(Ill. Ask the congregation to turn with you to the 29th
chapter of the Book of Acts. Obviously, there is no 29th chapter. However, we
are living in that time right now. Now, have the congregation turn to Acts 28:30-31.)
Acts 28:30-31 ACTS CHAPTER 29
Intro: Ill. We are living in the 29th chapter Acts right now!
What I mean by that is this, we are living in a time when the Holy Spirit is still active
in the world. A time when God is still trying to win the lost to Jesus. A time when
witnesses to the truth of the Gospel are still badly needed. As we look at the 2 closing
verses of Acts, we see the Apostle Paul busily engaged in the work of witnessing. He lays
down the pattern that we are to follow as we live out Acts Chapter 29 in our day and time.
You see, our duty in these last day is that we busy ourselves with spreading the Gospel
and in winning the lost to Jesus. That is our mandate, that is our call and that is our
mission in this world. Tonight, let's take a few minutes to look at these 2 verses and
glean some lessons that will help us do the work of God in these last days.
I. V. 30 THE SCOPE OF PAUL'S MINISTRY
A. Paul received "all" who came to him. He didn't
discriminate, but shared Christ with all who crossed his path. If one will take a minute
to look at the ministry of the great Apostle, it becomes clear that Paul was a witness for
Jesus. He shared the Gospel with both great and small that he might win some to Jesus.
1. Acts 9:20 - The Jews in the synagogue.
2. Acts 9:29 - The Greeks
3. Acts 13:14-19 - To both Jews and Gentiles in Antioch.
4. Acts 16:12-15 - To Lydia in Philippi
5. Acts 16:23-33 - To the Philippian jailer and his family.
6. Acts 17:22-34 - To the Greeks in Athens.
7. Acts 24:22-25 - To Felix the governor.
8. Acts 26:1-32 - To King Agrippa
9. Acts 27:22-29 - To some sailors on a ship.
10. Philippians 4:22 - To those of Caesar's household.
B. Paul realized that every person he met was a candidate for salvation.
Therefore, he did not discriminate, but reached out to all in the awesome love of God.
(Ill. Paul certainly has a heart for the lost - Rom. 9:3; Rom. 10:1)
C. What a lesson for us! We must never forget that the field's are white
unto harvest, John 4:35. And, that Jesus desires to save all men - 2 Pet. 3:9; 2 Cor.
5:14; 1 Tim. 2:4. The door of salvation is open to whosoever will. Therefore, we must
reach out to all who cross our path. Ill. No human is beyond the reach of God's great love
for sinners! They all need to hear, but they will need someone to tell them about Jesus,
Rom. 10:13-17) (Is that preacher you?)
(Ill. Imagine being a salesman with a product that every person in the
world needed. No matter who you met, they needed what you were selling. Not all would buy,
but just knowing that everyone needed your product would give you great confidence in
presenting it. So it is with salvation. Every person who crosses our path needs to hear
the message of salvation. Not all will receive it, but some will. Those who do make it
worth the effort. Whether they receive it our not, it still helps to know that they need
(Ill. It isn't always easy to witness and the people we meet don't make
it any easier, but they all need Jesus and they all need to hear the Gospel. Just look for
ways to share it. Ill. A Christian worker went into a restaurant to buy an inexpensive meal. A
waitress approached him and in a rather brusque voice demanded, "Can I help
you?" "Yes, ma'am." "You want our special for the day?"
"Yes, ma'am." "Coffee with your order?" "Yes, ma'am," he
replied absent-mindedly, for his thoughts were occupied with some important spiritual
matters. Suddenly the uncongenial waitress flared up, exclaiming sarcastically, "Is
that all you can say?" Before he could catch himself, he once again replied,
"Yes, ma'am!" With a curse she stamped away in disgust and anger. When the food
was ready, she almost threw it on the table and showed contempt with every action.
Although he did not have much money, he sacrificially laid a five-dollar bill on the table
as he left. As he was paying the cashier, the discourteous waitress called, "Sir, you
left this money on the table!" "Isn't that the usual place to leave a tip?"
he replied, smiling at her warmly. The girl blushed and then began to make apologies for
her hateful actions. The missionary said cordially, "I figured you must have some
heavy burdens on your heart or you wouldn't have been so easily upset. I thought a good
tip might encourage you." By this time the girl was brokenhearted, and she told him
of the many problems facing her. Before he left the restaurant, he was able to lead that
waitress to the Lord!)
(Ill. Sinners are all around us, so finding people to
witness to isn't a problem - Ill. Chuck Colson tells the story of a Marine Corps commander
in Korea named Chesty Puller. Puller's unit was frontally engaged in a fierce fire fight
with a North Korean unit when word came that some of the enemy had slipped around onto his
right flank. Then, a few minutes later, another scout radioed in that enemy troops had now
moved onto Puller's left flank as well. Finally, the news came that North Korean troops
had established a position behind Puller's unit: he was completely surrounded.
Puller said, "By God, they won't get away from me this time!")
(Ill. You never know where God is working, so tell all you
meet about our wonderful Savior - Ill. A leading newspaper executive was visited by a
local pastor. The man of God came right to the point as they shook hands. "My
friend," he said, "I'm here to ask you to become a Christian." The editor
walked over to a window and for several minutes stood looking down into the street. The
minister thought he had offended him. Finally the man turned, his face wet with tears.
Taking his visitor's hand again, he said, "Thank you for your concern. Since I was a
young boy at my mother's knee, not a single relative or business associate has ever taken
an interest in my soul. I thought no one cared!")
I. V. 30 The Scope Of Paul's Ministry
II. V 31 THE SCHEME OF PAUL'S MINISTRY
A. Paul spend his days pointing men to Jesus! He knew that
the greatest need of their soul was for a personal relationship with the Lord Jesus
Christ. Therefore, he didn't spend time talking about Paul's opinion, he just pointed them
to Jesus, the place where real help can be found!
(Ill. This was a trait shared by man in the early days of
1. Philip - Acts 8:35
2. Peter - Acts 3:20
3. The converts of Stephen - Acts 11:20)
B. Our message isn't about this church, our denomination,
or our personal opinions. Our message is about Jesus and His death, resurrection and love
for sinners. After all, it isn't our persuasiveness, our wit, our wisdom or our
familiarity with Baptist doctrine that saves, it is the Gospel of Christ and it alone that
has the power of salvation.)
(Ill. Ted Demoss writes: "In the course of my job
selling insurance, I walked into an apartment building one day to call on a man whose name
had been sent to my office in response to a direct mail program. I went to the door of his
third- floor apartment and knocked.
"The man spoke through the door without opening it,
`Who's out there?'
"I had learned in selling insurance that you never
say, `The insurance man,' because people might not open the door. So I just cheerfully
replied, `I'm Ted DeMoss...' The man inside bristled defensively, `If I open this door,
I'll throw you down those stairs. Now get away from my door!'
"Since I sincerely thought the he had inquired about
insurance, I persisted. `Mister, I'm not going to hurt you. Please open the door. I've got
to talk to you.'
"I fully intended to talk with the man about
insurance, but when he opened the door, I realized there was no point in that. Before me
stood a man with a white beard who looked like a thin Santa Claus. I hadn't been in the
business long, but I knew he was too old to buy any insurance I might sell him. Looking
directly at me, he demanded, `I opened the door. Now, what to you want to talk about?'
"`I want to come in and talk to you.'
"`What do you want to talk about?' he snapped.
"I persisted. `May I come in?' As I spoke, the Spirit
of God impressed me to talk with this man, a complete stranger, about Jesus Christ. At age
25, I had never done that before. Finally, he stepped aside and said, `Come in, then.'
"I entered, and we both sat down on the couch in the
living room. Looking straight at me, the elderly man asked curiously, `What do you want to
"I paused for a moment, then said the only thing that
came to mind. `I want to read the Bible to you.' He consented. `I don't have a Bible,' I
said weakly. `Do you have one?'
"He looked puzzled for a moment. `I don't know whether
I have a Bible or not. I've been blind for many years.' I asked if I could look around the
apartment for one, and he agreed. After a brief search, I found a Bible covered with dust
on top of a stack of books.
"Walking back to the couch, I opened the Bible to the
third chapter of John and began to read slowly. The further I read, the more scared I
felt. My Christian friends had never told me what to do next. So I read slower and more
deliberately until I got to verse 18: `He that believeth in Him is not condemned: but he
that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the
only begotten Son of God.'
"I finished that verse, praying silently for the Lord
to give me wisdom as to what I should do. I looked over at the old man, and what I saw
shocked me--his beard was wet with tears! God had indeed spoken to this man through His
"`Sir, would you like to invite Jesus Christ into your
life right now, right here?' I asked softly.
"The man nodded thoughtfully, `Well, I would like to
do it right now, but not here.'
"`Where do you want to do it?'
"`I want to do it with my mother.'
Mentally, I was scratching my head. The man had told me he
was 81, and I thought, `What do I say now?'
"I decided to ask, `Where is your mother?'
"`In the kitchen,' he pointed.
"Thinking he had a picture of her hanging in the
kitchen, I supposed he wanted to go there for sentimental reasons. We made our way back to
the kitchen, and to my surprise, there was his mother sitting in a canvas-backed chair.
She was 98 years old and an invalid.
"I can still hear the old man's words as if he were
speaking them today, `Mother, God has sent a man to our home.'
"I had gone on this call thinking the insurance
company had sent me, but I quickly realized that what he was saying was true.
"`He's been reading the Bible to me, and I'm going to
accept Jesus Christ.'
"I have never heard anyone scream like she did in my
life! When she regained control of her emotions, the aged woman said an amazing thing:
`Mister, I don't know who you are, but I have prayed for my boy every day for over 80
"Her son and I got on our knees, and I had the joy of
praying with him and seeing him come to Christ.")
(Ill. Notice that Paul says in Romans 1:16, "I am not
ashamed of the Gospel." There are times when you may have to be ashamed of your
denomination or of your church, but you never have to be ashamed of the Gospel of Christ.
It never changes, never compromises, never weakens and never fails - Isa. 55:11!)
C. Let us learn that as we go through life, our highest
duty before God and to our fellow man, is to share the Gospel of a loving Savior with a
lost and dying world.
(Ill. Let's point them to Jesus and then point them to
I. The Scope Of Paul's Ministry
II. The Scheme Of Paul's Ministry
III. V. 31 THE SUCCESS OF PAUL'S MINISTRY
A. The success of Paul's ministry did not lie in the number
of conversions he obtained. He was successful because he was faithfully carrying out the
Great Commission, Matt. 28:19-20, Mark 16:15.
(Ill. The Great Commission is a call an a command that lies
upon the shoulders of every Christian. As R. A. Torrey was preaching one day, he noticed a
young lawyer in his audience to whom he had often presented the claims of the Gospel. At
the close of the service he greeted the man and inquired if he had yet received the Lord.
"Yes," said his friend. "I now consider myself a full- fledged
Christian." Torrey was delighted, but then he added, "I suppose you are seeking
to bring others to the Savior?" "No, I'm not," he replied. "I don't
believe that's my business, it's yours. I feel called to practice law, not to
preach." Torrey sat down with him and opened his Bible to the eighth chapter of Acts.
Pointing to verse 4, he said, "Here, see what is said about the early
Christians." His lawyer friend read aloud, "...they that were scattered abroad
went everywhere preaching the word." Stopping abruptly, he objected, "Oh, but
those were just the apostles." "Please look at the first verse of the
chapter." The lawyer was amazed to read, "...and they were ALL scattered abroad
throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria, except the apostles." The evangelist
reminded him that the Lord expects all His children in some way to tell others of His
grace. "No matter what your regular work may be," said Torrey, "you should
also engage in witnessing.")
B. The same truth applies to us as well. We may not see
people saved everyday. We may go months or years and never personally lead a soul to
Jesus. However, we are successful in the work if we are faithful to witness at every
opportunity. Not all Christians are reapers. Some are planters, some are sent to water,
but all are essential to the work of soulwinning. Ultimately, it is God who decides who is
a planter or a reaper, 1 Cor. 3:6-8. Our duty is to be faithful to share.
C. Please do not misunderstand me, you may not be winning
souls, but be sure that you are witnessing as you go through life.
(Ill. Opportunities for witnessing abound! Our duty is to
be ready when one presents itself to us - 1 Peter 3:15.)
(Ill. "After being hit by a beer bottle thrown
by a passing motorist, Nashville police officer Tim Sullivan began pursuit of the car--not
knowing the situation was an answer to prayer. As he pulled the motorist over, Sullivan
saw the driver was crying and upset. "`He'd been married 18 years, and his wife had
decided it was time to get a divorce,' says Sullivan. A field sobriety test revealed the
driver was sober, and Sullivan concluded the man hadn't seen the police car when he threw
the bottle, so no citation was given.
"However, who Sullivan had just prayed that week for a
witnessing opportunity, saw a divine appointment. He shared the plan of salvation. `The
man realized if he didn't do something with his life he was going nowhere,' says Sullivan.
`We talked about what Christ could do in his life. The motorist called my house a couple
of days later and told my wife it was probably the most important time in his life, being
stopped by me.'")
(Ill. It was the seventh game of the 1962 World
Series. The San Francisco Giants had a man on second base, which put him near New York
Yankee second baseman Bobby Richardson. When the Yanks decided to change pitchers,
Richardson, who was a Christian, saw a unique opportunity. While the new pitcher was
warming up, he walked over to the man on second and asked him if he knew Jesus as his
When the runner reached the dugout later, he asked teammate
Felipe Alou, who was also a Christian, what was going on. "Even in the seventh game
of the World Series," he said to Felipe, "you people are still talking about
Jesus." That runner couldn't understand what made Christians so eager to talk about
Jesus Christ, even in highly unusual situations.)
(Ill. Never feel that you can't witness. All of Christ's
Disciples were just ordinary men until He called them and changed them. Jesus took them as they were, saved them and placed them into His harvest. Ill.
Mark 4:16-17 - Note: "to become" By His power, Jesus made them something they
hadn't formerly been. By the way, He has done the same thing for every true child of God -
Acts 1:8. The Holy Ghost is the source of soul winning power!)
Conc: Ill. Shame on the Christian who simply won't witness. We need men
and women who aren't afraid to stand up and tell a lost world about Jesus. If you are
saved, you have a responsibility to the lost around you. Please get busy telling everybody
before it is forever too late.
Ill. A poor scrub woman was wonderfully converted,
and she lost no opportunity in telling others about it. One day a Christian friend who
didn't share her enthusiasm for witnessing heckled her and said, "Aren't you carrying
your religion a bit too far?" "Maybe I am, but you aren't carrying your's far
enough!" "But," said the other, "yesterday I saw you testifying to the
wooden Indian in front of a drugstore!" Without hesitation she replied, "Maybe
so, maybe so. My eyes are getting poor, and I take no chances; but talking to a wooden
Indian about Christ isn't half as bad as being a wooden Indian who never talks about
What have you been doing to reach the lost around you? If you haven't
been sharing your faith and feel convicted about it, then I invite you to make it right
this evening. God is looking for some people who will be His spokesmen in this day. As
Acts 29 continues to unfold, will you be the one who will go for God into this lost world?
Will you share Jesus with the fallen?