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Undistracted Witnessing (Part A)

Cross Reference Radio / Pastor Rick Gaston
The Truth Network Radio
February 26, 2024 6:00 am

Undistracted Witnessing (Part A)

Cross Reference Radio / Pastor Rick Gaston

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February 26, 2024 6:00 am

Pastor Rick teaches from the book of the Acts


We want whatever God gives.

Whatever He says, here put this in your pack. That is exactly what we want to do. Because Satan wants people alive long enough so he can use them then kill them. That's what Satan is trying to do always, all through history.

We have an entire generation who is not bothered by being proven wrong. David the King said, I have been old and I have been young and I have been old and I have never seen the righteous forsaken nor begging for bread. This is Cross Reference Radio with our pastor and teacher Rick Gaston. Rick is 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 26 as he begins his message, Undistracted Witnessing. For God's sake, King Agrippa, I am accused by the Jews. Why should it be thought incredible by you that God raises the dead?

End of that on a high note. Undistracted Witnessing is the focus of this sermon. The positions and the achievements of Paul's audience neither impressed him or distracted him. There is before him the Roman procurator, the governor.

There is King Agrippa and his sister Bernice. There are the military commanders and other high officials in the regional government there and again their achievements, their positions, they did not impress Paul nor did they distract him. He is out to convert souls. He is out to be used by God to save people from a judgment to come. Only their souls and their eternal state mattered and on this he remained focused and it comes out in this chapter as we go through it. But we'll see just that and that's why one thing I get out of this chapter is that his witnessing is undistracted. You know if you're trying to preach to somebody who you think is important or high level person, you're impressed by them, you're going to be nervous, you really want to get them saved, that's a distraction.

Just preach the word, give the witness. In this chapter in verse 5 he will tell them, I live the Pharisee, says I know that side of the road. In verse 13 he says I saw the light. In verse 14 I heard the voice. In verse 19 I was not disobedient and then verse 22 I stand to this day witnessing. More lessons for us, more encouragements, more strength and if you consider yourself a weak Christian just remember you can always be stronger.

It's in you whether you believe it or not because Christ is in you. And many church goers I fear are not too moved by these kinds of lessons from scripture. They want to be made to feel good or they want their emotions elevated.

I don't know, I don't know what other men do but I know I would feel like I was trying to manipulate the audience if I was, and it's not hard to do. We could talk about the spikes driven into the hands of Christ, I could whip you up into that. That's not where the work is and there's time for those things of course but not for manipulating audiences but for speaking on things that just naturally move us emotionally. But it is more than an intellectual advancement we want. We want whatever God gives.

Whatever he says here put this in your pack. That is exactly what we want to do because Satan wants people alive long enough so he can use them then kill them. That's what Satan is trying to do always all through history and we have an entire generation who is not bothered by being proven wrong.

David the King said I have been old and I have been young and I've been old and I've never seen the righteous forsaken or begging for bread. Well I can now say I have been young and I have been old and I've never seen such a dumb generation in my life. Now it's not every single person of course but as on a whole the global insanity, the internet has good things about it but this is one of the bad ones. Brainwashing, truth and reason has become something to hate in many circles.

All circles, it's all over the place. Irrational responses to truth will damn a soul. That's what's going to happen to this group here. Agrippa is going to be very into this but in the end he's going to turn his nose up to it.

In the end it will profit him nothing but remember there are others here also listening to Paul give his witness. Now as we look at this time we live in you know the COVID cover-up and the insanity that belonged to that. The healthcare professionals who often do just amazing things but when it came to this they tossed out the door all the proven policies.

And seemed to just go in this hysterical direction which should frighten all of us to some degree. We live in a time where we have science-less scientists who are dictating policies that directly affect us. There is the pharmaceutical blight that the pharmaceutical some of them have so much power that they are shaping how people approach how they live in a very negative way. And it is like a blight it is this unseen element that's spreading and doing its damage in spite of some of the good that is done also.

And you have to pick out what's working and what is not. Then there is the transgender agenda, gender agenda. These are the transvestite activists that have no shame in having drag queen parties for children. Children small enough to still sit on their parents' lap and the demonically energized parents that are blind enough to take their children to these kind of things so they can be groomed. Well because these steeped in homosexuality they can't have their own kids they just steal yours. Raise them up to be like them. They are the brainwashed leftists of this country that hate this country and can't tell you why.

Not with any degree of sense. There is you say well why are you telling us these things? Because we have to witness among these people these events these satanically energized events.

Paul had his share in his day Christians have had them in every day but these belong to us. Let me finish my list here. We have of course anti-constitution courts and with that goes out to justice. Satanic universities that are not only indoctrination centers but checkpoints. We have unsportsman sports. Been watching recently how many fights are breaking out. Baseball is now putting hockey to shame and it's why throwing balls at baseball at 100 miles an hour at someone's head is that somehow supposed to be entertaining?

It should be a felony when it's done as it's being done an accident is one thing. We have corporations caving all over the place. We have churches caving all over the place to a perverted culture to a twisted and sick culture. To a culture that flies a flag that says we hate Jesus. We know what he's about and we're against what he's about. And if any of his people come up against us we'll try to break them. We'll take them to court. We'll picket. We'll do something to harm them.

Then we have the triple standard of diversity so called diversity where we need to get more left handed people doing what right handed people are doing. It is the world we live in professing to be wise they became fools Paul said to Timothy but know this that in the last days perilous times will come. For men will be lovers of themselves lovers of money boasters proud blasphemers disobedient to parents unthankful unholy unloving unforgiving slanderers without self control brutal despisers of good. Catch this one traitors they used to come to church but they traded and I don't say that as we hate any hatred to them just this is what we're facing. We want to win them back if we can headstrong haughty lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God if this does not bother you you're not listening. In the midst of otherwise remarkable human achievements that we see there remains this need for an undistracted witness of Jesus Christ.

These are the last of the last days for a number of reasons. So don't let these things distract you from doing your duty as a witness for Jesus Christ. Now maybe you're watching and or present and you're not you've not given your heart to Christ will get to you before it's over if you stay. But this is the this is the life that we live what are we going to do with it will hopefully for me to live is Christ to die is gay. And as long as he has us here we are to do our duty. So let's see this from the scripture everything that I've tried to apply to today. Hopefully we discover well that's what the scriptures is teaching that is a proper application verse 1 Acts chapter 26.

Then Agrippa said to Paul you are permitted to speak for yourself so Paul stretched out his hand and answered for himself. Now he's in court because his prosecutors did not care for his religion and they could not refute his religion when his religion put their religion in place. When he used their scriptures to show them that they were wrong and they could not refute that they knew it was right and so they hated on him instead. Does this sound familiar to you when you're dealing with somebody and you're reasoning with their insanity and you find out they're just addicted to their insanity.

There's nothing that can be said there's no reasoning with them. They are determined to serve a Satan that they claim not to even believe and they won't heed the warnings. Well Jesus told his disciples that when they take you well I'll read it Luke chapter 12. Now when they bring you to the synagogues and magistrates and authorities do not worry about how or what you should answer or what you should say. For the Holy Spirit will teach you in that very hour what you ought to say. Now this isn't magic if you've not been in the word that won't benefit you. Don't expect if you know nothing about the scripture and you're a Christian don't expect well Christ is just going to use me.

Well what's in there to use? Well you reap what you sow and so does the Lord. Paul of course was very much into the scripture as were the disciples. You just look at Peter after after Pentecost the word of God flowed out of him whenever he needed it and his preaching to unbelievers and believers alike. You look at Peter's first two letters and just impressed by everything in them.

They are equal in their intelligence and in their spiritual authority to everything else in the Bible. Verse 2 now of Acts 26 I think myself happy King Agrippa because today I shall answer for myself before you concerning all things of which I am accused by the Jews. Verse 3 especially because you are an expert in all customs and questions which have to do with the Jews.

Therefore I beg you to hear me patiently. Well he's saying I am delighted to get this chance to witness to you. He's using their language he's not using Christian language of course and that's how it should be done. Why would we expect someone who knows nothing about the word of God to understand when we want to talk about agape love and we have to explain these things.

Paul when he wrote already had a letter that has already been published at the time of his trial here to the Corinthians. He says for you see your calling brethren that not many wise according to the flesh not many mighty not many noble are called. And he's saying you notice how many self-important people are not saved.

That's where he is right here. And he says when he says not many wise according to the flesh he said that's just not according to God not according to fact but according to the world standards. It's just powerful teachings from the scripture.

We never find our apostles or even the prophets activists for social wrongs. They had bigger fish to fry. They had souls to save. They were active for the cross of Christ that when the person dies they go to heaven.

He doesn't stand before these rulers the governor and a gripper essentially was a governor of his territory also Rome allowed him that title because Rome benefited from having Judea under its control. But you know they don't bring up the apostles don't bring up well you know you know the way you treat slaves you got to put an end to this is just not right. Or you know they stay focused they're not distracted in their witness. And when if you've ever dealt with Jehovah Witnesses when you start tearing apart their doctrine you'll notice very quickly they try to get you to change to the next one. Hold them there.

Burn their feet right there. If you can't get this one right everything else about you is devilishly wrong. If you can't understand who Jesus Christ is you want to walk around the neighborhood making converts tell converts telling people that Jesus isn't who the Bible says he is. You got a bigger issue and I'm not letting you go on it. If you're going to come to my house. I'm dictating what we're talking about. By the way, so, and there's nothing rude about that. I know sometimes I sound like I'm too.

I don't know maybe I sound pretty good. But you know from the first time I became a Christian I never felt like I had to apologize for anything Jesus or the Bible teaches or does. And I hope I never lose that. And I hope other Christians have the same feeling.

But some are just more gentle in spirit. Well I can't be that. I could say I wasn't born that way but then that puts the blame on me. So I just blame the Marine Corps. It's very easy.

They did it to me. Anyway, God changes society by changing how people think about Jesus Christ. And again, we are living in a time of history where evil is being exalted. It is getting more power than what we've seen in history. And I've laid out some of the reasons. Usually the problems were just immorality and violence but now there's still immorality, there's still violence and then there's all these other twisted and sick things going on around us that just make you say, where did this come from? Well we know where it came from. And we know what we have to do. Social Christianity always leads to forsaking the truth and to forsaking the Lord.

How does it do that? When you try to just make the gospel friendly for everybody. You know, ecumenicism is diversity before diversity came along.

Just to include everyone. Well the reason why it's so deadly is because it insists on making room for those who are not serious about Christ but serious about remaining who they are without Christ. And then nesting in the church. And there are many churches out there that are quite frankly nauseating because they call themselves a church and there's no Bibles in there.

There's no Jesus in there. And it doesn't take a rocket scientist or pastor to figure it out. I think I'm going to start using a pastor instead of a rocket scientist. Make us sound smarter than what, you know.

Alright, anyway, back to this. Therefore, the primary work always, the salvation of souls. But to do that, you have to be ready for that.

You cannot expect to, you know, you can want to drive a car all you want to do but if you can't, if you don't know how to do it then you become a threat to everybody else. Get a person right with God and that person will soon be right with their fellow man. Here it says in verse 3 that Agrippa, he is very knowledgeable and of course that's why he has been invited by the governor Festus because Festus wanted to benefit from his expertise on the Jewish people. Agrippa was an Edomite, a descendant of Esau, the brother of Jacob, who is of course a patriarch of the Jews, so of Israel.

And he's from this part of the world. He's far more familiar with what Paul is saying than what the Roman governor understands. And that's why in the end, Festus is going to say, Paul you're crazy, but Agrippa is going to say, whoa, whoa, you're converting me here and we've got to put an end to this.

And that's where we're going to end up. Verse 4 now, my manner of life from my youth, which was spent from the beginning among my own nation at Jerusalem. All the Jews know, verse 5, they knew me from the first.

They were willing to testify that according to the strictest sect of our religion, I lived a Pharisee. Paul says you guys know who I am, or actually he's talking mainly to Agrippa and Festus, and he's saying these people that are charging me with crimes, they know who I am, and I was one of them in the past. So he's sharing his credentials, and it's helpful to his case, because he's saying look, I'm not foggy about what's going on, I know full well what's happening here.

And he's in a very polite way saying, and so do you and everybody else in this room. Even his childhood friends would have known from early on that Paul was dedicated to his understanding of the prophets and of their scripture, as wrong as he was. And so they knew, well he was letting them know that he knew that they knew who he was, and that he knew that they knew. Did I lose you on that? He knew it. He wanted them to know that he knew it.

So, alright, enough of that one. The Pharisees, the group that he belonged with, you know they had come to voice strict adherence to the law of Moses, but in time they began to ignore the God of Moses. That's what dead religion does. It clings to its rituals, its rules, and it loses the life that only God can breathe into it. And this is something that even the Christian has to watch out for, that we don't become just those who say I'm a Christian, but there's no fire, there's no spirit working in our lives. Verse 6 now, well let me pause there, that's something we should be mindful of, but we don't walk around in terror by that.

God's not given us the spirit of that kind of fear. Verse 6, and now I stand and am judged for the hope of the promise made by God to our fathers. Verse 7, to this promise our 12 tribes, earnestly serving God night and day, hope to attain.

For this hope's sake, King Agrippa, I am accused by the Jews. So Paul is laying out, alright this is what's going on, but he is saying to them, the very thing the Jews had hoped for from their prophetic scripture has come to pass. Major elements of our prophecy has taken place, that's what he's telling them, he's declaring that they hoped for the Messiah to come. And the prophet said he would come, and now it is fulfilled. But, they, in their dead religion, made it impossible to claim that God could fulfill what he promised to do. They made it impossible for God to prove himself, because they set the standards. Well, if you know, if he's the Messiah, then he would have delivered us from Rome and said, well what does the scripture say?

You know, they bypassed that. Years later, perhaps a decade or so, Paul will write to the Jews in Jerusalem. That's, he'll write to all the Jews, but likely targeting those in Jerusalem.

And it's, we call it the Hebrew letter. Now, many say, well we don't know for sure that Paul wrote it, well that's you, I'm sure he wrote it. If not, Paul who?

And that's a position I'm going to take. Now, you cannot really argue that too much, because it does not say on the title, by Paul. But we deduce that. Deduction is a big part of coming, of serving Christ and understanding the scriptures.

If you say, well it doesn't say that, well let me give you a scenario. John the Baptist is in jail. He's beginning to scratch his head and wondering, is this the Messiah or not?

Because if he is the Messiah, why am I in jail as a prophet of God? Isn't he here to deliver us? Well Christ says, when the disciples come and they let him know, John is asking, are you the one or do we look for another? Jesus says, go tell John things you see and hear, the blind see, the lame walk, and the poor have the gospel preached to them. Go tell John these things, he'll figure it out. And that's where it's left. Are you prepared to say John never figured it out and went to hell with something?

Of course not. We deduce by the answer that Christ gave in his confidence that John would get the message and you would be right. And these are, this is logic. This is logic based on the reason of scripture. Or you could say it's reasoning based on the logic of scripture.

Either way, come to the same place. So the Hebrew letter, Paul is telling the Hebrews, you need to stop it with the Hebrew religion. Christ has made it obsolete.

He uses that word later in the Hebrew letter. 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 That's 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 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 / 2024-02-26 07:38:57 / 2024-02-26 07:48:08 / 9

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