What do you know?
JULY 12, 2021
Hey. What do you know? Let’s talk about it on Key Life.
Key Life exists to communicate that the deepest message of Jesus and the Bible is the radical grace of God to sinners and sufferers, because life’s hard for everyone, grace is for all of us. Our host is seminary professor and author, Steve Brown.
Thank you Matthew. I hope you guys had a great week-end, as always. I hope your pastor’s sermon was as good as my pastor’s sermon. We’re looking at the second chapter of Acts and we’re spending some months studying this wonderful book in the New Testament, and we’re up to the second chapter and that’s where it all started. Well, actually it started hundreds of years before this, but this is where God put the gasoline in the church’s engine. This is the place where the church, the bride of Christ picked up her wedding dress, so she could run and she ran all over the world and the world was never the same. And the question we’ve been asking, is Pentecost reproducible? And if you’ve been listening, I’ve suggested no, it’s not. You can’t do what only God can do. And you can’t force him to do what you want him to do. He does as he pleases and he does it right well, but there are some items that ought to be present in this cultural situation. And we’re talking about that. Let’s pray, and then we’ll get down and study. Father, we come into your presence as needy people, people who are sometimes confused and sometimes doubtful, people who are sinners, people who are needy. And we rejoice that it is the very fact of the need that draws you into our lives. You meet us in the darkness and you bring the light, you meet us at our sin and you bring forgiveness, you meet us at our doubt and you restore our faith and we praise you and we worship you. Father, as always, we pray for the one who teaches on this broadcast, forgive him his sins for their many, we would see Jesus and him only. And we pray in Jesus name. Amen. If you listened last week, we were talking about awakening and revival and we spent a good deal of time talking about where we are in our culture. And I did that, believe it or not without being political, I don’t think this is a left right thing or conservative or liberal thing. One of the problems in our culture is a lot of people are making a lot of money by stirring up hatred of other people. And, I don’t think Christians can go there. And I think we have a grand opportunity in this culture to show what it means to be loving without shilly-shallying, to be loving without compromising, to speak truth to power and to speak it clearly, but to speak it with kindness and sometimes with tears. I don’t think we’ve ever had an opportunity to do that more than we do in our culture, but our culture is in trouble. And we’re talking about Pentecost and the pouring out of God’s Spirit on the early church, as they began to fulfill the Great Commission that Jesus had given them. And, if you were listening, I’ve said over and over again, that you can’t reproduce Pentecost. There are books that say you can, burn those books, they’re not right. There’s nothing you can, people say, yeah but at every great awakening, there were people who were praying. Yeah. But every time there was no great awakening, there were people praying too. At every great awakening, there was commitment. Yeah, but at every time when there wasn’t a great awakening, there was commitment. So, you gotta be careful, that you don’t create a system that says, if you do this and this and this, then God will pour out his Spirit on our nation. It doesn’t work that way. But when you get to the bottom and you have nowhere else to go, and that’s where we are. Then we can cry out for mercy and God hears that kind of prayer. And he gives us a time of refreshing, of pouring out his Spirit on our dry land. And I think we’re at that point. Nevertheless, there are things that ought to be present in this kind of cultural situation, not to get God to do what we want him to do, but simply because they are necessary in this kind of culture. And the first week saw is, in this kind of cultural situation, there has to be commitment. We talked last week about being all in, and frankly, I’m not all in all the time. And I do this for a living. I’m the most religious friend you’ve got. I mean, I write religious books, I teach religious students to be more religious, I do religious broadcasts, I preach religious sermons, I write religious blogs. I am so religious, sometimes I can’t stand myself. But sometimes, you know, in my prayer time I play solitaire, sometimes I think I’d like to be a Buddhist. They’re always smiling and they obviously don’t have a diet plan. I, think, you know, Jesus, you’ve messed up my life. So, sometimes I’m not all in, and sometimes you’re not either, but this is no time for a boys. We’re living in a cultural situation where Christians need to say, I’m God’s man, I’m God’s woman and I’m going to stand, I don’t care if they, if they kill me, I’m going to stand. And as the persecution grows and it’s going to grow against Christians. You see it, I mentioned that we had interviewed Ken Starr about his book on our talk show, about Liberty, religious freedom being in danger. And it really is. And Ken said, and I agree with him that this isn’t a time to be silent. It’s kind of a malaise that sets in, if you’ve been religious for a long time. It’s kind of like at a soap factory, the men who made the soap decided that they were tired and they didn’t want to work anymore. The owner decided that his overhead was too high. And so he shut down the machines that made the soap. The sales people decided they no longer believed in the product, and so they quit selling. And you know what happened? The world got dirty. That’s what happened. And that’s happening now in our culture. Do you sometimes when you’re with friends, hear things that are just insane and you keep your mouth shut. Do you hear charges made against Christians and you’re with friends and you know how they feel and you remain silent. Do you sometimes say, I’m going to keep my head lowered and I’m not going to be involved. I’m not going to say anything. Listen, they say that if you’re living at a time of terrorism, you’ve got a watch, and if you see something, you’ve got to say something. Well, that’s not just for bombs, that’s for culture, that’s for. Now, it doesn’t mean that we have to become insufferable in which we say, Ken Starr said, that when you say something, you can say this, listen, I really respect what you just said, but could I share with you another viewpoint and then say it. It’s commitment. It’s a commitment that we have to make. And the only way you get there, is to tell Jesus, you don’t have it. You say, look, I’m not all in, I’m a lot of times, not all in, so, so could you forgive me and fix me? Let me tell you something else that needs to be a part of this culture and was a part of the disciples in the second chapter of Acts. It is knowledge, of being part of something that goes back a long time, of having in your head, not just your heart, but in your head, what this thing is all about. Where one finds meeting, what’s important and what isn’t important. We as Christians become Biblically illiterate. The first thing, that becomes immediately apparent to anybody who takes the time to read this second chapter of the book of Acts, is Peter’s sermon. And the way he alludes to the past and particularly alludes to Scripture, Romans 10:14.
But how are men to call upon him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him whom they have never heard?
I have a friend who’s in heaven now, his name’s Russell and he was quite intimidating. We served on a board together for years. He sometimes would do devotions and he would during the devotional time repeat Scripture that he had memorized, he memorized the whole book of Ephesians. I mean every word of it. And sometimes we would sit there in awe, as he, without referring to a Bible, without looking at notes, without doing anything except smiling, he would speak the word of God that he had memorized and had become a part of his life. You know what he used to say? He said, if I’m not in the word for one day, I know it. And if I’m not in the word for two days, my family, they know it. And if I’m not in the word for three days, everybody knows it. I don’t know if that’s true, but I do know that it’s important for Christians to be thinking Christians. We need to know what the Christian faith is all about, what it promises and what it doesn’t promise, what it gives and what it takes. Then we can go. You think about that. Amen.
Thank you Steve. That was Steve Brown, continuing to unpack the wisdom found in Acts, specifically in Acts two. It’s not just a chapter, it’s a, it’s a whole feast and we will continue enjoying that feast tomorrow. So here’s a fun fact, the middle day of the year, was 10 days ago. Yes, we are officially on the back nine of 2021. And this leads me to a question. Have you claimed your copy of the 2021 edition of Key Life Magazine yet? If not, allow me to intrigue you. This edition features a wonderful article from Steve called, You Can’t Fix It. You’ll also discover pieces from Robin DeMurga, Chad West, and a new Key Life voice, Chris Wachter. It’s all in the 2021 edition of Key Life Magazine. And we would love to send it to you, for free. Just call 1-800-KEY-LIFE. That’s 1-800-539-5433. You can also e-mail [email protected] and ask for that magazine. If you’d like to mail your request, send it to
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