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August 16, 2020 5:00 am
This is on Solomon and I'd like to welcome you to our program today. You know it's a tremendous honor that God is given us to be on stations all around the nation bringing the truth of God's word as it is uncompromising and straightforward and I'm so glad you tuned in to listen and be part of that. Thanks again for your support and your generosity that keeps us on the radio and now let's get to the word of God on the morning every body. It's wonderful to see you about taking a Bible. Let's open it together to acts chapter 16. If you would please. Today were going to look at the life of a lady named Lydia. Lydia has the distinction of being the very first person ever to trust Jesus Christ on the continent of Europe, and we want to look at her story and after looking at her story. We want to see what that has to do with your life in my life here in the 21st century development background. Remember that the apostle Paul is put together a new team to go out on what we know of today is his second missionary journey was Paul Silas, Timothy, and then of course Dr. Luke, who was practicing medicine in Truax Avenue and decided to stop doctrine and start preaching with Luke and his team of bridge troll as on the northwest coast of Asia minor and there.
Paul has a dream where God makes it clear God wanting to sail across the Aegean Sea and over to Europe to begin in the province of Macedonia and so Paul does that and that's where we pick up the story. Here in verse 11. From Truax as we put out to sea, and sailed straight for Samothrace, and the next day, on to Minneapolis and from there we traveled to Philippi a Roman colony and the leading city of that district of Macedonia and we stayed there several days. Here is Minneapolis. The port city of Philippi. The auto Samothrace part way across. And Paul said we landed at Neapolis and then walked the 10 miles from Neapolis in land to the city of Philippi. Now the road that Paul walked on his road called the nation way.
It was actually a Roman road that connected the Eastern Roman Empire with Rome itself, and if you did want to sail to Rome go by. See the way you went by land was beginning here at Neapolis on the Aegean overland to the Rocky along the Adriatic and then sailing across on the little fairy to run to see him and on to Rome. This was the road that Paul took between Neapolis and Philippi and interestingly the road many long sections of it are still there. 2000 years later in the walk on the nation way when these guys build the road friends they built the road.
No potholes, no splits, we ought to get them to come build the roads in DC is all I gotta say but anyway that road is still around that what happened when Paul got the Philippi will verse 13 on the Sabbath. We went outside the city gate to the river where we expected to find a place of prayer and we sat down and began to speak to the women who were there. Paul standard operating procedure was to go to the Jewish synagogue in any new town, but there was no synagogue in Philippi. The warden of Jewish people to have one. So instead he went looking for whatever Jewish people. There were, and he knew they would be down by the river because to do the Jewish rituals and prayers of the Sabbath. They needed water to do certain ritual washings and so they were down by a little broke a little stream that runs outside the ancient city of Philippi, that stream is still there today. It's called Lydia's stream and there's a little open-air amphitheater in go down there. You can meditate read the Bible and pray. If still there today. That's where Paul went and met these ladies there.
Verse 14, and one of those listening was a woman named Lydia, a dealer in purple cloth from the city of five Tyra who was a worshiper of God and the Lord opened her heart to respond to Paul's message another four things we find out about Lydia from this passage number one. The Bible tells us that originally Lydia was a native of the city of five Tyra five, Tyra was a city in the Roman province of Asia, modern-day Turkey, about 50 miles north of Ephesus, about 100 miles south of Truax as and the women of five Tyra were world renowned for their dying industry there purple dyeing industry.
They made purple dye from mollusk shells. It took 8000 mollusk shells to make 1 ounce of purple and these ladies were famous the world over for the purple that they produced.
In fact, in the Iliad, the Greek poet Homer actually mentions these ladies talking about and I quote the purple dyeing practice by the women of five Tyra Lydia was from this town. The second thing we know about Lydia is that Lydia imported and retailed this purple cloth in the city of Philippi, not remembering the Roman world of this day purple was worth its weight in gold.
The only people who were allowed to wear purple clothing was the Emperor himself. Roman senators high-ranking Roman military officers, Roman aristocrats and Roman government officials, but verse 12 tells us that Philippi was a Roman colony, meaning that there were all kinds a Roman big shots like that here in the city so there was a market for purple in the city of Philippi and would Lydia did as she got all her friends back in five Tyra to ship it to work and then she retailed to the businesswoman number three we learn that Lydia was financially quite well-off to trade in this kind of expensive commodity.
Lydia had to have a lot of capital at her disposal, and they were going to learn just a minute.
She had a house that was so big and by that not only did put up her husband or children or servants which she was able to put Paul and Silas, and Timothy Luke up as well. This woman did just fine for herself. Thank you very much. Number four. We know Lydia had a serious desire to know about God. The Bible calls her a worshiper of God.
The apostle Paul finds her down by the river here, praying with these Jewish ladies because there was a sincere desire in Lydia's heart to connect with this God.
Now the critical question for the morning that we need to ask and answer is this sitting down, thereby that river did Lydia already have eternal life. Did she already have a place in heaven were wrongdoings already forgiven by God, which she already a child of God before the apostle Paul showed up and shared with her the information about Jesus Christ that he did. The answer is absolutely no and this is where were going to stop today but you know what Lydia is going to figure prominently in the ministry of the apostle Paul in the years to come will talk about that when we get there.
That's as far as we want to go on the passage because we want to ask a really important question. The most important question about Lydia's experience that we seen today. Y'all know what it is her body ready to buy ready. Here we go. 123 all right salon. So what I'm happy for Lydia. I think that's need him glad she came to Christ is the first believer in Europe. I know it's a Trivial Pursuit pig will what difference does this make to me. Well I think that there is incredible lesson in Lydia's experience for you and me you know I had a lady in my office.
Not too long ago and she said long.
I gotta tell you, I simply cannot accept the fact that unless a person embraces Jesus Christ as their personal savior.
Unless a person accepts Jesus and what he did for them on the cross that unless they knew that they have no chance of going to heaven and no chance of having eternal life. I can accept the fact that a sincere Buddhist, a sincere Muslim, a sincere Hindu, a sincere Jewish person, a sincere aborigine or pygmy if there is sincere as they know how and in following God in the religion of their choice. I cannot accept the fact that God wouldn't allow them into heaven. If there is zealous and sincere as they know how to be what you know there are a lot of people in our world who believe just like this lady does in fact I would be a bit surprised that there were some folks here this morning sitting in the audience who say will I agree with that lady.
Well friends, people who hold this opinion, they would look at Lydia here in the Bible and they would say you know what Lydia was just fine before Paul ever showed up. I mean she was down there practicing her Jewish faith with zealousness and the sincerity that had her down at the river praying on a Saturday morning. She didn't need the apostle Paul to come into town and evangelize her. That woman if she had died down there by the river before Paul ever showed up.
She was just fine with God, she wouldn't have gone to heaven. She would have eternal life because she was just a sincere and just as zealous as she could be in following her religion in seeking after God is a very popular opinion.
The only problem with this opinion is that the Bible says it's just flat wrong. You know the Bible says sincerity is not the basis on which God dispenses eternal life. The Bible says that zeal for God is not the basis on which God lets people in the heaven. As a matter of fact the Bible declares without apology that the only basis upon which God dispenses eternal life in God lets people into heaven is on the basis of personal faith in Jesus Christ. Personal reliance on the blood sacrifice of Jesus Christ and as a matter of fact, the Bible actually comments to this issue of zeal for God and sincerity for God when it separated from up to a true faith in Jesus Christ and listen to what God says about this of Romans chapter 10 verse one Paul writes and says my heart's desire and prayer to God for my Israelite brothers is that they obtain eternal life. They don't have it yet. For I can testify on their behalf that they have zeal for God, you will never meet a person with more zeal for God and Orthodox Jewish person pulse is not just the body that I agree that, however, there zeal is not based on knowledge. It's not informed zeal we mean by that. Paul verse three. They do not understand the righteous standing that God offers to give people as a gift.
Instead, they are determined to try and establish their own righteousness by their human religious activity and zeal will Paul what's the problem with that. If there is zealous as they can possibly be. In seeking God in their own religion with their own human activity.
What's wrong with that Romans chapter 3 verse 20. No one will ever be declared righteous in God's sight by human activity. That's what's wrong with that knew me as zealous as you want in human religious activity. Nobody is ever going to be right with God like that folks Like Baptist, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, animal, vegetable or mineral that make one bit of difference.
The way God gives out eternal life the way God gives out a righteous standing in his sight. The way God grants people entry into heaven. The Bible is clear is based on personal faith in Jesus Christ. Personal reliance on the shed blood of Jesus Christ on the cross and that is the only way God gives it out the rest of the Bible agrees with this John chapter 14 verse six Jesus said I am the way the truth and the life. Nobody dares our keyword. Nobody comes to the father. Nobody gets eternal life and gets in the heaven.
Unless they come by way of me. Acts chapter 4 verse 12 salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven, not Buda.Confucius, not Mohammed, not Rabbi Schneerson not Joseph Smith not Mary Baker Eddy, not Ms. Cleo with her to row cards on television.
There is no other name under heaven by which we can be delivered. John 336 whoever believes in Jesus Christ, has eternal life. Whoever does not believe will not see eternal life, but rather God's judgment resides on that person instead friends God is not illogical God. It does not do nonsensical things and if Lydia was fine without Paul ever coming to see her if Lydia had eternal life just the way she was, if everything would Lydia was great she was already on her way to heaven. Why in the world would God take Paul half a continent having sailed across the Aegean Sea to meet her and deliver information about Jesus to her if she was perfectly fine just the way she was that the logical that's nonsensical. God didn't do that. The truth is, Lydia was not fine just the way she was before Paul showed up. She was part way through the process of gaining eternal life, but she would never have been able to close the deal with God. Had the apostle Paul not showed up and given her the information about Jesus Christ that he did before Lydia could close the deal would God we've got to hear the information about Jesus Christ so that we got the raw material we need to make the deal with God for eternal life. Now, if a person responds correctly to general revelation if they look around like Lydia did and they go wow is going to be a God somewhere wish I knew who he was. God takes it is his personal responsibility to get that person special revelation so they can close the deal did you do that for Lydia did need take Paul and take Paul across an entire continent and the Aegean Sea to make sure she got the information she needed to close the deal.
Yes you do, and he does that for people all over the globe every single day. Lydia was not just fine. She needed what the apostle Paul brought her and you say, but long. Maybe God in his mercy sometimes will exempt the system.
I mean does a person always absolutely have to know about the person in the work of Jesus Christ in order to close the deal and have eternal life.
The answer from the Bible on equivocal bleed is yes. Listen to what the Bible says Romans 1013 everyone who calls on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Like the thief on the cross. Like Lydia did, will be delivered will be forgiven will be granted eternal life. However, there is a proper way that we have to go through in order to call on the name of the Lord and make the steelwork the next verse explains it. Romans 1014 says but how can a person call on Jesus Christ. If they haven't believed in Jesus Christ and how can a person believe in Jesus Christ.
If they never heard of Jesus Christ and how can a person hear about Jesus Christ. Unless somebody goes and tells them about Jesus Christ.
Verse 17 consequently, faith, the kind of faith that works the kind of faith that closes the deal.
The kind of faith that brings us eternal life. Faith comes by hearing the message of Jesus Christ and the message is heard by means of the information that God is given us in the word of God. I don't know. I God can save any clearer than that. What this means is that no matter how sincere a person may be, no matter how religiously zealous. A person may be in some religious system. We can't close the deal with God and get eternal life unless number one we hear the cognitive facts about Jesus Christ from the Bible. Number two.
We embrace those facts in our heart is true.
And number three.
We then decided on the basis of those facts were going to transfer our trust off of our own human religious activity also borrow human religious effort is way to get to heaven were to transfer our trust off of that which is what Lydia did and on to what Jesus did for us on the cross, which we just heard about. That's how we complete the deal friends. That's how we close the deal with God and get eternal life, and how in the world are we going to hear the information we need to do this folks were to hear the same way Lydia did. Somebody comes and tells us if you're here today in your follower of Christ.
If you're here today and you know the minute you die here on earth and you going right to heaven. Let me tell you why you know that and why you're in the incredible position you're in today. It's because somebody at some point in your life told you about Jesus Christ, your mama told you your daddy told you Sunday school teacher told you your preacher told you Billy Graham told you on television. Somebody at work told you somebody in the neighborhood told you somebody on the Metro told you, you son told you you daughter told you somebody told you and that's why you where you are today in your relationship with God. You couldn't be there any other way and let me just say to the people are all around you at work in your neighborhoods in your families who are like Lydia. They're not right.
Things are not okay between them and God and the only way they're going to get okay is for them to respond to the cognitive facts about Jesus in the Bible and only way they're ever going to hear is if you and I open our mouths and we tell only way it's going to happen you I had a lady who comes to comes to our church or she's from Israel and she just recently gave her life to Jesus.
In Christianity 101 cup rounds ago just came up to me couple weeks ago after the service and said you know what I'm going back to Israel for Passover. In fact, she's back in Israel right now and she said I think I'm going to tell my mother and my father.
I will break the news that I believe Jesus is the Messiah, she said, but you know it's almost scary. And I say we I mean I remember when I went to that 30 years ago. Get ready to break the news to my parents and I said there's a big part of you that says all maybe not this visit. Oh maybe not this time. But you know you can't. Given that I said to her, and I'll tell you why my dad's in heaven today. My mom is in heaven today. My only sibling. My brother is on his way to heaven today and you know why it's because when they got ready to close the deal would God they had the information they needed, and the reason they had the information they needed is because I told that's how they had answered you'll go tell your mom and your dad. You may be the only person in the world could ever tell him if you don't go tell them you are robbing them of the information they need to close the deal would God get eternal life that whether they're willing to do it or not pay. That's not your business, but if you don't tell them the information they need. They'll never be able to do it even if they are willing. You got to go tell them and their soul is worth a little bit of embarrassment if your little embarrassing. You will scare their souls work that you tell while I'm confident that she's over there doing that friends that's true of everybody you know when you care about. Of course it's a little embarrassing to do this sometimes. Of course were a little nervous don't you think Paul was a little bit nervous down there and at Philippi by the stream. I think he probably was a little bit nervous, but he knew Lydia wouldn't okay he knew none of those women were okay and he knew their souls were worth a little bit of embarrassment and a little bit of fear person through that and that's why Lydia is in heaven today scolded, so I don't really like it like this.
I don't really think this is fair. I don't just I don't really I don't really like the way God wants heaven, will you know. All I can tell you is that's tough. I mean you not wanting heaven, neither my dogs run in heaven and God decide this is how he wants to run heaven. That's his business. Our job is not to decide whether we like the way God's running heaven. Our job is to listen to what God tells us believe, would God Stella musk and adapt our behavior.
According and friends are world systems trying to talk us out of this and convince us and everybody's fine world partner buys okay and you know why because number one they want us to leave him alone and number two, they want us to shut up and we can given, we can't let them undermine our confidence in the truth of the word of God and the truth of the word of God is. Lydia needed Paul and your friends need you and me.
Because if you don't tell them the information in the bottle. Tell them the information they need. They can't close the deal. They're not fine so my challenge to us here today is to believe what God tells us, not the propaganda of our world system and then to go out there and do what the apostle Paul did listen folks, if we were here to tell our friends and neighbors about Jesus, we could've gone to heaven already. There's no other reason to stay all the stuff you piling up you not taken.
So while so we know the reason we're here is so we can do with the apostle Paul did for Lydia. May God help us to do it lovingly. Respectfully, kindly and gently but may God help us to do it, but spring with our heads bowed and her eyes closed.
I want to give you just a minute. If you're willing to offer God a little bit of a proposition.
And here's the proposition I want you to think of somebody you really care about your family in your neighborhood that your office was like Lydia. They're not fine and I want you to offer God this proposition. Lord, you open up the opportunity in your perfect timing. Make the circumstance just right for me to talk to them about Jesus and even though I'm a little nervous. You have my word. I'll do it if you're willing to make God that proposition for your friend or your loved one. I want you to take these quiet moments and telling Lord Jesus, thanks for talking to a straight up today.
Thanks for telling us the truth from the word of God. Just the way it is. My prayers and you would help us people say were followers of Christ. People say we accept the Bible is the word of God should help us to believe what you tell us about how the deal gets closed and then more that you would change our behavior change the way we relate to people around us because we believe something is true, absolutely from Scripture what I pray you would make us bold, respectful but bold in sharing Christ. I pray you would remind us people out there are not okay Lord I pray that we would deem their souls worth whatever little embarrassment and fear.
We have to face, to do what Paul did to share with them the information they need to close the deal these people. We pray for open up an opportunity soon for us to follow through Lord give us the courage to do what we said or thank you somebody told us how grateful we are helpless to do our job.
Lord now and tell others.
We pray this in Jesus name amen been listening to settlement with Dr. Lon Solomon said, when is an outrage. Lon Solomon ministering to listen to today's message, or for more information visit our website. Lon Solomon ministries.org. Thank you for your support.
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