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WHAT EVER HAPPENED TO THE REVOLUTION?

      Somewhere along the way Christianity has become a dead organization instead of a living organism. The exciting journey has been traded for a safe hobby. Today many people think only of Christianity in terms of buildings, budgets, and legalistic narrow-minded people.

     This is a far cry from the revolution that started on the Day of Pentecost in the first century. Here is an unstoppable force being released that would conquer the world. Here are ordinary people filled with the extraordinary power of God. Here are entire cities being changed. Here are people experiencing a journey that is anything but safe.

What Ever Happened to the Revolution?

In our journey through the Book of Acts I want to accomplish several things:

1. I want us to examine the elements that made these people such a force for Jesus Christ in a culture that was completely antagonistic toward them

            How did these people overcome the incredible obstacles in their path? What did they possess that we are missing today? How can we recapture it and present it to a culture that is eerily similar to the one they ministered within?

            Many great men have studied Acts with this question in mind. British New Testament Scholar Michael Green has spent a lifetime studying the details and Apologist J.P. Moreland has summarized his findings in his book, The Kingdom Triangle. Three foundational traits of the early church:                     

      1. They cared for those no one cared for (Compassion)

     2. They defended their faith to those who attacked (Knowledge)

     3. They experienced a power that was not of this world (Power)

2. I want us to become increasingly sensitive to the leading and prompting of the Holy Spirit daily as He leads us to impact lives with the Gospel.

            Methodist theologian Leonard Sweet calls it a Nudge. Willow Creek Pastor, Bill Hybels calls it A Walk Across the Room. Some speak of it as the leading of the Holy Spirit. In the Book of Acts, we witness the Spirit speaking to the disciples and compelling them to speak. Professor Gary Tyra has documented the Spirit’s missional purpose among His people in his book, The Holy Spirit in Mission: Prophetic Speech and Action in Christian Witness. It is His contention that the only way for us to combat the relativism that is prevalent among people we are called to witness is to allow the Holy Spirit to fulfill His role of prompting us to prophetic speech.

            When was the last time you felt “impressed” or “led” or “prompted” by the Spirit to say something to someone? I believe if we are more sensitive to the Spirit, He will speak in a thousand ways to lead us to effectively witness.

3. I want us to simply do it!

            I have preached through the Book of Acts before. I have been careful to exegete the narrative and parse the verbs. Some may have even said, “What a great sermon.” This time I am more interested in what we do with this Truth. We have studied ourselves well beyond our level of obedience. I want to recapture the revolution that changed the world in order that people will worship the true God, because He deserves their worship. I want people to say after this series, “What a great God they serve!”

            I want us to look for, practice and celebrate along the way as we obey the Scriptures. I want to find ways to do the following:

            1. Grow in Knowledge – Not to contradict my earlier statement to focus on doing but to recognize we cannot do if we do not know. I want to learn as the early church did to outthink our critics and be ready always to give a reasonable explanation of what we believe.

          2. Grow in Compassion – The early church conquered their world because Jesus Christ was alive in them and they cared for those no one else cared for. I want us to find ways to demonstratively express the compassion of Jesus toward others on our street and around the world.

            3. Grow in Power – Let’s face it, we are a part of kingdom that is not of this world. It is the only kingdom that will last forever. It is a kingdom that operates according to different laws than the kingdoms of this world. We should see people healed, delivered, and overcome by the power of the Spirit.

Get ready, fasten your pew belt we are about to find out what happened to the revolution.


 
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