I pray we can lay aside our love for tradition and take a critical and Biblical look at how we evangelize the lost. Let no one deceive you by any means; for that day will not come unless the falling away comes first , and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition, who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.
Is Decisional Evangelism the great lie Satan is using to effect a lesser gospel preached so as to deceive many and cause them to fall away from the faith? I believe it is! God gave us many warnings!
We have not heeded them very well, preferring instead to focus our attention on the positive things, like…God Is Love! Since it is scripture that make us wise unto salvation, it must be scripture alone that defines salvation for us! Paul tells Timothy of two that have strayed from the truth. These two had corrupted the doctrines of Christ. To answer this question well, we must understand better these seemingly two opposing Biblical truths…God is sovereign over all things and man is accountable to the laws of a sovereign and holy God! No matter what our Christian label is or what label others might want to put on us, we must get the gospel of Jesus Christ right if men are to hear and believe it unto salvation.
And, scripture alone must teach us! The truth does matter and what we believe to be true about God and Jesus Christ matters Doctrine. Have we rightly understood this free will that was given to man? This is not a study on Predestination and Free will, but all these Biblical truths must be married together.
How dare we care more what people think of us than what God thinks of us? We are claiming that the Lord can take a sinner and turn him into a saint. How were they to act? That picks up the text in verse 12 and carries us through this fifth chapter. To validate them as the preachers of the truth since they were speaking the Word of God. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going.
Each of them by themselves, none of them stands alone. When the church deals with sin, people join who want their sin dealt with. God loved the world and gave His only Son. Christ died for sinners.
I think about that. At the Christmas concert, people come. They respect the music. They respect the people they know, the friends that bring them, their character, their lives, their families. So it all starts with this commitment to purity in the life of the church.
Personal testimony, personal testimony is validated by corporate purity, corporate righteousness, corporate saintliness. Point number two, point number two. Number two is power, and this is unique to the apostolic era. Go back to verse So 12a, then parenthesis, ends at the end of verse 14; 15 picks up from 12a. Also, the peoples from the cities in the vicinity of Jerusalem were coming together, bringing people who were sick or afflicted with unclean spirits, and they were all being healed. This is an explosion of apostolic signs and wonders, not only in the neighborhood, but in the city of Jerusalem.
Not only in the city of Jerusalem, but beyond that from other cities in the vicinity of Jerusalem. People were being brought, and everyone is being healed, and everyone is being delivered from unclean spirits. Now remember, all of this is happening after the apostles had been forbidden to do anything. They had been forbidden to do any of this. They had been told to stop all of this.
They had literally been confronted by the authorities who were so disturbed. It was demanded of them that they stop all preaching and all of this that was essentially turning the world upside down in their words. It just inspired them to be more bold and the power burst was really astonishing. At the hands of the signs of the apostles. This is a church with miracle-working apostles. You have to make that distinction. Scripture makes that distinction. Our Lord Himself, you will remember back early in His ministry when He called together His apostles, gave them authority over disease and authority over demons.
He gave them the power to do miracles. That is why the apostle Paul speaks of the signs of an apostle, the signs of an apostle. There were specific signs that identified an apostle, and not just anybody could manifest those kinds of signs.
Signs, wonders, mighty deeds, He told the Corinthians, were the signs of an apostle. There were only 12 apostles. One was defective, that is Judas.
Matthias takes his place. We saw that at the beginning of Acts. Paul is later on added as an apostle out of due season.
The miracle ministry of signs and wonders was apostolic, and it was epic. The sick — go to verses 15 and 16 — were being healed. People were coming from absolutely everywhere. The streets must have presented a strange picture in those days. Now remember, the church has exploded.
So when they want to have an assembly, they make one wherever they are in whatever segments they happened to be gathered. But the streets are alive with these believers, and the apostles are moving among them, all of the apostles. We can assume he also had the power that the other 11 had. They are so convinced of their power, their power is so visible that they believe, the people believe that even the shadow of the apostles would heal them. When Peter comes by, they try to get ill people into his shadow.
It says the people believed his shadow could heal. You find some ancient documents about the belief that the shadow of a powerful person could influence another person. Parents, for example, would run to draw their children away from the shadow of someone they feared, away from the shadow of someone they disliked. Children would be pushed into the shadow of an influential, noble person. So maybe this is just part of those kinds of superstition, but it does let us know that they knew the immense power of Peter and the other apostles.
This is only for the beginning of the church age. Miracles were only a part of the beginning. To validate them as the preachers of the truth since they were speaking the Word of God. They claimed to be speaking the Word of God. How do you know they are? We know because they have divine power. Those are the emblems, the badges of truth. In the book of Acts, they fade. When they fade, the miracles disappear as well.
As you get to the end of the book of Acts, there are no more miracles. The miracles are fading even with the apostle Paul still around. They had a testimony at the beginning. Then as the Lord, the Holy Spirit began to reveal truth, and it began to be written down and circulated among the churches, they were validated by the Scriptures; not by miracles.
We have to say this: the church had people listening to its message because of the evidence of its power. We have a lot of false apostles running around doing false miracles, but we also have the complete divinely-inspired heaven-sent record of all the apostolic miracles on the pages of the New Testament. So we own the record of the power of God displayed in the church. We also possess the power of the Holy Spirit who is doing the marvelous work of conversion.
bilisirab.tk We can. Do you? They are foolishness to him. They are spiritually discerned. All the power displayed in the early church becomes as alive today to that person who sees the truth as it was to those people in that city. In fact, even more so.
There were a lot of people who saw the miracles and never really believed. I see all those miracles. Well, so those are the first two things. To make evangelism effective, a pure church and a powerful record, a powerful record. If you want a comparison, go back and look at the history of Islam and compare the record of Muhammad, a mass killer, sexually-deviated with the record of the New Testament, with Christ and the apostles.
So, power belongs to the church and the record is established in Holy Scripture, and I promise you Scripture cannot be broken.