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Monthly Archives / February 2019

  • Feb 24 / 2019
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Acts: The Book of Mission, Pastor Heo, Sermons

Don’t Worry, Wake Up! (Acts 20:1-12)

Through Macedonia and Greece

1 When the uproar had ended, Paul sent for the disciples and, after encouraging them, said good-by and set out for Macedonia. 2 He traveled through that area, speaking many words of encouragement to the people, and finally arrived in Greece, 3 where he stayed three months. Because the Jews made a plot against him just as he was about to sail for Syria, he decided to go back through Macedonia. 4 He was accompanied by Sopater son of Pyrrhus from Berea, Aristarchus and Secundus from Thessalonica, Gaius from Derbe, Timothy also, and Tychicus and Trophimus from the province of Asia. 5 These men went on ahead and waited for us at Troas. 6 But we sailed from Philippi after the Feast of Unleavened Bread, and five days later joined the others at Troas, where we stayed seven days.

Eutychus Raised From the Dead at Troas

7 On the first day of the week we came together to break bread. Paul spoke to the people and, because he intended to leave the next day, kept on talking until midnight. 8 There were many lamps in the upstairs room where we were meeting. 9 Seated in a window was a young man named Eutychus, who was sinking into a deep sleep as Paul talked on and on. When he was sound asleep, he fell to the ground from the third story and was picked up dead. 10 Paul went down, threw himself on the young man and put his arms around him. “Don’t be alarmed,” he said. “He’s alive!” 11 Then he went upstairs again and broke bread and ate. After talking until daylight, he left. 12 The people took the young man home alive and were greatly comforted.

Acts 20:1-12

Because of the riot (we saw last week), the whole city was in an uproar – and they rushed as one man into the theater and shouted, “Great is Artemis!” for two hours. Conclusion? Dismissed by the City Clerk.

  • The name of Demitrius (who dishonored God) is forgotten today.
  • The name of Paul (who honored God) is remembered today.

Paul was to go on from here to conclude his Third Missionary Journey. He shed tears with the elders before he was to go.

v. 1-4

1 When the uproar had ended, Paul sent for the disciples and, after encouraging them, said good-by and set out for Macedonia. 2 He traveled through that area, speaking many words of encouragement to the people, and finally arrived in Greece, 3 where he stayed three months. Because the Jews made a plot against him just as he was about to sail for Syria, he decided to go back through Macedonia. 4 He was accompanied by Sopater son of Pyrrhus from Berea, Aristarchus and Secundus from Thessalonica, Gaius from Derbe, Timothy also, and Tychicus and Trophimus from the province of Asia.

After finishing his ministry at Ephesus, his plan was to go on and collect offerings from Gentile believers at his previous churches and share that with the poor in Jerusalem. Then, he was to go on to Rome.

After this, he went to Macedonia to encourage the struggling believers there and he continued down to Corinth. But there, his original plan had to be delayed / postponed – because there was a plot to kill him. He had to stay at Corinth for at least 3 months, then go back through Macedonia again. Looks like his original plan failed.

But what happened during this stay at Corinth for three months? He wrote the book of Romans – one of the greatest books in this world. (So we can see that God was in control of his circumstances).

The first chapter conveyed his deep desire to go to Rome, but God’s sovereign hand in control of his situation. Romans 1:10 “I pray now… I long to see you…”

Romans 1:10 “I pray that by God’s sovereign will, the way will be opened to me, and I may come to you. I have desired to go many times but have been unable to until now.”

Romans 1:10 “I pray that by God’s sovereign will, the way will be opened to me, and I may come to you. I have desired to go many times but have been unable to until now.”

  • Paul’s deep desire to go to Rome, and
  • God’s “not yet”
  • caused him to sit down and write this great Magna Carta of the Christian faith.

The same is true for us. Sometimes, our deep desires and God’s “not yet” can cause us to do something differently. Sometimes, we must not see (worry) about what lies far in tomorrow, but just do clearly what you can see in front of you today. The reason some people miss opportunities is because it is disguised as “hard work.”

1 Tim 4:4 “Nothing is to be…”

Do not worry about tomorrow for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has its own trouble. Worrying about today is enough business for us.

  • Lesson #1: Do not worry about this world
  • Lesson #2: Wake up in this church!

Part 2: HOW can we not worry about this world? Wake up in this church. If you fall asleep in the church, you will worry about tomorrow in the world.

v. 5-12

5 These men went on ahead and waited for us at Troas. 6 But we sailed from Philippi after the Feast of Unleavened Bread, and five days later joined the others at Troas, where we stayed seven days. spoke to the people and, because he intended to leave the next day, kept on talking until midnight. 8 There were many lamps in the upstairs room where we were meeting. 9 Seated in a window was a young man named Eutychus, who was sinking into a deep sleep as Paul talked on and on. When he was sound asleep, he fell to the ground from the third story and was picked up dead. 10 Paul went down, threw himself on the young man and put his arms around him. “Don’t be alarmed,” he said. “He’s alive!” 11 Then he went upstairs again and broke bread and ate. After talking until daylight, he left. 12 The people took the young man home alive and were greatly comforted.

The first person pronoun in v. 5-7, “we” – this means, the author, Luke, was again a part of this ministry. He probably met Paul in Philippi for the last leg of the journey.

Paul must have rejoiced to have these coworkers at his side again. We can see Troas as well. Do you remember this place? This is the very place where Paul saw the vision of Macedonia – several years ago.

The man of Macedonia stood and called, “Come over and help us!”

With this vision, in Troas, Paul, Luke, and Timothy started out for Philippi in Macedonia. Now, again, in the same Troas, Paul and the same coworkers had a reunion. Imagine how happy they were!

The Feast of Unleavened Bread is related to the Passover, but not the same.

  • Passover: one day (24 hours) remembering the day the Israelites were saved in Egypt and the Angel of Death “passed over” their houses
  • Feast of Unleavened Bread: seven days – the evening after the Passover. They were to remove yeast from their bread to remember their [time in the desert and] continual striving for holiness. (1 Cor 5:7 “Remove all yeast…”)

Jesus willingly came down from heaven and took the form of a man and willingly died for you and me. Even though he was rejected by all men at that time, he endured so that he could become a complete sacrifice and reconcile us to God.

From v. 6-12, in Troas, there was a worship service. Here we can see HOW they met and worshiped God. There are 5 worship essentials.

5 Worship Essentials

#1 The Lord’s Day

We worship on the first day of the week because:

  • Christ was raised on the first day of the week
  • The church was born on the first day of the week (at Pentecost)

#2 The Lord’s People

If the church building is empty, there is no worship. They met in the evening because Sunday was not a holiday at that time. Some undoubtedly were slaves – unable to attend service until the day’s work was done.

They met in an upstairs room – possibly a private home of one of the believers. This was a cosmopolitan, mixed group. But these racial, societal differences made no difference.

  • Gal 3:28: There is neither slave nor free, Jew nor Gentile, …
  • Eph: There is ONE God, one faith, one hope, one baptism.

They shared a feast – a “potluck”. I’m sure God is very happy when we share a potluck (an “agape love feast”) together. After this, they observed the Lord’s Supper.

#3 The Lord’s Supper

  • v. 7 “to break bread” = the Lord’s Supper
  • v. 11 “broke bread” = regular meal

By sharing and eating with one another, they could fellowship and give testimony of their unity in Christ. Yes, we are equal in our value and price for his kingdom and glory.

#4 The Lord’s Word

For worship to be authentic, the Word of God is essential. (Are you bored or excited during the Message?) The Word of God was preached continually in the churches.

“Man does not live by bread alone, but by every Word that comes from the mouth of God.”

“In the Beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. Through him, all things were made. …. This Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us.” John 1:1

Romans: “Do not say in your hearts, ‘Who will ascend to heaven to bring Christ down? Who will descend into the deep to bring Christ up?'”

The Word of God is in your heart, in your hand, in your head. We worship God by meeting him through his Word. How can we meet with Jesus personally? By meeting with his Word.

So the Word of God is very important for our growth and education – it is our “spiritual food.” Without food, we cannot grow.

The Word of God is compared to a “seed.” Seeds have life, future, development, abundant fruit, power, potential.

#5 The Lord’s Power

“There is Power of the Lord in Worship!” (There’s Power in the Blood)

Eutychus was sitting at a window (dangerous place).

  • In Greek, pi = “young man” (maybe teenager or early twenties)
  • Also pi = “slave” (so he may have worked all day)

He tried very hard to stay awake, but humanly speaking, this is an easy situation to fall asleep. This room was packed, full of people, and time was late (midnight) – and he was also likely very tired from working all day.

There were many lamps (torches) – so light was probably dim. The atmosphere was probably stuffy. The air was warm, humid, lacking oxygen. Paul was giving a long sermon (that’s why I try to shorten mine).

I’m sure Paul’s sermon was not boring, but also not done.

And Eutychus fell out of the window, and died. Paul ran outside and put his arms around him. Paul put his arms around him and said, “Don’t worry! He’s alive!”

(This is reminiscent of what the angels said when Christ was resurrected – and this is what the angels will say also when we are resurrected in Christ’s coming kingdom. Do you want to hear this voice? Believe in Christ!)

Can you imagine the impact that would have on the congregation, on Eutychus’ mother and father, the believers, and other people of Troas?

This is the power of the resurrection of Christ. This power is still available to us today.

“I am the Resurrection and the Life. He who believes in me shall never die.”

We should keep awake in church.

“Remember if you fall asleep and die in church, there is no apostle today to raise you again from the dead.”

Charles Spurgeon

How can we remain “awake” in church?

#1 Confess our sins

“If we say we have not sinned, the truth is not in us. But if we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:8-9)

#2 Confess our faith in Christ

#3 Daily turn to Christ

“The hour has come for you to wake up from your slumber because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. Let us remove the deeds of darkness and put on the deeds of light.” Romans 13:11-12

Eph 5:14 “He is the light that makes everything visible.”

Wake up, o sleeper! Rise from the dead!

Our Lord Jesus will shine upon you.

May Christ fill you with joy and the power of the resurrection of Christ.

Let’s pray.

  • Feb 17 / 2019
  • Comments Off on Will what you are doing die or remain 2,000 years later? (Acts 19:26-41)
Acts: The Book of Mission, Pastor Heo, Sermons

Will what you are doing die or remain 2,000 years later? (Acts 19:26-41)

The Riot in Ephesus

23 About that time there arose a great disturbance about the Way. 24 A silversmith named Demetrius, who made silver shrines of Artemis, brought in no little business for the craftsmen. 25 He called them together, along with the workmen in related trades, and said: “Men, you know we receive a good income from this business. 26 And you see and hear how this fellow Paul has convinced and led astray large numbers of people here in Ephesus and in practically the whole province of Asia. He says that man-made gods are no gods at all. 27 There is danger not only that our trade will lose its good name, but also that the temple of the great goddess Artemis will be discredited, and the goddess herself, who is worshiped throughout the province of Asia and the world, will be robbed of her divine majesty.”

28 When they heard this, they were furious and began shouting: “Great is Artemis of the Ephesians!” 29 Soon the whole city was in an uproar. The people seized Gaius and Aristarchus, Paul’s traveling companions from Macedonia, and rushed as one man into the theater. 30 Paul wanted to appear before the crowd, but the disciples would not let him. 31 Even some of the officials of the province, friends of Paul, sent him a message begging him not to venture into the theater.

32 The assembly was in confusion: Some were shouting one thing, some another. Most of the people did not even know why they were there. 33 The Jews pushed Alexander to the front, and some of the crowd shouted instructions to him. He motioned for silence in order to make a defense before the people. 34 But when they realized he was a Jew, they all shouted in unison for about two hours: “Great is Artemis of the Ephesians!”

35 The city clerk quieted the crowd and said: “Men of Ephesus, doesn’t all the world know that the city of Ephesus is the guardian of the temple of the great Artemis and of her image, which fell from heaven? 36 Therefore, since these facts are undeniable, you ought to be quiet and not do anything rash. 37 You have brought these men here, though they have neither robbed temples nor blasphemed our goddess. 38 If, then, Demetrius and his fellow craftsmen have a grievance against anybody, the courts are open and there are proconsuls. They can press charges. 39 If there is anything further you want to bring up, it must be settled in a legal assembly. 40 As it is, we are in danger of being charged with rioting because of today’s events. In that case we would not be able to account for this commotion, since there is no reason for it.” 41 After he had said this, he dismissed the assembly.

Acts 19:26-41

Today’s story = there was a huge rally / riot / demonstration / strike against God – but in the end it came to nothing.

At that time, Ephesus was the center for the occult, superstition, exorcism, etc. Even some exorcists used the name of Jesus – without knowing him – for their own evil purposes. But they were found out, and many eventually believed in Christ and turned from their sins. They brought their magic books (last Sunday) and burned them in a public bonfire. The value of those books was 50,000 drachmas (several million dollars). So, the fear of the Lord and the Word of God came to that area and grew in power. Such success filled Paul with passion for a wider experience – and he set his eyes on Rome.

At the same time, with this great success in ministry, we must remember that Satan is not lazy in his mission. We have our mission, as does Satan.

Be self-controlled and alert, because your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.

1 Peter 5:8

So, whenever you get great success in your ministry or work, you must be even more self-controlled, because this is when Satan wants to attack.

v. 23-27

23 About that time there arose a great disturbance about the Way. 24 A silversmith named Demetrius, who made silver shrines of Artemis, brought in no little business for the craftsmen. 25 He called them together, along with the workmen in related trades, and said: “Men, you know we receive a good income from this business. 26 And you see and hear how this fellow Paul has convinced and led astray large numbers of people here in Ephesus and in practically the whole province of Asia. He says that man-made gods are no gods at all. 27 There is danger not only that our trade will lose its good name, but also that the temple of the great goddess Artemis will be discredited, and the goddess herself, who is worshiped throughout the province of Asia and the world, will be robbed of her divine majesty.”

Artemis: Goddess of hunting, production, fertility (daughter of Zeus, sister of Apollo) Roman name: Diana
Still today, it is one of the Seven Ancient Wonders of the World. It has 127 marble pillars (each was 6 stories tall). Festival of Artemis was wild orgies and parties.

Thus, making a miniature statue of Artemis (an idol) was a big business.

But wherever the gospel is preached, it will be strongly opposed by those who make much money from idolatry and sin. Paul did not even say, “No idols! Destroy this temple!” Actually, the gospel message itself has life-given and life-changing and lifestyle-changing power.

When travelers came to Ephesus, they often bought shrines – images of Artemis (so it was a huge business). But it is impossible to live in Christ AND live in sin continuously. So, consequently, the gospel came under scrutiny and doubt, attack and persecution. It became offensive and intolerable to the makers of money who sold idols.

v. 24

24 A silversmith named Demetrius, who made silver shrines of Artemis, brought in no little business for the craftsmen.

Demetrius was the leader of the guild and he called the makers and traders in this business together and he appealed to their love of money – but he encouraged them to hide their greed behind the mask of patriotism and religious devotion… He made patriotism and religious devotion mixed together.

Still today there are many religions made by man – and whenever we preach the gospel, Jesus confronts them to replace whatever has secured their devotion with himself. The Lord of every person and culture is Christ. This challenge and confrontation cannot be avoided. There is a ripple effect as hearts are touched – and it eventually results in lifestyle change.

Disciples of Christ = followers, imitators

The disciples of Christ no longer find in themselves the desire for worldly things.

You are the light of the world; the salt of the earth.

Jesus

What does this mean? We should pray and ask God to help us have an impact on this world.

God, use me to change others; to change lives – on a wide scale (world-wide).

Prayer

But, we must be changed first. Once I am changed, then I can have power to change others.

v. 28-34

28 When they heard this, they were furious and began shouting: “Great is Artemis of the Ephesians!” 29 Soon the whole city was in an uproar. The people seized Gaius and Aristarchus, Paul’s traveling companions from Macedonia, and rushed as one man into the theater. 30 Paul wanted to appear before the crowd, but the disciples would not let him. 31 Even some of the officials of the province, friends of Paul, sent him a message begging him not to venture into the theater.

32 The assembly was in confusion: Some were shouting one thing, some another. Most of the people did not even know why they were there. 33 The Jews pushed Alexander to the front, and some of the crowd shouted instructions to him. He motioned for silence in order to make a defense before the people. 34 But when they realized he was a Jew, they all shouted in unison for about two hours: “Great is Artemis of the Ephesians!”

At first, Demetrius – gathered just a few people related with the trade of Artemis idols – but the people grew in number continuously.

  • For good things, people often join very slowly
  • But for bad things, people often join very quickly and easily

v. 29 “Soon the whole city was in an uproar.”

It started with just a few workers, but soon the whole city was rioting. And they seized two men (maybe they couldn’t find Paul) who were Paul’s helpers, and marched on the street shouting, “Great is Artemis of the Ephesians!” (This was standard worship for pagan gods at that time.) “Great is XYZ god!”

They rushed as one accord into the theater. (v. 29) But this theater is not like a movie theater. Actually, more like the open air auditorium / stadium behind Sori Cultural Center in Jeonju. This stadium could seat 25,000 people – like a basketball gymnasium. And they shouted “Great is Artemis!” for two hours.

Can you feel God’s feeling at this moment?

“Most of them did not know why they were shouting / rioting.” (v. 32) This is just falling into a group and feeding off of the rage of the group. This “Mob Psychology” is a worldly pattern that is still used by Satan to cause many people to fall into sin together.

Remember Christ’s crucifixion? Those who wanted to kill Jesus were actually very small. The rest of the people, as a mob, chanted together.

  • Exodus 23:2 “Do not follow the crowd in doing wrong.”
  • Romans 12:2 “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is; his good, pleasing, perfect will.”

Especially today, when your blood is boiling, or your passions are hot, take a step BACK, and consider how Jesus would have you act.

I wonder if Paul had stepped into this situation, what would have happened? What an opportunity! (he may think) To preach the gospel to such a huge crowd. (But other believers would not allow him to venture into the theater – for his own safety and for the fear of the possibility of an accident.)

But, this crowd was AGAINST God and anything that is against God will end as NOTHING.

v. 35-41

35 The city clerk quieted the crowd and said: “Men of Ephesus, doesn’t all the world know that the city of Ephesus is the guardian of the temple of the great Artemis and of her image, which fell from heaven? 36 Therefore, since these facts are undeniable, you ought to be quiet and not do anything rash. 37 You have brought these men here, though they have neither robbed temples nor blasphemed our goddess. 38 If, then, Demetrius and his fellow craftsmen have a grievance against anybody, the courts are open and there are proconsuls. They can press charges. 39 If there is anything further you want to bring up, it must be settled in a legal assembly. 40 As it is, we are in danger of being charged with rioting because of today’s events. In that case we would not be able to account for this commotion, since there is no reason for it.” 41 After he had said this, he dismissed the assembly.

We don’t know the name of the City Clerk, but he stepped into this chaos. We usually think that a clerk has a low position, but at that time, he was the highest ranking civic official – keeping the public records.

Ephesus at that time was under the rule of the Roman Empire. So, the main responsibility of the local city officials was simply to keep public peace. If they failed to do so, Rome would remove the appointed officials from office (and the whole city may have been put under martial law).

That is why the City Clerk entered the theater and appealed to their civic pride and religious devotion. Then, he discussed the facts:

  • no robbery
  • no cursing / blasphemy

He suggested that the idol makers take up this matter through legal channels. Then, he dismissed the sinful assembly.

Practical Lessons

v. 41 ” After he had said this, he dismissed the assembly.”

This event ended as NOTHING because they fought against God.

This event happened 2,000 years ago – and now, what remains?

2,000 years later:

  • Ephesus is gone
  • Artemis is gone
  • Worldwide worship of Artemis is gone
  • the Temple is gone
  • the worker’s guild is gone
  • the theater is gone
  • Ephesus is the only place visited primarily by archaeologists and religious tourists
  • But, the gospel and the church of Christ remain
  • The Word of God written TO Ephesus (Ephesians) remains

Think about yourself.

Now, at this moment, you are worshiping God. Will this act be gone and dead or remain alive 2,000 years later? This is the challenge given to us through this story.

  • We minister by persuasion.
  • Our motive is love (not rage).
  • Our purpose is the glory of God (not the praise of men).

“Heaven and earth will pass away but my word will never pass away.” – Jesus

“This world will pass away soon, but the person who does the will of God will live forever.” – Bible

The will of God?

  1. believe in Christ – enjoy joy and peace in him

Let’s pray.

  • Feb 10 / 2019
  • Comments Off on No Retiring from Ministry! (Acts 19:13-22)
Acts: The Book of Mission, Pastor Heo, Sermons

No Retiring from Ministry! (Acts 19:13-22)

13 Some Jews who went around driving out evil spirits tried to invoke the name of the Lord Jesus over those who were demon-possessed. They would say, “In the name of Jesus, whom Paul preaches, I command you to come out.” 14 Seven sons of Sceva, a Jewish chief priest, were doing this. 15 One day the evil spirit answered them, “Jesus I know, and I know about Paul, but who are you?” 16 Then the man who had the evil spirit jumped on them and overpowered them all. He gave them such a beating that they ran out of the house naked and bleeding.

17 When this became known to the Jews and Greeks living in Ephesus, they were all seized with fear, and the name of the Lord Jesus was held in high honor. 18 Many of those who believed now came and openly confessed their evil deeds. 19 A number who had practiced sorcery brought their scrolls together and burned them publicly. When they calculated the value of the scrolls, the total came to fifty thousand drachmas. 20 In this way the word of the Lord spread widely and grew in power.

21 After all this had happened, Paul decided to go to Jerusalem, passing through Macedonia and Achaia. “After I have been there,” he said, “I must visit Rome also.” 22 He sent two of his helpers, Timothy and Erastus, to Macedonia, while he stayed in the province of Asia a little longer.

Acts 19:13-22

Exorcism used to be a more common practice. Even in Korea, we once could see this happening on the street.

Some people tried to call on the name of a stronger demon to cast out a weaker demon. (Often this meant “more money”).

But when these people saw extraordinary miracles happening with Paul’s aprons and handkerchiefs, they thought “Wow, this Jesus must be the most powerful evil spirit!” So they started to use his name in their own exorcisms.

13 Some Jews who went around driving out evil spirits tried to invoke the name of the Lord Jesus over those who were demon-possessed. They would say, “In the name of Jesus, whom Paul preaches, I command you to come out.” 14 Seven sons of Sceva, a Jewish chief priest, were doing this.

Acts 19:13

These people thought that they could use God’s power (Christ’s power) for bad practices. They realized they couldn’t use his name like a magic charm – they were calling on his name without knowing him personally.

Even today, we must be careful not to misuse this name. This is the most powerful, strongest, purest, holiest name.

One of the 10 Commandments says, “You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God.” (Thou shalt not take the Lord’s name in vain).

Jesus says, “Many will come to me and say, ‘Lord, did we not drive out demons, perform miracles, preach in your name?’ But I will tell them, ‘I never knew you! Away from me evil doers!'”

Yes, we may use his name, but we must not misuse his name.

Salvation is found in no one else for there is no other name under heaven by which we must be saved.

Acts 4:12

15 One day the evil spirit answered them, “Jesus I know, and I know about Paul, but who are you?” 16 Then the man who had the evil spirit jumped on them and overpowered them all. He gave them such a beating that they ran out of the house naked and bleeding.

Acts 19:15-16

These men were overpowered and received a beating.

  • The Holy Spirit is omnipresent, omniscient, omnipotent.
  • Satan is NOT everywhere, all-knowing, all-powerful. But he KNOWS Jesus.

In the gospels (Luke 4:34), when a man encountered Jesus he cried out, “What do you want from me Jesus? Have you come to destroy me?” Yes, demons KNOW about Jesus, but they don’t KNOW him.

John 17:3 “This is eternal life: that they know God and him he sent.”

Knowing about Jesus is totally different from knowing him personally. This includes having a personal relationship, fellowship with him.

Do you know the US President? I know about him, but since he doesn’t know about me, then I can’t say I know him. Knowing Jesus saves us – not knowing about him.

17 When this became known to the Jews and Greeks living in Ephesus, they were all seized with fear, and the name of the Lord Jesus was held in high honor.

Acts 19:17

8 And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death— even death on a cross! 9 Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Philippians 2:8-11

Please remember, God exalted Jesus to the highest place and gave him the name that is above all names that all would bow and worship him.

18 Many of those who believed now came and openly confessed their evil deeds. 19 A number who had practiced sorcery brought their scrolls together and burned them publicly. When they calculated the value of the scrolls, the total came to fifty thousand drachmas.

Acts 19:18-19

The lesson from this story is: we should do our best to avoid all kinds of evil.

1 Thes 5:22 “Avoid every kind of evil.”

  • sorcery
  • black magic
  • magic arts
  • fortune telling
  • idolatry

These are all Satanic, demonic, evil jobs. We must keep ourselves clean from these things. You know, making a clean break from sin can be costly. How much was the cost here? 50,000 drachmas – consisting of fortune telling scrolls and books. They burned them publicly.

NLT (New Living Translation) says, 50,000 drachmas = several million dollars. (Drachmas were silver coins at that time).

This means that a person CANNOT believe in Christ and hold onto the magic, demonic arts. It is too easy to become obsessed with these things. Satan is VERY powerful, but God’s power is even greater. That’s why we have hope.

1 John 4:4 “You, children of God, can overcome all these things because the One who is in you is greater than the one who is in this world.”

Satan’s nickname is “god of this Age.” (2 Corinthians 4:4)

Remember that one of the main purposes of Jesus’ appearance in this world was to destroy the work of the devil.

  • save us
  • make us children of God
  • give us eternal life
  • destroy the works of the devil

1 John 1:8 “Whoever does what is sinful belongs to the devil for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The purpose of the Son of God in this world is to destroy the works of the devil.”

Yes, we know the Holy Spirit has many ministries, but the KEY ministry is to “testify about Christ.” To encourage us that we have eternal life. If we know this ministry, then we can also understand the ministry of demons. Also, they have many jobs, but their key job is to “prevent us from believing in Christ.”

2 Cor “Satan has blinded the eyes so they cannot see the glory of Christ who is the image of God.”

One of Jesus’ main purposes: remove sin + undo the work of Satan

His coming brought defeat to Satan (already). So, do not be afraid, for Satan is already a vanquished foe. He has lost his hold on his subjects. Someday (soon), he will be cast out into the lake of fire, and all things he has worked through sin will be undone.

If this is true, Jesus’ purpose is to remove sin, then we must also NOT compromise with sin in the purposes of the devil – or we will find ourselves fighting against Christ! Do you prefer to serve Christ or fight Christ? If you sin, you fight Christ. We should not fight him, but worship him.

20 In this way the word of the Lord spread widely and grew in power.

Acts 19:20

This is another progress report in Ephesus. Events demonstrate that the gospel was spreading. Christ was building his church (“I will build my church,” he says, “On this rock [this confession of faith], I will build my church, and the power of hell cannot overcome it. I give you the keys to heaven. Whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.” Did you know you were so powerful, holding these keys? So, we have a mission.

Paul’s final resolution

21 After all this had happened, Paul decided to go to Jerusalem, passing through Macedonia and Achaia. “After I have been there,” he said, “I must visit Rome also.” 22 He sent two of his helpers, Timothy and Erastus, to Macedonia, while he stayed in the province of Asia a little longer.

Acts 19:21-22

Paul’s resolution: to visit Rome

Do you have also New Year’s resolutions?

Let us follow Paul’s resolution – he is a good example, a good martyr. His resolution: to go to Jerusalem, and then to Rome. Why?

  • Why go to Jerusalem?
  • Why go to Rome?

Jerusalem

It was very poor financially, materially. So, he wanted to take a collection through all the churches he planted in Macedonia – as a contribution to the Jerusalem church. The references to these collections are in his epistles: Corinthians, Romans

25 Now, however, I am on my way to Jerusalem in the service of the Lord’s people there. 26 For Macedonia and Achaia were pleased to make a contribution for the poor among the Lord’s people in Jerusalem.

Romans 15:25-26

His first purpose for going to Jerusalem was to collect money for the church – he had two reasons:

  1. To emphasize the unity of the church, the ONE body of Christ
  2. Also to take them away from a single church focus and give them a vision of a universal church

You know, Antioch church is a complete unit, a church, but itself is also just a part of the universal body of Christ.

“Let us love not only in our words, but also in action and truth.”

Rome

This was his final mission place. Where is your Rome?

“I must visit Rome also.” He had a sense of divine conviction to go. Everywhere he looked, he could see the influence of Rome. So, he wanted to take the eternal truth of God to the “eternal city” of Rome – the center of influence at that time. How old was he at that time? Mid 50s (older than me). At that time, this was very old.

We know that Paul had already finished his two fruitful, but difficult missionary journeys. And now, he was at the end of the third missionary journey. But, he never thought of retiring from ministry.

When he wrote Romans, he wrote, “God, whom I serve with my whole heart, is my witness how constantly I remember you in my prayers. I pray, now, at last, the door may be opened for me to come to you. I long to see you to give you a spiritual gift to make you strong. I planned to come to you so many times. I’m a debtor to the gospel, to the Jews and Greeks, and all, that’s why I’m so eager to preach the gospel to you in Rome.” This is not the eagerness of a sightseer, but an evangelist.

“I’m not ashamed of the gospel of Christ for it is the power of salvation for all who believe.”

Yes, after this, we also must go OUT into this world.

Jesus says, “As my Father sent me into this world, so I’m sending you out to the world.” (not into the church) – even twice he repeated this.

We cannot sit back. That is the example we have in Christ. Before man came to Christ, Christ came to man. This is the story throughout the Bible. Before we called him “Lord, Lord” he called us. Before we chose him, he chose us (even before the foundation of the world) to be holy and blameless in his sight – to be adopted as his sons and daughters through Christ.

Do you want to be happy? (Raise your hand)

Also I want to be happy. Our Lord Jesus says, “He who wants to save his life will lose it; but he who loses his life for me and the gospel will save it.” What does this mean practically?

In our application – to be happy – do not live for happiness. That is the secret. I know this secret, so I am standing here.

  • If you want to be happy, do not live for happiness.
  • If you want to be happy, live for the mission given you from God, then you will be happy as a bonus.

If I want to be happy, do not live for happiness.

Let’s pray.

  • Feb 03 / 2019
  • Comments Off on God Wants to Use what is in your Hands (Acts 19:6-12)
Acts: The Book of Mission, Pastor Heo, Sermons

God Wants to Use what is in your Hands (Acts 19:6-12)

19:6 When Paul placed his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they spoke in tongues and prophesied. 7 There were about twelve men in all.

8 Paul entered the synagogue and spoke boldly there for three months, arguing persuasively about the kingdom of God. 9 But some of them became obstinate; they refused to believe and publicly maligned the Way. So Paul left them. He took the disciples with him and had discussions daily in the lecture hall of Tyrannus. 10 This went on for two years, so that all the Jews and Greeks who lived in the province of Asia heard the word of the Lord.

11 God did extraordinary miracles through Paul, 12 so that even handkerchiefs and aprons that had touched him were taken to the sick, and their illnesses were cured and the evil spirits left them.

Acts 19:6-12

When Paul arrived in Ephesus, he asked the 12 men he met, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit?” “No, we have received only John’s baptism.” Paul realized they needed the good news of salvation – so he told them about Jesus’ death, resurrection, saving power of the Holy Spirit in his name, and so they believed and were baptized. Then the Holy Spirit came upon them. They spoke in tongues and preached the gospel message in other languages.

For by one Spirit we were baptized…

1 Cor 12:13

This event was a mini-Pentecost.

In Acts, this is the final event of tongue speaking recorded. So, in order to remember the work of the Holy Spirit, we must remember several things.

  1. The book of transitions
  2. The starting of the New Covenant age
  3. The new History book

So, about speaking in tongues, we must remember, these instances are erratic, not very often.

Yes, this is ONE of the gifts of the Holy Spirit, but is NOT evidence of the baptism of the Holy Spirit, not evidence of the fullness of the Spirit.

“Do all speak in tongues?” No.

So, remember, the key point of the book of Acts = the Spread of the Gospel and its inclusiveness. The key verse is Acts 1:8:

When the Holy Spirit comes on you, you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.

Acts 1:8

We must seek to share our faith through the power of the Holy Spirit in this way. Nowhere are we admonished to seek the baptism of the Holy Spirit nor to speak in tongues, but we are commanded to be filled with the Holy Spirit.

Paul’s ministry lasted 3 years and was marked by the movement of the Holy Spirit. “The name of Christ was held in high honor through transformed lives…”

6 When Paul placed his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they spoke in tongues and prophesied. 7 There were about twelve men in all.

8 Paul entered the synagogue and spoke boldly there for three months, arguing persuasively about the kingdom of God.

Acts 19:6-8

Paul was asked to stay in Ephesus on his first missionary journey, but he declined their offer. Still, he promised to return later if God allowed. Now, he’s kept his promise by entering the same synagogue and speaking boldly about Christ for three months – until encountering opposition.

In Christian life, keeping your word is very important. This is not just for good intentions. One of the commonest promises we Christians make to each other is: “I’ll pray for you.”

I will….

I’ll pray for you.

This promise, from a Christian mouth is a VERY serious promise – with God as witness before you. So, whenever we make this promise, we must keep this promise at least more than one time. This is a promise we make not only before the other person, but also before God – because we pray TO God.

9 But some of them became obstinate; they refused to believe and publicly maligned the Way. So Paul left them. He took the disciples with him and had discussions daily in the lecture hall of Tyrannus. 10 This went on for two years, so that all the Jews and Greeks who lived in the province of Asia heard the word of the Lord.

Acts 19:9-10

This means that the whole province of Asia Minor was evangelized.

When the door of the synagogue was closed, God opened the Way much wider through the whole province of Asia.

At that time, synagogues were usually schools for Jews. But this lecture hall of Tyrannus was larger and more available for Gentiles.

Tyrannus may have been a Greek philosopher or just the owner of that building at that time. Such buildings were often used in the mornings to teach Greek philosophy, but they were often empty during the middle of the day – due to the heat (the hot part of the day).

In Ephesus, the work day ran:

  • From at 7am,
  • Break at 11am – 4pm.
  • Work again until 9:30pm

Paul worked all morning and evening at his secular job. But during the break period, he preached the gospel daily for two years. Can you calculate how many hours he preached the gospel? 10,000+ hours?

  • 5 hours * 2 years =
  • 3, 120 hours of lecturing =
  • 130 days of lecturing without stop at 24 hours per day

Paul kept a “killer” schedule. Why? Because at that time, religion was a “big business” in Ephesus. So, he WORKED hard to keep himself free from appearing that he was “in” this “business” for money.

You remember my toil and hardship, working night and day, to not be a burden to anyone while I preached the gospel of God to you.

1 Thess 2:9

10 This went on for two years, so that all the Jews and Greeks who lived in the province of Asia heard the word of the Lord.

Acts 19:10

It was during this time of year that the churches mentioned in Revelation came into being.

  • Paul taught and preached,
  • admonished the believers,
  • went and evangelized house to house,
  • planted many churches,
  • directed a great missionary enterprise.

In today’s age of “meism” and selfishness, “hedonism” and self-pleasure, we need “tough” Christians like Paul.

We can learn three lessons we can apply to our own lives today.

11 God did extraordinary miracles through Paul, 12 so that even handkerchiefs and aprons that had touched him were taken to the sick, and their illnesses were cured and the evil spirits left them.

Acts 19:11-12

It was not Paul who did miracles, but God. They had a three-fold purpose:

  1. To demonstrate God’s power and authority
  2. To authenticate Paul as the spokesman for the true God
  3. To demonstrate God’s compassion, mercy, and grace to those in great need

From these miracles, we can find three lessons for our own Christian lives today.

3 Lessons

#1 God wants us to be holy

As our Father is holy, we must be holy. You know, at that time, aprons and handkerchiefs were dirty, sweatbands, used from making tents, they were not special.

But the ultimate purpose of Paul’s tentmaking was to preach the gospel more effectively. That’s why God blessed his secular job.

How about us?

God does not want us to do sometimes what is holy and sometimes what is not holy. He doesn’t want holiness only in the church, and unholiness out of the church. He wants holiness everywhere.

Whatever you do, whether you eat or drink, do it all for the glory of God.

1 Cor 10:31

In your office, your hagwon, your school, are you doing a “holy” job or a “secular” job? At the time of Noah: “They were eating, drinking, giving in marriage” – but it was unholy, secular, because their motivation for doing so was only for their own physical pleasure.

Even though we are eating, drinking, making money – if we do this for his glory, it will be accepted as holy. Thus, this is our mission field given by God. He wants us to do what is holy all the time, not just sometimes.

#2 God wants to use what is in your hand

In serving and saving others, God wants to use what you’ve got in your hands.

  • God used what was in Moses’ hands to save Israel from Egypt.
  • He used the sling in David’s hand to kill the giant and save Israel.
  • He used the loaves and fishes in the boy’s hand to feed 5,000.
  • He used the clothes in Paul’s hand to save and heal others.

These things were merely symbols of dignity of heart, sincerity, humility, and God used them to release his power.

Yes, today, we may not be able to do these kinds of miracles, but we are able to give him our hands – and through our hands, he is able.

#3 Healing is still possible and available today

Physical, bodily, spiritual, mental, psychological healing, all are possible through Jehovah Rafar.

He was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our sins. By his wounds we are healed.

Isaiah 53:5

He himself bore our sins on the cross so that we might die to sin and live for righteousness. By his death, we have been healed.

1 Peter 2:24

He took up our iniquities; he carried our diseases.

Matthew 8:17

Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever. This kind of miracle is still available for those who have faith and trust in Christ.

Let’s pray.

So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. Listen