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March 11, 2020 3:00 pm
Heavenly father I pray as we open the word of God.
Now that you would press it deeply into each one of our hearts, Lord.
Many of us came into here today struggling many of us came in here today down many of us came in here today with problems and issues in our life. Many of us came in here today fearful and scared about what lies ahead and and whether it's our job or whether it's our health or whether it's it's what whatever it is more and I want to pray that you would take the word of God now and that you would use in to bring hope and encouragement, and at and fortitude and strength to our life that we might go out. Lord Jesus, of this place, saying we did not just go to church today. No, no. We sat under the living Christ, who took his living word and applied it to our hearts, such that it change the very way were going to live this coming week and the rest of our life. Jesus in your name and the name of Jesus. We play a pray against you, Satan, and we resist you as the Bible tells us to do with this place and we claim God's promise that you will flee. This campus and all our other campuses and Lord, we pray that you would grant the enemy no entry here today that you would rebuke him that you would make this a no-fly zone for him over this campus that God only the Holy Spirit will have the freedom to circulate here and to talk to our hearts deliver us from Satan's dog in the deceptions, deliver us from his distractions deliver us, Lord Jesus from ever hearing his voice here as we now listen to the word of God and give me an anointing to preach the word with the power and the conviction with which it ought to be preached with the purity with which it ought to be preached and Lord do all of this today for the glory of Christ. Here in this place and we pray this in Jesus name and every body said a man all right.
Well we are in as a church family, a verse by verse study. As you probably know all of the book of acts, and we are right now in acts chapter 18 and over to talk today and Paul is in Corinth that show your map so you see where Paul is the dotted line. Of course down in southern Greece and were to talk today about the vision that God gave to Paul while he was in Corinth. The vision in which God spoke to Paul Verne Corinth because God use that vision to encourage and reassure the heart of the apostle Paul in a special way and I believe that God wants to use that very same information he shared with Paul to encourage and to fortify our hearts.
So are you ready with good all right. The title of my message is our true sores of security little bit of background before we dig in. The apostle Paul right now is on his second missionary journey. Let's show your map again and you'll see where Paul's been all away from southern Turkey up to Philippi and now down to Corinth and he is taken the gospel into Europe on his second missionary journey for the very first time up until now. Acts chapter 16 the gospel has been limited to the eastern outskirts of the Roman Empire were talking Judea no Samaria Damascus.
Even the modern-day country of Turkey Asia minor.
But now the apostle Paul takes the gospel and in obedience to God presses it right into the heart and the soul of the Roman empire and in acts 16 and 17 in acts 18. Paul is been preaching Jesus throughout the country of Greece. Now the good news is that thousands upon thousands of people have come to Christ in Greece. The bad news is that everywhere. Paul is gone preaching.
They have persecuted them and run them out of town and we're going to see that Corinth is not going to be any different. So that's that little bit of background let's dig in acts chapter 18 verse one here we go. The Bible says and after these things that happened in Athens. Paul left Athens and went to Corinth and you know where it is. We showed you the map verse two and he found a Jewish man named Tukwila. Having recently come up will it do that is from Italy with his wife Priscilla because Emperor Claudius had commanded all the Jews to leave Rome.
Now, the famous Jewish historian Josephus actually confirms this expulsion of the Jews from Rome and it's confirmed also by the Roman historian Sue Tony us and they tell us that this expulsion happened up in the ninth year of the reign of Emperor Claudius, which corresponds to 50 A.D., 50 A.D., is exactly when the apostle Paul arrived at Corinth and met up with Priscilla and Tukwila.
So once again the Bible is proven to be chronologically and historically spots on and it leads us to what we love to say you know what we love to say I'll save first. We love to say the more they dig out of the ground the more the Bible proves to be right now I want you to stay with me here we go. Come on now more of a dig out of the ground more. The Bible proves to be right.
Praise the Lord.
Praise the Lord all right have confidence in your Bible friend. Trust your Bible friend scholars. I have been wrong for centuries on some of this dog and the Bible is been right. The whole time. Trust your Bible now first three chemicals. Paul was of the same trade as Priscilla and Tukwila. He stayed with them and they were working together for by trade, they were tent makers nicely. Wait a minute when Paul was a rabbi before he came to Christ. He was single. I thought he said that he left home as a little kid when he went to Jerusalem and he spent his whole time. Acts chapter 22. He says this sitting at the feet of Gamaliel, the great Rabbi like going to a postgraduate school in Judaism.
He did you say will and how it went well in the world to me and learn to make tents well this is interesting because Gamaliel the second, the great Rabbi, under which Paul sat had a unique custom and that is, he made every one of his students.
We know this from rabbinic writings, he made every one of his students learn a marketable trade so that if they ever needed it. They could earn money and provide for themselves and that's why the apostle Paul became a tent maker he was forced to deal with by his mentor Rabbi Gamaliel cool yeah all right, now let's go on and Paul was reasoning in the synagogue every Sabbath trying to persuade both Jews and Gentiles, that is to believe in Jesus and I want you to notice here that Paul at the beginning was only preaching on Saturdays. The Sabbath, what was he doing every other day he was making what yeah to support himself and he even refers to this when he writes the Corinthian second Corinthians 11.
He says to them all. I preach the gospel to you without charge. When I was present with you when was that acts chapter 18 right right where we are hello hello yes okay when I was present with you and was in need. I was I financial burden to no one. Why is he may tends to care of his own financial needs drive okay so he was only free on Saturdays to go to the synagogue and preach but when Silas and Timothy arrived from Macedonia. Remember, Paul had left them in Berea. Let's show your map way up north to work with the fledgling church. They are but they joined him in Corinth when they got there.
Paul began devoting himself completely to the word of solemnly testifying to the Jewish people that Jesus laws the Messiah. We all see what happened here right yeah ugh. Paul calls there working all by himself and then Silas and Timothy show up and they go to work every day when they get there so that Paul is set free to preach the gospel every day and you know I love this about the Paul and Silas, and Timothy think about it now. I mean Silas and Timothy when they arrived they could've said 10 wait a minute, we been up in Berea. We've been working with the church there.
We've been teaching the Bible their we've been going out and share in Christ on the streets.
There, I mean Paul were not such bad preachers you know if you we were that bad he wouldn't left us up. They are in charge of the church, we gotta go to work so you can go out and preach one. We each work two days a week and it will all go out two days a week and pretend we gotta be the ones that were well they could have said that. But they did. You know why because Silas was a good preacher, and Timothy was a good preacher, but Paul was a great preacher and they had the humility to see this and they had the team were do you see this and they had the concern for the greatest welfare of the gospel. You see this that they said we don't need just good preachers out there. We need the greatest preacher out there so we will work six days a week so that the gospel has the greatest preacher. It can have out there working in the streets of Corinth. Praise the Lord for these guys. Silas and Timothy. You gotta love these guys all right. But before long, things got ugly and Corinth watch verse six but when the Jews resisted and blasphemed. Paul shook out his garments.
Remember Matthew 10 Jesus said if you go into a town and they won't receive you shake the dust off your feet. You remember that as a sign of disdain as a sign of rejection. That's what Paul Beatty shook the dust off of his garments and said to them, your blood be on your own heads.
I am clean and from now on I will go to the Gentiles that Paul left their synagogue and went to the home of tedious justice, whose house was next door to the synagogue and Paul set up a teaching center there for the gospel like Corinth Bible college, so to speak and look where Paul set up Corinth Bible college. He said it right next door to the synagogue. This is hysterical. Don't think this is hysterical anything with this man invented every time a Jewish person went to synagogue, they saw Paul whom they despise and not only did they have to see Paul every day they went but they had to hear him every day they went teaching the word of God.
Their Old Testament Scripture to a bunch of Gentiles and coming up with a conclusion that every Jew that was going to the synagogue of Florida and that is that Jesus is the Messiah of Israel and you think you think Paul set this Corinth Bible college up next door the synagogue by accident you think that you don't think your other houses in town he could. No, my good Gentile friends, no, no, no, no, no, this Jewish man did this to those guys in the synagogue knowing absolutely what he was doing.
He was just rubbing it in just a little bit. I think this is hysterical. No, maybe, gotta be Jewish to get this. I don't know that. So we do to one another. Yeah, I'm serious.
I did know okay well maybe we should move on.
Forget myself in trouble.
So listen listen listen instead of the tension between Paul and his Jewish community getting better because he'd stopped going to the synagogue got worse because he set up right next door to the synagogue, and eventually it it it boiled over into a mob action look at this, but while Galileo was proconsul of Acadia stopped for second don't know where Acadia is of course not know my nose where it is limited to show you map a K is the northern part of Greece where Athens is and the Peloponnesus is the southern part of Greece where Sparta was everybody's heard of Athens and Sparta. You've all seen the 300 yeah movie right okay yes so so Acadia is the northern part where Athens is and it was that part of Greece that Galileo was in charge of. And we know from Roman records that Galileo was only there one year because he got sick and he had to leave and go home. We think from mosquito bites but nobody's quite sure and he was only there one year and it was the year 51 to 50 2A.
D. Now, when does the Bible say the apostle Paul was in Corinth 51 to 50 2A. The more they dig out of the Bible from those of a right Galileo was there for one year and he was there when Paul was there, just like the Bible says so they dragged him in front Galileo, Galileo said to them a look, fellas. This is all about your rules and regulations. Your customs your rituals.
I want anything to do with this all deal with it yourself, but you can't promise.
Paul goes the enemy the wrong so Galileo wouldn't allow them to be. Paul of instead. If you read the Bible you'll find they went outside beat a bunch of people including their own synagogue running running they were in the mood to beat somebody up sources. They couldn't be Paula. They beat up other people.
It was in this intense and explosive situation that God appeared to Paul in this vision you said with out time we get to the vision I year now and one night the Lord spoke in a vision to Paul and said do not be afraid, but keep on speaking and do not keep silent for my Mama with you and no one is going to attack you to harm you, for I have many people in this city. Verse 11 so Paul stayed in Corinth for a year and 1/2, teaching them at the Corinth Bible college. The word of God and folks, let me just say as we end our passage for the day that this is the second longest day that Paul ever had on any of his missionary journeys. He stayed two years in Ephesus on his third journey, but second to that is this day for a year and 1/2 in Corinth, discipling and teaching that the church okay now that's as far as we want to go in the passage because we want to stop now. We want to ask the most important question and you know you know we'll get the chance to do this in person together very often right so this is got to be really really good. Alright so are you ready hi deep breath who rarely come on Almon Joe baby, baby, how sweet it is. That was all all right.
So you say lawn look I mean is a great passage and I really appreciate all this, but I don't have anybody trying to kill me. I don't have body trying to beat me up. I've never seen God in a vision. So what does any of this have to do with my life.
Well, a lot.
Listen, the sum of us walked in here today afraid for afraid of what hundred and afraid all kinds of things afraid of whether we can have a job next year afraid of how were going to survive financially when we reach retirement or even before we get there, afraid of health issues that were struggling with, afraid of what the future holds for us afraid of our boss afraid of lots of different things look, I mean like life has lots of reasons to be afraid.
And Paul was afraid David Platt said it well last week.
He said why in the world would God appeared to Paul and telling.
Don't be afraid if Paul wasn't afraid. Does that make sense to you, you know, like if I was skinny, which I'm not, you know, there would be no need for someone to come up to me and say you need to be skinny already in skinny now I have that need so you'll need to do that. My wife takes care of that. But you understand what I'm trying to say to you, you don't say to somebody, don't be afraid if they're not afraid, is that make sense Paul was a wonderful godly man, one of the greatest men of God ever liberty still a human being and he still got the whole town trying to kill him and God appears to Mrs. Paul don't befriend, don't befriend. And why not what reason did God offer Paul. He said don't even say don't be afraid because people really are trying to kill you only really were trying to kill, don't be afraid because they're not really trying to hurt you. Yeah they really were trying heard that it listen look what God said. God said don't be afraid, for I am with you folks. This is what God offered the apostle Paul to take away his fear.
He offered him his personal presence. Can we see that and you know we look at some of the people in the Bible that God called to face the biggest obstacles that God called to climb the toughest mountains that God called to face the scariest moments and what's interesting is that when they needed reassurance when they needed courage when they needed inner peace and fortitude, God offered them the very same thing. He offered Paul his personal presence. The assurance of the topic of Moses here. God called Moses from the burning bush to go back and face Pharaoh and demand that the people of Israel be let go and Moses was afraid of your brethren will show you, you know what he looked like in areas yeah it was afraid of the sky and any second. God I'm afraid of them. I am scared to death. And what did God say to Moses from the burning to assuage his fear he said and I quote Exodus 3 certainly I will be with you.
And how about have a Jacob member Jacob Lewis told his brother Esau's blessing and he stole his brother Esau's birthright. Remember that. And then he flipped for 20 years he had he lived in exile and finally God appeared to him and said I want you to go back and meet your brother Esau and Jacob was terrified of what Esau was going to do to him when they met and how did God help Jacob get over his fear he said to Jacob third Genesis 31 go and I will be with you.
And how about the Israelites when they were called to invade the promised land and they were afraid of all the Giants all the walled cities and all the big armies.
What did God say to them in order to calm their hearts.
God said Deuteronomy 31. Do not worry or be afraid, for the Lord your God is the one who is with you and have Joshua when he was about to lead the people into the promised land. God said to him. Joshua 16 be strong and courageous. For just as I was with Moses, so I shall be with you Joshua and have a David finally thinking about the scariest enemy of all that we face and that his death you know what he said.
He said Psalm 23. Yay though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death I will fear no evil. Why why David why say the next five hours with me, for thou art with me. Yes, folks, I want to say to you today that if you're a follower of Jesus, God offers you and he offers me this very same assurance that he offered Moses that he offered Jacob that he offered Joshua that he offered Paul and that is I will be with you. I am with you.
Hebrews 13 five Jesus said I will never leave you nor will I ever forsake you Jesus in John 1418 I will not leave you as orphans. I will, to you. And finally, the Bible says Isaiah 43. When you pass through the deep waters say the next five words with me.
I will be with you when you walk through the fire. The flames will not hurt you, for all I am the Lord, and you are precious in my side so do not fear, for I am with you never as children of God are we unprotected never as God's children are we exposed never as God's children are we vulnerable never as God's children are we unguarded never and we really get this. I mean, when we really allow this great truth to permeate our worldview something incredibly powerful happens inside of us. My Christian brother and sister look.
Hebrews 13 six we are to read the beginning, for he himself has said, I will never leave you nor will I ever forsake you. Now watch watch so that we may next word. Wait a minute you can say boldly like that we may try with you so that we may why all the way yeah I say the Lord is my helper, I will not fear what can man do to me. Do you hear the confidence in that. Do you hear the security in that, do you hear the peace of mind. In fact, do you hear the fortitude in that. Do you hear the courage in that deal era. I will not fear the Lord is my helper. What can man do to me. The folks that's how Jesus wants us facing our fears. That's how Jesus wants us facing the world. The Lord is my helper, I will not fear man can't do anything to me that Jesus hasn't allowed them to do and already flip-flop in the my good.
Romans 828 if he allows it to happen and that's what he told Paul that's what he told Moses.
That's what he told Joshua that's what he told Jacob that's what he told the Israelites that's what he tells you and me and he didn't want any of them. You know their stories and he's not lying to you and me praise Lord. Praise Lord now known I was a little boy.
I don't know, five, six, seven years old 80 my I have my own room at home and my brother had his own room and at night we go to bed. My my my parents would close the door and it was completely dark in my room and I would lie there in bed and I was terrified. Terrified, you know, I was terrified something was going to come out of the closet all green and Harry and drag me into the closet and I would never be seen again. I really was.
I seen this twilight zone episode. Maybe so you see women, could you member this twilight zone episode with this little boy got dragged under his bed and went into a new reality, and they can get under the bed and talk to him but he couldn't get back to where he wasn't a member that I seen that and I was terrified that some monster that look like the one in alien ghettos slobbering all over itself and whatever was going to reach up and grab me in my bed and pull me under my bed and through the wall and I'd never be seen again. To this day tell you the truth to this day I sleep with my closet door open and to this day I do not live one single part of my body hang over the edge of it as my wife because when I was a child I was afraid my leg was hanging over the bad boy. That's what he would grab and not be serious oddity and you is a lawn.
I sure hope you got a good therapist brother.
No, I don't have a therapist.
Don't tell me as a little child you didn't sometimes lie in bed terrified of the dark and I would called my father who would usually be in the other room watching TV, reading the book, read the paper and I'll never forget he would come in and he would lay his sweet strong hand on my head and he would say to me, son. Don't be afraid I'm here I'm here and he would leave the room and I would lie in bed repeating those words to myself, son. Don't be afraid he's here and that would take the terror of the night away so that I can falsely listen.
There are some things in this world we really should be afraid of God's not trying to tell us in the Bible that there are some things in the world. We should be afraid God's just trying to tell us that he's bigger to understand this bigger so that as we go through life and as we face difficulty. He wants us saying repeating that mantra to ourselves, son, daughter, don't be afraid I'm here.
Don't be afraid I'm here. Attach the source of true security in life is not money, it's not position the it's not power its Jesus being with you.
That's where security comes from and Jesus said son Toby freight daughter will be Friday I'm here now, here, here, and you don't know Jesus I'm afraid this truth, and for you yet all you can have this truth. You can have Jesus there just like that with you like my dad was. But you see my dad only said that the members of the family heating go across the street and say that to the neighbor's children to go down the road and say it to somebody else's children. That was just an assurance for his children once they are friends. Jesus doesn't say I will never leave you nor will I ever forsake you put anybody else's children but is oh and the only way to become a child of God is to become a believer in Jesus and put every trust you've got for heaven and eternal life and what Jesus did for you on the cross so if you're here and you're trusting anything else other than Jesus to deal with your Santa get you to heaven. Let me just say not only are you gonna miss heaven that said enough. But in his life. You don't have that promise from God. You're facing these fear these fears along what a terrible thing. How you do it out of me. Not you do it, but you can have it.
You can have that assurance. All you have to do in a moment when we pray, is say Lord Jesus, I give up every other remedy I've ever trusted to get me in heaven paper my soon and I embrace you and what you did for me on the cross is my one and only hope of heaven and Savior from sin and friend everything we talked about the day will is yours.
I hope you'll do that now want to close with the words of an old hymn, and you know me, I just point out old doesn't mean bad. Are we aware that yeah okay those two words are not synonymous. This is a him it's very unusual as a him because it's the only hymn I know that is constructed with God speaking to us. Most hymns are constructed with speaking to God what a powerful name. It is how much glory your word how much I surrender to you right right. This hymn is constructed with God speaking to us is called how firm a foundation and you know when my daughter Jill was born 25 years ago and began having terrible seizures and retardation and just.
It was horrible. I caning describe to you, but it how horrible those years were it was this hymn that sustained us. It was the words of this hymn that we printed and put on the mirror in our bathroom.
It was the hymns of the words of this hymn that I printed and put on my computer screen up in the office because this this hymn got us through. And if you're facing difficult times maybe don't have a disabled daughter maybe got something else is difficult. I'd like to suggest you consider doing the same thing with the words of this hymn, because God in this hymn takes what we've just stood and puts it into beautiful verse like I just don't know anything that's even close.
So let me read you follow along on the screen before we sing it when he read you. These verses and let them sink in God speaking to you how firm a foundation, ye saints of the Lord is laying for your faith in his excellent work one more can he say than to use. He had said to you who to Jesus for refuge have fled in every condition, in sickness and health in poverty's veil or abounding in wealth at home or abroad on the land on the sea. As thy days may demand shall thy strength ever be. Fear not, I am with the OB. Not dismayed, for I am thy God and I will still give the Adolph strengthen the and healthy and cause the need to stand up held by my righteous omnipotent hand went through the deep orders I called you to go the rivers of low shall not, the overflow for I will be with the five troubles to bless and sanctified to the thy deepest distress went through fiery trials, thy pathway shall lie.
My grace all sufficient shall be thy supply. The flame shall not hurt the I only design that I draw us to consume and buy gold to refine last verse.
The soul that on Jesus has leaned her for repose. I will not, I will not desert to expose that so all hell should endeavor to shake never know.
Never know never forcing phrasal phrase Lord