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Be Determined (Part B)

Cross Reference Radio / Pastor Rick Gaston
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February 6, 2023 6:00 am

Be Determined (Part B)

Cross Reference Radio / Pastor Rick Gaston

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February 6, 2023 6:00 am

Pastor Rick teaches from the book of the Acts

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Why would I believe you over what? Well, the Greek. Be careful of those who want to insert Greek in Hebrew, and they don't even speak it, as though they can reverse something. That's not only taught in a single verse, but many verses, and if it is not explicitly said to satisfy them, the fact is clear.

So when you say God loves the sinner, you say, what proof is that? The cross. The cross is the cross. The cross of Christ. What, do you think he died because he had nothing else to do? It's like, this is a hobby of mine.

I go around dying on crosses. It's love. Therefore, when they suppose that Paul and Barnabas are Hermes and Zeus, they're not going to make that same mistake and not recognize their gods. You see how everything is all convoluted, tangled, twisted up? And it is up to the Christian to try to straighten some of that out.

If we can have enough of a relationship to have enough of a dialogue. In verse 12, in Barnabas they called Zeus and Paul Hermes because he was the chief speaker. Verse 13, then the priest of Zeus, whose temple was in front of their city, brought oxen and garlands to the gates, intending to sacrifice with the multitudes. They assigned the wrong god to what they were impressed by. They saw a miracle. They knew this wasn't man. But they assigned the wrong god.

And this still happens. Do not people call nature mother nature? There's no such thing as mother nature. Where did you get that? We're beat up on global warming in a second.

I'm just getting warmed up. Yeah, dad jokes in the pulpit. Anyway, Hermes, of course, was the Greek deity that was said to deliver the messages of the gods. And Zeus was the chief god. And really, who cares? They're fictitious.

They don't exist, except in the imagination of men. But when the apostles Barnabas and Paul heard this, they tore their clothes and ran in amongst the multitude, crying out. This was a satanic attempt to integrate the Christian faith. You know, just, hey, we're going to applaud you. We're going to worship you.

And this is what we're going to sacrifice to you. This is what we do in our religion. So how about have some of that in your Christian religion, too? The people didn't process it that way. Satan did. What would have happened if Paul and Barnabas said nothing?

Word got around. When John tried to worship the angel in the Revelation, the angel said, stop doing that. And Peter, likewise, when Cornelius fell down, and Peter said, don't do that.

I'm a man just like you. When Christ was worshiped, there was no objection, because he's worthy. Well, these men, they know they're not worthy. Now, it says that the apostles, we covered this also, there are apostles of the church and there are apostles of Jesus Christ. You can be both, but only 13 men have been the apostles of Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ personally assigned them apostolic authority. Matthias is kind of a wild card. The apostles appointed Matthias, and Christ did not protest.

He just would have done more damage. Here's an example from Scripture. 2 Corinthians 8, Paul writes, if anyone inquires about Titus, he is my partner and fellow worker concerning you. Or if our brethren are inquired about, they are apostles of the churches, the glory of Christ.

So there, it's translated messengers, but in the Greek, it is this identical Greek word. Apostles, as we would translate it into the English. And so, again, they're apostles. It means to be sent out, and one is sent out with full authority of Christ, as authority of Christ, and gives us our Scriptures. Everyone who contributed to the New Testament was either an apostle or under the watchful eyes of the apostles. The apostles could have protested the letter of James if they found it to be out of line with Christ. And so, these men are sent out. They're both apostles from the church at Antioch in Syria at the time.

Modern day, it's in Turkey also. Anyway, the seriousness of this mob or this crowd's sin is evidenced by the passionate refusal to be worshipped. I mean, you can see the emotion. Paul and Barnabas is no way, you know, putting down this worship. This is not going to sit well. It will be accepted, but it will provide the framework for the troublemakers from Antioch, Pisidia, and Iconium when they come. This same crowd is going to be switched, the fickleness of people, right? One minute you're trying to worship me, the next minute you're trying to wring my neck.

And that's what we're going to see that's happening here. Well, we know there are no other powers in the universe that are authorized. There are powers. There is satanic power in the universe, mainly to influence people away from Christ. But the Lord Jesus Christ, God, is the only authorized force of the universe, and all others are subject to Him anyway. There's no yin-yang. There's no two opposite, you know, energies out there competing with each other.

God is sovereign over all of it, and He is using the forces of evil for His purposes, as I mentioned. This is not pointless. In John chapter 6, when everybody left the church, except the twelve, it seemed, Christ said, You guys going to?

Is the fallout going to go with this? Peter, it says, But Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. There's nobody else.

You're it. And we recognize that. And aren't we glad? These situations still exist. We are confronted with them today. Verse 15, this is the protest now of the apostles and saying, Men, why are you doing these things? We also are men with the same nature as you and preach to you that you should turn from these useless things to the living God who made heaven and earth and the sea and all that is in them. False religions, all of them, will lose their appeal, but oftentimes you have to wait till the host dies, the person that believes in the false things, before they lose that appeal of their false religions. A false religion can only take you up to death and no further.

Not in the positive. The great prophet Samuel said, And do not turn aside for when you would go after empty things which cannot profit or deliver, for they are nothing. You love these guys. These are the men that God said, I'm going to minister to them, and through them I'm going to preserve their words, and you listen to them. You take heed. It comes from me through them. And it is no less my word by coming through them.

A lot of people want to say that. Well, it's still man's word. And, you know, you can say, you know, spiritually that's moronic because you have just dictated the terms of God and truth, and I will not have any of it. Anyway, Paul and Barnabas designating their gods that they're very passionate about as useless things, in contrast to the living God who does speak, who does interact. You cannot benefit from salvation of Jesus Christ by coming to him and respecting other gods at the same time. You have to renounce them all. You have to understand there is no other name given among men by which we must be saved. And if you think that there's some auxiliary altar you can go to, you're missing the real altar. Again, that's the letter to the Hebrews. Paul was saying, hey, you got to stop with this Judaism.

It's obsolete. It's fulfilled in Christ. We've moved forward.

On the basis of Judaism, we've moved forward. That's not an insult. It's actually an honor. And if you want to stay behind and not take Jesus, then it is an insult to you.

And this is what Paul wrestled with his entire ministry. Do you expect God to respect false saviors? You think you can be a Christian and also listen and obey and respect Muhammad or Buddha or the Hindu gods and goddesses?

You cannot. You've got to make your stand. And I find something very honorable about that. Oh, it's okay when they say that, right? But the Christians can't say that. Well, that double standard needs to be rejected, too. Exposing error is, again, as much a part of the Christian faith as explaining truth. And when we explain truth, we expose error.

And the individual is taken or leave it. You either believe it or you reject it. And the ones that reject it, they go. When they rejected Christ, you know, we're out of here.

There's a hard saying. Christ didn't say, no, come back. Give me a second chance.

What can I do to change? What will I do to make you happy? He doesn't say anything to them. He lets them go. He looks at his 12 and says, what about you?

Man, could you imagine the look on his face? If I were standing in that crowd, I would say, Lord, you want me to go slap some of them? Teach them a lesson to show you my loyalty? He said, that's the problem with you, Rick. That's the problem. You're a hot-headed bonehead. Well, it's not me, Lord.

It's just, you know, zeal. Anyway, we're quick to make excuses for ourselves, especially if you want to buy something you know you shouldn't be buying because, you know, it's not in the budget. Don't we come up with, well, you know, I'm only going to get a deal like this again. We excuse ourselves, and the next thing you know, that credit card bill comes in. What was I thinking?

Anyhow, buyer's remorse. Who made heaven and earth and the sea and all things that are in them? I think that's pretty inclusive. Now, he's giving them a sermon on Genesis. They don't know it. These are not the same Gentiles that were in the synagogue who would have been familiar with Genesis and creation. They have no knowledge, or very little, if any, of the God of creation.

So he gives them some background, as we discussed in previous sessions. Science without God is religion. You're believing in something, and you can be passionate about it. It directs your life. It dictates to you other decisions, and it's not true, science without religion.

Science can be, but not the mentality that is going with it. And the godless human, the godless humanist, will bow down to what they discover while excluding the Creator. Listen to Psalm 96, and I told you about global warming. Psalm 96, say among the nations, Yahweh reigns. The world also is firmly established. It shall not be moved.

He shall judge the peoples righteously. It's saying God controls the earth. It's not going to fall apart. I mean, there will be sections of it that give you a hard time. I mean, who likes a tornado?

Except in watching it on YouTube. But God is in control of everything, and he is the one that made the heaven and the earth, and he retains the rights over them. And we're to tell the nations these things. We'll share our testimony, share our faith when given the opportunity. Is there any Christian that does not want a chance to go against Satan, all the evil he gets to do, all that he gets away with? Do you not burn with indignation against the filth of hell? Well then, pray to God to give you the ability to rescue people by sharing the faith, or at least contributing to their rescue. One plants another waters, God causes the increase.

You may be the one that makes entry into the building, and someone else comes behind you with the fire hose and puts it out. It's a partnership. Verse 16, who in bygone generations allowed all nations to walk in their own ways. Well, God allows the nations to choose their gods, and each time it has been without proof, without truth, without limits of truth, but not the truth. When the gospel arrived, it's met with resistance, sustained resistance. Men could at least recognize the graciousness of God. It's common grace. There's a kindness that God gives unbelievers or else society wouldn't make it. But there is a special grace also, and this kind of grace is available to those who hear the gospel of Jesus Christ and respond to it in the positive. Verse 17, nevertheless, he did not leave himself without witness, and that he did good, gave us rain from heaven and fruitful seasons, filling our hearts with food and gladness. And there's the common grace that God has given to mankind, and Paul is pointing it out. The psalmist said, you know, the heavens declare your glory. Paul lays this out in Romans chapter 1 when, you know, he's talking about how the true God is neglected, and there's no excuse. He says, for since the creation of the world, his invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead.

I love that word. It is the beloved Godhead. It is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. He continues, so that they are without excuse, because although they knew God, they did not glorify him as God. And that's the secular humanist who is a scientist and studies creation, spends their life studying creation, has degrees on their wall to boast about how much they study creation, and yet refuses to admit there's a creator. So that's what Paul is saying here. God has been around.

There's been evidences. Let me tell you about this God. Verse 18. And with these sayings, they could scarcely restrain the multitudes from sacrificing to them. And so with these words, this passionate appeal, they just barely stopped the people from worshiping them.

The people were dedicated to their false religion as those who have the right religion dedicated there. This was the case back with Cain. Cain was dedicated to his religion. Look at the fruit baskets, Lord. And God said, I don't like them. And Cain was insulted, so offended. We're going to find another church. We laugh at that, but the devil many times, many, many times.

That's what the problem was with the Galatians. You know, having begun in the Spirit, who's bewitched you? Who whispered in your ear? You were getting fed. You were getting ministered to. And if someone came along and soured you, you would have been better off if they never came into your life. But that's how it is. Verse 19.

Then Jews from Antioch and Iconium came there, and having persuaded the multitudes, they stoned Paul and dragged him out of the city, supposing him to be dead. Look at that. I can stand here and read this in recital, but yet the pain this man suffered through this experience is a solemn moment.

He's a man like me. He loves the Lord Jesus Christ. He's trying to share the gospel like you and I, and that's what he gets. These folks, they came solely for the purpose, almost 100 miles, gathering advocates so they could shut down the message. It didn't take any food off their table.

It didn't evict them from their homes. What was driving them to kill and destroy? Hatred.

Where did that hatred come from? Hell was certainly pouring gasoline on it, on the flames. Jesus warned. He said in John 16, they will put you out of the synagogues. We saw that happen, Paul of Silas.

Yes, the time is coming that whoever kills you will think that he offers God service. Well, how do I know where I'm safe? Well, the scripture.

And he expounded to them, beginning at Moses and the prophets. He said, this is your safety right here. Listen to what it is saying.

Don't let anybody move you off of that. If the Lord says that he hates sin, no man should come along and say, well, he really didn't mean that. That's what it says. Why would I believe you over what, well, the Greek, be careful of those who want to insert Greek in Hebrew and they don't even speak it, as though they can reverse something. That's not only taught in a single verse, but many verses, and if it is not explicitly said to satisfy them, the fact is clear.

So when you say God loves the sinner, you say, what proof is that? The cross. The cross of Christ. What, do you think he died because he had nothing else to do? It's like, this is a hobby of mine. I go around dying on crosses.

It's love. Now, here's another interesting thing. Paul is being hounded. Remember, as a Pharisee, he traveled 130 miles to persecute Christians. This man is so remarkable.

He never evidences the hatred for these guys. I mean, you push buttons and you're going to get a response like with the Galatians. He says, oh, yeah, they're coming to you telling you, oh, yeah, you could be a Christian, but you still got to practice Judaism. You got the Sabbath and the diets and the circumcision. And he says, I got something for you. He lays it out in Galatians.

You just love it. But it wasn't a spirit of self-righteousness. He upheld the truth. And for those who were violently against the truth, if he could not reach them, he would have to salt them to slow down their wicked spread.

These people saw the miracles and they embraced the apostles. Then the slanderers came and they turned. And this is a signature move of Satan all the way back to Eden to come and say, what did God say?

Well, let me whisper in your ear. They stoned Paul and dragged him out of the city, supposing him to be dead. Well, again, they tried worshiping him. That didn't work.

And so now they just tried to kill him and that didn't work either. Jesus died to take away our sin. The apostles were dying to tell people that. And there it is, illustrated. Listen to what Paul says in 2 Corinthians. I'm almost finished.

I meant to finish 20 minutes earlier. Three times I was beaten with rods. How many times have you been beaten with rods for Christ, not for breaking into somebody's car or something like that? I was beaten with rods once I was stoned. Three times I was shipwrecked. There'd be at least two more before his life is over.

A night and a day I have been in the deep, treading water to survive. So you could say, you know what, Paul? It's so senseless that people would beat you for preaching a message of love, but it ain't pointless. Verse 20, however, when the disciples gathered around him, he rose up and went into the city, and the next day he departed with Barnabas. Well, they gathered around him to see if he was dead or alive. You could see them with their phones dialing 911.

I mean, they didn't know, and I'm sure they're praying for him. And he gets up. They saw the stones hit him. They saw him dragged out the city. He rose up and went back into the city.

He did what? See, that is determination. That is a rugged determination. Back into Lystra, he went with the gospel to the place that was so hateful of him that he got stoned. Sticks and stones may break my bones, but woe is me if I don't preach the gospel.

That's how he lived. 1 Corinthians again, chapter 9. For if I preach the gospel, I have nothing to boast, for necessity is laid upon me.

Yes, woe is me if I do not preach the gospel. Now, as we love one Paul because we have so many of his writings, that doesn't mean that the other apostles aren't offering up the same determination with the same zeal because they were. Just Paul was the one chosen to be articulate. David wrote over 70 Psalms. That doesn't mean no one else wrote Psalms. Moses just wasn't that good at it. We only have one song of Moses.

Well, in print, we get another one in heaven. The Psalm of Moses and the Song of the Lamb. Anyway, 2 Timothy, Paul writes to him, you have carefully followed my doctrine.

I love that. Not the doctrine of just anybody that shows up with something new. Manner of life, purpose, faith, long suffering.

That's putting up with people. Love, perseverance, persecutions, afflictions, which happened to me at Antioch and Iconium and Lystra, your hometown. What persecutions I endured and out of them all, the Lord delivered me. I'm still trying to let the Lord fight my fights. I am still trying to not let my flesh seek satisfaction of standing up to naysayers and enemies and troublemakers and big mouths, as I would tell the story.

I'm sure if they tell the story, they would agree with me. To learn to let the Lord deliver you as best you can when it is His turn to do so. And the next day, He departed with Barnabas. So they weren't reckless. They didn't say, well, let's stay here anyway and defy them. They said, well, we've done our work here. We've established a church. There's another city not far away.

We want to set up a church there also. And on they went. They were not casting pearl before swine, nor were they neglecting opportunity. And they go to Derby, which is the extreme limit of the first missionary.

They're going to now turn around and head home after Derby. Paul was an irritant to Satan. He would not spook. I have to ask myself, do I spook when Satan shows himself?

Do I run away or do I stand my ground? In Lystra, Satan sought to integrate the church, take the worship of people, take the adoration. What's wrong with a little other religion acknowledging God working through you? And Lystra also sought to destroy the church.

Couldn't integrate it, so he tried to kill it by killing Paul. And today, Satan uses professed Christians to integrate and to destroy solid churches. There would be no such thing as ecumenicism if this weren't the case. We have churches that say, we believe in, you know, I don't know what they believe in. They don't know.

But we also know they include other religions and say, they're okay too. You get to heaven if you go that way. This is the one we choose. They choose that one. That's not what the Bible preaches.

Not at all. You've been listening to Cross Reference Radio, the daily radio ministry of 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. Simply visit crossreferenceradio.com. That's crossreferenceradio.com. We'd also like to encourage you to subscribe to the Cross Reference Radio podcast. Subscribing ensures that you stay current with all the latest teachings from Pastor Rick. You can subscribe at crossreferenceradio.com or simply search for Cross Reference Radio in your favorite podcast app. Tune in next time as Pastor Rick continues teaching through the book of Acts right here on Cross Reference Radio.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-02-06 06:17:02 / 2023-02-06 06:26:40 / 10

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