Ever want to run? Me too.
DECEMBER 29, 2021
Ever want to run? Me too. Let’s talk, on Key Life.
Key Life is a radio program for struggling believers, sick of phony religion and pious cliches. Our host and teacher is seminary professor ,Steve Brown. He teaches that radical freedom leads to infectious joy and surprising faithfulness.
Thank you Matthew. We’re looking at the first 19 verses of the ninth chapter of Acts in our fairly long study of the book of Acts. And this is the story of Paul’s conversion. Didn’t spend a lot of time there because it just is, I mean, you read that and go, wow. You know, it doesn’t require commentary. It doesn’t require exposition or exegesis, it’s just there. Paul before, you know, I read in C.S. Lewis’s book Surprised by Joy. It’s his autobiography for his life up to the point where he wrote the book Surprised by Joy. And I could hardly wait to get that book, so I could find out how Lewis came to Christ. I knew it was going to be gigantic and major, but it wasn’t. It’s the most boring testimony in the history of the Christian Church. This is this testimony.
I left for Whipsnade journey. And when I left for Whipsnade, I didn’t believe that Jesus was the son of God. When I got there, I did.
And I go, that’s it? That’s all? Well, Paul didn’t have that problem. In fact, we’re going to see how he shares this two other turns in the book of Acts. I mean, God whacked him upside the head. It was clear and scared the spit of everybody around him. And then God struck him blind. That doesn’t require commentary. That just is, but there is another incident that takes place in this ninth chapter of Acts, which is very informative. There was a guy named Ananias and God went to Ananias and told him to go find Paul and pray for him, so he could receive his sight. And, Ananias is so human, we saw that yesterday. He’s afraid, in the 13th verse he said, well, it’s not in the text, but this is the gist of what Ananias said, Lord, let me explain something to you. This is not somebody I want to know. I don’t want to go to dinner with him. I don’t want to be anywhere near him, or I’m going to end up in prison. And, but he went, but he was so human and God included that so we could see that it’s okay to be human. Human beings say dumb things. We’re afraid sometimes, we’re lonely sometimes, we don’t do things right sometimes, sometimes we sin and sometimes we don’t sin, but want to. So I want you to notice, secondly, that Ananias not only illustrates what it means to be Christian and human, he illustrates what it means to be Christian and want to be disobedient, look at the the 11th verse.
And the Lord said to him, “Rise and go to the street called Straight, and inquire in the house of Judas for a man of Tarsus named Saul, for behold, he is praying, and he has seen a man named Ananias come in and lay hands on him so that he might regain his sight.”
And, Ananias didn’t want to go. Sometimes I don’t want to go. Do you sometimes feel that way? Now, sometimes I’ll want to sin, and don’t, which means that I don’t get credit for it. One time, and this really happened. Billy and Ruth Graham were in church and they passed the offering plate. And Mr. Graham put in a $20 bill, and then he reached for the $20 bill to get it out of a plate and Ruth smacked his hand. He said, but Ruth, I meant to put in a $10. And she said, honey, in God’s eyes, it was a $10. So, you know, Ananias too, I mean, he went, but he didn’t get any credit for it because he didn’t want to go. And we don’t have to have credit because the blood of Christ is sufficient and finished, but you’ve got to stop. And you got to note that Ananias wanted to run, he wanted to sin, he was human, the way you’re human and that’s okay. One time, Archie Parrish is a friend of mine, and he was the man that God used in such an awesome way to create Evangelism Explosion, along with my friend, Jim Kennedy. And I was at Coral Ridge back taking an Evangelism Explosion course over two or three days. And, Archie was speaking. He was then the minister of evangelism there and somebody asked him what was the thing most needed in an evangelism program? And he said a Christian psychiatrist. What he was saying is that humans are Christians and Christians are human. And sometimes we want to sin and sometimes we do, Christians are always asking me how they can know God’s will, but here’s a man who didn’t want to know God’s will and didn’t want to do what God told him to do. And, God included that right here in Scripture to make you feel better. And if you don’t, you weren’t listening to what I just taught you. God called sinners and Martin Luther was right when he said.
The message of the church is that we are great sinners and Jesus is a great Savior.
We are. He is. You think about that. Amen.
Well, it’s Wednesday and sometimes on Wednesdays when I have some extra time, I’ll answer a question or two. Pete, of course will be in on Friday and we’ll spend the entire broadcast answering questions. And we love to get your questions. You can ask your question by calling 1-800-KEY-LIFE, 24 7, hit the right button, record your question. And sometimes we put your voice on the air and that’s, as I said, anytime, 24 7. Or you can send your question to
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Or you can e-mail your question to [email protected] and we take you and your question seriously, by the way. And, you know I was going to say this. Those are, those places where you touch Key Life are places where if the Spirit should move, you could help us financially. Very few people, about 10% of the people that are helped by this ministry are able to help us financially. So, when you do, you help them, makes you a champion. Now, if you can’t or you don’t feel led to, we get that, but if you can help us financially, we will squeeze every dime for the glory of God. Let’s turn to one or two of these questions. And this is an e-mail. Steve, if God knew we would all be sinners, why did he create us? And why plant that one tree in the garden? Because God’s a monster, that’s why. Because he’s a child abuser. Okay. Because God doesn’t like you, he thinks you’re ugly and your mother, no, no, no. God had a reason. And his reason was us. He had a plan, God, didn’t say, oh, I had such high hopes for Adam and Eve, I really did. I mean, I thought they were going to be perfect. They were going to walk it and they were going to love me and look what happened. They blew it. No. And if you’re looking for a formal word for that lie, by the way, that’s called supralapsarianism. And, what it means is that God had his hand in everything from the beginning and you know why, because he loved you so much. He didn’t want to create a robot or a puppet where he pulled the strings or somebody, if he wanted to scare the spit out of you, if you didn’t get in line, that’s not God, because God’s attribute is love. And because he loved you, he created the most wonderful, counter intuitive, clear plan, starting in the garden to the coming of Christ, John 1,
And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us.
to the day you came to know him. And the tree in the garden was a planned part of it, so that we would stand before the throne. I can elbow you and say about Jesus, is he something else or what? Well, I don’t, you know, I don’t have time for another question, but I’ve got a lot of time, almost a 30 seconds. I guess I could sing a hymn or, or no, I can’t do that, that would be an awful thing. Let’s see, okay, let me, this is a quick one. Do our beloved pets go to heaven when they die? But of course they do, maybe. Guy on Moody was once asked that question by a little boy and he was a radio pastor. And the little boy asked him if his dog was going to be in heaven? And he said, son, I don’t know? When you get there whistle and see if he comes? That’s kind of flippant, I think maybe, I can’t imagine heaven being heaven without my German shepherds. And what I’ve said to kids, if your pet being in heaven is the thing that is required to make heaven, heaven. Your pets will be there. Hey, I’ve gotta go. Key Life is a listener supported production of Key Life Network.