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Audio Sermons

Acts 21:27-22:23

 

Serving with Love:

FROM PERSECUTOR TO PERSECUTED

Life B-P Church Worship I & II, 23rd October 2016

Acts 21:27 - 22:1-23

(Rev Colin Wong)

 

        I.            Introduction

A.        Paul was Christianity's most violent, most-feared persecutor from Stephen's martyrdom.

B.        Paul’s life was marked by suffering and persecution from the time he was gloriously saved (Acts 9:15-16).

C.        The record of Acts 21:27-22:23.

 

      II.            The Damascus Road Experience

A.        Every Jew knew about Paul's past life (Galatians 1:13, 14)

B.        Paul had a “Damascus Road Experience” (Acts 9:15, 16). 

C.        From Persecutor to Persecuted (Galatians 1:23).

 

    III.            The High Price of Following the Lord

A.        God’s people have always faced persecution (Hebrews 11:37; 1 Peter 4:14; 1 Corinthians 4:9-13; 2 Corinthians 11:23-28; Romans 8:18). 

B.        Persecution is an intrinsic part of Christianity (John 15:18, 19; Matthew 10:34-36; Jeremiah 12:6).  

C.        The Cost of Following the Lord

1.      Following Jesus costs your own life (Luke 14:27; Acts 20:23, 24).

2.      Following Jesus may cost the loss of family and friends (Matthew 10:32-39). 

3.      Following Jesus may cost the loss of your possessions (Matthew 19:21; Philippians 3:8). 

4.      Following Jesus will cost you persecution (Isaiah 53; John 15:18-21; 1 Peter 2:21; 1 Peter 4:12). 

 

    IV.            How Should Christians Respond to Persecution?

A.        Persecution is a Time to Rejoice (Acts 8:1-4; James 1:2; 4:41; Matthew 5:12; 1 Peter 4:13, 14). 

B.         Persecution is a Time to Gain Patience (James 1:3; 1 Peter 1:6, 7). 

 

C.         Persecution is a Time of Blessing (Matthew 5:10, 11; 1 Peter 4:15, 16).

D.        Persecution is a Time to Bear Witness for Christ (Matthew 5:44; Luke 23:34; Acts 7:60; Romans 12:17-19; Exodus 21:24; Matthew    5:1; 7:28; 5:38-42). 

E.         Persecution is the Time for Prayer (Matthew 5:44; Hebrews 13:3). 

1.      Pray sensitively. 

2.      Pray scripturally (Psalm 71:4, 12; 142:6, 7; 143:3; Matthew 5:44; Acts 7:60; Luke 23:34; Romans 12:14). 

3.      Pray as the Holy Spirit Leads (Jude 20; Romans 8:26, 27). 

 

V.            Conclusion

Persecution is an intrinsic part of Christianity.  Jesus said, "In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world" (John 16:33).

Beloved in Christ, let us glory in tribulation, knowing that tribulation produces patience; and patience, experience; and experience, hope, and hope does not put us to shame because the love of God has been poured into our hearts by the Holy Spirit which has been given to us (Romans 5:3-5).

May God help us! Amen.

 

Discussion Questions

 

1.         How have Satan's techniques for persecuting the church changed over time?

2.         What warning did Jesus give for the church in John 15:18-20?

3.         If you are a Christian and you aren't facing persecution in some form, what are the probable reasons for that?

4.         What did Peter say we are to do when we are persecuted (1 Peter 4:19)?

5.         What did Peter say will happen if we submit to persecution
(1 Peter 4:12- 14)?

 

 

Vision & Mission

 

To build a united church family that is committed to making disciples through Salvation, Sanctification and Service, to the glory of God.

Verse for the Week

October 15 & 22 - The Cost of Discipleship

For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. Matthew 16:25