The Devil, the Dark, and the Deliverance Part 2

Last week we focused on the role we have. Paul experienced the change and testified of his life’s story–who he was before salvation, what happened when he met Jesus, and the change that came from that. People were looking for the reason Paul was arrested. In the eyes of the Sanhedrin he was committing crimes. Paul counted it an honor. Jesus was guilty of nothing more than being our Savior. Look at all the people Paul witnessed to because of his arrest:  rulers such as Festus and Felix and then the current king of Jerusalem. Agrippa was a descendant of the same who tried to kill Jesus as a baby. Paul witnessed to all these and many more because of his arrest. He wanted to take his case to Caesar. He knew it would cost him his life.  He said he was ready to be offered.

Our primary direction as Christians is this. We have been left in this world is to witness of our personal experience as a believer.  When people question why I still hold to the KJV I say because it works. When asked why I live as I do I say it works. When I’m in or out of God’s will I know it.  The chastening of the hand of God is better than being buttered for Satan’s toast.

We are to share the scripture truth with others as well.  I was never saved until I came to the truth. If we don’t bring the truth to people they won’t get it.  We can’t depend on getting them to church. We have to plant seeds. Truth is only in the Word of God; it is not our opinions  We share that truth. Then each person has the choice to do with the truth what they want.

Acts 26:16 But rise, and stand upon thy feet: for I have appeared unto thee for this purpose, to make thee a minister and a witness both of these things which thou hast seen, and of those things in the which I will appear unto thee; 17 Delivering thee from the people, and from the Gentiles, unto whom now I send thee, 18 To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me. 19 Whereupon, O king Agrippa, I was not disobedient unto the heavenly vision.

Of all the aspects of our duty in serving God, witnessing is the one that the devil fights us with the most. At Paul’s conversion Jesus told him of things to come. Paul humbled his heart and believed. He was blinded physically in the process of breaking him.  He was to go to the home of Ananias. He prayed for him and his sight was restored. He was baptized and then began serving the Lord. He dedicated himself to service of the Lord.  Sure. He was probably scared. He had been the enemy of Christians and now he was one. He did it anyway because he was saved.

We can visit and openly talk to people.  They talk openly of all their views. When we talk of sin and Jesus remember this is not a viewpoint.  It’s truth! That’s what they need. Never say “this is what I think” or “in my opinion”. Of course it is what you think and your opinion but it’s based on the Word of God.  Say “the Bible says….”

What got to others when Paul spoke to them was the fact that he was authentic.  Felix trembled just like Belshazzar did when he saw the handwriting on the wall.  You don’t have to keep reminding everyone you are a Christian. You shouldn’t have to talk that way.  Lost people should be able to see it, know it. They will know if you are authentic. Don’t brag about being a Christian or how good you are.  Brag on the Lord. Paul stirred hearts of all he encountered because he was real.

Paul realized that it would cost his life. He knew he was up against an enemy like none he’d ever been against.  His real enemy wasn’t another Christian or the Roman Empire. His enemy was Satan. Your enemy is Satan. He’s behind it all.  Before his encounter with Jesus, Paul thought he was right with God. He was accepted by leaders of the temple. He had high ambitions as a Pharisee but came to realize that he was in darkness.  Jesus had to blind him to show him how in the dark he was.

We have to realize the condition of the lost.  They are hopelessly blind. They don’t know or understand their sin is sin.  They really don’t see it even if others tell them. Listen, we were saved from something and it was our sins!  Paul thought he was doing the right thing putting Christians in prison. He felt good about it. He was the best of all the temple people.  He didn’t realize his sin was sin until Jesus spoke to him. Jesus won’t knock everyone off their horse like he did Paul. That’s why he has us!

Before you were saved did you really take to heart what your sin was doing to others?  We all have influence on someone. I was a worry to my parents and a holy terror to some of my teachers in school. I wasn’t liked a lot because of the kind of sinner I was. You have to remember that sinners are in darkness just like you once were.  We, of all people, should understand they are blind and don’t know what effect they are having. I was mean to Christians. When lost people are mean to you, don’t take it to heart.  Don’t give up on them. They are in darkness. They cannot see where they’re going. At times, I’d worry about going to hell. Another Christian might say something to me or leave a gospel tract somewhere that I’d see it.  I’d get away from it and not think about it. We were fine until someone shined the light. We would never have known the Lord had someone not shined the light of God to us.

If we don’t shine the light, people we know will never see where they are going.  They are hopelessly blind. We are the lights and we should shine! One little candle can go further than you think.  Let’s let our little lights shine.

I’ll finish this up next week.

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