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Urgent Needs (Part A)

Cross Reference Radio / Pastor Rick Gaston
The Truth Network Radio
July 5, 2022 6:00 am

Urgent Needs (Part A)

Cross Reference Radio / Pastor Rick Gaston

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This giving to the church. Initially, for the people was given to the church for the people, but there were some other things going on here.

At this point.

Again, the church is not moving out into the world as the Lord commanded Jesus and go into all the world and indigenous huddled in Jerusalem at this point there is no outreach. There is only internal care.

This is cross reference radio with our pastor and teacher Rick Gaston because the pastor of Calvary Chapel Mechanicsville. Pastor Rick is currently teaching through the book of acts. Please stay with us after today's message to hear more information about cross reference radio, specifically how you can get a free copy of this teaching, but for now let's join Pastor Rick in the book of acts chapter 4 as he begins a new message called urgent needs. Now the multitude of those who believed were of one heart and one soul, neither did anyone say that any of the things he possessed was his own, but they had all things in common. And with great power the apostles gave witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And great grace was upon them all. Nor was there anyone among them who lacked for all who were possessors of lands or houses sold them and brought the proceeds of the things that they sold, and laid them at the apostles feet, and they distributed to each as anyone had need. And Josephus, who was also named Barnabas by the apostles which is translated son of encouragement, a Levite of the country of Cyprus, having land, sold it and brought the money and laid it at the apostles feet well a lot's going on here. For those of you may be unfamiliar with the book of acts, and what is happening in this section I brief review the apostles the handpicked men of Jesus Christ. These particular two of the 12 Peter and John were going to the Jewish Temple during the hour of prayer, and they were met there at the gate by a lame man who was lame all of his life is in his 40s and he was begging and Peter said silver and gold have I none but what I have all give you an in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise and walk in. The man was healed well. That drew a lot of attention that gave Peter an opportunity to preach the gospel he preached Jesus Christ. Well, the authorities didn't care for that they had those two men Peter and John arrested and while they could not deny that a miracle was done they ordered Peter and John to not mention the name of Jesus again and not to preach in his name and Peter responded well you do it you got to do with going to do a God tells us to do and he left it at that. So they then severely threaten them even more. And Peter and John, though it's not recorded. I know this is what they said the yeah yeah whatever you want to keep reaching.

Of course they were not no evidence of them being snarky or or or rude with.

They just stood their ground and they go back to the church. They don't go home first. These two men released from an overnight in the jail. They go to the church, the bride of Christ it I think is something very wrong. When we refer to the church is a campus, the word is very special word. It is linked to the word Lord curiosity, the hero of the church.

The name means something the sanctuary. This is not an auditorium. This is the sanctuary.

This is where we come because God is arrange this for us and we grow we find strength spiritually which gives us strength in every other area of life that God wants us to have if we will avail ourselves, at least by depending on him. Words mean something and we should not trivialize at well I digress just a little bit coming back to this to go to the church and there they prayed and asked chapter 4 verse 29 we read now this is what they were praying. Now, Lord look on their threats and grant to your servants that with all boldness they may speak your word in verse 31 and when they had prayed, the place where they were assembled together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and they spoke the word of God with boldness. So they asked God for boldness to speak in the face of these threats, and God granted and that's now what was happening in Jerusalem at this time is people coming to Christ, getting saved, they were getting saved since the day of Pentecost when Peter stood up and preached in the Holy Spirit.

Look it came upon the church that moment created this moment all that preaching and all those converts that had converge in Jerusalem for the day of Pentecost. Many of those converts stayed in Jerusalem and then they had needs those needs had to be met.

They had to eat. They had to find shelter. This was a big issue in the church.

Luke doesn't really give us much, he just lays it out for us so little pick it up. There will try to color in the blanks or not the blanks but the color between the lines. Verse 432 now the multitude of those who believed were of one heart and one soul, neither did anyone say that any of the things he possessed was his own, but they had all things in common. Well what's characterizing this time of need is that this lack of material possessiveness them there with people in on this minds 1/2. There was this spirit of grace that here two possibilities again of why this is happening. The first one that some would say is that the Christians were or the Jewish converts from Judaism to Christianity were being cut off by their family members and by the places of employment and lost income problem with that is, the church is not yet persecuted in Jerusalem at this time the on the authorities opposed the apostles, but the common people approved of the Christians going back to acts chapter 2, verse 47 Luke tells us what was going on when these Christians were being converted. When these people being converted to Christianity, praising God and having favor with all the people and the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved. So persecution is not causing this, something else is causing this need for these urgent needs to be met.

Incidentally, the title of this morning's message is urgent needs coming back to this.

These converted Jews that remained in Jerusalem from Pentecost.

This shows up in acts chapter 6 when the Hellenistic Jews had a quarrel about the Jerusalem Jews, getting the handouts first the Hellenistic Jews are Jews that speak the Greek language, but not the Hebrew and then not from Jerusalem there from other parts of the world. The Jewish and there converted, and this is how we know that this was a problem here because did this daily distribution of food was to help bring relief to those who had come to Christ and not return home, at least not yet. Things going to get worse for the Jewish Christians in Jerusalem they going to get worse, not only because of the overcrowding, but because of the coming persecution, and also because of the famine that will come though that those things will happen of the persecutions coming sooner. The famine is coming later so we need to go back to some of the other sections of Scripture to get a handle on exactly what is going on here. Otherwise it puts a lot of questions in our head and ended walk away. Same with the doesn't seem a sustainable and I don't know I can't live like this.

And how is this right. Well we have to do to address it. Christians a meeting urgent needs. Of course, is a big part of our faith. James writes what good is it if you say to someone who's hungry all be warm and be filled, and be blessed and walk on about your business, but don't give him anything to bring relief, and so that's what we're finding here we find Christians living this out. There were those that had needs and they're not single Lord bless you and going about their business. They were taking steps to address these needs and the spirit of the Lord was moving in their hearts.

Even though we have no commandment to do this direct commandment indirect. Yes, love but no direct commandment the well would soon run dry. You just can't sustain this kind of giving and will get briefly why this not communism is not socialism, it is love and it is nothing but love that was driving this at this time when again when the persecution comes, things will weave even more radical, but the Christians will be pushed out of Jerusalem because of the persecution with the apostles will remain so this was a loving movement but in reality in an imperfect world. You cannot sustain this. There has to be a source of supply were also well runs dry. Eventually, the apostle Paul. Mainly had to strictly regulate church giving. Now this is not only this is not church giving yet as we know it to this part of it, but it's not the whole story.

So let's look at what Paul has to say process to Timothy because they didn't know how to do church all the Gentiles coming into the the to the synagogue based church were bringing their pagan ways with them and they were bringing wrong ways with them and that's why we have these these letters of Paul and the other apostles to and Paul says do not let a widow under 60 years old be taken into the number. Nonetheless, she has been a wife of one man and then he goes on itemize of the things a standard was very high.

What he's talking about this numbers the number of those who are receiving financial assistance, and when you read it is relevant. It's almost every bodybuilder they don't have family members.

Okay they got family members that the family members take care of the dog burden the church there is serious business Titus. Another pastor, Paul wrote to chapter 3 and let our people learn to maintain good works and meet urgent needs that they may not be unfruitful. Our people to meet urgent needs. He did not say, and let the church meet urgent needs to sound sensitive incentives not the other. The other way around his brakes. The church creates a you know spirit of near makes parasites out of people to feel it was some people if if if done wrong in creating this balance of care in the midst of urgent needs but not all needs is something we should understand from Scripture and not just because our heart wants to do something that can be a trap is good that your heart wants to do something it is moved. But that's not enough rose God wouldn't have given us brains to be able to reason through their what you feel. Just go do it. You know how to think through.

It won't affect anybody else is why we have County ordinances. We just can't do certain things on your property. In certain circumstances because you know where's the winter rains where's the silk going to go. You could go to hell and we are silk up someone else's pond or some other thing the other people involved in life and we can lose sight of that very quickly. Jesus said for the poor. You have with you always, will always be those with needs. It's not going to stop until he returns. And so when I say that the Bible teaches that were not to try to get the church to give what you personally may be called to give John in his first letter he said, he says, but whoever has this world's goods, and sees his brother in need, and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God abide in that guy in him. John is saying on an individual level.

If you see a need and you can you can help that need your move in the spirit to help them do it what what I've seen over the years as people come to church has to do something alive that you do something on the same people always wrong are negative or anything like that when they make this appeals. They just don't understand what the Scriptures how the Scripture lays this out, well that's why he himself has given some to be apostles, prophets, evangelist, pastor teachers, and I believe pastor teachers synonymous and not a second group there though. We certainly do have teaches the children ministry.

Incidentally, this church is enjoyed a lot of men teaching in our children's ministry and I have always been impressed by that I think is very good that the children see men and women loving on them in the presence of God deliberately from God's word that there is the question marks are taken away as to what's going on in the church. Some kids go to churches babysitting center here you go back there your teacher and you not prepare those kids not gobble you up there.

They know their Bibles and mom and dad a home. We don't take that guy down if he doesn't know this verse is anyway the second Thessalonians. This the putter the brakes on some of this Paul was doing. We command you this pretty intense right New Testament commandment if anyone will not work, neither shall he eat if he will not work if he chooses I don't want to work. I'll just receive that's a parasite and the Bible for business that's actually sort of a death sentence. Is it not the don't feed him. They won't eat. He'll starve until he's either going to go work or will be have one less need and its use it when that sounds pretty harsh. I didn't write it.

I like it I like that it's here it's it brings relief of the know so many do you know different circumstances not getting to people who actually have needs now and they don't always have to be urgent for us to help people if if someone's in need and we can help. We do it.

What we don't do is clobber the church over that we get phone calls.

Here, people say hey can you pay my electric bill. No click-nice anyway. The Scriptures disagree with that first Timothy is Thessalonians.

As I mentioned teacher on these things. This same apostle Paul that puts serious restrictions on church giving to the needy, the same man is the one that rallied the Gentile church to send financial aid to poverty-stricken Jerusalem and you gotta say why. Again, this is years later after what would the section in acts, why was the Jerusalem Christians struggling financially and you had Pentecost is is the place that produced all of the converts who decided to stay and and then struggled life is real serious business and you can hide behind religion but to get away from the laws in a cursed world.

You might say will some of them were planning it through where they will that might be true but would this is the record we have in this is what we have to evaluate alongside of life where we live today in you know this very easy. Well we have enough social programs we can handle things well you know that's not that's not always true restroom. A lot of cases but there are other cases that are genuine needs in the social programs just mess up. You know they put all these little laws on you and restrictions in and you and you have a genuine need and then not helping well. I remember before this one. When this church is to meet in those apartments across the road.

There just about five or six of us.

Those were hard times financially, and God sent a brother who was part of the little fellowship and every now and then he'd slip up a check at the door under the door something that would help God put that on his heart and God put on my heart to cash that check they'll never forget it. I have this brother was here last Sunday worshiping with us all never forget.

I will go around saying hey it's him, God will do that when he gets there so you know these needs. The Holy Spirit knows how to talk to people and he knows how to move us if we willing to be moved and willing to listen and we have the means and I can also add in this church. We have some generous people here with people that give large and it is always a blessing to see that.

I don't know who they are. I never want to know who they are. By the time we get to heaven I will be interested in that part. But that is the work of the holy Holy Spirit and we should not undervalue it. This giving to the church. Initially, before the people was was given to the church for the people, but there were some other things going on here. At this point. Again, the church is not moving out into the world as the Lord commanded Jesus and going to all the world and indigenous huddled in Jerusalem at this point there is no outreach.

There is only internal care or church wants to have outreach church wants to have some some method of reaching out from itself for us. Radio has been very good. We have a much larger congregation on the in the airwaves than we do physically in the building and we end in Florida some in Ohio and inherent in Virginia. It's been very good and that's outreach is not cheap. I'm not whining about the price I think is worth it. The laborer is worthy of his wages but we always were looking to do more and that's what we have some outreaches coming up as we do not want to be just huddled in together doing our thing and that's it. Although we have our distinctives. We have a directive from God to the pastor and that moves out to the congregation if the congregation is leading the pastor you fire that pastor is not a pastor what he is the speaker something. Usually this is not been a pulpit is a lectern. The word of God, the man of God is to know the state of the flock. He is to lead the flock. This is biblical. We never read of Paul asking anybody what you think I should do when it came to ministry. I mean, mother said you know I don't know what should I get the vanilla.

The chocolate euro, but when it came to preaching the word in ministry.

He got his orders from God and it it works wonderfully.

The church at Laodicea in Revelation 7 the nauseating church and that's what it is. On the other hand, that was the people's church and they did they did with the people wanted Jesus said hey I'm outside trying to get in and you do you all in the doing your thing in my name and I have some objections for you. Anyway coming back to verse 32 now the multitude of those who believed were of one heart and one soul. Well, this is what Jesus asked the father twice in one prayer and when those kind of things happen there. That mean there's an emphasis that we should not dismiss John's gospel chapter 17.

Truly this is the Lord's prayer was Matthew six gives us the prayer from Jesus to the disciples. Our father who art in heaven, which every Christian should memorize it is the template for prayer calibrate your heart. Get it right. First, where who you are addressing and who is our father who is in heaven. Holy is your name that it is a big deal well when Jesus prayed he said to the father. Now I am no longer in the world, but these are in the world and I come to you.

Holy father keep through your name those whom you have given me, that they may be one as we are one. That's the first part of that prayer first time in that prayer that he asked for unity amongst his believers and then it continues in verse 22 of John 17 that was verse 11.

His verse 22 and the glory which you gave me.

I have given them that they may be one, just as we are one Christ that I will.

I want the church. I want the assembly of believers, not just the universal church which is global and covers every age of human history from the church age on, but also the local church and this is a you know you get a little disturbing here as well.

The church is there yet is everywhere, but is also a local church and without that local church that church everywhere will die and so it that they're both a big deal, but let's make sure we don't put the cart in front of the horse local church is got to be strong in first and then the other will come as a product of that so twice he asked for unity amongst believers. The continues here in acts 432 let me pause here for a minute I might be going a little fast for some of you. I don't know how to slow it down, except to say that you can the recorded messages are recorded is a lot of information in Scripture. God is a lot to say to us, and it is none of its casual all of God's word is deep and demanding his criteria is high. It is so high we can't reach it without his grace in kindness but we can glean so much from what God is made available to us. We are far better off than we ever would've been without it the God does not say look, you know I love you. Guess about everything else.

He has it not only written down in blood and sweat is preserved and so if you're sitting there cement.

This is like phantasmagoria stuff to flying out at me. That's the Holy Spirit saying you got a lot of catching up to begin attaché.

You gotta get in shape to start getting in my wording little baby bites at first and you will will stronger and I will use you is not enough to be loved by God, I want to be used by God. I want him to use me up without burning me how to move you've been listening to cross reference radio daily radio ministry pastor Rick Gaston of Calvary Chapel in Mechanicsville, Virginia. As we mentioned at the beginning of today's broadcast. Today's teaching is available free of charge at our website.

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