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Even if you don’t like me, you need me.

Even if you don’t like me, you need me.

JULY 25, 2023

/ Programs / Key Life / Even if you don’t like me, you need me.

Steve Brown:
Even if you don’t like me, you need me. I’ll explain, on Key Life.

Matthew Porter:
That was Steve Brown. He doesn’t want to be your guru, and he’s not trying to be your mother. He just opens the Bible and gives you the simple truth that will make you free. Steve’s a lifelong broadcaster, author, seminary professor, and our teacher on Key Life.

Steve Brown:
Thank you Matthew. Well, we’ve done a lot of preliminary teaching and talking, haven’t we? We’ve looked at the 20th chapter of Acts and Paul’s goodbye to the elders from Ephesus, whom he met in Miletus. We have seen that Paul has been told by people who are prophets that he was in trouble, that he was going to be arrested, he was headed for Jerusalem, and he had been told by everybody not to go cause bad things were going to happen. Well, as you move into the 21st chapter of the Book of Acts, you begin to see how that has legs to it, how the prophecies were true, how Paul is in real trouble, and we’re going to see what Paul does when the going gets tough. At the first verse of the 21st chapter of Acts, Luke writes.

And when we had parted from them and set sail, we came by a straight course to Cos, to the next day to Rhodes, and from there to Patara. And having found a ship crossing Phoenicia, we went aboard and set sail. When we had come to the site of Cyprus, leaving it on the left, we sailed to Syria and landed Tyre, for there the ship was to unload its cargo. And having sought out the disciples, we stayed there for seven days. Though the Spirit had told Paul not to go to Jerusalem. When our days were ended there, we departed and went on our journey, and they all, with wives and children, brought us on our way til we were outside the city. And kneeling down on the beach, we prayed and bade each other farewell. Then we went on board the ship, and they returned home. When we had launched the voyage from Tyre, we arrived at Ptolemais, and we greeted the brothers and stayed with them for the day. On the morrow we departed and came to Caesarea, and entered the home of Phillip, the evangelist, who was one of the seven, and stayed with him. And he had four unmarried daughters, who prophesied. While we were staying for some days, a prophet named Agabus came down from Judea. And coming to us, he took Paul’s girdle and bound his own feet and hands and said, “Thus says the Holy Spirit, ‘So shall the Jews at Jerusalem bind the man who owns this girdle and deliver him from the hands of the Gentiles.'” when we heard this, we and the people there begged him not to go to Jerusalem. Then Paul answered, “What are you doing, weeping and breaking my heart? Why I’m ready not only to be imprisoned but even to die at Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.” And when he would not be persuaded, we ceased and said, “The will of the Lord be done.” after these days we made ready and went to Jerusalem. And some of the disciples from Caesarea went with us, bringing us to the house of Mnason of Cyprus, an early disciple, with whom we would lodge.

You know, I’ve got to say something in passing. This is not fiction. You know, I know fiction and I read a lot of fiction, and when you’re reading true history and facts, that really happened, it’s different. The details are different. The people named are different. The situations are different. And as you read this, the 21st chapter of Acts, you see this is not fiction, this is really true. And before we dig in, one other thing I’ve got to say. We begin to think that God is going to give us prophets all the time, who guide us and tell us about the future. You’ve got to remember that Acts is a transitional book, and you don’t draw doctrine from this. So, when somebody comes to you and says, I have a word of the Lord for you, you better be careful. Ignore it. If somebody comes to you and says, I have a word of the Lord to you, listen to me. Be very, very careful. If somebody comes to you the way they did Paul, in the 21st chapter of Acts and the 20th chapter of Acts, and they say, listen to me because God told me about you, and I’m going to tell you what he said, be very, very careful. Generally, that doesn’t mean God can’t do whatever he wants to do, whenever he wants to do it and however he wants to do it, be very careful. Cause the normal means of grace are generally the way God guides his people. Okay. Enough being said about that. I move the previous question, what do you do when you’re really in trouble? And the first thing you note about this particular text, and Paul was in trouble. He believed what the prophets had said because what they said was true and it all came to pass, and we’re going to see that later on as we study the Book of Acts. Paul knew he was going to get in trouble just as Jesus knew he was going to be in trouble when he went to Jerusalem. You remember Peter said, whatever happens to you, I’m going to stand with you, but didn’t. You remember how the disciples said to one another, he’s going to die, let’s go and die with him. Well, the same thing is happening here in the 21st chapter of Acts, and the apostle Paul knows that it’s bad and it’s going to get worse and may never get any better in this life, and yet he goes anyway. Now, when you’re in that situation and things are bad or not fixable, do what Paul did. Go and find some Christian friends, who are mature, who will stand with you. I would have you notice that when Paul was afraid he sought out Christian fellowship. Look at the fourth verse.

And having sought out the disciples, we stayed with them for seven days.

Acts 21:5

And when our days were ended, we departed and went on our journey, and they all, with wives and children, brought us on our way until we were outside the city.

Look at verses 7 through 8.

When he had finished the voyage from Tyre, we arrived in Ptolemais, and we greeted the brothers and stayed with them for one day. On the morrow we departed and came to Caesarea, and we entered the house of Philip the evangelist.

Do you see a theme here? Do you see something going on that’s important? I’ll tell you what it is, it’s the fact that Paul needed other people. When he was afraid he needed to be around other Christians, when he was lonely, when he was facing a difficult task, he needed to be with his brothers and sisters in Christ. I read a book not too long ago, which was really good cause it showed the human side of John Calvin. The books titled The Heritage of John Calvin. And it’s a compilation of the wit and wisdom of a number of reformed scholars about the life and theology of John Calvin. And I don’t know about you, but I’ve always thought of John Calvin as being a rather stern, unbending kind of straight person that I wouldn’t want to have a Coke with. I mean, he doesn’t sound like somebody that I would confess my sins to. He doesn’t sound like somebody who could be gentle and kind. He was strong and intellectual. And when you read Calvin’s Institutes you see that in him. Well, I’ve changed my mind. I’ve had my eyes opened, I see the gentleness and the kindness of John Calvin. And I’ll give you some quotes tomorrow, but Calvin was a man who didn’t stand alone for God. He was a man who stood with his brothers and sisters in Christ because he knew he needed others. You do too. Hey, you think about that. Amen.

Matthew Porter:
Thanks Steve. What a great reminder that when things get dicey, find other believers who will stand with you. And once again, our text today was Acts 21: verses 1 through 16. More good teaching tomorrow, be sure to join us then.

My favorite Bible teacher said something recently that made me pop an earbud out and press pause. How dare he? I mean, here we were swimming along through the book he’s currently teaching, and then all of a sudden he decides to voice his political opinion, which just so happens to not coincide with my own. What was I going to do with that?

Well, that little exert is from an article by Kendra Fletcher, and you can find that article in the latest edition of Key Life Magazine. It’s new, it’s fantastic, and it’s free. So, claim your copy right now by calling us at 1-800-KEY-LIFE that’s 1-800-539-5433. You can also e-mail [email protected] to ask for the magazine and if you’d like to mail your request, go to to find our mailing addresses for the U.S. and Canada. Again, just ask for your free copy of Key Life Magazine. Last thing, if you value the work of Key Life, would you support that work through your giving? You could charge a gift on your credit card or include a gift in your envelope. Or now you can give safely and securely through text. How do you do it? Glad you asked. Just text Key Life to 28950 that’s Key Life, one word, two words. It doesn’t matter. Just text that to 28950 and then follow the instructions. Key Life is a member of ECFA in the States and CCCC in Canada. Both of those organizations assure financial accountability. And as always, Key Life is a listener supported production of Key Life Network.

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