Reaching Out (Acts 17)
In our message series “Basic Training”, we’re teaching on the basic disciplines that every soldier in the Lord’s army needs to master. Whether we recognize it or not, as believers we are in an increasingly dangerous battle. Persecution and martyrdom of Christians is growing, particularly at the hands of Muslims. Yet, we need to keep the focus on who our real enemy is in our spiritual battle.
Ephesians 6:12 (NIV) For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.
Our struggle is against the evil spiritual forces of Satan, who has taken people captive to do his will. Our task is to rescue people who are slaves to the kingdom of darkness and bring them into the kingdom of light.
Today, we’re going to be talking about “Reaching Out.” Reaching out to those who are not believers and introducing them to Jesus Christ. Reaching out to unbelievers is the responsibility of every believer. God has put you in unique relationships so that you can be His witness there.
Matthew 28:18-20 (NIV) Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
Notice that there are two important phases in reaching out in these verses. The first is being a witness and being used by God to help them become a believer in Jesus Christ. The second phase is no less important. The second phase is to teach the believers to obey everything that Jesus has commanded. And when a believer is taught to obey all of Jesus’ commands, what will they do? They will certainly obey His commands in Matthew 28 and become witnesses themselves and the cycle of spiritual reproduction will continue.
Today, we’re going to focus on the first phase of being a witness. Pray that we will be able to implement a comprehensive discipleship program at Life Church in the near future. The book of Acts shows how the early church followed Jesus’ command in the Great Commission. Jesus, Himself promised in Acts 1:8.
Acts 1:8 (NIV) But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
Today, we’re going to look at an example of being a witness by Paul in Acts 17. In the first section of the chapter, Paul witnesses in the city of Thessalonica to both Jews and Gentiles. The response is that some Jews believe and a large number of Gentiles believe. In the second section of Acts 17, Paul moves on to witness in the city of Berea. The Bereans are spiritually hungry and they search the Scriptures to see if what Paul is saying is true. The result is that many Jews believe and a number of Gentiles as well. Notice that different groups of people have varying responses to the Gospel, even though Paul was a very excellent witness for Jesus. Today, we’re going to look at the example of Paul witnessing for Jesus in Athens.
Reaching Out Message Series
- Time with God (Exodus 33)
- Talking with God (Nehemiah 1-2)
- Hearing God's Word (2 Kings 22-23)
- What is Heaven Like? (Revelation 4-5)
- Reaching Out (Acts 17)
- Changing St Louis (Amos 5)
- Giving Your Resources (1 Chronicles 29)
- Breaking Barriers (Acts 10)
- Investing Your Life (Matthew 25)
- Seeking God's Guidance (2 Chronicles 20)
- Living in Community (Ephesians 4)