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Be My Witnesses R904

Encouraging Word / Don Wilton
The Truth Network Radio
September 8, 2022 4:00 am

Be My Witnesses R904

Encouraging Word / Don Wilton

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Welcome to The Encouraging Word featuring the Bible-based preaching of Dr. Don Wilton. On this study we begin in the book of Acts. Today Dr. Wilton takes us straight to Acts chapter 1 verse 1 as we begin to study God's Word together, but know that while we do so we're available for you.

We're connecting keyboard to keyboard right now online at www.tewonline.org. This week we've had so much interest about the safeguards of our faith. It's a wonderful resource. You can discover more details on our website right now.

Take a peek while we're getting ready to study. That's online at www.tewonline.org, but also know that we're here to pray with you and for you. You can call us at 866-899-WORD. Jot the number down.

That's 866-899-9673. We'd love to connect with you. And now today's message, Be My Witnesses with Dr. Don Wilton. I'm going to ask you to open your Bibles to the book of Acts and chapter 1. You might say to me, well pastor why are we going to the book of Acts and chapter 1? Because in Acts chapter 1 we find recorded what I believe to be among the very last things that Jesus said. Have you ever had someone have a conversation with you? Maybe they are giving you a serious talk about something and you think that they're through and they turn around they say well I've got to be leaving now and they get to the door and then they spin around and say just one more thing. Before I go is something that I need to tell you.

That is of course in addition to everything else. Well there is a sense in which in the book of Acts and chapter 1 we have that just one more thing moment. Yes the Lord Jesus Christ in complete obedience has gone to the cross for our sin. Obeyed the Father he died. He said just before he died it is finished and they took him and they buried him in a grave. On the third day he rose from the grave and quite justifiably could have gone back immediately to receive the glory that he had with the Father from before the world existed.

To be seated at the right hand of the Father in heaven. But he didn't go immediately. Bible tells us that he appeared to over 500 different people and there was a reason for that.

There are many many reasons. One of which you've heard me talk about and will do so again many times. That the Lord Jesus wanted to give us the absolute demonstration of what it means to know that we will have life after death. And he did that in himself because he said I am the resurrection and the life. But here in the book of Acts and chapter 1 Jesus said something rather remarkable. It was perhaps the last recorded earthly words of our Savior.

That's what I want to speak to you about today. Be my witnesses. I'm going to pick up at Acts chapter 1 and verse 3. Bible says after his suffering Jesus showed himself to these men and he gave many convincing proofs that he was alive. He appeared to them over a period of 40 days and he spoke about the kingdom of God. On one of these occasions while he was eating with them he gave them this command.

Not a suggestion. This was a specific instruction. Do not leave Jerusalem but wait for the gift my Father promised which you've heard me speak about. For John baptized with water but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit. So when they met together they asked him Lord are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel? Jesus said to them mind your own business I beg your pardon. He said it is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you and you will be my witnesses.

Here in Jerusalem in all of Judea in Samaria and to the ends of the earth and after he said this he was taken up before their very eyes and a cloud hid him from their sight. Do you love me? Jesus said to Peter feed my sheep.

God could you love people such as these? I mean really because of what Jesus Christ has done for you. Jesus said to his disciples and all believers he said you need to be my witnesses. You need to go out into all the world and tell people about me because that's my chosen method.

I'm choosing you to do that. In John chapter 17 just before Jesus went into the garden he said I'm not only praying for believers but I'm praying for all those who will still come to believe because of the message of the witness of believers. Now why would he have said that? If evidently he had foreordained and predetermined that a whole bunch of people were already damned to hell what point would there be in Jesus standing in the garden saying I want you to know that when I'm in heaven I am praying for all those who will still come to believe in me through your witness. Well if God had already determined that what's the point of my witness?

There's no need for me to do anything. Why did Jesus say to his disciples I will make you fishers of men? And here in this passage it's rather a remarkable thing. I just want to share with you today six foundations of being a witness for the Lord Jesus Christ.

Number one the weight. It's a you know I've read this so many times in my life I have to confess to you but in verse 4 Jesus said do not leave Jerusalem but wait. Now this foundation of witnessing called waiting can very easily be misunderstood don't you think? I tell you what I think of when I think of waiting.

I think of well unpack your bags, kick back, get out a piece of chocolate cake and a diet coke to make you feel better and do nothing. I mean that's what wait means. Means hold back don't kind of do anything. Well we know contextually here that Jesus was speaking to his disciples who were cowering for fear of their lives in Jerusalem. They knew they were going to face persecution. Jesus was about to leave them. They were growing in their spiritual understanding and we know that in Acts chapter 2 the Spirit of God came down at Pentecost but why did Jesus say wait? I believe most importantly folks he said wait because of the fact of the coming of the Holy Spirit but he said wait because I want you to know that as a witness you need to wait on me.

Follow my instructions because I'm telling you to wait. Years ago the Billy Graham team called me and I just love being with them so much and enjoy partnering with the Billy Graham schools of evangelism around the world and on this particular occasion my telephone rang and the leader of the team said to me Don you know about the tragedy up in Grand Forks North Dakota. You all remember that terrible disaster when the river flooded and fires broke out and people lost everything and I tell you it was unmitigated disaster and terror and as always as the Billy Graham team did boy they were the first ones on the scene and so they assembled a team of which I was one and I remember getting on the plane and going to a place had never been to before. In fact I flew into Minneapolis and I didn't know where Grand Forks was and I drove I didn't realize gonna take me another 10 days to drive from Minneapolis to Grand Forks and it was in the month of January and it was freezing cold and any rate got up there and boy people were just so broken and and the the Billy Graham team was just so precious and I remember I was invited amongst the other things that I did I did a seminar one day and I was about to get up and start my seminar the place was packed out with hurting people.

I wonder if there are any hurting people worshipping today. I wonder if there's anyone today that that the flood has come through your life. I wonder if there's anybody who's gathered for the seminar but but something's happened and maybe you've been pushed away maybe you're falling through the cracks maybe you're looking for meaning in life. I was just about to start my seminar and I looked up and standing there in the doorway there was a man there and a grown man fine-looking man but I'm telling you folks he was weeping openly. He was wailing have have you ever gotten to the point where your marriage your finances your life your children your health I mean it's just too much and it didn't matter who was there you just can't control yourself anymore. Just everything's coming crashing down. This man was obviously in a very devastated position so I just before I started the seminar laid everything down I walked up to him and put my arm around him and and he told me brother Don he said you know he'd lost his his business and his livelihood and and I mean his life was just in ruins folks he had nothing and he said I've just come to your seminar and I said I said well I tell you what I'd like to suggest that you do he said what I said don't come to my seminar hello it's like me saying to everybody worshipping with us today would you all just excuse yourself please I'd like to preach for a little while go outside and play in the traffic for a while I just like to do a little speaking about the Lord well can you can you hear how ridiculous this is and he looked at me and he said what do you want me to do I said I want you to just wait on the Lord and here's what I want you to do I said I want you to walk out the door and the first person you come to out in the street there just walk up to them and ask them as question would you like to give your heart to Jesus this man nearly had a heart attack he said with tears right he said I've I've never done that before I said I know that's fine I said just walk up you know I believe in jugular vein evangelism folks said just go up and and just say would you like to give your heart to Jesus first person you see he said but I can't do that I said yes they that wait on the Lord will renew their strength why because God does for us what we cannot do for ourselves and he went out there in about 35 minutes later he came back in and I'd told him I said to him let me ask you a question do you know the Lord Jesus he said yes so I do I said well what is the absolute worst thing that somebody out there could do to you if you end up and ask them if they want to give their heart to Jesus you know I don't know I said well I'll tell you they could pull out a gun and shoot you dead he said I guess you're right you know I said yeah now you're a Christian I said what seems to be the problem if he shoots you dead you're going straight to heaven so go and tell somebody about Jesus wait on the Lord well he came back in about 35 minutes later his face was shining I went up to him after the seminar and I said what happened he said Don you'll never believe what happened he said I walked out there and the first person I saw was a man in a suit with the briefcase I swallowed I was breaking out in a sweat I was nervous I didn't know what to do and you told me to wait on the Lord and be a witness and he said I walked up to him and in a very weak voice I said excuse me but would you like to give your heart to Jesus he said it was like I closed my eyes to wait for the bang and he said that man dropped his briefcase and said how do you know said no I don't know and that man said well I'm from Minneapolis I'm a businessman I've lost everything my life is at the end and so this morning I got up I've made a decision he said I've got some insurance policies that are put in place and he said I'm on my way to Winnipeg in the Canadian area there I've organized everything I'm going to go up there take my life I'm gonna disappear I'm gonna become one of those missing people that people can never find but my family at least is going to be able to get some of the policies that I've left before my life is so wretched I want to get rid of it right now I'm ready to take my life and you're asking me to give my heart to Jesus yes sir I want to give my life to Jesus Christ and right there in that place that man gave his heart and life to Jesus Christ I really believe that that's what Jesus intended by that statement wait it's a foundational principle number two the issue that's the second foundational principle because in verse 5 Jesus said John baptized with water but I want you to know that the Holy Spirit is going to come and baptize you because he is God you see these people these disciples they had grown accustomed to what the Old Testament Saints came to believe in that water purification was part of the ritualistic process by which they would be able to come into the presence of Jehovah but Jesus came to establish a new covenant that's the issue he came to establish a better way and he said whereas John's baptism was not invalid the validation that I share with you now is the issue of being a witness and that issue points to three issues number one and this is very important mind God mind God issue number two mind the Holy Spirit and issue number three mind your own business you say to me pastor what what do you mean by that well these disciples and I understand that because I'm just like them Jesus had taught them so much and he had shared and he had told them about the Holy Spirit and he had explained everything to them he explained about the imminence of his kingdom and the restoration of his kingdom and now he said I've got one more thing for you to do I want you to mind what I'm telling you number two I want you to mind the Holy Spirit because it is the Holy Spirit who's going to give you the power to be my witnesses and as to the third one mind your own business because God is still sovereign and there is a point beyond which you will never go there is a point beyond which you can never go and I don't want you as my disciples to get yourselves tied up in a knot trying to figure out when the world's going to end and who's going to come and how this is going to be these things are not irrelevant the restoration of the kingdom of God is not irrelevant but you need to mind your own business because God knows these things what you need to be about is the business that I'm giving you to do which is to be my witnesses forgive the interruption we'll be back with more in just a moment with dr. Wilton but this sense of focus that God is speaking through his word and through his teacher our pastor dr. Wilton is something that perhaps you have found is challenging you if so let us pray with you about how you can indeed be more bold in your witness our phone numbers eight six six eight nine nine word that's eight six six eight nine nine nine six seven three we would love to pray with you and for you about how God's going to use each of us to be better witnesses for him now let's dive back into today's study with dr. Don Wilton see folks I know a lot of people men and women who will travel across this country to go to conferences and hear famous speakers we got ladies who will travel from north to south and east to west to go and hear ladies conferences we've got men who will travel to promise keepers they will go to everything you can imagine they'll go from here to San Francisco and back to be able to gather together with groups of people who will tell them how spiritual they are and about the deep things of God but they'll never walk across the street and tell their next-door neighbor about Jesus Christ that's what Jesus was talking about get on with what I've told you to do be my witnesses well there was a third foundational matter and that is the power verse 8 I love verse 8 he says you will receive power that's incredible by the way the most powerless period in the history of the church was the time between the ascension of Jesus and the coming of the Holy Spirit did you know that nothing happened I say just tongue-in-cheek you know I love Peter he's my favorite disciple I'm gonna I'll apologize to the rest of them when I see them but Peter just captures my attention maybe he reminds me so much of myself in many ways but you know I believe that there is a pre Pentecost Peter and a post Pentecost Peter now don't try and say that quickly it'll all come out backwards there is a pre Pentecost Peter and a post Pentecost Peter the pre Pentecost Peter was a wimp I mean he argued and fussed walked on the water took his eyes of Jesus and sank try to run interference talk too much made grandiose statements just like me just like all of us he was just weak so many times and of course it culminated right there at the foot of the cross didn't it same Peter who right there when someone came up to him and said you got to be someone who belongs to this one that we're about to crucify it he just flat-out denied Jesus what a wimp but folks watch him after Pentecost well I'll give you an example right there we're in Pentecost Acts chapter 2 verse 14 the Spirit of God came down power came into the house in verse 14 Peter stood up with the 11 raised his voice and addressed the crowd fellow Jews and all of you who live in Jerusalem let me explain this to you listen carefully to what I have to say by the way you want a translation in the Greek text of the meaning of listen to what I have to say do you know what it means pay attention I saw some of our boys and girls go oops you know why because you hear that every night again during the week don't you you know what it's like when you're sitting in that classroom and boy your minds over there on the ball field or that pretty girl or that nice boy over there and the you know what you're gonna do here and what you're gonna do there and all of a sudden there's the shadow that looms over the desk and the teacher looks at you and says excuse me pay attention you're missing everything folks there was a boldness about Peter after Pentecost he stood up he folks listen this man was about to face the worst kinds of persecution that would culminate in his death upside down on a cross but he stood up with great boldness power well there's a fourth foundation that Jesus speaks of here and that is the scope you see Jesus set the scope the parameter and it was limitless and it was in four phases first of all Jerusalem you see friend Jerusalem was where they were witnessing begins in your own backyard doesn't it it's what Jesus said he said let me tell you it's one thing to travel across the country to go to a conference but it's another thing to walk her over the street and your own backyard and tell somebody about Jesus that's why I'm so proud of of our Jerusalem the Alexa Newman's Carolina pregnancy center Miracle Hill Ministries habitat for humanity and child evangelism fellow faith ministries folks you know you can go on and on that's our Jerusalem Jesus said that's where you need a witness then he spoke about Judea when he went to Judea he was talking about this is where they were from in other words witnessing takes us many times back to our roots I've met so many people over the years I've said where you fall I'm from Charleston that's your Judea I'm from from Union and that's your Judea I'm from Landrum that's your Judea you see it takes you back where you're from don't forget about that and then there's Samaria now watch this folks Samaria this was where they came from this was where they came from and you see witnessing my friend extends many times to where to a people that well quite frankly we would prefer not to be around too much it's that different face it's a different culture it's a different color it's a different food it's a different way of life it's antagonistic maybe even hateful that that's Samaria and then the fourth one was the ends of the earth the uttermost parts of the earth he said look there are there are no boundaries we've got people with us this week folks that have just blessed our hearts last night at our banquet Steve was going around interviewing and and we got people man in in just places that we we sometimes only dream about Jesus said listen this is the scope of being my witnesses but there was a fifth pillar and that was the pillar of joy the pillar of joy you you know I wish I could stand you and tell you what gives me joy it gives me joy to be loved and to be able to love you do you know how much I love you how much I thank God for you as a people it's a joy I get a joy from a lot of things I get joy from playing golf every now and again I I love my family they they bring me great joy it's just the stuff of life isn't it it's just a joy to be together a lot of things give us joy in life some of them are just real simple things I tell you I'll get more love than you can shake a stick at when we stop at a road stop with those senior adults folks they bring out more cookies and junk food you've ever seen in your life so man don't look at me go eat your heart out that's a joy to me I'm gonna grow in stature and I'm looking forward to it and I'm gonna tell you the greatest joy that you will ever have is sharing Jesus with somebody there's nothing to beat it which leads me to the sixth foundation response the response you might say to me daily pastor how can I respond what can I do about this God speaking to me I just want to give you three ways you can respond number one you can respond by praying that's that is the most powerful thing number two you can respond by giving and I could go on and on folks it's time it's time we can give we can do it give and number three number three go yourself go yourself see I've got a little bit of a biased perspective because as your pastor I know I'm already talking to at least two couples that I know God is speaking to them and saying I want you to go we've got to provide the means they go now I may not go where God's calling them to go but two things I can do I can pray for them and I can give so they can go that's a privilege that's an honor so I'm gonna just ask you today what's the Lord asking you to do what is your response what a challenge from God's Word from God's servant dr. Don Wilton I pray that as we have been allowing the Word of God to do its work to cut away the things that need to be dealt with or maybe to bring to light decisions that need to be made I pray you'd open your heart to a closing thought from our pastor dr. Don Wilton are you ready to give your heart and life to the Lord Jesus Christ why don't you pray this prayer with me right now dear God I know that I'm a sinner and I know that Jesus died for me on the cross today I repent of my sin and by faith I receive you into my heart in Jesus name my friend I welcome you today into the family of God this is exciting news if God has moved your heart and you ready to give your life to Jesus Christ let us talk with you eight six six eight nine nine word is the phone number that's eight six six eight nine nine nine six seven three if you've given your life to Jesus or rededicate your life we have wonderful resources we want to put in your hands but we also want to pray with you did you know that the encouraging word has a 24-hour prayer line you can call eight six six eight nine nine word that's eight six six eight nine nine nine six seven three and speak with a live person who would be glad to pray with you you are not alone the encouraging word is a viewer and listener supported ministry thank you for listening today thanks so much for joining us for today's message from Dr. Don Wilton I pray you'll join us again tomorrow as Dr. Wilton's message is ultimate prayer we know about prayer but ultimate prayer between now and then let's say connected online eight six six eight nine nine word is the phone number or meet us at TEW online dot o-r-g
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-01-25 10:58:13 / 2023-01-25 11:08:06 / 10

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