“GET BUSY!” Acts 13:44-52
INTRO – FD devotional each Monday – “Monday School.” A couple of weeks ago, one of our firefighters walked in wearing a T-shirt that had this saying on back (show pic): “Off Duty. Save Yourself!” Of course, it’s a joke, but it got me to thinking.
How many of us adopt this attitude when it comes to witnessing to those who are lost? I certainly don’t think any of us would be as crass to say it that way, but, by our actions or our inaction, are we showing that we are, for all intents & purposes, “off duty”? Be honest. Are you basically “off duty” when it comes to sharing the Gospel w/ those who are lost?
Friends, this is going to be a pretty simple, straightforward sermon today b/c it’s time for each one of us to GET BUSY!
In the passage we read today, we find Paul & Barnabas getting busy doing the work of the Lord of spreading the Gospel. We know that Paul was formerly known as Saul, & was a major persecutor of the Church until Jesus saved him & radically changed his life on the road to Damascus. Barnabas is most well-known as being a strong encourager to others. Acts 4:36 tells us that his name means “Son of Encouragement.” These 2 men had been set apart to do some serious mission work. As soon as they were set apart by the leaders of the church at Antioch, they got busy sharing the Gospel at every opportunity everywhere they went.
In the verses we read earlier, Paul & Barnabas had come back to Antioch. If you’ll look in the back of your Bible at the maps, you’ll find Paul’s first missionary journey. That’s where we are right now. Let’s walk through these verses & look at the things that happened when these 2 witnesses for Jesus got busy sharing the Gospel:
- Lots of people came to hear the message – “almost the whole city gathered to hear the word of the Lord” (v. 44).
- Jealousy & opposition erupted from the Jews – v. 45
- P & B didn’t back down, but spoke out boldly to their opponents – v. 46
- They turned & shared the Gospel w/ the Gentiles in obedience to the Lord’s command – v. 47
- The Gentiles responded to the Gospel enthusiastically, & many of them were saved – v. 48
- The Gospel spread like wildfire through the whole region – v. 49
- There was even more opposition, & P & B were driven out of the city – v. 50
- But they just kept on going, kept on preaching – v. 51
- The new followers of Jesus were filled w/ joy & the power of the Holy Spirit – v. 52
We can expect similar things to happen when we get busy sharing the Gospel. There is growing opposition in our nation today to the Gospel, to true, biblical Christianity, & to a bold, courageous Church that is busy sharing the Gospel in an unashamed way (FB posts yesterday). Rev. 12:12 says, “…so be glad, you heavens, and all you that live there! But how terrible for the earth and the sea! For the Devil has come down to you, and he is filled with rage, because he knows that he has only a little time left.” (GNT) We are definitely see lots of evidence of Satan’s rage as his time grows short!
But like Paul & Barnabas, we can’t give up, but we need to be even bolder in our witnessing & sharing of the Gospel! There are people everywhere who are ready to hear the Gospel & ready to give their lives to Christ. And they need someone to share it with them. Rom. 10:14-15 – “But how can they call on him to save them unless they believe in him? And how can they believe in him if they have never heard about him? And how can they hear about him unless someone tells them? And how will anyone go and tell them without being sent? That is why the Scriptures say, ‘How beautiful are the feet of messengers who bring good news!’”
So, Church, each one of us must GET BUSY doing 3 things:
Get Busy Shining the Light – Jesus said in Matt. 5:14-16 – “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.”
Get Busy Sharing the Gospel – Jesus said in Acts 1:8 – “But you will receive power and ability when the Holy Spirit comes upon you; and you will be My witnesses [to tell people about Me] both in Jerusalem and in all Judea, and Samaria, and even to the ends of the earth.” (AMP)
There’s been a lot of talk in recent days about the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists moving the hands of the so-called “Doomsday Clock” 30 seconds closer to midnight, to total global disaster. According to these scientists, the hands of the clock now stand at 2 ½ minutes to midnight. All the more reason to GET BUSY SHARING THE GOSPEL!
Get Busy Showing the Way – John 3:16-18 – “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.”
Vincent Ardolino –captain of a small tugboat in NY Harbor on 9/11/01. Wife asked, “What if there’s another attack?” “If I only rescue 1 person, that’s 1 less person who will suffer & die.”
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