When the tears turned to laughter.
JUNE 8, 2021
When the tears turned to laughter. Let’s talk about it on Key Life.
That was Steve Brown. He doesn’t want to be your guru and he’s not trying to be your mother. He just opens the Bible and gives you the simple truth that will make you free. Steve’s a lifelong broadcaster, author, seminary professor and our teacher on Key Life.
Thank you Matthew. If you have your Bible open it, open it if you have it to the first eight verses of the book of Acts. I read that yesterday and I’m not going to take the time to do it today, but I’ll be referring to it as we go along. The interesting thing is that just before the Ascension, Jesus didn’t tell his disciples to do anything, but wait. And then, while we’re going to go back and we’re going to consider the art of waiting, but here he gives him a commission and it’s a commission to the entire world. You’ve got to remember who these guys are, I mean, they were lost, devastated, their dreams of three years had been shattered. Everything had come to an end. I mean, they had great hopes for a Messiah who was going to bring Israel to a rightful place and he died on a cross crying that his God had forsaken him. Now that’ll, that’ll ruin your day. I mean, that’ll ruin your life. That’ll ruin your dreams. And that’s what had happened to these guys. And then something happened and I’ll tell you what happened, it’ll do it to you man. When somebody gets out of a grave, it’ll, it’ll wake you up. And if it’s Jesus, it’ll do more than that. And that’s what the book of Acts is about. What Jesus did, it’s called the Acts of the Apostles, but it’s really the Acts of the Holy Spirit. And even more than that, the Acts of the risen Jesus in a world that had never experienced anything like that. In the first chapter of Acts, Jesus has called his followers to meet him on a hill in the suburbs of Jerusalem. Here, Jesus spoke his last words to his followers before he ascended into heaven to set at the right hand of God, the Father. Among those last words, and you shall be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria. And to the end of the world. I grew up in the mountains of Western North Carolina, near the Cherokee reservation. And for years, and they don’t do it, I don’t think anymore. And that’s sad, because it was one of the most magnificent presentation. They had this theater and they still have the theater on a hillside and they have a presentation of music and dance and a story called Unto These Hills. This drama played against, as I said, the backdrop of the Great Smoky Mountains, tells the tragic story of the mistreatment of the Indians, the mistreatment they received from the supposedly sophisticated and civilized culture. The story ends with a scene, which shows the Indians of the mountains preparing to make the long enforced journey from the Smoky Mountains to Oklahoma. During that journey, hundreds of Cherokee Indians died of starvation and disease, or just plain hopelessness. That journey has been properly called The Trail of Tears. And if you’ve ever seen that production under these Hills, And you didn’t shed any tears. You’re dead as a door nail. I mean, I don’t, I’m a guy, I don’t, I’m not supposed to cry, but every time I’ve seen that Under These Hills, I’ve found myself with tears streaming down my face. Well, you should read Acts. There’s a similar experience, only it’s not a trail of tears. It’s a trail of joy. There’s hunger and disease and danger. There’s disappointment and there’s enough in Acts for the average Joe pagan to call the book of Acts story of the spread of the good news of Christ from Jerusalem to Rome, another Trail of Tears, but that’s not what you find out there. It becomes a Trail of Joy. Not because things were easy, they weren’t. Not because there was no hardship, there was. Not because there was no danger in death and privation, there was. The story of the book of Acts could be called a trail of joy for only one reason, Jesus is present. And so present that it is nothing short of miraculous, there are angels all around. There are people doing stuff they never thought they would do. There are unlearned people speaking to the educated in ways that blow them away. Throughout the book of Acts, there is miracle after miracle after miracle, and it was written for among other things. Now Theophilus, and we’re going to talk about him later and Luke, Dr. Luke, we’re going to talk about him later, but all of this was written for one reason, I think. And that is that you could read it and think, wow, God do it again. Do it again, on every page of the book of Acts, if you’re willing to listen quietly, and you’re perceptive enough, you can see the quiet, steady presence of the man of Galilee guiding and loving and sustaining and helping and understanding. The story of Acts is the story of Jesus extended and what he can do with people who can’t do it themselves. We’re living in that kind of time. I mentioned, I think yesterday that we had Os Guinness, I love him and I love his scholarship, PhD from Oxford and he gets the fodder down low, and he’s worried about our culture. And he says, you know, we just can’t afford to be cowards in this time. We got to speak truth. We got to teach our children the truth, because parents are so important in this particular culture. And he’s not talking politically about Republican or Democratic. He’s talking about a revolution that we’re in danger of wasting, both on the right and the left, a revolution that changed the world, because it had its roots in the Scripture. And if we have another revolution and I pray for it every day, it will be because it has its roots in Scripture. I mentioned yesterday that Donald Trump, and Os mentioned that, said we needed to make America great again. And Os said, he understood that, but what we really needed to do was to go back to the beginning and find out what made it great in the first place. Well, that’s what the book of Acts is, the book of Acts is not an impractical book. You will find the information we receive over the next few, I started to say weeks, but it’s going to be months, to be an extremely practical nature, but as we begin in this, it’s not my purpose so much to teach Biblical doctrine that you can apply this week. I want to kind of introduce you to the book of Acts in such a way that it will be emblazoned on your eyeballs as you read through this particular book. We’re going to start and I’m about out of time today. So we’ll start tomorrow with this, and this is the direction we’re going to go, over the next few days. I want to introduce the book of Acts to you under four headings, the man who wrote the book of Acts, he’s a very old friend of mine and you’re going to like him a lot and he’s going to like you a lot. His name is Luke, and we’re gonna look at him and see some of his background and what he was like. And then we’re going to look at the man for whom the book of Acts was written. His name was Theophilus, but you can call him Teddy. Cause he became a brother and I’m going to show you how he became a brother. And then we’re going to look at the people about whom the book of Acts was written. That would be your brothers and sisters in Christ, your family, the roots that you have as a Christian and should never forget. And then we’re going to look and try to state it the way you do if you’re writing a book. I’m in the process of doing that now. And the publisher requires for me to say what the book is about in one sentence, or two sentences at the most. Now I’ve written 300 pages. How do you get that down? Well, we’re going to do that with the book of Acts. We’re going to see what the book of Acts is centrally about. And then when we get through the introduction of the book of Acts, we’re going to go back to that first text again, and we’re going to start looking at practical, explosive, unbelievable, amazing stories of your family, the stories that God would create in us too. And so this study of the book of Acts is important, and it’s important because you’re important. It’s important and valuable because your valuable. It’s a necessary book because you are necessary. Hey, you think about that. Amen.
And that was Steve Brown, continuing to guide us through this first chapter of Acts, setting the table as it were before we really dive into it. As Steve alluded to some interesting topics we’re about to explore, including the book’s author and his audience. Hope you join us on this journey. Well, lately you may have heard this mentioned that Steve’s newest book Talk the Walk is available on audio book. Believe it or not. It’s our first audio book. And, yeah, we’re kind of excited about it, but maybe you’re not familiar with the book. In that case, no worries. The books full title is Talk the Walk: How to be Right Without Being Insufferable. The premise is that we as Christians may be right on issues of salvation and theology, but we often miss the less articulated truths of humility, love and forgiveness. As a way of introduction, we’ve created a special booklet featuring excerpts from Talk the Walk, that we would love to send to you for free. So claim your copy right now by calling 1-800-KEY-LIFE. That’s 1-800-539-5433. You can also drop an e-mail to Steve@keylife.org to ask for the booklet. By mail, send your request to
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