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Acts Chapter 8:12-28

Cross the Bridge / David McGee
The Truth Network Radio
May 13, 2021 1:00 am

Acts Chapter 8:12-28

Cross the Bridge / David McGee

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May 13, 2021 1:00 am

Cross the Bridge 41118-2

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They were talking about the Bible. God was speaking through them to the people. The Word of the Lord is an important thing, and we talk about the Word of God, and we're focused on the Word of God.

It's important. I want you to notice the three steps that happened with these men. Number one, they heard the Word of God. Number two, they served God without distinction about what they would do and what they would not do for Him. And then the third thing, they proclaimed the Word of God. So they heard the Word of God, they served God, they proclaimed the Word of God. Now, where are you on this list?

Have you got all three covered? Maybe you're trying to skip the number three. Now, you've got to hear the Word of God, then you need to serve God, and then proclaim the Word of God. Because if you're not serving God and you're proclaiming the Word of God, let me tell you, people see that you're not serving God.

And they're less likely, they're much less likely to hear what you have to say. Well, God has given each of us different resources to reach the lost, and the question is, are we using them? Let's see how these things are connected as Pastor David encourages us to find these resources and use them for God as he continues teaching in the book of Acts chapter 8.

Now, here's David McGee with part two of his teaching, Is Your Heart Right? We are in Acts chapter 8, and what we're finding, this is the early church, and Saul is persecuting the early church. He's pursuing the people that are involved with the church, and some things are going on, and out of this, Philip goes out of Jerusalem. Now, we talked about the fact that Philip waited tables, and because he was willing to serve God in that way, God used him in more powerful ways.

And we find him now in Samaria. We talked about how they had to break down the walls between the Jewish people and the Samaritan people that Philip would reach out to him. We talked about breaking walls down, and so they're in Samaria, and these people are coming to the Lord.

Well, let's go back to verse 12. But when they believed Philip as he preached the things concerning the kingdom of God in the name of Jesus Christ, both men and women were baptized. Then Simon himself also believed, and when he was baptized, he continued with Philip and was amazed, seeing the miracles and signs that were done. Verse 14, now when the apostles who were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent Peter and John to them, who when they had come down prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit, verse 16, for as yet he had fallen upon none of them. They had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. Then they laid hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit. They laid hands on them, and they received. You received the Holy Spirit by grace, just like you received salvation by grace.

Let me mention one more thing. In this room, a lot of people in here came. We know Jesus as our Savior. There was that moment in time when we said, Jesus, forgive me of my sins. For some of us, that was an incredible emotional experience.

Tears flowed and things like that. For some people in here, when they came and they asked Jesus to forgive them of their sins, it was not this big, incredible emotional experience. Maybe it was a quiet thing. Maybe it was in the quietness of your own home.

Maybe you didn't cry. Well, Pastor David, what's your point? Both cases received salvation by faith through grace, not basing it upon, well, I felt something. I felt good. I felt forgiven.

Don't base it on your feelings, because some people might not feel forgiven when they do this. Verse 18. When Simon saw that through the laying on of the apostles' hands the Holy Spirit was given, he offered them money, saying, Give me this power also, that anyone on whom I lay hands may receive the Holy Spirit. But Peter said to him, Your money perish with you, because you thought that the gift of God could be purchased with money. So early on, early church, we talked about this before. We tend to think of the early church as the perfect church.

It wasn't the perfect church. Here in the early church, we already have somebody attempting to buy a position. I'll give you money.

You give me that power, I'll give you money. It's not going to be the last person that tries to buy a position in a church. Verse 20. But Peter said to him, Your money perish with you, because you thought that the gift of God could be purchased with money.

What an awesome thing. Peter has a lot of integrity. Peter goes, No, I'm not selling it to you.

It's not for sale. You're missing the whole point. I'll share this, because it's a little weird for me. I've had the experience of somebody approaching me. There's a lot of people at this church. When somebody has a need, a lot of times I'll delegate.

That's a painful thing that I've had to repeatedly learn. I'll say, Hey, will you meet with this person? Can you help this person?

Can you help this situation? I had one guy get really upset. And it was very obvious that this man was well to do. And I think that was part of the reason he got so upset with me about it. I don't think that he was convinced that Pastor Shawn or somebody else couldn't pray with him.

I think it was the notion that because he had money, I needed to roll out the red carpet for him. I'm sorry. That man's not my source. You know how I know that? He left.

He never came back. No, but Jesus is my source. God is my source. And so we have to be careful. That's why we don't do the gold hats and put your name on pricks and any of that weird stuff. Because if Peter had it right, your money perishes with you.

Because you thought that the gift of God could be purchased with money. Simon's going, Hey, I'll give you some money for that power. Now us as men, men love power. Don't we?

We just love power. We just, there's something about, you know, if there's, if we're looking at two chainsaws and one is more powerful, we got to have that more powerful. And we're looking at, you know, lawnmowers. That one has more horsepower.

We need that one. Or even vacuum cleaners. Well, it has more power. That vacuum cleaner goes zero to 60 in seven seconds.

Turbo Hemi. That's what we need. And that's why some of, some guys get lost in the corporate search for power. Now is that hunger for power a good thing? Well, the answer may shock you.

It is. It's actually a God given thing. But where's that power supposed to come from? It's supposed to come from God. Not from anything else. Not from corporate achievement. Not from, you know, driving a car with a Hemi.

Not from a, you know, turbocharged vacuum or any of those other things. But from God himself. Power. What is the most powerful thing, display that we see in scripture?

Well, maybe you think, well, somebody healing somebody from being dead. That's obviously the most powerful thing. I don't think so. Healing a lame man.

I don't think so. I think the most powerful display in the Bible is when somebody turns from the kingdom of darkness to the kingdom of light. That is the most powerful thing.

Romans chapter 1 verse 16 says, For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. It is the power of God. The word there for power is dunamis in the Greek. It's where we get our word for dynamite.

It's very powerful. You know, people that want to exploit the power of God for their own gain, I just have a problem with that. But that doesn't negate the fact that God has given us power to reach out to others. Next life lesson, God has given us power and resources to reach others. God has given us power and resources to reach others. The question is, are we using our power and our resources and our energy to reach others? Verse 21, You have neither part nor portion in this matter, for your heart is not right in the sight of God.

Now, here's an interesting thing. Simon, I believe, is saved. Simon has been baptized, but his heart's not right. Do you understand our heart can stray? Do you understand how quickly our heart can stray? Our hearts, they just tend to wander, just like the children of Israel in the desert. Our hearts tend to wander, and we need to follow the Lord every single day of our lives.

So what do you do if your heart's not right? Maybe you're in here and you messed up this morning, or you messed up yesterday, or you messed up this week, and you're going, man, what do I do? Well, let's see what he says. Verse 22, Repent, therefore, of this, your wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of your heart may be forgiven you.

It's just that simple. Now, notice he doesn't say, well, argue about it with God. This is repent. Ask him to forgive you.

Don't defend your actions. Do you know the sin that cannot be forgiven is the sin that is not asked forgiveness for? That is the unforgivable, the unpardonable sin is not asking for forgiveness. Peter tells him, repent. Verse 23, For I see that you are poisoned by bitterness and bound by iniquity. Then Simon answered and said, Pray to the Lord for me that none of the things which you have spoken may come upon me. Now, there's a little problem there, isn't there? Because Simon's saying, hey, Peter, pray for me.

No, no, no, no, no. Simon, pray for yourself. This is a hard issue between you and God. And people love to put people in between them and God. Some people are really, they're more comfortable with that.

You know, they think, well, no, no, no, no. I'm not going to go to God directly. I need you to go to God for me. I don't necessarily need to hear your sins.

In fact, there's some examples. I really shouldn't hear your sins. You should tell them to the Lord.

You should go directly to him because you have direct access. Lord, forgive me of these sins. You're listening to Pastor David McGee on Cross the Bridge.

He'll be right back with more in just a moment. But I want to remind you of the free resources available to you on CrossTheBridge.com. There's a team of hundreds of people that will pray for somebody to be saved. You have a loved one that needs to know Jesus as Savior. You need people to pray for them. You need someone to present God's word to them. Every day we're presenting God's word to them here on Cross the Bridge with Pastor David McGee. We can pray for them as well just by simply going to CrossTheBridge.com and click on the Pray for the Lost button. All you need to do is put in the first names of the people you love that need to know Jesus as Savior, click on Submit, and immediately hundreds of people will begin praying for your lost loved ones. And what an awesome way to bring your loved ones to Jesus. Here's a word from Associate Pastor D.A.

Brown. We want to take just a minute to pray for some cities in our listening audience, specifically Merlin, Pendleton, Portland, Powell Butte, Prairie City, and Redmond, Oregon. Lord, we thank you for the people living in these cities. Lord, we pray that you would draw them into a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Father, we pray for their homes, that there would be unity and love, that they would follow you with all their heart, soul, and strength as a family. Lord, we pray for the pastors and churches in these areas. God, that you would anoint them to teach your word verse by verse even. Lord, that you would give the pastors wisdom and discernment on how to serve and love the people that God brings. Lord, we love you.

We thank you for these cities. And we pray that you do a mighty work in the name of Jesus. Amen. Amen.

Thank you, brother. And now, let's get back to David McGee as he continues teaching verse by verse. Verse 25. So when they had testified and preached the word of the Lord, they returned to Jerusalem, preaching the gospel in many villages of the Samaritans.

This is great. Preach the word of the Lord. They were talking about the Bible. God was speaking through them to the people. The word of the Lord is an important thing. And we talk about the word of God, and we're focused on the word of God.

And it's important. I want you to notice the three steps that happened with these men. Number one, they heard the word of God. Number two, they served God without distinction about what they would do and what they would not do for him. And the third thing, they proclaimed the word of God. So they heard the word of God. They served God. They proclaimed the word of God. Now, where are you on this list?

Have you got all three covered? Maybe you're trying to skip the number three. No, you've got to hear the word of God. Then you need to serve God and then proclaim the word of God. Because if you're not serving God and you're proclaiming the word of God, let me tell you, people see that you're not serving God.

And they're less likely, they're much less likely to hear what you have to say. Let's go to verse 26. Now, an angel of the Lord spoke to Philip, saying, Arise and go towards the south along the road which goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza. This is the desert.

Now, this makes no sense in the natural. I mean, get the picture. Philip is in this huge revival. People are coming to the Lord. All these Samaritans coming to the Lord.

People being filled with the Holy Spirit. And the angel of the Lord comes to Philip and says, I want you to leave the revival. I want you to go do something else. You understand God will tell you to do some things sometimes that don't make a lot of sense. Now, you need to be careful when you get into that area.

You need to be careful and you need to talk to other brothers and sisters and say, yeah, I think God's laying this on my heart. And be sure that if it's zany that it's biblical. Okay? I remember a few years ago I was traveling around the country and doing music and teaching. We were at a place, where were we? Olympia. Washington. We were in Washington state.

We're there. And we're standing at a campground. Had an RV we traveled in.

And the guy who ran this Bible-based campground also went to the church. And I was speaking at that night. And he came by the motor home. And as soon as he came in, I heard that still small voice.

Not all the voice, but still small voice. And the Lord said, you need to give him some money. And I said, devil, get behind me. So this guy's sitting there talking. And I'm having this conversation with the Lord. I'm going, Lord, he doesn't need any money. He's got a job. He's not involved in a faith-based ministry where they don't know week to week what's going on. His ministry is not based on love offerings like I was. I was reminding God of things he probably already knew.

So I'm going back and forth. Lord, every week this guy gets a paycheck. He knows what that number is. Then the guy starts to tell me how he's leaving that place.

And he's going to begin working for Gospel for Asia. And I said, oh, okay. And I said, brother, I'm supposed to help support you at the end of the conversation. He was like, I wasn't sharing that to ask for your support. I said, I understand that.

You didn't even ask for it. But I just really feel like the Lord is speaking to me. Now, that didn't make sense until that moment where he explained. But sometimes you don't get the explanation. God says take the baby step. I don't understand it. It doesn't matter.

Take the baby step. A few years ago, most of you are aware of the story. A few years ago, I'm traveling around the country. I'm doing teaching. I'm doing music in these huge churches and all this stuff. God is blessing it.

We're booked a year in advance. I mean, some mega churches and stuff. I said, I want you to quit doing that. I said, what?

Why don't you quit doing that? We got an awesome schedule that me and you, God, that we put together. And God's like, no, you're going to do something else. You're going to do something different. I said, okay. I came off the road, helped my dad with some, he had a stroke. He had some problems in his businesses. I tried to help him and got a little distracted for a season, but then the Lord said, look, why don't you start home Bible study?

God didn't tell me when I was coming off the road that I was going to start home Bible study. He just said, need you to do something else. I said, okay. You sure? Yep. Okay.

I'll do it. See, God doesn't always give you all the steps. Sometimes he just gives you one that sometimes it doesn't look like it makes a lot of sense. I mean, for me to quit traveling and quit teaching and quit doing, that didn't make a lot of sense to me, but that's what God asked me to do. God has fell up to leave this place where things were going on.

Why? Because he had something else for him to do. And God doesn't explain A to Z for you all the time.

It's those baby steps. Don't pause for the explanation. Verse 27. So he arose and went and behold, a man of Ethiopia of eunuch of great authority under Candace, the queen of the Ethiopians who had charge, who had charge of all her treasury and had come to Jerusalem to worship was returning and sitting in the chariot. And he was reading Isaiah the prophet.

So this man was a very powerful man. He'd been to Jerusalem. What we're going to find out is that he wasn't saved. He had had a religious experience in Jerusalem, but he didn't know the Lord.

He didn't know the Lord. How many people in our society would qualify for that? How many people meeting in churches all across this community this morning do not have a personal relationship with Jesus? If you ask them, you know, the two question test, hey, are you going to heaven? Most of them would say yes. But then you said, well, why do you believe that?

And you listen to the answer they gave, it would be the wrong answer. Why do you think you're going to heaven? Well, because I'm basically a good person. I'm sorry, that's not biblical. The Bible says in Romans 3, 10, 3, 23, there's none righteous, no, not one, and all have fallen short of the glory of God. So your goodness is not going to get you into heaven. Well, I'm going to heaven because I go to church. It does not say that in this book that if you go to church, you're going to heaven. Well, I've kept most of the Ten Commandments.

Well, you know, that's a lie. Religious, but not saved. How many friends you got that could probably be defined like that? Then talk to them. They're open to having the conversation. They have a religious experience.

Some of them every Sunday go to church, but they don't know Jesus. Now, don't kick the door down. If they resist you, don't, you know, jump up on a desk and start foaming at the mouth and prophesying and pointing at them. Don't do that.

Well, why? Because the next person that's going to talk to them about the Lord, they're going to shut them down completely. And way too many believers have acted like, I don't know. Well, we'll go back to the vacuum, like vacuum cleaner salesman.

Remember when vacuum cleaner salesman used to go door to door and they would stick their foot in the door and they wouldn't leave until you bought a vacuum? We can't be like that. We need to be open about conversations about Jesus. We need to talk to people about Jesus. But we don't need to kick the door down. God will bring people to us to talk to them about Him. He'll do that over and over.

And we need to be ready. 1 Peter chapter 3 verse 15 says, instead you must worship Christ as Lord of your life and if you are asked about your Christian hope, always be ready to explain it. Always be ready to explain it. And the concept there is that you would live a life which would cause questions. People say, hey, you go to church every Sunday, let me ask you a question. Or why do you not do this?

Or why do you not do that? And people will ask you. I remember years ago I was working, I was doing some production work, some sound engineer work with a band and they were, I prayed about it and I felt like the Lord wanted me to work with this band and I was just doing some recording stuff and part of me thought, no, it's not Christian, I'm not going to do it. And then a brother asked me, he said, is your house made completely out of Christian lumber by Christian carpenters? I said, man. To be honest, when I took the project, I still felt like I was doing something wrong.

But in talking with them, in the conversation, talking about production and recording stuff, you know, one guy kept trying to offer me a beer. He kept saying, no, thank you. No, thank you. No, thank you.

No, thank you. And then finally, you know, I had to tell him what was obvious. I said, I don't drink anymore. And he goes, well, let me, same guy, you could see his wheels spinning. I said, let me ask you a question. You've worked with all these guys and played and done all this stuff.

Why are you recording our stuff? I said, well, I'll tell you. So I walked away from the industry for a while because I got confused about what life was about and I came back to the Lord.

And now the only music that I play is contemporary worship, contemporary Christian music. And he was like, ah, that's why you wouldn't take a beer. And I said, that's why I wouldn't take a beer. One of the other guys in the band got tears in his eyes. He said, you know what? I used to play contemporary Christian music and God did a neat thing. I didn't hammer him, but that man's life changed to the point that when it was all over, we were hugging each other and he was just weeping and I was praying for him and he was praying and God did a work in his heart. What's my point? Had I hammered him from the get go, I would have not had that opportunity to minister to him.

I would have lost that opportunity. God in his timing knows when to present people with truth. You've been presented with a lot of truth this morning. You've been presented with truth about the Holy Spirit. You've been presented truth about your goodness will not lead you into heaven. The question is, what are you going to do now with that truth? Some of you are really carrying around some heavy things, sins, disappointments and failures. You have the opportunity this morning to let go of those things. Simon got confused.

Simon's heart got off track. And Peter said, look, just repent. Come to God.

Tell him you're sorry. That's what many people in here should do this morning. Friend, do you know for sure that your sins have been forgiven?

You can know right now. I want to lead you in a short, simple prayer, simply telling God you're sorry and asking him to help you to live for him. Please pray this prayer with me out loud right now. Dear Jesus, I believe you died for me, that I could be forgiven. And I believe you were raised from the dead, that I could have a new life. And I've done wrong things. I have sinned.

And I'm sorry. Please forgive me of all those things. Please give me the power to live for you all of my days. In Jesus' name, amen. Friend, if you prayed that prayer, according to the Bible, you've been forgiven. You've been born again. So congratulations, friend.

You just made the greatest decision that you will ever make. God bless you. If you prayed that prayer with David for the first time, we'd love to hear from you. Visit crossthebridge.com and click on God's Plan for New Life to receive our First Steps package with helpful resources to help you begin your walk with Christ. God wants to bless you and encourage your relationships today. Whether you are married, considering marriage, or engaged to be married, we have a resource for you. Pastor David wants to send you his four-part video series, Allies Stay Friends. Allow God to minister to your marriage through his word today. This was an unforgettable weekend that encouraged many marriages, and you and your spouse can be encouraged too. Allies Stay Friends is our thanks for your generous gift today to help more people hear God's truth on this station and beyond so they can cross the bridge from death to life. Please visit crossthebridge.com today to give a gift of any amount and get your copy of Allies Stay Friends. Well, DA, before we go, what are some ways that we can bless our listeners? Each day you can wake up with encouragement from Pastor David through the Word of God with his email devotional, life lessons to consider, a daily reading plan, and a thought to meditate on throughout your day from the heart of David McGee. Those are terrific, and it's easy and it's free. So, folks, sign up today at crossthebridge.com. Thanks again for listening, and join us next time as David McGee continues teaching verse by verse through the book of Acts.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-11-19 03:40:01 / 2023-11-19 03:51:36 / 12

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