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  • Feb 24 / 2019
  • Comments Off on Don’t Worry, Wake Up! (Acts 20:1-12)
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.

  • Nov 04 / 2012
  • Comments Off on The Prevailing Word (Acts 19:8-20)
Acts: The Church Grows, Pastor Brian, Sermons

The Prevailing Word (Acts 19:8-20)

11.4

Bulletin_11.04.2012

Sermon Notes

<Download Notes in a .RTF file>

Last time we saw the parallel growth of the disciples of John the Baptist and Jesus, and that there were even sects of John the Baptist followers during this time when Paul is preaching.

So, Paul had to remind them that JB was the messenger crying in the desert, preparing the way for the true Lord, even JB was hesitant to baptize Jesus in water when he came.

John’s baptism is a preparatory baptism for the baptism of the Holy Spirit in the name of Jesus ( “In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit” – the whole Trinity is involved).

Some of that time didn’t even know there was a Holy Spirit, so Paul asked which they’d received, and they said John’s (that of repentance) so Paul corrected them and instructed them, and baptized them in Jesus’ name and they received the HS and began prophesying and speaking in tongues.

That brings us to today.

For three months, Paul preached in the synagogues of the Jews, asserting that Jesus is the Messiah – prophesied through the Jewish Scriptures.

It seems that Paul was more tolerated in Ephesus than in Thessalonica (since he stayed for three months) – but he eventually wore out his welcome.

v.9 – When some were hardened and did not believe, but spoke evil of the Way before the multitudes
(this is the pattern, generally, they don’t believe, harden their hearts, then speak evil about it).

So Paul left, and began daily lecture sessions in the house of Tyranus. The word (his name) actually means “tyrant” – so he may have be dominant.

Paul continued there for 2 years, so that all the Jews and Greeks in Asia heard the Word of the Lord.

Let’s add the previous 3 months + these 2 years + Acts 20 another year

Luke recons it was three years he was in Ephesus – but not only Ephesus, Jews and Greeks in the entire province heard the Word (Smyrna, Pergamum, Colosse, Magnisia, Leodicia, etc – possibly the 7 churches in Revelation were begun by Paul and his associates at this time (Revelation 3)).

Paul likely didn’t go to EVERY city, but the word of mouth talking about miracles and the like probably helped spread the word incredibly quickly.

Paul wrote letters at this time to Colossians – 4:12-13 – Epaphrus greets you, apparently a minister and partner with Paul.

During Paul’s stay in Ephesus, the power of God was demonstrated mightily.

God did extraordinary miracles through Paul so that even small bits of cloth that touched him healed other people.

Paul’s healings could be compared with Peter’s healings in Acts 5:14-15

At that time, believers continually were added to their number so that they brought them out to the streets so that even Peter’s shadow passing by would heal them.
God was doing it, not Peter, just as he did it through Paul. Paul used these signs and miracles as proof that God was using them.

Romans – “I dare not speak of anything that made the Gentiles obedient…except that I have fully preached the gospel of Christ.”

Remember, Paul was one of the exceptions to the apostles, all the others had been personally commissioned by Christ and sent out while still with him. But, Paul was converted while an enemy of Christ and sent out to be the main missionary to the Gentiles.

“Surely, the signs of an apostle were accomplished among you.”

God in his grace was blessing the church, but at times, Paul had to write to them to correct them and bring them back to the Christian lifestyle – the Corinthians were being misled by false apostles and he wrote rather sarcastically to them, “Oh, perhaps I should have taken offerings as these others have…Have you forgotten how God approved my ministry among you with signs and wonders?”

Miracles are pretty good by themselves, but these were extraordinary miracles – some commentators have had trouble accepting them, but Luke was a doctor, and accurately tried to record history – and he recorded these things.

The Greek word for aprons referred to a garment that a working man would wear around his waist to avoid getting dirty – God used these things to heal others and word spread quickly.

In the next scene, Luke gives a sharp, almost comical contrast.

Paul’s name became so well-known that others were trying to mimic Paul and jump on his bandwagon (seven sons of Seva).

“In the name of Jesus, whom Paul preaches, I command you to come out.”

Seva was likely a Jewish chief priest (not High Priest), and his sons were unable to use God’s power for their own ends, and they ended up getting beat up for it.

News of this spread quickly as well.

Reminds us of Moses in Exodus and the Egyptian magicians who could repeat some of Moses’ (God’s) miracles. When they couldn’t turn sand into gnats, they admitted “This is the finger of God.”
Reminds us of Elijah and the contest to bring fire down from heaven onto a sacrifice.

We see that God’s power is infinite, greater than any power of the devil.

At that time, both Jews and Greeks were seized with fear and many came telling and confessing their deeds, and many burned their magic books in public – 50,000 drachmas (pieces of silver) in value.

1 drachma = one day’s wage

In the US, $40 per day? * 50,000 coins

= $2,000,000 burned

Hmm, couldn’t we have used the money for something? Feed the poor?
NO. These books were books of evil and must be burned.

In Samaria, Simon Megas (Acts 8), after the murder of Stephen, the church faced persecution – and Philip went to Samaria, and God did many similar miracles like those he did through Paul. Simon was a practisioner of magic and he wanted to follow Philip around.

At that time, the Jews and Samarians were divided, so it was likely that the Samarians were waiting for hands to be laid on them and prophesy – so the apostles did so, and they received the HS, and did as the others did who received Him.

Simon wanted to buy this power, but the apostles rejected him clearly and said “Your money burn with you.” Then he realized the power, and asked them to pray for him.

When Paul went with Barnabas, they met Bar-Jesus, who wanted to turn the pro-consul from God – Paul pronounced a curse on him, and he was covered in physical darkness.

All throughout the Bible, we see how the Word of God prevails over darkness, over magic.

“In this way, the Word of the Lord spread widely and grew (mightily) in power.”

What can we learn?
God is omnipotent, omnipresent, but conditions must be met to receive the full benefit of his salvation.

In our youth, we may have dabbled in the occult – horroscopes, occult, Ouiji Board.

“He who sups with the devil must use a very long spoon – yet it’s not even right.” Derick Prince

We should observe our own lives and vocally renounce our involvement with the occult or alternative religions – “I renounce that, and resist any attempt of it to influence me.” Those things need to be destroyed greatly. Any linkage with uncleanliness needs to be destroyed (pornography). Now it’s in everybody’s home – maybe 50% of Christian men (and women) struggle with this.

What needs to happen is for the access to it (access to ANY temptation) to be destroyed. Do you want freedom? Radically cut off, destroy, any access to the temptation, renounce it, resist it – it’s really a heart matter. “Anyone who looks lustfully at a woman already commits adultery with her in his heart.”

It’s always a heart issue.

Yet, the Word of the Lord prevails.

Let’s pray.

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