DECEMBER 30, 2021
Satan accuses and he reminds. Let’s talk about it on Key Life.
That was Steve Brown and this is Key Life. We’re dedicated to the teaching that the only people who get any better are those who know that if they don’t get any better, God will still love them, anyway. Steve is an author, seminary professor and our teacher on Key Life.
Thank you Matthew. We’re looking at the 19th chapter of the book of Acts. That includes the conversion of the apostle Paul. And we’ve talked about it a little bit, but it doesn’t take much commentary or exegesis, I mean, it was a major event in history. It happened, Paul was struck down blind and then he goes and he’s with the disciples. And Ananias prays for him and he gets healed and he gets baptized. And from then on, Satan blushed, as he watched the apostle Paul being used in an unbelievable way by Jesus, whom he had just finished persecuting. It’s a great story, but so is the story of Ananias. And we’ve seen that he’s human. We have seen that he wanted to sin. We all do. You know why we sin, cause we like it, dummy, because we like to sin, that’s why we sin. If we didn’t like to sin, we wouldn’t ever sin. And so, there’s the temptation that’s always there. And we saw that Ananias didn’t want to be obedient. And God included that, so that when Satan accuses you, you can bring up Ananias and say, so there, that doesn’t mean I don’t belong to him. It just means that I’m a sinner. Satan is called the accuser and he is also the reminder. He’ll remind you all the time. Hey, if you really belong to Jesus, after all Jesus has done for you, you wouldn’t want to go there. You wouldn’t want to do that. You’re not even saved. And that dear friend is from the pit of hell and it’s smells like smoke. Next time it happens, remember Ananias. I worked for the Holiday Broadcasting Corporation, when I was a young man. Frankly, I made more money than I ever did in the ministry. And it was a good place. It was a growing corporation, the Holiday Broadcasting Corporation. They had two stations and they were beginning to make plans to add more stations. And John Holiday was my boss. And I decided I was going to go to seminary. I can’t quote what he said outright, because I would have to use words that you can’t use on a Christian broadcast, but I told him I’ve decided to go to seminary. And he said, no, you haven’t. You’re out of your mind, you would make a horrible minister. You’re not religious. You are not going to fit, you’re too, and besides the money’s not good. I’m going to pay you a lot better. And on and on and on. What did I do? I thought, you know, he’s right, this is crazy. I’m not going to, and Satan said, you thought you’re a Christian, you’re not a Christian. If you were a Christian man, you’d have told him where to go. And you would have gone to seminary without a question, without thinking about it, just in obedience, the way a good Christian does that sort of thing. Well, I didn’t know about Ananias in those days, but if I had known, I would have been okay, because that was the accuser, accusing me of something that just wasn’t true, that I didn’t belong to Jesus. So, the next time you don’t want to be faithful, and sometimes I don’t. Sometimes, I say to Jesus, and this is true. I wouldn’t do this for anybody, but you. And even doing it for you, is hard. Does that make me not saved? No, of course not. It makes me human and it’s okay to be human. Now, let me show you something else that’s really good. I want you to notice that Ananias not only illustrates what it means to be human, what it means to be a sinner. He illustrates his need for other people. God used Ananias to teach Paul, that he needed other Christians. Paul learned his lesson well, for in the 19th verse, it says this.
For several days Paul was with the disciples at Damascus.
Let me tell you something. If you didn’t already know it, we live in a cold and cruel world. It’s a dog eat dog world. It’s always been that way. But if you live in America or Canada, and you’re a Christian, a lot of people really don’t like you, they think that your belief in traditional marriage, you’re holding to a certain Biblical standards of right and wrong, your unwillingness to bow and worship at the altar of government. They, they don’t like you. And I, read an article recently in First Things by a professor, at Grove City College. That’s where I got one of my phony doctorates. His name is, Truman. And it was a great article about how evangelical leaders had misled the troops. We told them that if we were nice and in the case he was talking about, if we’re scholars and we teach in graduate schools and we’re really strong intellectuals ,we’ll be accepted by the other children who were playing on the scholarly playground. And he said, not going to happen, never has happened and never will happen because it is ingrained in them, that if you’re right, they’re wrong. And if you’re right, everything they like and want and propose is in shambles. So, all of a sudden we need each other and we need each other desperately in this present culture. Let me read to you something from William (Boddie)
Before I was born, my church gave to my parents ideals of life and love that made my home a place of strength and beauty and helpless infancy. My church joined my parents in consecrating me to Christ, baptizing me in his name. My church enriched my childhood with the romance of religion and the lessons of life that have been woven into the texture of my soul. In the stress and storm of adolescence, my church heard the surge of my soul and she guided my footsteps by lifting my eyes toward the stars. When first my heart knew the strange awakenings of love, my church taught me to chase and spiritualize my affections. When my heart was seemed with sorrow, my church grew me to the friend of all the weary and whispered to me the hope of another morning, eternal and tearless. When my steps have slipped and I have known the bitterness of sin, my church has believed in me and has called me back to live within the grace of Christ, my church calls me to her heart. She asked my service and my loyalty. She has a right to ask it. I will help her to do for others, what she has done for me. In this place, I will help her keep a flame and a loft, the torch of a living faith in Christ. The church is people and that is God’s gift to God’s people.
That is so good. If I had time, I’d read it again. You know, I’m a loner. I’ve said to you a thousand times that I’d be a monk, if they’d let me take my wife, but they won’t. But I’ve learned over the years that I can’t do this by myself. I’ve learned over the years and this morning when I was praying, I said, Lord, help me to remember the people I love, who are with you. And I thought about them one after another, after another, after another, I remembered the ones that picked me up and hugged me and said it was easier to hug a dirty kid than a stiff kid. And they knew I wasn’t stiff, even if I was dirty. I remember the ones that stood beside me when my brother died and I wanted to die. I remember the ones who loved me when I was unlovable, the ones who taught me, the ones who called me to follow Christ, even when I didn’t want to. I remember the people in my life the teachers, the mentors, the professors, the friends who were so important in my walk with Christ. And when you read about Ananias, Paul, you know, Ananias put his hands on his head, prayed for him. Paul could see scales fell from his eyes. And then Paul said, don’t you move. There’s some people. Ananias said to Paul, there’s some people who want to spend some time with you and that’s gonna make a big difference. I know. You think you can do it yourself. I do too sometimes, but you really can’t and I didn’t say it. God said it. You can think about that. Amen.
Thank you Steve. Another incredible week of teaching from Acts, now in the books. And tomorrow is Friday Q&A with Steve and Pete, our last one for the year. So make sure you join us for that. I don’t know about you, but as a parent, many times, I’ll tell our kids to do something now, but they act as if now is simply the first of what will be several notices from me. There’s probably something I can learn here about being a better communicator. But in that spirit, when I tell you that today is the last day you can order your 2021 edition of Key Life magazine, that you need the call now. It’s not just a casual heads up. This really is the last call. If you’re not aware of this issue of the magazine has a wonderful article from Steve called You Can’t Fix It, plus other great pieces from Robin DeMurga, Chad West and Chris Wachter. Get your copy, right now, by calling 1-800-KEY-LIFE. That’s 1-800-539-5433. You can also e-mail [email protected] to ask for the magazine. If you’d like to mail your request, send it to
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