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  • Feb 07 / 2021
  • Comments Off on God is the Greatest Blockbuster Movie Director (Genesis 23:1-2)
Pastor Kang, Sermons, Who is God?

God is the Greatest Blockbuster Movie Director (Genesis 23:1-2)

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Send to: NongHyup bank 351-0158-2802-13 Song Ki-Joong

God is the greatest blockbuster movie director

1 Sarah lived to be a hundred and twenty-seven years old. 2 She died at Kiriath Arba (that is, Hebron) in the land of Canaan, and Abraham went to mourn for Sarah and to weep over her.

Genesis 23:1-2

0. Introduction (a story about Movies)

Do you like movies?

What is the best movie you’ve ever seen?

Here’s a quick list of the TOP 3 highest grossing movies in the world. Can you guess them?

In 3rd place : Titanic

In 2nd place : Avatar

And I’ll bet you can all guess the #1 highest grossing movie of all time, right?

That’s right, in 1st place : Avengers-Endgame!

Why do people love these movies?

First, these films all present an interesting kind of foreshadowing in the first half.

In the second half of the movie, the foreshadowed events come to their full conclusion.

Secondly, these movies each have wonderful storylines that are deeply moving for those who watch them. 

In Titanic, we can see an old woman, Rose, reminiscing about her former life with a boy she once loved named Jack. The story is beautiful and tragic, filled with ups and downs, suspense, adventure, and love. It’s no wonder it held the record as the top movie of all time for so many years.

In Avatar, we can see human scientists taking the form of an alien species they are studying. The planet of Pandora is magical, filled with amazing life and more vivid colors than anything we can find on earth. But we soon discover that the military personnel who accompany the scientists to protect them secretly have underlying motives for investigating the planet. But after lots of drama and close calls, the scientists and aliens band together to fight back in a truly magnificent finale.

Avengers – Endgame begins as a tragedy, 5 years after a crazed supervillain named Thanos destroys half of the life in the galaxy. But through the events that follow, the team of Avengers seek to do the impossible – undo the death and destruction that Thanos has done through time travel. And it is precisely this kind of dramatic reversal, and changing of fate, that is so moving for so many in the audience around the world.

But out of all the elements that make up a movie, what do you suppose is the most important element that makes a successful movie? It’s the movie director.

This is because the movie director’s values, ideas, imagination, creativity, and composition ability have the greatest impact on the storytelling of the movie.

Then, who do you think is the best movie director?

Steven Spielberg, James Cameron, Luc Besson, J.J.Abrams?

Of course, God is the greatest movie director because he is the director of real life, and real life is often far more interesting and amazing than what we see in movies. In fact, when Hollywood runs out of ideas, they often retell “real life true stories” in their own style.

The real life story that God stars Abraham’s wife “Sarah” as the protagonist, and if it were titled as a movie, would be called “From Darkness to Light”. This story can be found in Genesis chapter 23, and the message I’ll preach from it is titled, “God is the best movie director”.

1. Sarah’s dark age

The first half of Sarah’s life was like a cloud of darkness.

There were problems that continued to happen to her that continually left her without hope.

Sarah experienced four great hardships in her life.

Genesis 12:4-5

4 So Abram left, as the LORD had told him; and Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he set out from Haran. 5 He took his wife Sarai, his nephew Lot, all the possessions they had accumulated and the people they had acquired in Haran, and they set out for the land of Canaan, and they arrived there.

First, Sarah was a wanderer.

She left her hometown with her husband when she was 66 years old and moved to a strange land.

Moving is a tough task in itself, but Sarah had to leave for a completely foreign country without a new known home to move into.

Strange environments, strange neighbors, a strange language, and wandering as strangers in this strange land did not give Sarah any sense of stability.

Genesis 12:12-13

12 When the Egyptians see you, they will say, `This is his wife.` Then they will kill me but will let you live. 13 Say you are my sister, so that I will be treated well for your sake and my life will be spared because of you.”

Genesis 20:2

2 and there Abraham said of his wife Sarah, “She is my sister.” Then Abimelech king of Gerar sent for Sarah and took her.

Second, Sarah was a woman abandoned by her husband in a time of danger and need.

This happened not once, but twice.

Because of her husband’s fear, Sarah was twice taken away to the palace of a strange man.

Genesis 18:11-12

11 Abraham and Sarah were already old and well advanced in years, and Sarah was past the age of childbearing. 12 So Sarah laughed to herself as she thought, “After I am worn out and my master is old, will I now have this pleasure?”

Third, Sarah became discouraged because she was old and had not given Abraham an heir.

She failed to achieve her desire in her youth when she felt there had been a chance to have a son. But it was already too late to achieve it.

Sarah felt helpless and dispirited because of her unfulfilled desire.

Genesis 16:4

4 He slept with Hagar, and she conceived. When she knew she was pregnant, she began to despise her mistress.

Fourth, Sarah was hated even by her maidservant.

Although Sarah had initially given Hagar to Abraham in order to produce a child for her husband, she began to feel jealousy by constantly seeing the maidservant who had so easily achieved that which she could not achieve.

Sarah felt her honor had disappeared and her self-esteem became very low.

Now, remember these four dark trials Sarah endured: leaving her homeland, betrayed by her husband, barren until elderly, and hated by her maidservant.

Sarah’s life was so hard and miserable.

Is there anyone here who wants to live a life like Sarah?

Why not?

Surprisingly, however, Sarah eventually had her prime of life, though she was elderly.

A reversal occurred late in her dark life.

2. Sarah’s prime

Sarah’s four hardships turned into four blessings.

Genesis 21:9-10

9 But Sarah saw that the son whom Hagar the Egyptian had borne to Abraham was mocking, 10 and she said to Abraham, “Get rid of that slave woman and her son, for that slave woman`s son will never share in the inheritance with my son Isaac.”

First, Sarah’s barren womb was finally opened and she had the child of promise at the age of ninety-one. This restored her honor as a woman and a wife.

Then, she threw out her maidservant, Hagar, who despised her, and her self-esteem slowly began to recover.

Genesis 23:1

1 Sarah lived to be a hundred and twenty-seven years old.

Second, Sarah was blessed to live for another 36 years after giving birth to her son! Even though she was ninety when God’s messenger visited Abraham to tell him about the son of promise, and she laughed to herself thinking, “After I am worn out and my master is old, will I now have this pleasure?” And even though she had thought it was too late to achieve her wish, not only did God come through for her, but he also granted her additional years of life with her son. This is God’s blessing of longevity.

Genesis 23:2

2 She died at Kiriath Arba (that is, Hebron) in the land of Canaan, and Abraham went to mourn for Sarah and to weep over her.

Third, although Sarah had previously experienced embarrassing situations and could not trust her husband’s love for her fully, because of Abraham’s fear and weakness, after a few hardships, Sarah became a wife who was fully loved by her husband.

We can see that Sarah was finally fully loved by her husband through the sadness and mourning he expressed for her upon her death.

Genesis 23:18-19

18 to Abraham as his property in the presence of all the Hittites who had come to the gate of the city. 19 Afterward Abraham buried his wife Sarah in the cave in the field of Machpelah near Mamre (which is at Hebron) in the land of Canaan.

Fourth, Sarah had always been a wanderer in a strange land because there was nowhere for them to settle. However, she eventually found lasting peace in the last resting place that Abraham purchased for her and her family.

Sarah was no longer a stranger, but a settler in Hebron.

3. God is the greatest movie director

Can you remember Sarah’s early life and the darkness she experienced? Can you empathize with her? And can you also imagine her growing peace and joy toward the end of her life with her changing circumstances? Why did this great change, this reversal, happen in Sarah’s life?

At long last, Sarah had finally realized that the director of the real-life movie in which she appeared as a protagonist was God. When she realized he was the director and she was just the actor, she handed her script and the entire scenario over to God, the great director.

God was then able to modify her script and take it from B-movie to blockbuster.

Genesis 17:15-16

15 God also said to Abraham, “As for Sarai your wife, you are no longer to call her Sarai; her name will be Sarah. 16 I will bless her and will surely give you a son by her. I will bless her so that she will be the mother of nations; kings of peoples will come from her.”

When Sarah gave sitting in the director’s chair by herself,

and when she acknowledged that God was the greatest movie director and began to accept his direction, it was then that God was fully able to devote his full passion into the script to turn Sarah’s life around.
In the end, God took this struggling production, and turned it into a blockbuster movie releasing it in the book of Genesis, one of the greatest and most well known stories in the world today.

Now when I ask, Is there anyone here who wants to live a life like Sarah?
I am sure many of you will say yes. “Yes”

How is the movie of your life going right now? Are you struggling, failing to accept the script, or the directions of the greatest director?
Then acknowledge him as Lord, and leave the rest of the script of your life to God!

God can turn any poor script into a blockbuster!

Believe in God, the greatest movie director!

4. Happy ending maker (Jesus Christ)

Romans 4:25

25 He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification.

As we all know, the endings of each movie are all very different.

Sometimes, there may be a happy ending, sometimes a sad ending, and other times, even a completely open ending (can someone say, “sequel?”).

If your life was a movie, what kind of ending would you want?

I’m sure you would want a happy ending like Sarah’s.

What do we need for a happy ending?

It is the happy ending maker, Jesus Christ!

God, the best movie director, tells your story through Jesus Christ.

So the end of Christian life will always be a happy ending.

Is your life too hard now? Are there difficult problems that you can never solve?

Lay down your heavy burden before Jesus.

Let him know your problem.

Jesus will deliver your prayers directly to God.

and God will listen to those prayers and write a new script for your life, if you agree to follow his direction and obey him from that point on.

All your problems and sins can be reversed completely through Jesus!

because he can change any failed life.

Why is Jesus a happy ending maker?

Jesus has completed the whole atonement for our sins by taking the penalty of sin upon himself and facing the full wrath and judgment of the Almighty God who is too pure and holy to even look upon sin.

In our sinful state, we dare not go to Almighty God because our sins are so heinous.

The sacrifice of animals, and even our own blood loss cannot fully satisfy the charge for our sins.

But Jesus Christ, the son of God, suffered many hardships and died on the cross in our place. He, being perfect and sinless, took our sins upon himself and gave his own life as a pure and clean sacrifice before judgement of the Almighty God.

Through this selfless act of sacrifice, he has achieved the atonement of sins and complete forgiveness for sinners, for all those who believe in him and accept him as Lord of their lives.

Through the conviction that Jesus forgives us for all our sins, we can enjoy great freedom in this land. This is a spiritual freedom, knowing that our sins are forgiven and we are freed from the penalty of sin. This is the grace of complete forgiveness.

Confess Jesus Christ, the Happy Ending Maker as your savior.

Then the greatest blockbuster movie director, God will write the happiest ending for your life through Jesus.

And, like Sarah, your story will be forever recorded in the glorious book of eternal life.


하나님은 최고의 영화감독

1 사라가 백이십칠 세를 살았으니 이것이 곧 사라가 누린 햇수라

2 사라가 가나안 땅 헤브론 곧 기럇아르바에서 죽으매 아브라함이 들어가서 사라를 위하여 슬퍼하며 애통하다가

창세기 23:1-2

0. 도입(영화이야기)

 여러분은 영화 보는 것을 좋아합니까?

여러분이 지금까지 보았던 영화 중 가장 최고의 영화는 어떤 영화입니까?

전세계적으로 가장 성공한 영화 TOP 3는 무엇일까요?

3위:타이타닉(Titanic),  2위:아바타(Avatar),  1위:어벤져스:엔드게임(Avengers:Endgame) 입니다.

사람들이 이 영화들에 반해버린 이유는 무엇일까요?

첫째, 이 영화들은 영화 초반에 제시되는 복선들이 영화 후반에서 잘 나타납니다.

즉, 잘 만들어진 영화는 짜임새가 있는 영화인 것입니다.

둘째, 이 영화들은 관객들의 마음을 움직이는 반전이 숨어있습니다.

반전이 있는 영화는 관객들에게 깊은 감명을 줍니다.

성공한 영화의 가장 중요한 요소는 무엇일까요?

그것은 바로 영화 감독입니다.

영화 감독의 가치관, 아이디어, 상상력, 창의성, 구성력이 영화에 가장 큰 영향을 미치기 때문입니다.

여러분이 생각하는 최고의 영화감독은 누구입니까?

스티븐 스필버그(Steven Spielberg), 제임스 카메론(James Cameron), 뤽 베송(Luc Besson), J.J.에이브럼스(J.J.Abrams)?

최고의 영화감독은 하나님입니다.

하나님이 만드신 영화의 제목은 “어둠에서 빛으로” 입니다.

이 영화의 주연은 아브라함의 아내 “사라” 입니다.

오늘은 <하나님은 최고의 영화감독>이라는 제목으로 창세기 23장 말씀을 나누도록 하겠습니다.

1. 사라의 암흑기

사라의 인생의 전반기는 암흑과 같았습니다.

그녀에게는 어떤 희망도 없이 계속해서 문제들이 일어났습니다.

사라는 그녀의 인생에서 네 가지 시련을 경험했습니다.

창세기 12:4-5

4 이에 아브람이 여호와의 말씀을 따라갔고 롯도 그와 함께 갔으며 아브람이 하란을 떠날 때에 칠십오 세였더라

5 아브람이 그의 아내 사래와 조카 롯과 하란에서 모은 모든 소유와 얻은 사람들을 이끌고 가나안 땅으로 가려고 떠나서 마침내 가나안 땅에 들어갔더라

사라는 유랑민이었습니다.

사라는 66세 때, 그녀의 남편을 따라 고향을 떠나 낯선 땅으로 이동하게 되었습니다.

이사를 가는 것만으로도 힘든 일 인데, 사라는 이사 갈 집도 없는 외국으로 떠나게 된 것입니다.

낯선 환경, 낯선 이웃들, 낯선 언어, 이방인으로서 유랑하는 삶은 사라에게 안정감을 주지 못했습니다.

창세기 12:12-13

12 애굽 사람이 그대를 볼 때에 이르기를 이는 그의 아내라 하여 나는 죽이고 그대는 살리리니

13 원하건대 그대는 나의 누이라 하라 그러면 내가 그대로 말미암아 안전하고 내 목숨이 그대로 말미암아 보존되리라 하니라

창세기 20:2

2 그의 아내 사라를 자기 누이라 하였으므로 그랄 왕 아비멜렉이 사람을 보내어 사라를 데려갔더니

사라는 남편에게 버림 받은 여자였습니다.

그 일은 한번이 아닌, 두 번씩이나 일어났습니다.

남편 아브라함의 두려움 때문에 사라는 두 번이나 낯선 남자의 왕궁에 끌려가게 되었습니다.

창세기 18:11-12

11 아브라함과 사라는 나이가 많아 늙었고 사라에게는 여성의 생리가 끊어졌는지라

12 사라가 속으로 웃고 이르되 내가 노쇠하였고 내 주인도 늙었으니 내게 무슨 즐거움이 있으리요

사라는 나이가 많아서 낙담하는 사람이었습니다.

그녀는 힘이 있었던 젊은 시절에 그녀의 소망을 이루지 못했습니다.

그녀의 소망은 아들을 갖는 것이었는데, 그것을 이루기에는 이미 너무 늦어버렸습니다.

사라는 이룰 수 없는 소망 때문에 무력감과 허탈감을 느끼게 되었습니다.

창세기 16:4

4 아브람이 하갈과 동침하였더니 하갈이 임신하매 그가 자기의 임신함을 알고 그의 여주인을 멸시한지라

사라는 여종에게 조차 무시당하는 사람이었습니다.

사라는 자신이 이루지 못한 소망을 쉽게 이룬 여종을 보며 박탈감을 느꼈습니다.

여종에게 무시당한 사라는 그녀의 자존감이 아주 낮아졌습니다.

이렇듯 사라의 삶은 힘들고 비참했습니다.

여기 있는 사람들 중에 사라처럼 인생을 살고 싶은 사람이 있습니까?

없다면 그 이유는 무엇입니까?

그런데 놀랍게도 너무 늙어버린 사라에게 그녀의 전성기가 찾아왔습니다.

그녀의 어두웠던 삶에 반전이 일어난 것입니다.

2. 사라의 전성기

사라의 네 가지 시련은 네 가지 축복으로 변했습니다.

창세기 21:9-10

9 사라가 본즉 아브라함의 아들 애굽 여인 하갈의 아들이 이삭을 놀리는지라

10 그가 아브라함에게 이르되 이 여종과 그 아들을 내쫓으라 이 종의 아들은 내 아들 이삭과 함께 기업을 얻지 못하리라 하므로

사라는 그녀의 나이 91세에 약속의 아들을 낳았습니다.

그녀는 이삭을 통해 그녀의 명예를 회복하였습니다.

그녀는 자신을 무시하였던 여종, 하갈을 내쫓았습니다.

사라의 자존감은 마침내 완전히 회복되었습니다.

창세기23:1

1 사라가 백이십칠 세를 살았으니 이것이 곧 사라가 누린 햇수라

하나님의 사자가 약속의 아들에 대해 알리기 위해 아브라함을 방문했을 때, 사라의 나이는 90세 였습니다. 그녀는 속으로 웃으며 내가 노쇠하였고 내 주인도 늙었으니 내게 무슨 즐거움이 있으리요 하고 생각했습니다.

사라는 자신이 너무 늙었다고 무언가를 이루기에는 늦었다고 생각했습니다.

그러나 사라는 아들을 낳은 이후로도 36년이나 더 살았습니다. 

그녀는 장수의 축복을 누린 것입니다.

창세기 23:2

2 사라가 가나안 땅 헤브론 곧 기럇아르바에서 죽으매 아브라함이 들어가서 사라를 위하여 슬퍼하며 애통하다가

사라는 한 때 남편의 연약함 때문에 난처한 상황을 경험하였습니다.

또한 그녀는 남편의 사랑을 잘 신뢰할 수 없었습니다.

그러나 문제들이 지나간 뒤 사라는 남편에게 사랑받는 아내가 되었습니다.

우리는 사라를 위해 슬퍼하고 애통하는 아브라함의 모습을 통해, 사라가 남편에게 많은 사랑을 받았다는 사실을 알 수 있습니다.

창세기 23:18-19

18 성 문에 들어온 모든 헷 족속이 보는 데서 아브라함의 소유로 확정된지라

19 그 후에 아브라함이 그 아내 사라를 가나안 땅 마므레 앞 막벨라 밭 굴에 장사하였더라 (마므레는 곧 헤브론이라)

사라는 정착할 땅이 없어 항상 떠돌아 다녀야 하는 사람이었습니다.

그러나 사라는 아브라함의 막벨라 굴 매매를 통해 그녀와 그녀의 가족을 위한 마지막 안식처를 소유하게 되었습니다.

사라는 더 이상 낯선 이방인이 아닌, 헤브론 땅에 정착한 사람이 되었습니다.

3. 하나님은 최고의 영화감독

도대체 사라에게 무슨 일이 일어났던 것일까요?

사라의 인생에 반전이 일어난 이유는 무엇일까요?

사라는 자신이 주인공으로 등장하는 영화의 감독이 하나님이라는 사실을 깨달았습니다.

그래서 사라는 그녀의 인생의 시나리오를 하나님께 드렸습니다.

그러자 하나님은 그녀의 시나리오를 수정하여 최고의 영화로 만드셨습니다.

창세기 17:15-16

15 하나님이 또 아브라함에게 이르시되 네 아내 사래는 이름을 사래라 하지 말고 사라라 하라

16 내가 그에게 복을 주어 그가 네게 아들을 낳아 주게 하며 내가 그에게 복을 주어 그를 여러 민족의 어머니가 되게 하리니 민족의 여러 왕이 그에게서 나리라

사라는 스스로 영화감독이 되는 것을 포기하였습니다.

사라는 하나님이 최고의 영화감독임을 인정하고 하나님께 순종하였습니다.

하나님은 사라의 영화를 최고의 영화로 만들기 위해, 모든 열정을 쏟아 일하셨습니다.

결국 사라의 영화는 창세기에 기록되어 우리에게 감동을 주는 최고의 이야기가 되었습니다.

여기 있는 사람들 중에 사라처럼 인생을 살고 싶은 사람이 있습니까?

모두 “예스”라고 대답할 것입니다. 

내 인생의 영화를 최고의 영화로 만들고 싶으십니까?

하나님께 내 인생의 시나리오를 드리십시요!

하나님은 아무리 형편없는 시나리오라도 최고의 시나리오로 바꿀 수 있습니다!

최고의 영화 감독인 하나님께 순종하십시요!

4. 해피엔딩 메이커(예수님)

로마서 4:25

25 예수는 우리가 범죄한 것 때문에 내줌이 되고 또한 우리를 의롭다 하시기 위하여 살아나셨느니라

사실, 우리가 알고 있는 영화들의 결말은 다양합니다.

그것은 행복한 결말 일 수도, 슬픈 결말 일 수도, 열린 결말 일 수도 있습니다.

당신의 인생이 영화라면, 어떤 결말은 원하십니까?

아마도 당신은 사라처럼 행복한 결말을 바랄 것입니다.

행복한 결말을 위해서 필요한 것은 무엇일까요?

그것은 해피엔딩 메이커, 예수 그리스도 입니다.

최고의 영화 감독인 하나님은 예수 그리스도를 통해 당신의 스토리를 만들어 가십니다.

그래서 그리스도인들의 삶은 언제나 해피엔딩입니다.

당신의 삶이 지금 너무나 힘든가요?

당신에게 결코 풀 수 없는 어려운 문제가 있나요?

예수님 앞에 당신의 짐을 내려 놓으십시요.

예수님께 당신의 문제를 말하십시요.

예수님이 당신의 기도를 하나님께 전달할 것입니다.

하나님이 기도를 들으시고, 우리 인생의 시나리오를 다시 쓰실 것입니다.

우리의 문제와 죄가 예수님들 통해 반전될 것입니다.

예수님은 그 어떤 실패한 인생이라도 변화 시킬 수 있기 때문입니다.

예수님이 해피엔딩 메이커인 이유는 무엇일까요?

예수님은 우리의 구원자이기 때문입니다.

그가 우리의 죄를 해결하셨습니다.

예수님은 우리의 승리자이기 때문입니다.

그가 죽음을 이기고 부활하셨습니다

예수님은 우리의 영원한 생명이기 때문입니다.

그의 부활을 통해 우리에게 영생의 희망이 생겼습니다.

헤피엔딩 메이커, 예수님을 나의 구원자로 고백하십시요.

최고의 영화감독, 하나님이 당신의 삶을 예수님을 통해 해피 엔딩으로 만들어가실 것 입니다.

사라의 이야기처럼 우리의 이야기가 영광스러운 생명책에 기록될 것입니다.

  • Oct 18 / 2020
  • Comments Off on God, Who Remembers Me (Genesis 8:1-5)
Pastor Kang, Sermons, Who is God?

God, Who Remembers Me (Genesis 8:1-5)

Tithes and Offerings

Send to: NongHyup bank 351-0158-2802-13 Song Ki-Joong

God who remembers me

1 But God remembered Noah and all the wild animals and the livestock that were with him in the ark, and he sent a wind over the earth, and the waters receded. 2 Now the springs of the deep and the floodgates of the heavens had been closed, and the rain had stopped falling from the sky. 3 The water receded steadily from the earth. At the end of the hundred and fifty days the water had gone down, 4 and on the seventeenth day of the seventh month the ark came to rest on the mountains of Ararat. 5 The waters continued to recede until the tenth month, and on the first day of the tenth month the tops of the mountains became visible.

Genesis 8:1~5

0. A story

There once was a bird coming to the window of a house at the same time every day.

But everyday as the bird flew toward the window, it always bashed its head on the window.

This behavior continued repeatedly, day after day. People looking outside wondered why the bird did that. The other windows were open, so it didn’t seem like the bird was trying to get into the house.

So, eventually, people just concluded that the bird was stupid.

But then one day, someone began to closely observe the bird’s strange behavior.

After a while, he went home laughing loudly.

Under the window were scores of dead worms and bugs!!

The reason for the bird’s head bashing? It was after the bugs under the window. It was eating them day after day, and enjoying a feast!

As you can see from this story, there are times when we also do not see or understand certain phenomena properly. Sometimes we can’t even understand our own lives. Whenever that happens to you, dig into the Bible, closely observe God’s word as the man closely observed the bird, and pray sincerely. Then God, who created us, will open our eyes and our hearts to help solve our questions and problems at the right time, in his time.

I hope that we will all meet God through the Bible today.

1. Self-consciousness (Perception of God)

Everyone thinks of themselves as special.

People want to discover their talents and live independently.

In fact, the adage “know thyself” is widely circulated in the world today and has inspired countless philosophers over the centuries. 

<It was originally engraved on the front of the Temple of Apollo at Delphi in ancient Greece, and was later adopted by both philosophers Socrates and Plato, who grappled with the mysterious nature of knowledge and identity.> – (maybe not necessary, but interesting)

So, we try various things to find our “true selves.”

We meditate, take aptitude tests, or challenge ourselves to do new things.

But what is truly the best way to find “my true self”?

[Sally Anne Test]

The following is a psychological test that is often used in developmental psychology to measure a person’s cognitive ability to assign false beliefs to others. This is called the “Sally-Anne Test”.

Situation: Two girls, named Sally and Anne are in a room together. Sally has a basket, and Anne has a box. They are playing with a ball together.

At one point, Sally needs to go to the bathroom, so she leaves the room and puts the ball in her basket.

After Sally has left the room, Anne pulls the ball from Sally’s basket and puts it in her box.

After a while, Sally returns to the room.

Question: Where will Sally first look for the ball?           … In her basket? or Anne’s box?

The answer is, of course, her own basket, where she left it!

But to solve this problem, you need the ability to think from someone else’s point of view.

This is the amazing ability that God has given to people.

We hear this story and know that the ball actually sits in Anne’s box.

But the correct answer to the question can only be given if we understand Sally’s point of view. “She’ll look in her basket to find the ball.”

Usually, young children under the age of four, and up to 80% of autistic adults don’t have the ability to distinguish between their own point of view and Sally’s. They say, ‘Sally will look in the box’ (Anne’s box) when they answer this question because they know that the ball is in fact in the box.

What’s interesting to note is that when children turn five years old, they begin developing the ability to understand the perspectives of others. That’s when the child begins to have a clear sense of self.

In fact, when we have a clear sense of self, other people and I become like two sides of the same coin. On one side, “You are separate from me,” and on the other, “I am separate from you.” Psychologically speaking, when we understand the perspectives of others, we begin to realize who we truly are.

But biblically speaking, if you really want to know who you are, then you have to read the Bible.

You see, there are many other people in the Bible that are different from me, and their stories are about how they lived with God. When we read their stories, we can try to see things from their perspectives to understand their feelings and experiences. By doing so, we can try to understand the heart of God toward them in their various situations. Then, when we can see how God provides for, interacts with, disciplines, and blesses the people in the Bible, and when we can understand why and how they respond to God, we will better understand our true selves.

2. Dark Night of the Soul (The time God is working)

A dark night of the soul comes at one point or another to everyone in life, whether you are a Christian or not.

Noah provides an example of this. He lived in the darkness of the ark, while overhead dark skies rained a seemingly endless torrent of rain, and outside, dark waters raged and swept the ark from side to side over a vast sea that spanned the whole earth. In the midst of such external darkness, and the uncertainty of how long it would last and when it might end, he certainly experienced a darkness in his soul as well.

Just like the flood that Noah had to endure, sometimes we also must endure huge problems in our lives that we can not solve on our own.

When these problems overwhelm us with darkness and threaten to swallow us and steal our confidence, we may shrink and lose the courage to go out into the world.

Sometimes, the darkness we experience may seem endless. Sometimes the darkness we experience may cause us to lose all hope, motivation, and meaning in life. Sometimes, the darkness we experience may threaten to swallow and erase all our good memories from our previous life. In this eternal darkness, how can we endure? How can we survive? How can we overcome? How can we even return to the land of the living again? In the same way that Noah did, with a word from God.

Noah was able to endure through his dark days, by believing in the promise that God had made to him <in Genesis 6:17-18>, where he promised to establish his covenant with Noah and save his life and the lives of his whole family. Noah held onto this promise of God and believed, even though the frustrating ark life seemed to be without end.

Genesis 8:1-2

1 But God remembered Noah and all the wild animals and the livestock that were with him in the ark, and he sent a wind over the earth, and the waters receded.

2 Now the springs of the deep and the floodgates of the heavens had been closed, and the rain had stopped falling from the sky.

God remembered Noah’s faithfulness every day he endured life on the ark.

But because Noah remained at all times inside the ark, he was unable to feel any change in his situation that might overcome his darkness.

So, every day of Noah’s life during this period was the same. Each day became a repeat of the day before – a day in darkness, without sunlight, without hope, in a raging sea with no end in sight. <Perhaps his emotional state also deteriorated, spiraling further and further downward into mental despair and distress.>

But then! God remembered Noah and began working to solve his problem! The rain stopped falling day and night, the sea calmed down, the sun came out, and the waters began receding! Noah’s endless night had finally turned to dawn as God’s glorious day arrived!

Do you believe God works for us like this?

In fact, God is still working for us like this!!

3. The prime of life (the moment of accompanying God)

Everyone has a dark time in life.

But on the other hand, everyone also lives with the hope that they will one day experience the prime of their lives. The prime of life can be considered the pinnacle, or peak of one’s existence – the time of the greatest success or achievement.

So when is the prime of one’s life?

In the ark, Noah believed that God was working for him, and lived faithfully doing what he could. When the time of God’s judgment was over, Noah escaped from the ark and offered God a great sacrifice of joy.

Was not the prime of Noah’s life when he escaped from the ark? Was not this exit from his confinement and subsequent new life his pinnacle achievement?

What do you think?

You see, when we think of Noah, his exit from the ark is not the most important image that comes to mind. In fact, we remember Noah for many more deeds that provide us with much more powerful images.

The image of Noah working hard to make an ark, obeying God’s command.

The Image of Noah taking countless animals into the ark to escape floods.

The Image of Noah sending pigeons out of the ark to look at the outside situation…

That’s right! The times when Noah obeyed God’s commands and accompanied God were truly the pinnacle and prime of his life!

But when Noah looked back on his life, he would probably not consider life in a dark ark to be his prime. In fact, he would probably remember it as stifling and depressing. But when he accompanied God, especially into the ark, his story became one of the best, most powerful, and impressive stories in the whole Bible! It certainly was the pinnacle story of his life!

Consider J.K. Rowling, the famed Harry Potter novelist. When was the pinnacle of her life?

Was it when Harry Potter was published and made her a huge fortune as a bestseller?

No!

It was when she was sitting down every day at a small desk, in a quiet room, where no one paid her any mind, writing the Harry Potter series manuscript. That was the pinnacle of her life, when she was able to maximize her imagination!

So now, is your life drowning in darkness? Does it feel halted completely? Or are you feeling desperate?

<Jesus>

Consider Jesus. The end of his life was also drowning in darkness. His 3-year ministry was seemingly halted completely, and his disciples were feeling truly desperate. 

At the end of his life, Jesus was sentenced to die the most horrible, excruciating death ever invented by mankind. He was wrongfully accused, an innocent man, and the people laughed at him and mocked him. The guards spit upon him, beat him, and nailed him to the cross.

From outward appearances, this dark time should have been the greatest failure in Jesus’ life, a disgraceful humiliation to end his ministry. But it was not. In fact, this dark time was his greatest triumph, the pinnacle of his life!

It was on the cross that Jesus’ completely fulfilled the mission that God had called him to. He died on the cross for sin, our sins, an innocent man taking our place in death. But God raised him to life again, restoring his relationship to God. And if we put our faith in him, he will do the same for us, forgiving our sin and restoring us to a right relationship with God as well. 

</Jesus>

Believe in God who always remembers you, even in your darkest times and still works for you! Just as God did not forget Noah in the ark, nor Jesus on the cross, God has never forgotten you, nor will he ever forget! The attention of God, the master and creator of the whole world, is focused on you! Because you are his precious child that he loves. He loved you enough to send his own son to die in your place, exchanging your sin for his righteousness.

The prime of your life will begin from the moment you begin to accompany God!

It is a great blessing to be able to meet God through our problems, in the middle of our troubles and darkness.

I hope we become people who don’t miss that blessing!!


<나를 기억하시는 하나님>

창세기 8장 1~5절

0. 이야기

어떤 집의 창가에 날마다 같은 시간에 찾아 오는 새 한 마리가 있었습니다. 

그런데 그 새는 끊임 없이 유리창에 자신의 머리를 부딪치는 것을 반복했습니다.

그 새는 매일 날아와서 같은 행동을 반복했습니다.

사람들은 그 새가 왜 그런 행동을 하는지 궁금했습니다.

다른 창문들은 열려 있었기 때문에, 새가 집에 들어가려고 하는 것 같지는 않았습니다.

결국 사람들은 그 새가 멍청하다는 결론을 내렸습니다.

그러던 어느 날이었습니다.

그 새의 그런 행동을 이상하게 여긴 누군가가 그를 자세히 관찰하기 시작했습니다.

얼마 후, 그는 크게 웃으며 집으로 돌아갔습니다.

그 창문 아래에는 죽은 벌레가 가득 붙어 있었습니다.

이 새는 매일매일 벌레를 맛있게 먹었던 것 입니다.

이 이야기에서 알 수 있듯이, 우리 또한 현상을 바르게 보지 못할 때가 있습니다.

우리가 때로는 우리의 삶을 이해할 수 없을 수도 있습니다.

그럴 때 마다 성경을 보고 기도하십시오.

우리를 창조하신 하나님께서 가장 좋은 시기에 우리의 궁금증을 해결해 주실 것입니다.

그가 우리의 문제를 해결해 주실 것입니다.

오늘도 우리가 말씀을 통해 하나님을 만나기를 소망합니다.

  1. 자아 의식(하나님 의식)

사람은 누구나 자신을 특별하게 생각합니다.

사람은 자신이 가진 재능을 발견하여, 주체적으로 살아가기를 원합니다.

사람들은 스스로의 진정한 모습을 찾기 위해 다양한 것들을 시도합니다.

그들은 명상을 하거나, 적성 검사를 받거나, 새로운 일에 도전해 보기도 합니다.

나의 진정한 모습을 찾는 가장 좋은 방법은 무엇일까요?

여기에 도움이 되는 “샐리 앤 테스트”가 있습니다.

1. 샐리와 앤이 방에서 공을 가지고 놀고 있었습니다

2. 샐리는 화장실에 가고 싶어서, 공을 바구니에 넣고 방을 나갔습니다

3. 샐리가 방을 나가자, 앤은 바구니 속에 있던 공을 꺼내 옆에 있는 상자에 넣었습니다

4. 잠시 후, 샐리가 다시 방에 들어왔습니다.

샐리는 공을 찾기 위해 어디를 먼저 찾아봤을까요?

답은 물론 바구니 입니다.

그러나 이 문제를 풀기 위해서는 다른 사람의 입장에서 생각하는 능력이 필요합니다.

이것이 바로 하나님이 사람에게 주신 놀라운 능력입니다.

이 이야기를 들은 우리는 상자에 공이 있다는 사실을 알고 있습니다.

그래서 ‘샐리는 공을 찾기 위해 바구니를 살펴 볼것이다’라는 답은, 우리가 샐리의 입장에서 생각할 수 있어야만 가능한 것입니다.

보통 네 살 이하의 어린 아이들이 이 문제에 대해 ‘샐리는 상자를 살펴 볼 것이다’ 라고 대답합니다.

공이 상자에 있다는 사실을 자신이 알고 있기 때문입니다.

즉, 어린 아이에게는 자신의 관점과 샐리의 관점을 구별할 능력이 없는 것 입니다.

어린 아이 뿐만 아니라, 어른 중에서도 자폐증에 걸린 사람 중 80% 가량이 이 테스트에 제대로 답을 할 수 없습니다.

흥미로운 사실은 어린 아이가 다섯 살이 되면 다른 사람의 입장을 헤아릴 수 있는 능력이 생긴다는 것이다.

바로 이 때, 아이가 분명한 자아 의식을 갖게 된다는 것 입니다.

사실 다른 사람과 나는 동전의 양쪽 면과 같습니다.

“나와 구분되는 너”, “너와 구분되는 나”

다른 사람의 관점을 이해하는 순간, 우리는 진정한 나의 모습을 바라볼 수 있는 것입니다.

진정 내가 어떤 사람인지 알고 싶다면 성경을 읽어야 합니다.

성경에는 나와 다른 수 많은 사람들이 등장합니다.

그리고 그 사람들이 어떻게 하나님과 살아가는지에 대한 이야기들이 있습니다.

다른 사람들을 이해해 보려고 노력해 보십시요.

하나님의 마음을 이해해 보려고 노력해 보십시요.

그러면 당신이 그토록 찾고 싶었던, 진정한 당신의 모습을 깨닫게 될 것입니다.

  1. 인생의 암흑기(하나님이 일하시는 시기)

당신이 그리스도인이든 아니든 누구에게나 인생에서 어두운 시기가 찾아옵니다.

언제 끝날 지 모르는 홍수 때문에, 방주 안에서 살았던 노아처럼 말입니다.

노아가 만난 홍수처럼, 우리 인생에도 우리가 해결할 수 없는 거대한 문제가 찾아옵니다.

이 문제가 나와 내 자신감까지 삼켜버릴 때, 우리는 위축되어서 세상 밖으로 나갈 용기가 사라질 수도 있습니다.

이렇게 끝이 보이지 않는 어둠 속에서, 사람은 살아가는 의미를 잃어버리거나 아무런 의욕없이 살아갈 수도 있습니다.

노아는 시간이 지나도 줄어들지 않는 거대한 홍수 가운데서 어떻게 살아갈 수가 있었을까요? 

노아에게는 하나님의 말씀이 있었습니다. 

노아는 끝이 보이지 않는 답답한 방주 안 생활 속에서도, 하나님이 생명을 살리신다는 약속의 말씀을 믿으며 하루하루를 살아갈 수 있었던 것 입니다.

창세기 8장 1-2절 입니다.

하나님은 방주 안에서 하루하루를 성실히 살아가는 노아의 모습을 기억하고 계셨습니다.

노아는 방주 안에서만 살았기 때문에, 문제가 해결될 만한 어떠한 변화도 느끼지 못했습니다.

 그래서 노아의 하루는 큰 변화 없이 매일 매일이 비슷했습니다.

그러나 그때! 하나님께서는 노아를 기억하시고 그의 문제를 해결하고 계셨던 것입니다.

우리를 위해 일하고 계신 하나님을 믿으십니까?

하나님은 지금도 우리를 위해 일하고 계십니다!

  1. 인생의 전성기(하나님과 동행하는 순간)

사람은 누구나 인생의 어두운 때가 있습니다.

하지만 누구나 한편으로는, ‘언젠가는 나의 전성기가 올거야’라는 희망을 가지고 살아갑니다.

그렇다면 나의 인생의 전성기는 언제일까요?

노아는 방주 안 에서, 하나님이 자신을 위해 일하고 계시다는 것을 믿고, 자신이 할 수 있는 일을 하며 성실히 살았습니다.

하나님이 약속하신 때가 되자, 노아는 방주에서 벗어나 하나님께 기쁨의 제사를 드립니다.

노아가 방주 안에서 탈출한 지금이 노아의 전성기가 아닐까요?

그러나 우리가 노아를 생각했을 때, 가장 강력하게 떠오르는 이미지는 따로 있습니다.

‘하나님의 말씀을 듣고 노아가 땀을 흘리며 열심히 방주를 만드는 모습’

‘노아가 홍수를 피해 수 많은 동물들을 데리고 방주로 들어가는 모습’

‘밖을 확인하기 위해, 노아가 비둘기를 밖으로 날려보내는 모습’ 일 것 입니다.

그렇습니다. 

하나님의 말씀에 순종하며 하나님과 동행했던 그 때가, 바로 노아 인생의 전성기 였습니다!

노아가 스스로의 삶을 되돌아 보았을 때, 조용하고 평범했던 방주 안에서의 삶은 그의 전성기라 여기기 어려울 것입니다.

그러나 그가 하나님과 동행하였더니, 그의 이야기가 성경을 통해 우리에게 전해지고 감동을 주는 그의 최고의 전성기가 되어버린 것 입니다!

유명한 소설가, 조앤 롤링의 전성기는 언제였을까요?

해리포터가 출판되고 베스트 셀러가 되어 엄청난 돈을 벌었을 때?

아닙니다. 

그것은 아무도 그녀에게 관심을 갖지 않는 조용한 방 작은 책상에서, 그녀가 해리포터 시리즈 원고를 쓰고 있었을 때였습니다.

그 때가 그녀의 상상력을 최대로 발휘 할 수 있었던 그녀의 전성기 였습니다.

지금 당신의 삶이 어둡거나, 멈춰있거나, 절망적인가요?

나를 기억하시고 나를 위해 지금도 일하시는 하나님을 믿으십시요!

하나님은 한번도 당신을 잊으신 적이 없습니다.

온 세상의 주인이신 하나님의 관심은 오직 당신에게 집중되어 있습니다!

당신이 바로 하나님이 사랑하시는 소중한 자녀이기 때문입니다.

하나님과 동행하는 그 때부터 당신의 전성기가 시작될 것 입니다!

문제를 통해 하나님을 만날 수 있다는 것은 너무 큰 축복입니다.

그 축복을 놓치지 않는, 저와 여러분이 되길 소망합니다.

  • Dec 16 / 2018
  • Comments Off on Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be Saved (Acts 16:16-31)
Acts: The Book of Mission, Pastor Heo, Sermons

Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be Saved (Acts 16:16-31)

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Believe in Jesus, and be Saved

Acts 16:16-31 (Pastor Heo)

“Accept Jesus, and everything will be fine.”

  • Not true: in that even though we accept Jesus, some things will be NOT fine.
  • But TRUE: in that we know that “God works all things together for the good of those who love him and are called according to his purpose.” (Romans)

Paul and Silas in Prison

16:16 Once when we were going to the place of prayer, we were met by a slave girl who had a spirit by which she predicted the future. She earned a great deal of money for her owners by fortune-telling. 17 This girl followed Paul and the rest of us, shouting, “These men are servants of the Most High God, who are telling you the way to be saved.” 18 She kept this up for many days. Finally Paul became so troubled that he turned around and said to the spirit, “In the name of Jesus Christ I command you to come out of her!” At that moment the spirit left her.

19 When the owners of the slave girl realized that their hope of making money was gone, they seized Paul and Silas and dragged them into the marketplace to face the authorities. 20 They brought them before the magistrates and said, “These men are Jews, and are throwing our city into an uproar 21 by advocating customs unlawful for us Romans to accept or practice.”

22 The crowd joined in the attack against Paul and Silas, and the magistrates ordered them to be stripped and beaten. 23 After they had been severely flogged, they were thrown into prison, and the jailer was commanded to guard them carefully. 24 Upon receiving such orders, he put them in the inner cell and fastened their feet in the stocks.

25 About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them. 26 Suddenly there was such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the prison were shaken. At once all the prison doors flew open, and everybody’s chains came loose. 27 The jailer woke up, and when he saw the prison doors open, he drew his sword and was about to kill himself because he thought the prisoners had escaped. 28 But Paul shouted, “Don’t harm yourself! We are all here!”

29 The jailer called for lights, rushed in and fell trembling before Paul and Silas. 30 He then brought them out and asked, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”

31 They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved–you and your household.”


Still, this last sentence is available to everybody at anytime “Believe and you will be saved – you and your household.”

  1. After Macedonia, Paul and his team set sail on the Aegean Sea and traveled to Philippi – a Roman colony (and Paul’s first mission field in Europe).
  2. After arriving on the Sabbath Day, they went outside to a place of prayer – where they met a small group of women.
  3. Paul shared the gospel with them, and one woman believed (Lydia) – and her whole household also believed and were all baptized immediately.
  4. She then opened her house to these apostles as their mission base in Europe. This is the story of the first Christians in Europe.

v. 16

“16 Once when we were going to the place of prayer,…

we were met by a slave girl who had a spirit by which she predicted the future. She earned a great deal of money for her owners by fortune-telling.

17 This girl followed Paul and the rest of us, shouting, “These men are servants of the Most High God, who are telling you the way to be saved.”

18 She kept this up for many days. Finally Paul became so troubled that he turned around and said to the spirit, “In the name of Jesus Christ I command you to come out of her!” At that moment the spirit left her.”

Why did this annoy Paul?

We should know that evil spirits can speak the truth partially, temporarily, but the end goal is destruction.

Imagine, if Paul accepted the witness of the evil spirit, he would be thought to be linking the gospel of Christ with the evil spirits – and also the slave girls’ owners were doing “prophecy for profit” which Paul would be accused of if he didn’t end it. Thus, he was upset and troubled.

Remember, Paul did not say this to the girl, he spoke to the evil spirit directly, “In the name of Jesus Christ I command you to come out of her!” (He did not cast the demon out by his own power, but by the power of Christ).

Yes, the Christian life is engaged in spiritual warfare. Eph 6 “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Our struggle is against… spiritual forces in the heavenly realms.” Our fighting is not against other human beings, not against our spouses, nor children, nor our neighbors, nor other people. Rather, it is against Satan, against the sinful nature, against demons, against our old selves.

Immediately, the demon left her.

Good news or bad? GOOD!

She became free from the control of Satan’s evil spirit, but her owners were not happy and became very angry. They didn’t concern themselves with this poor girl, but only cared about $$$.

Paul was preaching eternal truth, but they had no care that this girl was healed. They exploited her misfortune for their fortune…

Even today, there are people around us whose only, first concern, is money. This is a clear sign of idolatry.

The men seized Paul and dragged him into the marketplace.

v. 19-21

“19 When the owners of the slave girl realized that their hope of making money was gone, they seized Paul and Silas and dragged them into the marketplace to face the authorities. 20 They brought them before the magistrates and said, “These men are Jews, and are throwing our city into an uproar 21 by advocating customs unlawful for us Romans to accept or practice.” “

By calling them “Jews” (accurate though it was), they were playing off natural “anti-Semitism” present in the area.

v. 22

“22 The crowd joined in the attack against Paul and Silas, and the magistrates ordered them to be stripped and beaten. 23 After they had been severely flogged, they were thrown into prison, and the jailer was commanded to guard them carefully. 24 Upon receiving such orders, he put them in the inner cell and fastened their feet in the stocks. “

Can you imagine this situation?

Paul and Silas stripped half-naked and beaten within an inch of their lives, so painful, put in prison, two feet fasten with chains, all doors shut up tight, a jailor watching over them day and night.

Actually, they’d committed no crime, but they were treated as one of the most dangerous criminals (maximum security prison) for doing good.

Consider this:

Yes, Paul and Silas are Christians, brothers in Christ with us.

IF you were Paul and Silas in this TERRIBLE situation, what should you do? How would you respond?

What did they do?

They did not complain; nor blame; nor cry out; call out for revenge; they did not curse anyone nor anything nor themselves.

They worshiped God in this dark place.

Let us give a big hand to them in heaven now.

Imagine in THIS situation, they worshiped God with prayer and songs (“It is well” perhaps? something similar). HOW is this possible?

They responded to their terrible circumstances so unnaturally, so supernaturally. They DECIDED to worship God in this situation (and yes, it was a DECISION). How is this possible?

Here are 4 grounds for WHY they had to worship God in this terrible situation:

WHY Paul & Silas worshiped God in their darkness

1. They knew they believed God WAS THERE

Yes, in body, they were in prison, but they KNEW God was there with them in spirit. Wherever we may be, God is there.

Wherever you may go, God is there with you. The presence of Christ is present wherever you may be.

“God is there; God is here.”

Even when you are fighting; you are in a bad, sad, or terrible situation. This is always true, whether you remember or not: God is THERE.

Psalm “If I go to the heavens, God is there; if I go to the depths of the sea, God is there.”

With God, there is FREEDOM even in prison, there is LIGHT even in darkness.

Tortulion? said, “If your heart is in heaven, your legs will feel nothing even in stocks.”

They chose to worship God because the knew he was THERE with them.

2. They believed GOD IS IN CONTROL

Yes, even today, God is all-powerful, all-knowing, all-seeing, sovereign, and in control of all things.

Yes, Paul and Silas had no reason to expect a miracle. Yes, they knew that God had previously delivered Paul from prison, but they also remembered that Stephen and James had been martyred. So, they didn’t know what would happen to them.

Yet, they still sang praises to God because they believed that he COULD deliver them if he chose. This is reminiscent of the three friends in Daniel (Sadrach, Mishach, and Abednego), “Oh, king, we do not need to defend ourselves in this manner. If you throw us into the fire, our God is able to save us from the fire. But even if he does not, we shall never worship your gods nor the image of gold you have set up for yourself.”

Remember: God is in control of everything.

3. They believed Jesus (their Lord) would REWARD them

They were being persecuted for the sake of their Lord. So they knew without doubt that Jesus would reward them abundantly.

“Blessed are you when you are persecuted for me. Rejoice and be glad, for great is your reward in heaven. In this way, the people persecuted the prophets in the OT.” (Matthew)

Paul “I do not consider our present sufferings to be anything compared to the glory that will be revealed in us in heaven.”

Jesus “Behold, I am coming soon, and I will give to everyone as he has merit.”

4. They knew / believed without doubt that in the END (the very end), everything would be fine

This is strong faith.

Yes, we don’t know what will happen today, tomorrow, 10 years later, 100 years later, but we DO KNOW what will happen in the VERY END – and it’s gonna be fine.

Paul “We know that God works all things together for the good of those who love him and are called according to his purpose.” (Romans)

Paul “If I live, I belong to Christ; if I die, I belong to Christ. So whether I live or die, I belong to Christ.”

Paul’s attitude:

  • If I die, I get to be with Christ – WIN!
  • If I live, I get to preach about Christ – WIN!

How will we respond to sufferings and trials in our lives? And how will people react to our responses?

Remember: Prayer and praise are POWERFUL weapons in spiritual warfare.

v. 25

“25 About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them. 26 Suddenly there was such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the prison were shaken. At once all the prison doors flew open, and everybody’s chains came loose. 27 The jailer woke up, and when he saw the prison doors open, he drew his sword and was about to kill himself because he thought the prisoners had escaped. 28 But Paul shouted, “Don’t harm yourself! We are all here!”

29 The jailer called for lights, rushed in and fell trembling before Paul and Silas. 30 He then brought them out and asked, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”

31 They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved–you and your household.” “

Please remember, prayer and praise are powerful weapons in spiritual warfare.

All of a sudden, God responded to their faithful attitude. He shook the foundations of the prison and opened all the doors widely and loosed all the chains.

All the prisoners could have fled if they had wanted, but they all stayed right there. The fear of God was upon them all, and God himself kept them there. The prisoners knew that the praying and singing of these two prisoners had caused this, and there must be something very special about them.

But the jailor thought they had run, so he almost committed suicide.

At that time, according to Roman law, if a prisoner escaped, the jailors should receive the penalty of the prisoners.

But at that time, Paul said to the jailor, “Don’t harm yourself; we are all here.” He ran out and knelt down before the prisoners. “What must I do to be saved?”

In this situation, suddenly the tables were turned:

  • the jailor became the prisoner (spiritually);
  • and the prisoners became the jailor. “What must I do to be free?” (This is the cry of the lost worldwide.)

This is the most relevant question in our lives. His question means he KNEW he was lost, a sinner, a prisoner, a captive. He knew he needed freedom and he asked, “What must I DO to be saved?”

Do you have a clear answer to this question? All the lost have this question in their hearts, in their spirits. Do you have a clear answer to this question?

  • Paul did not answer: “DO something…”
  • He answered: “BELIEVE in Christ.”

If we receive (or spread) the message that “you must DO something” to be saved, then this is NOT the gospel message. Just BELIEVE in Christ as your Lord and Savior and you will be saved, “for there is no other name under heaven by which we must be saved” (Acts 3?).

Jesus said, “It is FINISHED!”

He has DONE all things necessary for our salvation.

Romans 10:9-10 “If you confess with your mouth ‘Jesus is Lord’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your mouth you confess and with your heart you are justified…?”

Eph 2:8-9 “It is by grace, through faith you have been saved. It is the gift of God so that no one can boast.”

Acts 3 “There is no other name under heaven by which we must be saved.”

What a powerful name.

John 3:16-17 “God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son… God did not send his Son to condemn the world, but to save the world… Whoever does not believe is condemned already because he has not believed.”

What is the meaning of ‘believe’?

Believe = Be – Live

  • BE in Jesus
  • LIVE in Jesus

Acts 16:31 “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved — you and your household.”

This does NOT mean that the jailor’s faith will automatically bring faith to his family – but rather, “they will be saved IF they also believe.”

We cannot be saved by proxy nor in a group – we are only saved individually, with a personal relationship with Christ.

Still today, all lost souls cry out from their spirits: “What must I DO to be saved?”

“Believe in Jesus, and you will be saved.”

Around us today, who knows if the one we share the gospel message with was not one who wanted to kill themselves just one minute ago. “Don’t kill yourself!”

Even around us today, there are so many people who are harming themselves on purpose or in spite of themselves.

What a glorious thing to offer salvation to those who are harming themselves simply by believing in Christ (plus nothing).

We must give this message to the lost:

“Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved — you and your household.”

Let’s pray.

 

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