For God’s sake, be all in.
JULY 8, 2021
For God’s sake, be all in. Let’s talk about it on Key Life.
The deepest message of Jesus and the Bible is the radical grace of God to sinners and sufferers. That’s what Key Life is all about. So if you’re hungry for the hopeful truth that God isn’t mad at you, keep listening. Steve Brown is a professor and our teacher on Key Life.
Thank you Matthew. If you’ve been with us, I’ve been pontificating for the last two or three days. Forgive me for that. But what I said, I stick by, we need awakening in America and for a lot of reasons. And if you think I said too much, just be glad I stopped where I did. Cause there was a whole list that is a lot longer than what I talked about. We’re in trouble in this country and you guys in Canada are in trouble too. And, we need awakening. We need God to do something and we ought to pray, Lord, you come yourself. This ain’t no time for boys. And then the question is, is Pentecost, reproducible? No, it’s not. I mean, that’s something that God does, but maybe, and this may surprise you, Pentecost will happen, not when we’re good but when we’re bad, not when we’ve got it together but when we don’t, not when we’re strong but when we’re weak, not when we’re making an impact on the culture, it’s when we’ve gotten to the point where we know we can’t make an impact on the culture. And so, maybe it’s reproducible by our sin, but there are things, and this text is really good at that point, that were extant at that point in human history when Pentecost happened and God poured his Spirit out on his people and 3000 people came running to Jesus because of one sermon. Boy, that’s super natural. That’s God doing his thing. That’s God saying, it’s time. But there’s some things that are, that are important. There is obvious commitment, when Pentecost happened. I mean, these disciples were in the upper room when the Spirit came and the wind rushed and the tongues fell, the tongues of fire. They were in a meeting and it was not a meeting to raise funds for the tasks that Jesus had given them. It wasn’t a planning meeting, to plan on how they were going to change the world. They had gathered in Jerusalem because everything they had, their lives, their talents, their wealth, their futures had been committed to Jesus Christ. When a dead man gets out of a grave, it’ll mess with your head. And that’s what Peter referred to in his sermon. He said, you can’t hold a good man down. And in the case of death, only one man has come back and talked about it and we are the witnesses to it. We’ve eaten with him. We’ve talked to him. He’s alive, thank God almighty he’s alive. And that has implications. And the disciples met together. This is the most important small group in the history of the church. These disciples are meeting in a room, and they’re there because they are all in, all in. The church I attend, here in Orlando is a wonderful church and I love it. I love my pastor Dan and the staff of the church and the people. And it’s just a good place. But, you know, every church I’ve been in for the last 25 years has had a building program. And if they would tell me, before I became a part of it, I’d go to another church. I just, I mean, you know, and you got to dig deeper and you got to give them more and I’ve already given it to two other churches and you just think, look, I’m old. I don’t, I’m not rich. I don’t have of all the, and I’m joking, of course. But our pastor has for four Sundays prepared our congregation for the Sunday, when we’re all going to pledge. Now we’re not building a building, we’re buying one, where a church died, before, and it’s an old building, but we’re going to refurbish it, redo it and ask the Holy Spirit to come and fill it with his presence. And we honestly believe he’s going to do that. But when my pastor had decided on a series he needed. By the way, when I did a building program and I’ve only been through one, listen to me, don’t ever take advice from a pastor who’s been through more than one building program. If he’s done one that’s inexperience, if he’s done two there’s something wrong with him and he should have known better. But so we’re buying this church and Dan, my pastor, is doing it right. I did it all wrong, when I did it. I never want to do that again, but he’s doing a series of sermons and you know what the title of the series is, it’s All In, All In. And he’s talking about how we, all of us, that would be all y’all, we’ll be involved in this program and that will support it and stand with it, be a cheerleader and give of ourselves and our money and our talents to see God do something. But his other side of All In is personal, it means are you all in yourself? And I don’t know about you, but I’m challenged with that kind of message. I’ve really had to ask some things. Now I’m not asking for perfection. Good heavens, these are not perfect disciples who were so committed, they were no longer sinners. Paul later on discovers that Peter is a hypocrite and says so, one of the biggest church fights in history. At least in terms of who was involved, took place in the early church. And we’re going to get to that, as we study the book of Acts. Paul and Barnabas got to the point they couldn’t work together. So these are not wonderful people, but I’ll tell you something, in the kind of culture in which we live, we got to ask, am I all in? How do you get all in? You tell God you’re not all in. You tell him, you tell him, Lord, you know I’ve had idols and I put other gods before you, you know, I’m saved and all, and I get all that, but frankly, I’m not all in and I don’t know what to do about it. So you’re going to have to fix it. That’s called repentance. And when you say that, you know what would have happened if it had taken place Pentecost, in the 20th century? Those disciples, you could change the scene in that upper room where they were meeting, but it’s the 20th century, Peter says to John, boy John, I sure hope this doesn’t take too long. I promised to take the wife out to dinner tonight. And John said, I agree with you, I am so bogged down with meetings that this just may be too much for me. And Bartholomew joined in, I hope this isn’t going to cut into my weekends. We’re expecting guests next week-end and they are very religious and I just wouldn’t want to offend them. And then in another part of the room, James and Matthias are talking, and they’re joined by Andrew and Andrew says, you know, I know Jesus has done a lot for me, but surely he must understand the pressure that I live under. That office is something terrible, I sometimes think that I’ll crack under the pressure. If he has called me here to give me something to do, I think I’m going to have to say no. And James would say, already my friends are calling me a fanatic. They think I have gone overboard. And it’s hurting my image in the community. And Matthias said, I agree with it. You would think that all we have to do, is sit around in meetings and talk. And that could go and on and on. And I’m being facetious. And I found myself with the disciples in exactly the same place. And so I think, in this kind of culture and we don’t do it to engineer revival, you can’t do that. You can’t reproduce Pentecost, but now during this time, it’s time to say, God, I want to be your man. I want to be your woman. I want to be all in. I want to love you with all of my heart and follow you as closely as I can. And could you, forgive me. And could you fix me. The cross before me, the world behind me, draw me to yourself. And that’s the kind of prayer that Jesus answers. Now he doesn’t say all right, now that you’ve done that we’re going to have a Pentecost. It doesn’t work that way, but I’ll tell you in our culture, this is no time to be silent. It’s no time to just smile and say, you do it your way and I’ll do it my way. This isn’t the time to say the most important thing about the Christian faith is tolerance. Tolerance is important, but it’s not the most important thing. Jesus is the most important thing. And so, and so, I want to say to him and heaven knows I’m not preaching looking at you. I’m talking about me too. I want to say to Jesus, look, I want to be your man. I want to be all in. I want to be committed to what you’re committed to. I want to cry where you cry. I want to care where you care. You think about that. Amen.
Thanks Steve. And we will continue our unhurried tour through Acts next week. But first, tomorrow it’s Friday. And yes, that means it’s time again for Friday Q&A. Be sure to join us as Steve and our friend, Pete Alwinson answer the challenging questions you’ve sent in. So, I don’t know if you’re like me, but I am fascinated by what we’re learning here in Acts. And if you are too, there’s a free booklet, we’d love to send you. It’s called Through the Eyes of Grace: Acts & Romans. It’s actually a companion guide to Steve’s study on Acts. How did the early church get it’s start? What about early church leadership, the Pentecost, the fellowship of believers, persecution. It’s all there. In addition there Steve’s overview of Romans, what is the Roman road to grace? Listen, you’re going to love this booklet, and it’s free. But you have to claim it to get it, so call us right now at 1-800-KEY-LIFE. That’s 1-800-539-5433. You can also e-mail [email protected] and ask for the booklet. If you’d like to mail your request, send it to
Key Life Network
P.O. Box 5000
Maitland, Florida 32794
If you’re in Canada, send your request to
Key Life Canada
P.O. Box 28060
Waterloo, Ontario N2L 6J8
Just ask for your free copy of the booklet called Through the Eyes of Grace: Acts & Romans. Also, if you’re able, would you please give the key life? Big or small, monthly or one-time, every gift matters and every gift helps. You can charge a gift on your credit card or include a gift in your envelope. Or, Hey, make it easy, just grab your smartphone and text Key Life to 28950. 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.