When God stops talking, there’s a reason for it.
OCTOBER 16, 2023
When God stops talking, there’s a reason for it. I’ll explain, on Key Life.
Welcome to Key Life. I’m Matthew, executive producer of the program. Our host is Steve Brown. He’s an author and seminary professor who teaches that God’s amazing grace is the key to a life of radical freedom, infectious joy, and surprising faithfulness to Christ.
Thank you Matthew. Hope you had a great week-end and I hope your pastor’s sermon was as good as my pastor’s sermon. If you’ve been with us over the last many months, we have been studying the Book of Acts. And on today’s broadcast, I’m going to land that plane, and hopefully go to a new study in the Book of Proverbs. And over the next few weeks, we’re going to talk about how to be a street-smart Christian. God doesn’t speak, just to hear himself talk. When he speaks, he’s giving us material that makes us smarter than people who don’t have that material. In other words, street-smart Christians. And over the next few weeks, we’re going to spend a lot of time in the Book of Proverbs. But first, we’re going to land our study from the Book of Acts. Let’s pray and then we’ll do that. Father, we come into your presence amazed as always that we’re here. It’s maybe in our DNA, but we think we have to be good or pure or obedient or faithful when we come into your presence. And just the opposite is true, we have been invited, and we have been invited with no requirements for our joining this club. The blood of Christ is sufficient and his righteousness is ours. And Father, we praise you for that, for your acceptance of us just the way we are. Father, you know everybody who’s listening right now. You know the hard places and the soft places. You know when we have the parties and when we have the funerals. You know it all and you’re present at every point in our life. Teach us to lean on you and to lean on you hard, totally sufficient for every need. And then Father, as always, we pray for the one who teaches on this broadcast. Forgive him his sins because there are many. We would see Jesus and him only. And we pray in Jesus’ name. Amen. I’m going to read the last verses in the Book of Acts. Paul is in Rome, he’s preaching the gospel. The religious people are gathering around, some were convinced because they had never heard this before, but some got angry and rejected Paul. And that is true today. If you’re getting a hundred percent when you talk about Jesus, they didn’t understand. Something’s wrong, so, what happened here is what normally does happen. The gospel is presented and at that point some walk away and some come running. And that happened in Rome too. But what I want to show you is how the Book of Acts, the history of the early church, the story of beginnings, the story of what God did in an amazing way, in fact, a miraculous way. Do you know one of the best arguments for the existence of God, it’s the existence of the church. And if you’re a Christian and you’ve been one for a long time, and you’ve been a part of the church for a long time, you know exactly what I’m saying. I mean, we do some of the dumbest things. We interviewed a couple of guys that had written a book on why so many people are leaving the church, 40 million over the last few years. And they were very hopeful, they said, that 30 million of those just need a tug, they need a little bit of love, they need a little bit of encouragement. And only 10 million are hardcore. But that’s been the story of the church forever. People leave, and they leave when the gospel gets clear because it is like a sword and it cuts deep. For some they run away, and for some they run to Jesus. And that was what happened with the apostle Paul. And then Dr. Luke lands the plane of his magnificent history book with these words.
Therefore, let it be known to you
this is Paul, he’s just presented the truth
let it be known to you that this salvation of God has been sent to the Gentiles, and they will listen.
And then Luke writes as follows.
He lived there two whole years at his own expense and welcomed all who came to him, proclaiming the kingdom of God and teaching about the Lord Jesus Christ with all boldness and without hindrance.
That’s it? I mean, somebody left something out. I mean, what happened to Paul? Did he get tried by Caesar? Did he die? Did he, did he see thousands saved and hundreds healed? What happened? That’s no way to end a book of history. You’ve got to at least have something that wraps it up. He lived there two whole years, frankly Dr. Luke, that is simply not enough. And God refuses to give us any more, and I’m going to tell you why, because you’re supposed to write the 29th chapter of Acts. After you study this book, and after you learn the principles, and the truths, and the call, and the commission that every Christian has been given, You write an Acts 29, that’s your chapter, the ball is in your net, you get to see, just as you got to see what God did with Paul and Barnabas and Peter and the others, you get to see what God does with you. And all you’ve got to do is show because the Bible teaches that you smell like Jesus and you can’t help it. We spend so much time trying to be better and better so we won’t hurt our witness. The truth is that when we don’t get better, it’s the best witness that we can give because it’s a witness to God’s grace, His forgiveness, His gentleness, His compassion, His love. And we write the 29th chapter of Acts and all you’ve got to do is to show up and not duck. And so, if we were going to write a 29th chapter of Acts and study it on this broadcast, we would say, this is the Book of the Acts of Jane, or the Acts of Sarah, or the Acts of Steve, or the Acts of Bill, or the Acts of Sam. People who are willing to go into the world and be vulnerable and to show. And God will write just as he did with the 28 chapters of Acts, a wonderful 29th chapter of Acts about you. And I want to say you think about that and end the broadcast, but I’ve still got a couple of minutes. So, let me tell you what we’re going to be doing from now on. We’re going to be looking at the Book of Proverbs. And it is a wonderful book because it’s a book that teaches you and teaches me to be street-smart. Too often, Christians are naïve, we’re shallow, we get hit when we didn’t expect it, we pretend that when bad things happen, that they’re not supposed to happen, we don’t understand how to respond to the world, and God because he likes us, has given us the Book of Proverbs. At any rate, I’m a Bible teacher, and I don’t act like it sometimes, but that’s what I do. And that’s what we’re going to do over the next few weeks as we look at the Book of Proverbs and street-smart Christians. Obviously, and this is a disclaimer, there are a whole bunch of proverbs in the Book of Proverbs. when I first taught this book. And I feel kind of like that right now, it was kind of the equivalent of teaching a dictionary. You just, there’s no, there’s too much. You feel like a mosquito in a nudist colony. You know what to do, you just don’t know where to start. And Proverbs is that way. As you go through Proverbs, there’s just wisdom after wisdom after wisdom. And it feels kind of like one is teaching a dictionary. So, we’re not going to do our usual practice of line upon line and precept upon precept. If it’s okay with you, I’m going to categorize, I’m going to give you some exegetical notes so you can do your own study of the Book of Proverbs. And then we’re going to see what God says about how we’re to live in the middle of this mess. Hey, you think about that. Amen.
Thank you Steve. Wow. Here we are at the end of this amazing exploration of Acts. I know I say it often, but do keep in mind that all of our episodes are available to stream for free at keylife.org and never one to rest on his laurels, Steve will be back tomorrow to lead us into that exploration of Proverbs. Don’t miss it. Well, Halloween is almost here, and whether you participate or not, I think we can all agree that there’s something unnerving about someone wearing a mask. Ooh, but we all wear masks, don’t we? Acting like everything’s cool when our lives are far from okay. Well, in his book, Hidden Agendas, Steve invites us to drop our masks and remember once again that thanks to God’s grace, we are forgiven, redeemed, accepted, and loved. We took sections of that book and put it into a special booklet. Get your free copy right now by calling us at 1-800-KEY-LIFE that’s 1-800-539-5433. You can also e-mail S[email protected] to ask for that booklet. To mail your request, go to keylife.org/contact to find our mailing addresses. Again, just ask for your free copy of the Hidden Agendas booklet. And finally, if you value the work of Key Life, would you support that work through your giving? You could charge a gift on your credit card, or include a gift in your envelope. Or just pick up your phone and text Key Life to 28950. And, listen, if you can’t give right now, we get it. But please do pray for us, okay? Always needed and appreciated. Key Life is a member of ECFA in the States and CCCC in Canada. And we are a listener supported production of Key Life Network.