Paul’s Rejection

Acts 22:22..[59AD] The crowd listened until Paul said that word. Then they all began to shout, “Away with such a fellow! He isn’t fit to live!”

When the Jews heard the word Gentile [anyone who was not a Jew] they flew into a fit of rage. At this point in 59 AD Gentiles in the world were the vast majority of the population, Jews 2nd and Gentile & Jewish believers in Jesus 3rd. Jesus told Paul in v.21 that he was to go to testify to the Gentiles. Paul was obedient. He went to Tarsus, then Barnabas brought him to Antioch and he made 3 missionary journeys. Everywhere he went most of the Jews rejected his message. In 59 AD he was back in Jerusalem to be rejected by the Jews in v.22.

Data A shows the church has fallen to alarming depths in the USA. We are now in a situation were only 6% of all Americans and .5% ages 18-23 have a biblical world view.

“Bottom line: the church is not having a very positive effect on the culture, but conversely the culture is having a tremendously detrimental effect on the church. When asked; what is the biggest problem in the church in America today, noted theologian and author, Henry Blackaby said, “It is very simple. We have raised generations of illiterate Christians.” These illiterate Christians are reproducing themselves.

The culture is so post-Christian most people don’t know the bible and are not interested. What are we to do? Just like Paul all disciples have a calling and responsibility to the 3 steps in the discipling process in:

 Matthew 28:19-20.. 19 Go therefore and make disciples * of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

 * Discipling is a three step process: make disciples–leading people to be new believers in Jesus D, encouraging them to be baptized E and teaching them the commands of Jesus F.

For an approach to discipling that is very helpful to me click here.

How does Paul’s life purpose in Acts 22:15 relate to the commission of Jesus recorded in Matthew 28:18-20? Does the specific purpose that God desires for each believer always relate to that commission? Will you memorize Acts 22:15 this week and apply to your life.

Notes: A- For data click here; D- For witnessing help see #1  here; E- For Jesus setting the example click here; F- For training help see #2  here.

Henry Luke 2/17/2018

For how to have peace with God click here, how to have peace of God click here, and how to disciple others click here.

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Paul’s Life-Changing Encounter

Acts 22:6-16.. [34AD]  6 As I was on the road, approaching Damascus about noon, a very bright light from heaven suddenly shone down around me. I fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to me, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?’

“‘Who are you, lord?’ I asked.

“And the voice replied, ‘I am Jesus the Nazarene, the one you are persecuting.’ The people with me saw the light but didn’t understand the voice speaking to me.

10 “I asked, ‘What should I do, Lord?’

“And the Lord told me, ‘Get up and go into Damascus, and there you will be told everything you are to do.

Paul turns to his encounter with Jesus on the way to Damascus in vv.6-10. Jesus appeared directly to Paul as the one he was on the way persecute. Jesus told him to go to Damascus and wait.

11 “I was blinded by the intense light and had to be led by the hand to Damascus by my companions. 12 A man named Ananias lived there. He was a godly man, deeply devoted to the law, and well regarded by all the Jews of Damascus. 13 He came and stood beside me and said, ‘Brother Saul, regain your sight.’ And that very moment I could see him!

Paul had to be led as a blind man into Damascus and wait 3 days without anything to eat or drink. Can you imagine the reaction of Ananias when Jesus appeared to him and said go deliver a message to Saul. [Acts 9:10-16] He did not want to go and witness to Saul, but he obeyed the command of Jesus to “go” and had a part in the conversion of Paul.

14 “Then he told me, ‘The God of our ancestors has chosen you to know his will and to see the Righteous One and hear him speak. 15 For you are to be his witness, telling everyone what you have seen and heard. 16 What are you waiting for? Get up and be baptized. Have your sins washed away by calling on the name of the Lord.

Ananias went to Saul and delivered the message that God had chosen Saul to know His will and to see Jesus and hear Him speak. Saul was to be a witness, sharing what he had seen and heard. At that time [59 AD] the only New Testament books written were probably James and 8 by Paul. B Today we have the entire New Testament to share with people. Then Ananias asks Paul a question “What are you waiting for?” Even though Paul was chosen he had to be saved by “calling on the name of the Lord and having his sins washed away” be baptized and then accept the assignment. Paul was obedient to his calling.

Paul repeated the invitation in Acts 22:15-16 in Romans 10:14,17,9,13. Who so ever will may come. A

Notes: A- For how to accept His invitation click here. For 12 things that happen at the instant of salvation click here. B- For source of dates click here and here.

Henry Luke 2/16/2018

For how to have peace with God click here, how to have peace of God click here, and how to disciple others click here.

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Paul’s Former Life –

II.  Acts 22:3-22 New Living Translation (NLT) vv.3-5..[59AD] Then Paul said, “I am a Jew, born in Tarsus, a city in Cilicia, and I was brought up and educated here in Jerusalem under Gamaliel. As his student, I was carefully trained in our Jewish laws and customs. I became very zealous to honor God in everything I did, just like all of you today.

Paul began his testimony before the Jews in Jerusalem by establishing his Jewish roots. He said I am a Jew born in what is now southern Turkey. Paul may have come to Jerusalem at sometime in his teens to study under Gamaliel. Gamaliel appears in Acts 5:33-42, where he advised moderation in responding to the apostles. Gamaliel was the most respected teacher of the day. Paul was carefully taught the Jewish laws and customs. Note that Paul said “our” laws to again indicate he was their brother. As a result Paul became very zealous in honoring God in everything he did just like all the Jews present that day.

And I persecuted the followers of the Way, hounding some to death, arresting both men and women and throwing them in prison. The high priest and the whole council of elders can testify that this is so. For I received letters from them to our Jewish brothers in Damascus, authorizing me to bring the followers of the Way from there to Jerusalem, in chains, to be punished.

Paul was so zealous that he persecuted the followers of the “Way”. Apparently the early disciples were called by this name. It may have come from John 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.” The high priest and the council can testify to the truth of my persecution. This includes his being the witness approving the stoning to death of Stephen which he refers to later in this testimony. The council gave Paul authority to go to Damascus and bring disciples back to Jerusalem to be punished.

 Paul then known as Saul was well known to his Jewish brothers in Jerusalem.

Henry Luke 2/15/2018

For how to have peace with God click here, how to have peace of God click here, and how to disciple others click here.

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Discipling is a 3 step process as outlined in Matthew 28:18-20 but with 2 approaches

Daily walk in the Spirit exhibiting the fruit of the Spirit and the glory of God H. O God help me reveal Your glory in my life today, at my expense & without expecting merit on my part.

I.  Impromptu Discipling II. Relationship Discipling I
Time: 1-2 minutes or longer as opportunity is presented. Time: Longer, sometimes many years or even decades. Be patient trusting Jesus.
At checkout counter, airplane ride, walking, gym, hospital, rehab, etc Family, friends, neighbors, workplace, sports, etc
 Spiritual Farming- Be prepared in your heart & with resources to use in 1 or 2 minutes Spiritual Farming [Matthew 13]
Sowing– Every person we see or talk to is either saved or lost, therefore look for opportunities Sowing– Getting out of our Christian comfort zone & develop relationships with lost people based on mutual interests.
Cultivating- Start with a gospel conversation that may lead to a gospel message using a concise personal testimony, “Red Card“, etc. Try to get contact information to provide follow-up. Provide to Administrators. Cultivating – Talk about and live in light of scriptural truths before lost people. The goal is for the unbeliever to reach a place where they ask “What is the hope within you”? [1 Peter 3:15]
Harvesting- Don’t bruise the fruit, someone else may harvest. E Some of these conversations will result in Salvation. Romans 10:9,13 Harvesting– Salvation, the gift of God. We can faithfully cultivate and sow for years, but we must leave the result to Jesus. Romans 10:9,13

Salvation-

Salvation-

 

Encourage baptism F & G

Encourage baptism F & G

Spiritual Parenting. One-on-one through the steps below for the new Disciple- may have to be provided by telephone, Skype, or email or turning over to another Disciple. Spiritual Parenting. One-on-one through the steps below for the new Disciple.
[Galatians 4:19, Hebrews 5:11-14, 1 Thessalonians 2:7-8, 1-20]
Baby Disciple Baby Disciple
Child Child
Adolescent Adolescent
Adult Adult
Reproducing Disciple Reproducing Disciple

Notes: E- For witnessing help see #1  here; F- For Jesus setting the example click here; G- For training help see #2  here;  I- For an approach to discipling with spiritual farming & parenting that is very helpful click here.

Data A shows the church has fallen to alarming depths in the USA. We are now in a situation where only 6% of all Americans and 0.5% ages 18-23 have a biblical world view. [The 0.5% is not a typo]

“Bottom line: the church is not having a very positive effect on the culture, but conversely the culture is having a tremendously detrimental effect on the church. When asked; what is the biggest problem in the church in America today, noted theologian and author, Henry Blackaby said, “It is very simple. We have raised generations of illiterate Christians.” B These illiterate Christians are  reproducing themselves.

Most people don’t know the bible today and are not interested– as a result this is often referred to as a post-Christian culture. What are we to do? Just like Paul C all Disciples D have a calling and responsibility to the 3 steps in the discipling process in:

Matthew 28:19-20.. 19 Go therefore and make disciples * of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

* Discipling is a three step process: [1] make disciples–witnessing that leads people to be new believers in Jesus E, [2] encouraging them to be baptized F and [3] teaching them the commands of Jesus G. All with the presence and guidance of Jesus and the help of the Holy Spirit.

Walking in the Spirit consistently and being prepared & ready to take advantage of “Impromptu Discipling” opportunities as they present themselves provides perfect heart preparation for “Relationship Discipling”. Each Disciple should be doing both.

Notes: A- For data click here ; B-  From “A Friend Under Fire”  by Stephen Trice; C-[Acts 22:15,  Matthew 28:18-20]; D- I use the word Disciple in place of Christian; 2nd page H- For helps I use most mornings click here Jesus- Centered, here NT Commandments & here Glory of God;

For the difference one person can make on a nation click here.

 We have a way to measure part of “Impromptu Discipling” and provide reports each week. How do we measure follow-up? How do we measure “Relationship Discipling” and daily acts of kindness & care in our SS class community?

Henry Luke 2/14/2018

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Paul Travels from Miletus to Jerusalem despite being warned not to go to Jerusalem Acts 21 [59 AD]

In Acts 20:22-23 the Ephesus disciples warned Paul not to go to Jerusalem; in  Acts 21:4 the disciples in Tyre warned him not to go to Jerusalem, and he was warned again in v.11 in Caesarea. Yet, Paul continued to Jerusalem because he believed the Holy Spirit had compelled him to go there on the way to Rome. He believed his work was done in the eastern part of the Roman Empire [Acts 19:21, Romans 15:23-24].

When Paul arrived in Jerusalem he met with James [the half brother of Jesus] and the other elders and described his work among the Gentiles. They glorified the Lord. But, immediately they were concerned about the thousands of Jews in Jerusalem who believed in Jesus and remain zealous of the law.

Therefore they ask Paul to go through a Jewish ritual with 4 other Jewish believers and pay their expenses. They said we do not believe or require Gentiles to do any such thing. So Paul agreed and proceeded with the four men. With almost 7 days over, some Jews stirred up the crowd in the Temple and claimed Paul had brought a Gentile into the temple. This was not true, but all the city was stirred up and they took Paul out of the Temple. He was saved from being beaten by Roman soldiers. Paul told the captain, I am a Roman citizen and ask permission to speak to the crowd. He was granted permission.

As I have meditated on this chapter I have wondered if it was problem for James and the elders to try to appease the Jewish believers. However as events worked out it provided Paul with an opportunity to share his testimony and the gospel in chapter 22. Paul seized the opportunity.

We should sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence;”  [1 Peter 3:15]

Henry Luke 2/14/2018

For how to have peace with God click here, how to have peace of God click here, and how to disciple others click here.

For other similar posts, click on “Acts 22” in Tags below.

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Paul’s and Our Purpose from Jesus

 

Consider that “Current [USA] church research data shows that:
• Roughly the same number of marriages both in the secular culture and the church end in divorce.
• The rates for drug, alcohol, and pornography addictions are generally the same in the church as in the secular culture. The research reflects that over 70% of confessed Christian men attending church on a regular basis also view pornography regularly.
• Only 15% of the 360,000 churches in the USA are growing.
• Only 2-5% of churches that grow are growing by new conversion growth. Growth occurs primarily by transfer of membership. The church is just reshuffling people from church to church.
• 90% of evangelical church members never share their faith with anyone.
• 50% of all evangelical churches did not have a single convert last year.
• Only 51% of pastors have a biblical world view defined as:
– Believing that absolute moral truth exists
– The Bible is totally accurate in all of the principles it teaches
– Satan is considered to be a real being or force and not merely symbolic                                – A person cannot earn their way into heaven by trying to be good or doing                          good works
– Jesus Christ lived a sin-free life on earth
– God is the all-knowing, all-powerful creator of the world who still rules the                    universe today.
• Only 19% of confessed born again Christians have a biblical world view
• Only 15% of those who are raised in the church have a biblical world view and 70% `      leave the church between the ages of 18 and 23
• Christians on average give only 2-3% of their income
The same research about the entire nation tells us:
• Only 6% of Americans and only 0.5% of American adults ages 18-23 have a biblical world view” D

Now consider the Jews over 2000 years up to the time of Jesus:

The racial divide during that time was in many ways worse than exists today. The Jews thought they were superior because they were God’s chosen people. They had been chosen to “be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.” B

But, instead they had become very isolated and were neither priests nor a holy nation and were without fruit. Jesus said Therefore I say to you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people, producing the fruit of it. C

Acts 22: 15, 17-21..[37AD A] 15 For you are to be his witness, telling everyone what you have seen and heard.

What has been my part in this terrible decline in the church in the USA? Have disciples today done any better than the 1st century Jews?

Notes: A- Galatian 1:17-19, Biblehub New Testament Timeline click here; B- Exodus 19:6; C- Matthew 21:43; D- Source: Barna Research Group, 2008-2016 as quoted in “A Friend Under Fire”  by Stephen Trice.

Henry Luke 2/13/2018

For how to have peace with God click here, how to have peace of God click here, and how to disciple others click here.

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Summary/Application Acts 20

Sharing the gospel is worth the sacrifice and effort.

  1. O God help me to live today as your servant finishing strong so I can repeat the words of Paul near the end. “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” [2 Timothy 4:7-8 CSB]
  2. Am I willing to be submissive and pursue with all my strength God’s will as clearly outlined in the Bible. Sometimes this requires saying no to good things, that I am skilled at and enjoy, to leave energy and time for His will.                                                     
  3. Acts 20:18-21 should cause me to review my service for Jesus in the past and set His will as the goal for the future.                                                                                                
  4.  What does it mean to me to fulfill God’s will for my life? Do I honestly believe that faithfully fulfilling God’s will, as given in the Bible, brings contentment?
  5.  Am I supporting my pastors and being a faithful watchman proclaiming God’s truth in each opportunity provided? [Ezekiel 33:16]
  6. Am I consciously daily relying on the divine power of Jesus through the knowledge of Him from the Bible and the Holy  Spirit?
  7.  Scripture Memory – Acts 20:24 But I count my life of no value to myself, so that I may finish my course and the ministry I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of God’s grace.

 3rd Missionary Journey: Acts 18:23-21:15; 52-59 AD; Paul writes 1 & 2 Thessalonians, 1 & 2 Corinthians, Galatians and Romans; 3,303 miles. Map below.

Henry Luke 2/12/2018

For how to have peace with God click here, how to have peace of God click here, and how to disciple/teach others as described in 2 Timothy 2:2 click here.

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