was headed for Italy. That is the trip that we’ll be studying the next week or two. Now, I don’t have time, as I said, to read that entire chapter, but let me read you just the last paragraph and show you something really interesting. C.S. Lewis was once asked why he believed the Bible was true.
My profession is writing, my teaching is literature, and I know what is fiction, and I know what is real, and when I read the Bible, I can see this is not fiction, this is fact.
Well, an example of that is kind of, as you read this chapter on the boat and the storm. And at the end of the chapter, this is what Luke says.
Now, when it was day, they did not recognize the land, but they noticed a bay with a beach on which they planned, if possible, to bring the ship ashore. So, they cast off the anchors and left them in the sea. At the same time, loosening the ropes that tied the rudders, then hoisting the foresail to the whim they made for the beach. But striking a shoal, they ran the vessel aground, the bow struck and remained immovable, and the stern was taken up by the surf.
And etcetera, you read that, and you read the details, and all of a sudden you say to yourself, This is not a fictional story, this really happened, and it really happened in the way described by Dr. Luke in the Book of Acts. And I haven’t taken the time to show you that before, but it’s true throughout the entire Book of Acts. You’re not reading fiction. In fact, when you read the Bible, you’re not reading fiction, you’re reading fact. When I was younger, I took great delight in showing my believing friends the contradictions of Scripture. You’re not going to believe this, but I liked going into Christian bookstores, working on an argument with the Bible that I found on their bookshelves and talking about how it was filled with errors. I know, insufferable. And then Jesus found me, and when he found me, he gave me his Spirit. And when his Spirit became a part of me, and I read the Bible from the perspective of one who now was his child, everything changed. I remember the day I, yeah, I was a pastor, believing that nonsense. Can you believe that? But I realized this pastoring thing’s not working and I’ve got to find some authority somewhere. And in a volitional act inspired by the Holy Spirit himself, I decided, as I said, it was intentional that the Bible would be my authority. And I remember kneeling down in that study with my hand on the Bible saying, God, I don’t know what it says, I don’t understand it, I’ve argued about it most of my life, but this will be my authority. And it was. I really didn’t know what the Bible said. I knew about social ethics, I knew about the Graf Wellhausen Documentary Hypothesis, I had gone to graduate school to study stuff like that, and they nodded in the direction of the Bible. But I had no idea what the Bible said. And so, I started in the Gospel of John because Billy Graham had said to those who had come to Christ in his meetings that that’s where they ought to start reading the Bible. So, I started in the Gospel of John. I would read a verse and tell that congregation what I thought it meant, then read another verse and tell them what I thought it meant, and then I noticed that things began to happen. Marriages were saved, lives were changed, people came to know Christ in ways that were profound and exciting. And at that time, in fact, my ministry during that time was more effective than any time I’ve ever known it. And I’ve never known so little as what I knew then, but I knew that I was going to teach the Bible and see what God did when I taught it. And so I did, and I’m still doing it a hundred years later. And I’m still as convinced as I was that first day in the pulpit, that every bit of it is true. And one of the reasons is that when you read it, the details shout loudly, This is not fiction. It isn’t. Read it. And you think about that. Amen.
Thanks Steve. Well, here we are in Acts 27 with Paul on his way to Rome and there’s not too much further for us in our own trip here in Acts. But we are not done yet, so join us again tomorrow as we dive back in. Well, I think Paul could attest that when religion and government meet, eh, sometimes some weird things happen. It’s true for us, right? For example, what’s the difference between patriotism and this idea of Christian nationalism? And what is Christian nationalism anyway? Well, recently on Steve Brown Etc. we talked faith and politics with another writer named Paul, author Paul D. Miller. I think this was a fascinating conversation, and checking out the views on this episode on YouTube, I’m not the only one that thinks that. May we send you that episode on CD for free? If so, just call us right now at 1-800-KEY-LIFE that’s 1-800-539-5433. You can also e-mail [email protected] to ask for that CD. Or to mail your request, go to keylife.org/contact to find our mailing addresses. Again, just ask for your free copy of the CD featuring Paul D. Miller. And finally, if you value the work of Key Life, would you consider supporting that work through your giving? You can charge a gift on your credit card, you can include a gift in your envelope. Or now you can give through text safely and securely. Just pick up your phone and text Key Life to 28950 that’s Key Life, one word, two words. It doesn’t matter, text that to 28950. And listen, if you can’t give, no worries, we get it. But pray for us, would you? Key Life is a member of ECFA in the States and CCCC in Canada. And as always, we are a listener supported production of Key Life Network.