18 August 2016

Sent into the world

Theme: Spreading the Gospel

Know: Under the direction of the Spirit, the church at Antioch sent Paul and Barnabas to take the gospel to the Gentiles.
Think: Be conscious that is has always been God's plan that the gospel be taken to all people.
Do: Share the gospel at every opportunity, realizing that some will listen, and others will not.

Scriptures: Acts 13:1-52

Notes and questions:
B1 Is the number of Bible believing Christians increasing or decreasing? (In western cultures/countries the number and percent is going down, while the "nones" are increasing).
B2 The Gospel is spread by people who preach to other people.
B3 What are we to do when the area is saturated with preaching of the Gospel?
B4 Acts 13 outline
  • The call of Paul and Barnabas to minister Acts 13:1-3
  • Their ministry on Cyprus Acts 13:4-12
  • Their ministry Perga Acts 13:13 (This is when John Mark deserted them).
  • Their ministry in Antioch of Pisidia. Acts 13:14-52
B5 Who are these people? "Barnabas, Simeon called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen (who had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch) and Saul."
  • Barnabas is the well-known Bible character who introduced Paul to the Apostles.
  • Simeon is unknown with some suggesting that he was Simeon of Cyrene.
  • Lucius is thought to be one of the evangelists of Acts 11 (Then those who were scattered because of the tribulation coming about over Stephen, went about as far as Phoenicia, and Cyprus, and Antioch, speaking the word to no one except Jews only. But some of them were men from Cyprus and Cyrene, who, entering into Antioch spoke to the Greek speaking Jews, preaching the good news of the Lord Jesus. (Acts 11:19-20 EMTV, and possibly Paul's relative (Timothy, my fellow worker, and Lucius, Jason, and Sosipater, my relatives, greet you. (Romans 16:21 EMTV)).
  • Manaen had been brought up (as a foster brother) of Herod the Tetrarch, Herod Antipas. The grew up together, were educated together, and had many privileges together, but one was an evil king and the other a teacher.
  • Saul, that is, Paul, the famous Apostle.
B6 Acts 13:2, if we minister (pray and worship in song) to the Lord, will we receive revelation, "The Holy Spirit said...?" No, there were prophets there in the service. There are no prophets today. People may call themselves prophets, but they are not. Qualifications of being a prophet.
"The LORD your God will raise up for you a Prophet like me from your midst, from your brethren. Him you shall hear, according to all you desired of the LORD your God in Horeb in the day of the assembly, saying, 'Let me not hear again the voice of the LORD my God, nor let me see this great fire anymore, lest I die.' "And the LORD said to me: 'What they have spoken is good. I will raise up for them a Prophet like you from among their brethren, and will put My words in His mouth, and He shall speak to them all that I command Him. And it shall be that whoever will not hear My words, which He speaks in My name, I will require it of him. But the prophet who presumes to speak a word in My name, which I have not commanded him to speak, or who speaks in the name of other gods, that prophet shall die.' And if you say in your heart, 'How shall we know the word which the LORD has not spoken?'— when a prophet speaks in the name of the LORD, if the thing does not happen or come to pass, that is the thing which the LORD has not spoken; the prophet has spoken it presumptuously; you shall not be afraid of him. (Deuteronomy 18:15-22 NKJV)
  • God speaks a message to that person who in turn tells the people.
  • What the prophet says must 100% come true.
  • Speaks in the name of another so-called god.

"Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Therefore by their fruits you will know them. (Matthew 7:15-20 NKJV)
  • Fruits, that is, the characteristics of a non-Christian life (Galatians 5:17-21)
  • No repentance
  • No desire to do what is right
  • No desire to please God
  • No love for God ("...if you love me, you will keep (obey) my commandments..."). No fear of God

But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction. And many will follow their destructive ways, because of whom the way of truth will be blasphemed. By covetousness they will exploit you with deceptive words; for a long time their judgment has not been idle, and their destruction does not slumber. (2 Peter 2:1-3 NKJV)
  • False doctrine (heresies), even heresies that hurt people and their faith
  • Might even deny Jesus Christ
  • Not interested in telling the truth
  • Deceptive
  • Covetous
  • Exploit, take advantage of, others

Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God, and every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God. And this is the spirit of the Antichrist, which you have heard was coming, and is now already in the world. (1 John 4:1-3 NKJV)
  • False doctrine of Jesus Christ

“Then if any man tells you, ‘Behold, here is the Christ,’ or, ‘There,’ don't believe it. For there will arise false christs, and false prophets, and they will show great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the chosen ones.  “Behold, I have told you beforehand. If therefore they tell you, ‘Behold, he is in the wilderness,’ don't go out; ‘Behold, he is in the inner rooms,’ don't believe it. Matthew 24:23-26 WEB
  • May do false miracles
  • Lead astray from the one, true God and His truth
B7 Acts 13:1-3, who sends the missionaries? The congregation. The church...
  • Is both local and universal. The local church is the congregation. The church is all believers regardless of denominational tag. The church is the body of Christ.
  • Has a mission. This includes
    • A dwelling place for God (Ephesians 2:20-22)
    • Bearing witness to the truth (1 Timothy 3:15)
    • Showing God's wonderful, manifold wisdom (Ephesians 3:10)
    • Bringing glory to God (Ephesians 3:20-21)
    • Edifying, teaching, the members (Ephesians 4:11-13)
    • Disciplining members (Matthew 15:15-17, 1 Corinthians 5:1-5, 1 Corinthians 5:9-13)
    • Evangelizing, preaching, the Gospel (Matthew 28:18-20, Romans 10:15-18)
    • Worshiping together (Hebrews 10:25, compare Psalm 100:4, Acts 20:7, 1 Timothy 4:13)
B8 Acts 13:4-7, who shows up when the Gospel is preached? Do the false still show up today? Do you have any examples?
B9 Acts 13:8-12
  • Sorcerer--a person who "tells the future" using astrology, who uses divination, and who uses witchcraft. Basically a person who uses occult ways to know things, do things, and influence things.
  • "Filled with the Spirit"--The Holy Spirit helping the person with wisdom in action (Exodus 28:3, Exodus 31:3, Exodus 35:31, Luke 1:15, Luke 2:40, Acts 9:17, Acts 13:52),  or speech (Luke 1:41, Luke 1:67, Acts 2:4, Acts 4:8, Acts 4:31, Acts 5:3, Acts 13:9-11), and both (Ephesians 5:18). This is for something rare and special. The Lord Jesus had the Spirit without measure (John 3:34, Psalm 45:7, Isaiah 11:2-5) and "was upon Him" (Luke 4:18). There are many other passages as well. Personally I'm not convinced that Ephesians 5:18 is referring to people having leadings or experiences with God but rather do to with clear-headed and self-controlled worship without trances or signs/symptoms of possession.
  • What does a false prophet attempt to do? (Lead away from the truth).
B10 Acts 13:13, what happened to John?
B11 Acts 13:14-15, why did they usually go to a synagogue first?
B12 Acts 13:16-20, what is the main point in Paul's message?
B13 Acts 13:21-22, what is the main point here?
B14 Acts 13:23-25, what is the focus of this part?
B15 Acts 13:26-31, what is the summary of these verses?
B16 Acts 13:32-35, what is the importance of Jesus resurrection?
B17 Acts 13:36-41, what contrast is shown here? Why is this contrast important? How do we apply it to today's world?
B18 Acts 13:42-43, what effect did the Gospel have on these people? (Two different responses--one resisted and one did not resist).
B19 Acts 13:44-45, what is happening here? Why did the Jews get upset? How did they try to defeat the missionaries? Is that same method used today? How do we respond?
B20 Acts 13:46-48, why did some reject the Gospel? Why do people today reject it? What is the meaning of the words "...think yourselves to be unworthy of eternal life?"
B21 Acts 13:49-52, why is preaching the Gospel so offensive to some people? Are we to quit then? Why do they use verbal and physical abuse to try and stop the missionaries and the preaching of the Gospel?
B22 Why is knowledge of the Bible and Bible memorization important for the Christian?

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