Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Drunks or Disciples? -- Acts 2:14-41

The first evangelistic meeting takes place without much pre-service planning, except of course for much prayer, and it's results are very substantial: 3,000 added to the body of Christ!

Peter's message, as we have recorded here, is not very long, (though verse 40 states that he used "many other words" to warn them.) It is simple and straight-forward with the key truth being found in verse 21, "and everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord will be saved." What great news!

Sadly, too often I cloud the issue. I seek to "embellish" the simple gospel message with "stuff" I think the world needs to hear in order to make the good news more palatable.

I do believe there are some "basics" to the gospel message, and Peter includes them here.

What do you understand those basics to be? I'll give my mine in the sermon this Sunday, and if you bloggers would desire, I'll record them here as well. Just let me know.

Drunks make no sense when they talk, we are called to make sense. Not drunk with wine, but filled with the Holy Spirit.

May the Lord grant you ample opportunities to share the good news this week.

Blessings and Peace.


Anonymous said...

Sure, there's the basic Four Spiritual Laws, which have been a tried and true "starter" or a foundation for one on one witnessing for years, but is there something more simple than that? I've always thought that there were two very basic factors in witnessing. The Four Spiritual Laws are great, but they are only as effective as the person giving them. Lemme 'splain:

1: It's about love. Sonds sappy, I know, but it's true. I can't force anyone into heaven. I can't manipulate, scare, argue anyone into heaven. If I can scare someone into heaven, then someone else can scare them out with a bigger scare. I can argue someone into heaven, but as soon as someone comes along with a better argument, then, well.... But if I love someone into heaven, where are they going to find a better or bigger love than God's love? If I don't have a compassion for the person, or persons to whom I am speaking, that comes through in the discourse. It rings hollow and false. I've seen too many people walk away from someone's witnessing efforts with the impression that they were nothing but a statistic, another notch on their Bible belt. Jesus moved frequently in compassion to the needs of others. Peter was on that balcony imploring and encouraging the people that were there... out of a compassionate heart. Sure, some of the things that he said were tough, but it was in the desire to bring them to God. Love doesn't push the issue, it brings forth, in truth and grace, the choice that God has put before them.

2: It has to be real to you. Do you believe it? I'm not talking questions, everyone has questions, but do you believe that God is bigger than your questions? Peter and gang just experienced one of the most astounding things that has ever happened on the planet. It was real. It was unmistakable. It's the biggest news ever. God is reaching out to you, and you, and you.... I know, because I've SEEN it. Because He's reaching out to me.

It's about love, and about integrity of soul. Without that, even the most compelling witnessing "tactics" become cold.

Blessings on you, amigos!


Pastor Randy said...

Thanks Dan-o, once again you have said it well.

I feel the "becoming" a follower of Jesus is rather "easy," and should be kept that way. It is the maturing as a disciple that is the difficult part.

As one of my mentors has stated, "living the Christian life is impossible. That's why we are to die to self and let Jesus live in us." Galatians 2:20


Anonymous said...

I agree that very often we confuse the issue with un-needed words and "arguments" when presenting the gospel. The gospel is very simple...too simple for some. We are LOST...without hope..we need a source to reconcile us back to a HOLY God..that "source" is Christ the SON of born,lived a sinless life, died on Calvary...He WASN'T murdered...He willingly GAVE His life as the sacrifice necessary to appease His Father for the sins of the WHOLE world.The gift is FREE for the ALL who will receive it by FAITH...through the GRACE of God. Peter tells them to REPENT...that calls for someone coming to terms with their lost condition and wanting to correct the problem...REPENT..BELIEVE in their hearts (NOT the mind) that God raised Jesus from the dead..and CONFESS Him with their mouths....then be baptized. These verses indicate that they were "pricked" in their hearts (vs37) me that indicates they were under conviction via the Holy Spirit telling them Peter's words were true....vs.41 says they received his words GLADLY...they weren't being coerced, pleaded with, threatened with the torments of hell etc. they realized they were in need of a savior and that Peter was offering the solution to their problem. It is so simple..(.the way to salvation). Randy ,as you say...the HARD part is down in vs.42...and they CONTINUED STEDFASTLY in the apostles' doctrine and necessary for continued growth and maturing in the faith. This is where your heart for discipleship comes in...and is so necessary.This is where Sunday School classes and small group Bible studies , community Bible studies like BSF etc. provide the in depth study that brings about a deeper understanding of the "apostles' doctrine"...and new growth spurts.Are the crowds at large no longer being "pricked in their hearts" ? Why are some no longer "continuing stedfastly"? Maybe we, the church, need to ask ourselves those questions. Press on! Ruthie