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January 6, 2022 7:00 pm
Dr. Dave Whitcomb is continuing a seminary chapel series entitled, “A Ministry Worth Pursuing.” The scripture is Acts 20:25-27.
Welcome to The Daily Platform, our program features sermons from Chapel services Bob Jones University in Greenville, South Carolina. Every day students are blessed by the preaching and teaching of the Bible from the University Chapel platform were continuing the series from acts 20 preached in seminary chapel today speaker is Dr. David Whitcomb from Taylor South Carolina and the passage is asked 2025 through 27 verse 25. Now, behold, I know that none of you, among whom I have gone about proclaiming the kingdom will see my face again. Therefore, I testify to you this day that I am innocent of the blood of all Fry did not shrink from declaring to you the whole counsel of God. Now your seminary. This is the place where you ask the hard questions.
This is the place where you debate the difficult issues. This is the place where you get all of the answers so that in a few years to come. When you are finally in that place a God who is or it has ordained for you to do ministry, you will have all the answers. Maybe not.
By the time you leave here, get yourself settled in the place that God has ordained for you.
Many questions of changed so we how do you have any confidence whatsoever. As you go out into a world that is vacillating, changing, always something new and you need preach the gospel to that world is not going to show up at your doorsteps begging you to give them some kind of truth from the gospel so that they can become a faithful member of the local church where you get your confidence will God gave Paul the answer to that question and he gave the answer to that question. Two Timothy first and second Timothy chapter 4 is called describe the world in which Timothy was going to be ministering your world described like this for the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching Spanish in years and will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths how you ministering that kind of a world why should the answer was inverse to that tax preach the word be ready in season, out of season recruit, rebuke, and exhort with complete patience and teaching and that was not simply an idea, a concept that Pollock picked up in seminary all he stated there was his practice. That's what Paul practiced as owner text here which is part of Paul's farewell speech to the leaders of the church that was in Ephesus. He described his preaching ministry with three verbs to verbs describe for us exactly what he did in one verb gives us the great confidence that he had because of what he was doing in his ministry. Was he doing verse from verse 25 you see that he was proclaiming the kingdom to people that God had brought into his influence so that he could encourage them so they could teach them, and yet he confesses at this point that he knows full well the time is coming when he's going to be separated from them. Verse 25. Now I know behold, I now know that none of you will see my face again and want to help all knew that obviously Paul, like many of the other Scripture writers J all of the Scripture writers at some point in their life receive special revelation from the Holy Spirit effective your backup couple of verses verse 22 Paul said this, I now that I now behold I'm going to Jerusalem constrained how by the Holy Spirit. So as you know, not knowing what will happen to me there except that the Holy Spirit testifies to be in every city that imprisonment and afflictions away so like the other writers of Scripture. Paul just have the special revelation so he was absolutely confident that when he went to Jerusalem he was going to face some really unfavorable circumstances but Paul didn't live 24 seven under the special revelation of the Holy Spirit know many ways, use almost as normal is you and I are.
So what is this, it is this a revelation Holy Spirit. I don't think so. I think this would probably be more like what you would call a gut feeling that gut feeling like you know if I'm going to Jerusalem and the Holy Spirit said they can be difficult like lamb I never see you again. But in fact is possible possible that the Paul was wrong. Gut feelings can be wrong to be very careful as what he always always appeal to the Scriptures authority because it's entirely possible that maybe Paul actually did see these people again. We know that when he went to Jerusalem. He was arrested. He was put in prison.
He was imprisoned Caesarea for about two years, probably a little bit longer than two years and then he was released from prison. We know that sometime after that release Paul wrote to Timothy again and when he wrote to Timothy second Timothy you call the letter Timothy was pastoring the church where Ephesus pulsating in first Timothy chapter. The second Timothy chapter 4 verse 13 until I come devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture. So you get the idea. Paul is planning on showing up at Ephesus, having been released from prison. We know in that second letter that he wrote while he's in prison. As far as we know the last time he's in prison he's at the end of his life. He writes to Timothy, and in it he clearly indicates there that in that time when he had been out of prison.
He had visited Corinth, Miletus. Chapter 4 verse 20 invented Truax as chapter 4 verse 13 but did he ever get to Ephesus, where he had already sent to tickets. I don't think so. I believe he had arrived in Ephesus and has seen the people again. He would've said so specifically in second Timothy, it's missing. I would assume the was exactly right on that gut feeling he didn't get see these people is a good lesson for us. Sometimes we go into our tasks are ministry that God gives to us a week we go about it as though this is it. This is the way will always be, and it's never going to change things change. You don't know for sure how long you're going to have a privilege of ministering to the people you minister to a more than called it. Certainly no clear indication when there might be a time of separation so we can't tell how long were going to be with those special people that God gives to us because God changes planes working ministering in Greenville you really never have any idea how long you'll be able to minister to those people because they keep moving it is you just don't know was not going the people, the pastors move around way too much of your where that I know when I was in seminary. The rule of thumb was a pastor stayed in a church for 1/2 years this in a very long day is pretty common for someone to visit our church they retired. They moved to Greenville and take up residency here will strike up a conversation with them and in the conversation. I am going to ask at some point where you from is not unusual for me, get a response like this you from all over the place when somebody tells me that you know what I say. I always respond the same way all your either retired military or retired pastor in the hundred percent of the time on right. It's one of the two I'm from all over the place about a community for 33 years. I know your maybe your immediate responses I get too lazy to move.
Well actually in 33 years I have learned some very, very important lessons, nor the most important lessons I've learned in staying in the same place for 33 years is the joy of watching how God brings resolution to conflict know if you leave in the middle of the problem. You never get the joy of seeing how that worked out people that we just never know for sure: were going to be there, and therefore we ought to go about our ministry as if this is our last day. I think that's how Paul might've fell as he was talking to these men you look at the context of his statement and he is very direct with them as if it's Truax. These are the last words I'm going to give you Kidderminster.
There's a statue little town. It's about 50 miles southwest of Birmingham England statue. One of my heroes Richard Baxter was only 16 years old. He was called to minister in this town of Kidderminster at that time there but 850 families in the town a minister there for some 19 years to those people. He preached it threw them three times a week.
He catechized each one of those families every year when the English Civil War came along and Baxter move from place to place.
Effective the chaplain with the Army for a while. ATR 1650.
He went back to Mitt minister again it Kidderminster finished his ministry there habit time when he was imprisoned because of preaching the gospel, but in that town. Is this statue stands before the building where he preached still still there statue is a plaque that gives us the philosophy, the essence of Baxter's ministry says this I preached is never sure to preach again and as a dying man.
The dying man. That's how we do ministry because we just never know what you preach what Paul says I've gone among you in and out verse 25 proclaiming the kingdom to go in and out among these people. It indicates that he was with them. He spent time effective the really interesting word go look up the verb is awarded with ascribing flood overflowing its banks and then the water touches everything is a great word to describe the news about Jesus went into every town in every region.
They just go. Paul says this is the way I did my ministry.
I was with you I was among you, we read the story and ask chapter 19 we read how he went into the city of Ephesus for three months he had the privilege of preaching in the synagogue that was typical. He was thrown out of the synagogue that was typical for two years he was able to rent a school to school to Ranson. He taught people there for two years. If that one may so manuscript say that he did that five hours a day, week, we can't really say that for sure God really did amazing work while he was there got change the hearts of those people through the ministry of the Holy Spirit and it was such a radical change that they lived it out so much. Did they live without that they got together and they had this bonfire were there brought together all of the trinkets and all of the booklets.
I'm assuming or something.
The writings anything that had to do with the acceptable pagan religion. They were a part of them if they destroyed these things for a thousand days wages worth is what we really was hard to make that comparison, but that would probably probably be about six and half million dollars.
Think I did work. Why was because of what Paul was doing. He said I announced I proclaimed the kingdom and proclaiming the kingdom he uses the word is one my favorite words in the whole New Testament is the verb to Russo and that word get is that it describes for us the work of a very special person in the Greek and Roman cultures. He was the Capex. The Keryx was a person who was chosen picked handpicked by the king to be his spokesman to be his messenger so the king would pick somebody who had particular characteristics and take pics this person the king was looking for someone who was articulate someone who's had the voice to be able to proclaim the message of the king someone who was intensely loyal someone who's going to be accurate with the words that he was to proclaim because the king didn't want this man imposing his own opinion on the king's message the king wanted to be sure that when he sent the message out with his messenger that his subjects were going to get exactly what he wanted them to have Zoe take this guy particularly had a courageous man because sometimes the subjects were not going to be amiable to the message the king day to be intensely loyal, faithful, dependable, trustworthy responsible and all of those characteristics were required of a man who would be the spokesman of a mere dying earthly king.
How much more should these things be true of us who God has chosen to give the eternal message of the eternal King. We should be faithful to declare the Kings authority. The king's message of hope, all set my messages about the kingdom. What is the kingdom.
The kingdom is a story about Jesus Christ the king ruling in the hearts of his people is subjects.
The story is about salvation. The story of the kingdom is how you can get into the kingdom. How you become a citizen of the kingdom. Only through the miracle of regeneration. All set.
I went in and out among the people I consistently gave that message over and over and over. God did amazing work and therefore Paul was able to face these people say now because of that I testify. I'm innocent of everyone's blood. He had a clear conscience, only that same statement stated before king sometime later, he was a man who had been a blasphemer here it blast remarried and a man who was a persecutor and yet God's grace saved him changed him blotted out all his sins gave him a clear conscience impulsive from that point on.
I've ordered my life in such a way to maintain a clear conscience before God did that for 2 1/2 years boldly affirming the truth about the Kings kingdom with the result that he was innocent of the blood of you all will is almost scary. Obviously this comes from the picture that is given to us in Ezekiel 33, one through six were the Lord said of his spokesman. If you really my profit you proclaim my message I am sending you to my people to warn them about their sins and the consequences if they don't forsake their sins and the just of the principle is this you carry out your responsibility.
You warn them, you tell them. The onus is on their own head.
You don't warn them you're guilty. Yes, I will hold you accountable for their blood is a pretty serious responsibility because that means we are serious really we are responsible for eternal souls. God puts in our sphere of influence our circles. It was to happen this this is so human you get a burden for you say you know I'm really serious and really response one need to carry out this responsibility that God is given to me so we can after week after week you diligently work hard to prepare your sermons try to be as accurate as you possibly can be. Week after week after week you try to get the best arguments that you can possibly get from the word of God so that you can convince people week after week after week you get up and you preach that sermon in the same guy goes asleep every week and the same kid gets up goes the bathroom. Ever.
Ever notice that it's always the same on almost the same time. In the sermon we get up there distraction.
Everybody else around you to begin the wonders anyway listening to get really discouraged until something happens like this just happened yesterday. Wife is my secretary forwarded an email to me came from somebody I never heard of who he is. All I know she lives in Texas.
This is what he wrote. Dr. David's preaching is God's true hope to all listeners. I love listening to him online in Texas almost 24 seven. When I read that I sat in my seat overwhelmed and I thought to myself that's almost the scariest thing I've ever read.
I better be more accurate. I better be more sure I better be more diligent as I am proclaiming the kingdom because it's an eternal matter was closed with the second verb that Paul uses to describe his ministry. He declared the whole counsel of God. Verse 27 says I never shrink back if I did not shrink from declaring to you, never, never gave second bath increase weather is convenient or not is season, out of season. He kept on reproving, rebuking, exhorting, kept on exercising the complete patience and teaching announcing faithfully assess what the word means to all the people with that the amounts the whole counsel of God, not the preacher's message so easy to resort to personal preferences to announce what someone else announce that it sounded good and it went over well so let's announce that or an ax to grind or hobbyhorse. You don't have to attend a church very long to realize a pastor has a hobby note, it comes up, and in every tax seems like: preacher human approval is that I'm declaring them announcing the whole counsel of God and that is God's plan for salvation. It starts in Genesis chapter 3 verse 15 where at the outset of sin. God said I'm going to provide the Savior, the seed of the woman he is going to cross Satan's head.
Wonderful promise is where it starts in Orlando's Revelation chapter 22 become to the end of the whole story of salvation and you really blessed are those who wash their robes so that they may have the right to the tree of life, and that they may enter the city by the gate preach all the Bible not the easy parts that talked about one time or these guys moves around a lot is as reason I move every four years is because that's the only number messages that I have is not preaching the whole counsel of God preach all the Bible have had the privilege preaching in the same place for 33 years and the horses give me this incredible privilege to just preach through almost the entire Bible verse by verse Nyman. Deuteronomy right now own a finish that sometime next year and then I'm going to Ecclesiastes. I'm in Luke and just kind starting Luke, chapter 6, and a finish loop in one day. By God's grace and through a miracle I have to preacher Leviticus. I am so afraid of preaching through Leviticus because I know that God has great truths force there and I know so much of Leviticus talk about the sacrificial system is talking about how we worship God in a sense, I want to get there but yikes some of that stuff if you want to talk to my glory. Leviticus 14 when the leper thinks he's healed from his leprosy in the ghost of the priest. How you make it go read that your homework okay good is a how do you make that relevant. This is a challenge preach all even if it's difficult preach what the Bible says careful exegesis careful teaching because you can run into some things in the Bible. I call them divine tensions, probably there's other names for infinite truth that a finite human mind can, not fully comprehending cannot put together truth like Jesus of Nazareth was fully God and fully man. Put that together because one. One week you'll be preaching in a tax that shows he was fully man. He was weary he was tired very next week. You may be preaching in the Texas as he stood on a storm tossed sea and commanded it to be still so much as a way to met last week or God's love. We know that here is love, not that we loved God, he loved us and he pours out his wrath on sinners. See you hit these divine tensions were on one of those classic and you you have to deal with this God is absolutely sovereign, having chose who will be saved before the foundation of the earth and the sinners absolutely responsible to believe you think ahead how your preach Romans chapter 9 final chapter Romans chapter 9 is God's sovereignty chooses Jacob over Esau even chooses to use Pharaoh as a example of wickedness become nonetheless reverses and God says through Paul. You know what Israel it's your fault you don't believe you stumbled over the stumbling stone Jesus preach all the Bible and preach what it sets.
Even the divine tensions because I don't know if you saw this but that showed up in our text to see that.
Why is Paul innocent of the blood of all people.
Paul could have been Calvinist about it. Got you elected everybody but he carried out his responsibility to the glory of God and he said I proclaim the kingdom.
I announce the whole counsel of God.
Therefore, I'm innocent of the blood of fuel that is God's plan for us. Our plan is to trust God and trust his message. Therefore, so much that we just we just literally pour our lives into that.
This is the answer. These are the solutions dilute this. This is why I just choose not to preach topic. I just I just don't. I just choose to preach verse by verse exit genetically depository through the Scriptures wine, because sooner or later ring hit every sin I always had this strange feeling this strange theory that if I was preaching topically, Satan would determine the direction of the church because I would just want to attack whatever the issue, if you just preach through the whole counsel of God, you hit all the issues and it will always be in God's time so that divorce can come up to after the service.
As a boy you are sure picking on me today and I can say probably, we need to talk because I don't know what you're talking about. That's how God does his work with his counsel, and we need to preach father thank you so much for your word. Thank you for giving it to us. Thank you for helping us to understand it. Hope was to preach it. In Jesus name, amen. You been listening to a message by Dr. David Wickham preached in seminary chapel at Bob Jones University. Join us again tomorrow is, we conclude the series for Max 20 here on The Daily Platform