VIDEO RECORDING OF THIS SERMON
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Paul used three means to try to get the Jews to believe what he was saying about the kingdom of God and Jesus in Acts 28:23.
He expounded the word of God – to expound is to explain; to lay open the meaning; to clear of obscurity. Like Neh 8:7-8 “the Levites caused the people to understand the law… they read in the book of the law of God distinctly, and gave the sense, and caused them to understand the reading.”
He testified the word of God – to testify is to make a solemn declaration to establish some fact; to give testimony for the purpose of communicating to others a knowledge of something not known to them. In Acts 28:22, there were some things that they didn’t know.
He persuaded with the word of God – to persuade is to convince by argument, or reasons offered; to draw the will to a determination by presenting motives to the mind. In Acts 26:28, “Then Agrippa said unto Paul, Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian.”
I am all for handing out tracts and giving out Bibles. However when dealing with the souls of men we must expound, testify, and persuade. Of course, some of us are better than others at these things but all of us can testify of Jesus Christ and what he has done for us. And when we have expounded, testified, and persuaded, then we and they must:
Believe the word – Acts 28:24 – “some believed… some believed not.” These things concerning the kingdom of God and Jesus were given to Israel. He is their Messiah. Yet, some of these Jews didn’t believe the words of God. The Lord called the men on the road to Emmaus fools for not believing his words.
Our country was founded on the Bible. The Bible says, “Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people,” Prov 14:34. The Bible says, “The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God,” Ps 9:17. There are many people in our country that don’t believe these verses. Yet, they are true.
A great many men do not believe that God created the heavens and the earth, which is what the word of God says. God is the one who gave man dominion over the beasts of the field, over the cattle, fish, and creeping things. Yet men have tried to usurp God’s authority in the environment. Now they worship the creature more than the creator, Rom 1:25. So, Rev 6:8 is going to happen. Men are going to die by the sword, hunger, death, and beasts, because men are not able to rule this world without God.
We are Bible believers. I know you believe the words of God. If you aren’t saved, you must believe what Paul preached to these Jews, that Jesus Christ died for your sins and that he was buried and that he rose against to give you eternal life. And you must continue to believe the words of God once you are saved. But you there is more.
Fear the word – Ex 9:20 – “he that feared the word of the Lord among the servants of Pharaoh made his cattle and his servants flee into the house from the grievous hail.” These servants had already seen numerous plagues. They knew of the rod, changing water to blood, the frogs, the lice, the flies, the grievous murrain, and the boil breaking forth with blains. And now they were going to see the hail.
Yet they didn’t fear the word of God. Do you know what’s going to happen to the unbelieving? They are going to burn forever in the lake of fire, Rev 21:8. If you are without Christ you should fear these words of God. If you are saved, do you know that you will be judged at the judgment seat of Christ, 2 Cor 5:10? Paul said, “Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men,” 2 Cor 5:11. You should fear these words.
He wants us to fear him because he said it, not because he smoked someone last night. A man gathering sticks on the sabbath was stoned to death in Num 15:32-36. Ananias and Sapphira died for lying about their offering in Acts 5. God hasn’t changed his attitude about these things just because he is merciful and long-suffering and forbearing.
The fear of the word of God is not superstition. There is a big difference between superstition and the fear of the word. Superstition is false ignorance; the fear of the word is truth.
Regard the word – Ex 9:21 – “he that regarded not the word of the Lord left his servants and his cattle in the field.” To regard is to attend to as something to influence our conduct. In other words, when you believe and fear the words of God, you should also regard them so that they change your conduct. When you hear the words of God, believe them, fear them, and then do something about what you’ve heard. Some people are very hard hearted.
Think back when you received Jesus Christ as your Savior. Rom 10:9-10, 13, you believed, you confessed, and you called upon the Lord. Now we must continue to live by every word of God, Matt 4:4.
Conclusion: if you aren’t saved, you need to trust Jesus Christ as your Saviour today. And if you are saved, you need to believe what God said in his words. You need to fear these words and you need to regard them, as well. In our society, there is a general apostasy from fearing and regarding the words of God. We cannot let the attitude of the world around us cause us to react the way some of the Jews did to Paul’s preaching. We must know that God’s words are true and that he will fulfill all that he said. Thus we must believe, fear, and regard his words. If you have neglected some area in you life that he has been speaking to you about, then by all means, don’t leave your “servants and… cattle in the field” to die.