When Jesus said, ‘Come,’ they came.
JULY 13, 2021
When Jesus said, ‘Come,’ they came. Let’s talk about it on Key Life.
That was author and seminary professor, Steve Brown. And this is Key Life. We’re all about radical grace, because of what Jesus has done, God’s not mad at you. Keep listening and that message will set you free to live a life of joy and surprising faithfulness.
Thank you Matthew. If you have your Bible open into the second chapter of Acts, almost all of that chapter concerns Pentecost. And last week I took the time to read the entire chapter. I’m not going to do that, because it’s so long, but I’m going to be referring to it as we go along. And we’re talking about God pouring out his Spirit on his people, a revival. And awakening affects culture, revival affects us. Awakening is how God changes a nation, revival is how God changes the church. And so we need to be praying for both. And so we need to be praying for both, a revival in the church and awakening in the nation. And we have seen that Pentecost is not reproducible. You can’t tell what God ought to do or tell him what he ought to do and expect him to do it. He’s not our servant. It’s the other way around, and God does as he pleases, but there are things that are happening that make me think that we are sitting on top of maybe the greatest awakening ever taking place in America. You know why? Because we’re as bad as we have ever been. We are as lost as we’ve ever been. We are as afraid as we have ever been. We are without meaning more than we’ve ever been. And that’s the place where God often moves. And so every day I pray for revival and I pray for awakening. And we’re talking about the things that were present at Pentecost, in the hearts and the lives of the disciples that don’t cause Pentecost, but should be a part of anybody who decides to serve Christ in this kind of culture, in this kind of darkness. And the first thing we saw was commitment. You gotta be all in. Now, you’re not going to be all in and I’m not going to be all in, but I can be all in, more than I am. And I say to Jesus, I want to be your man. I want to be able to speak truth to power. I want, I want to be all in. And I think that’s repentance, when you say you’re not. And it’s exciting when God answers that kind of prayer and he does. And then, and then secondly, not only commitment, but also knowledge we mentioned, Romans 10:17 says.
So faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
D.L. Moody said.
I worked hard for revival of my faith, until I read Romans 10:17.
So faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
But it’s more than that in our culture. It is time for Christians to understand not only what we believe, but why we believe it and why it’s true. We have this idea that pagans are brilliant and articulate and that they read all these books and that they’ll devastate us, if we should say our faith to them or speak it to them. Listen, I’m going to let you in on a secret. And you probably won’t hear this anywhere, but here, but they’re dummies, to be honest with you. I used to do a skeptics forum, and I was worried about that ministry. I was the only Christian allowed to come and we invited anybody who was an unbeliever to come to ask their questions and we would spend an evening and we did for weeks, every Monday evening, we met together. And before I did that ministry, I thought, you know, we got to reach out to people like this. I thought, you know, they’re going to eat my lunch. They are intellectuals. They are going to tear my faith to shreds. I’m not gonna know what to say or how to say it. Do you know what happened? Just the opposite. They didn’t know what they were talking about. I some, you know, the hardest thing about doing those skeptics forums. And, you know, it was a hassle, but the hardest thing was to keep from saying, that’s the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard anybody say, have you been smoking pot? I did, you know, I had to restrain myself, and not say because it would have ruined the whole reason for the ministry, to say, are you an idiot? Have you ever read a book in your entire life, or is that too hard for you? I didn’t say that. Instead, I would say, that’s interesting, let’s talk about it. But I needed something to talk about and I needed to know what I believed and why I believed it. And that’s not that hard. I think Christians need to study themselves, to study, to show themselves approved, as Paul said to Timothy. I think we need to know the Christian faith and the difference it makes. You get pagans saying, the only question that people need to deal with, if they’re thinking, is suicide. That’s what Camus said. What kind of answer do we have to that? We have the answer of meaning. We have the answer of forgiveness and redemption and life everlasting and peace and joy and laughing, in the midst of the darkness. We have these things and there’s a reason for them. And we ought to know the reason. And so, commitment is something that’s required in this kind of culture and was present at Pentecost, when the disciples got together. They had seen Jesus, a man who was dead. They had seen him after his death, had talked to him and eaten with him. And they said, where ever you go, we’re going to go. I have a friend, a very good friend. His name is Jim. And he was my dentist for a lot of years, but he and his wife, he loves to tell the story of the time they were driving from, in Florida. They were driving from Tallahassee to Miami and they’d stopped at this kind of bar restaurant to get some lunch. And they said during the lunch, this guy came in, who was obviously a biker and mean and big and scary. And he started walking around this restaurant and bar yelling at people and threatening them and being a bully. And he came to their table and they looked so straight. He hit his hand on the table, and said, who are you with? And my friend said, I’m with you. Now, well, Jesus kind of did that, but not that way. Dead man got up out of a grave and he visited Peter and said to Peter, who are you with? And Peter said at a breakfast meeting, I’m with you, I’m with you forever, commitment. And we need to ask for that in this kind of culture and knowledge, we need to know why we believe what we believe and how to articulate it. I’m not preaching at you. I’m talking to myself too. Then thirdly, I would have you notice, not only is commitment should be present in our cultural setting and knowledge in our cultural setting, obedience ought to be there too. Notice the disciples were in Jerusalem, because of the fourth verse of the first chapter, Jesus said, go to Jerusalem and you wait. You know what the disciples did? They went to Jerusalem and they waited. Do you know the name Gladys Aylward? Unless you’re older, you won’t. There was a film called The Inn of the Sixth Happiness. And Gladys, was a missionary lady who led children across the mountains to their freedom. And it was a great story and she was a great missionary. She’s a little Australian lady and I was the pastor of a church where she had gone and spoken at missions conferences in the past. And people love to talk about that time. There were people in that church who had been at the church at its founding, and we founded it in a bar. Had to clean up the beer cans and the liquor bottles, before we could have church. Well, at any rate, Gladys was meeting with a group of people in the church and they didn’t have a building and they wanted a building and somebody was there, said that she stomped her foot on the floor. And she looked up to the sky and said, God, these are your people. They’re not mine, they’re yours. So you got to do something, give this bunch a church. And do you know the next day, they got the land, by they thought an accident. It was Providence. And it was because of the prayers of a little missionary Gladys Aylward. But one of the things that she would say was Jesus said come and I came. And they were obedient. You know, our obedience, and we always, because we are legalists in our heart, we set out a fouls and rules, where we’re going to be obedient. You got to do this and this and this and this and this, forget all that. Well, I mean, some of the rules are good, some of them aren’t. But the main thing is to say in your heart, the first thing in the morning. Jesus, I have no idea what this day is going to be. I don’t know where I’m going to go or who I’m going to see or what I’m going to say, but you tell me, you tell me what to do and with all my heart, I’m going to do it. You think about that. Amen.
Of course, that was Steve Brown, teaching us from Acts 2 about commitment, knowledge and obedience. More to discover tomorrow, do hope you will join us then. So, if you’re enjoying Steve’s guided tour through Acts, we have a free booklet, I know you’re going to use and love. It’s called Through the Eyes of Grace: Acts & Romans. It contains an overview from Steve on Acts, touching on topics like how did the early church get it start? What about early church leadership? The Pentecost, the fellowship of believers, the persecution, and it has an overview of Romans. And for both books, there are introductory comments. There’s an outline of major themes and some important teachings. Grab your copy for free right now by calling us at 1-800-KEY-LIFE. That’s 1-800-539-5433. You can also e-mail [email protected] and ask for that booklet. If you’d like to mail your request, send it to
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