What to do about a crazy world.
SEPTEMBER 4, 2023
What to do about a crazy world? Let’s talk about it, on Key Life.
Being adopted into the family of God is not about doing more or trying harder. It’s about being welcomed by God because of His radical grace, free from the penalties of sin and never alone in your suffering. That grace is what Key Life is all about.
Thank you Matthew. I hope you guys had a great week-end and I hope your pastor’s sermon was as good as my pastor’s sermon. If you’re just joining us, you’re joining us toward the end of our study in the Book of Acts. We still have a good two, three, four more chapters to do, but we’re into the grand finale of this wonderful book, and we’re following the apostle Paul without a conclusion. We don’t know how all this ended from the Book of Acts, and so the ending is pretty much from external sources. But we are in the grand finale of this particular book, the Book of Acts. I think we started studying this back at the Noadic Flood. And we’ve been here for a very long time. And what we’re going to do this week and next week and probably the week after is to look at the apostle Paul as he deals with a crazy world. We live in a crazy world. Some of you were at the Cove not too long ago where I was teaching, and the seminar’s title was, How Do You Deal With a Crazy World? And we spent four long and arduous sessions looking at the Scripture and asking the question, How do we do this? We’ve never done this before. Yes, you have done this before, and the apostle Paul did it too. We live in a fallen world, and sometimes it’s crazy, and we’re going to talk about that for the next two or three weeks on Key Life. Before we get to it, let’s pray. Father, we come into your presence, always surprised that we’re here. You are great, and we are small. You are infinite, and we are finite. You’re everything, and we’re nothing. You’re eternal, and we tarry but just a little while. You’re perfect, and we’re not. You’re righteous, and we’re sinners. And so, it seems we’re in the wrong place, until we hear your welcome child. And we realize that we’re here by invitation. And when we come, we come clothed in the righteousness of Christ. Father, you know everybody who’s listening to this broadcast. You know the hard times and the good times. You know the laughter and the tears. And we recognize that all of that is from you, that you’re the sovereign Creator, Ruler, and Sustainer of everything we see and touch and experience. You are God and we worship you, but you are also Father and we thank you that you’re sufficient for every need. Father, as always, we pray for the one who teaches on this broadcast. Forgive him his sins because they are many. We would see Jesus and him only. And we pray in Jesus’ Name. Amen. Well, we’re continuing, as I said, with our study in the Book of Acts and up to the grand finale. That begins at the 17th verse of the 21st chapter of the Book of Acts. Now, let’s just review, if you didn’t take notes, you maybe want to do that now. Acts 21: 17 through 26, Paul comes home, thinking that here is the place where he would be affirmed. That happened, but a lot of other things happened too. There was talk, and Paul tried to put that talk to rest by going to the temple with four other Jewish men. In Acts 21:27 through 36, the people think that Paul has profaned the temple, and a riot occurs. In fact, Paul was a riot looking for a place to happen. Then in Acts 21:37 through 22:29, Paul is given the opportunity to speak to the crowd, and he causes another riot. And he’s taken back to the barracks for his own protection. In Acts 22:30 through 23:11, Paul is tried once again before the Sanhedrin. And there’s another riot. And once again, he’s taken to the barracks. where he receives the following promise.
The following night the Lord stood by him and said, “Take courage, Paul, for as you have testified about me at Jerusalem, so you must bear witness also in Rome.”
Acts 23:12 through 15. Now, if you remember, a plot was hatched by the religious Jews in Jerusalem, in which they took a religious vow before God and said that until they killed Paul, they would not eat. Now, we’re not given how that turned out, but I suspect they starved to death. And I suggested that if I had been the pastor of the first church in Jerusalem, and I had those 40 guys who had taken that vow in my congregation, I would have told them four things, four important things. First, I would tell them that all that is done in the name of God is not of God. Secondly, I would tell them that religion can be used as a mask to hide base motives or as a standard to mold pure motives. Thirdly, I would have told them that means always determine ends. Ends never justify means. And finally, I would have told them all else having failed. I would remind them that God always settles accounts, always. Now, we’re up to the 24th chapter of Acts. Paul is still in trouble. He’s still dealing with crazy religious people. And he’s still dealing with crazy secular people. In other words, he’s living in a crazy world, and it probably is appropriate for us, given the world where we live, where everything has gone wrong, where good is called evil and evil is called good, where lies are manifested, where sexual morality doesn’t matter, where standards just don’t care about standards, where once we had power and now we have no power, things are in trouble. I have a friend who has written a book titled Minority Rules, and the theory of that book was that we’re no longer a majority. And we’re not, and now we’ve got some rules by which we go by, minority rules. And that’s what we’re going to do over the next week or two as we look at the apostle Paul. Let me read the 24th chapter to you.
And after five days the high priest Ananias came down with some elders and a spokesman, Tertullus.
He was a lawyer, a hired gun.
They laid before the governor their case against Paul. And when he was called, Tertullus began to accuse him, saying: “Since through you we enjoy much peace, and since by your provision, most excellent Felix, reforms are introduced on behalf of this nation, in every way and everywhere we accept this with all gratitude. But, to detain you no further, I beg in your kindness to hear us briefly. For we have found this man
He’s talking about Paul.
a persistent, pestilent fellow. An agitator among all the Jews throughout the world. and a ringleader in the sect of the Nazarenes. He even tried to profane the temple, but we seized him. By examining him yourself, you will be able to learn from him about everything of which we accuse him.” The Jews also joined in the charge, affirming that all this was so. And when the governor had mentioned to him to speak, Paul replied.
Now, we don’t have time to get into that, but we’ll do that tomorrow. But the point is, Paul was a faithful, obedient, good, righteous, kind Christian. And some would say, as a result, he was blessed, he had a wonderful life, everything worked out. No problems, no pain, no hurt. And just the opposite happened. Listen, it still happens. If you’re a Christian so you’ll have a happy, wonderful life, be a Buddhist. That would be a lot better. Jesus never promised a rose garden. He promised that he would never leave, that we would have joy, and we would be in trouble. You think about that. Amen.
Thanks Steve. That was Steve Brown resuming our tour through Acts, now rounding the corner to this last stretch. Today, we got into Acts 24, finding Paul in trouble, again, and living in a crazy world. The more things change, the more they stay insane. More good stuff from Acts tomorrow, hope you will join us. Well, I don’t know about you, but for me, there are few things in this world that feel better than righteous anger. And there are many who would say, or at least imply, that righteous anger is a good thing. But on this subject, author Brant Hansen says, slow your roll. We recently spoke with Brant about this on Steve Brown Etc and his view on the matter might surprise you. How about we send you that whole conversation on CD for free so you can hear it yourself. Just call us at 1-800-KEY-LIFE that’s 1-800-539-5433. You can also e-mail [email protected] to ask for that CD. To mail your request, go to keylife.org/contact to find our mailing addresses. Again, just ask for your free copy of the CD featuring Brant Hansen. And finally, a question. Do you value the work of Key Life? If so, would you consider supporting that work through your giving? You can charge a gift on your credit card or include a gift in your envelope. Or just text Key Life to 28950. And if you can’t give, hey, we get it. But if you would, please do pray for us, okay? It really does help. Key Life is a member of ECFA in the States and CCCC in Canada. Both of those organizations assure financial accountability. And we are a listener supported production of Key Life Network.