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WHEN REJECTION COMES, THE JOY OF THE LORD GIVES STRENGTH

Acts 22:1-29 | Part 45

 


 

Acts Part 45

  • Rejection. It’s the worst

  • We don’t want it, we don’t expect it.

  • If you get rejected, you're a loser, if you don’t your awesome. Isn’t that how we think?

  • The issue is, we have to risk vulnerability. And when we do this, we expose ourselves. People can see who we are, and where we have been

Luke 10:16 “The one who hears you hears me, and the one who rejects you rejects me, and the one who rejects me rejects him who sent me.”
  • You (rejected) -> Christ (rejected) -> God (rejected)


Acts 22:1-29 “Brothers and fathers, listen now to my defense before you.” 2 When they heard that he was addressing them in Aramaic, they became even quieter.
  • Paul spoke Greek, Hebrew, and Aramaic that we know of

  • All things to all people

3 He continued, “I am a Jew, born in Tarsus of Cilicia but brought up in this city, educated at the feet of Gamaliel according to the strictness of our ancestral law. I was zealous for God, just as all of you are today.
  • From Tarsus, but raised in Jerusalem

  • Best education available. People knew who Gamaliel was

  • Gamaliel was a phd in Jewish law, leader of San Hedrin

  • His Father was also a leader in the San Hedrin

  • His Grandfather was also a leader in the San Hedrin


4 I persecuted this Way to the death, arresting and putting both men and women in jail, 5 as both the high priest and the whole council of elders can testify about me. After I received letters from them to the brothers, I traveled to Damascus to arrest those who were there and bring them to Jerusalem to be punished.
  • Christianity was called, “The Way”

  • Paul was sharing his testimony and it was horrible

  • What was Paul guilty of? Murder. False imprisonment. Making orphans.

6 “As I was traveling and approaching Damascus, about noon an intense light from heaven suddenly flashed around me. 7 I fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to me, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?’ 8 “I answered, ‘Who are you, Lord?’ “He said to me, ‘I am Jesus of Nazareth, the one you are persecuting.’ 9 Now those who were with me saw the light, but they did not hear the voice of the one who was speaking to me.
  • AD 37 salvation experience

  • AD 57 He sharing his testimony

  • What are the things that happened 20 years, 30 years, 40 years ago that you don’t want to talk about? Maybe you’re called to do so

Matthew 5:16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.
  • Was Paul letting his light shine? Yes. Through his darkness

  • Sharing our dark times, makes the light of Christ so much brighter!!

10 “I said, ‘What should I do, Lord?’ “The Lord told me, ‘Get up and go into Damascus, and there you will be told everything that you have been assigned to do.’ 11 “Since I couldn’t see because of the brightness of the light, I was led by the hand by those who were with me, and went into Damascus. 12 Someone named Ananias, a devout man according to the law, who had a good reputation with all the Jews living there, 13 came and stood by me and said, ‘Brother Saul, regain your sight.’ And in that very hour I looked up and saw him.
  • Saul the murderer is knocked off his horse and struck blind

  • For three days he couldn’t see and did not eat or drink anything (Acts 9)

14 And he said, ‘The God of our ancestors has appointed you to know his will, to see the Righteous One, and to hear the words from his mouth, 15 since you will be a witness for him to all people of what you have seen and heard. 16 And now, why are you delaying? Get up and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on his name.’
  • Forgiveness for sinners is INSTANT.

  • The witness of the believer for Christ is also INSTANT

17 “After I returned to Jerusalem and was praying in the temple, I fell into a trance 18 and saw him telling me, ‘Hurry and get out of Jerusalem quickly, because they will not accept your testimony about me.’ 19 “But I said, ‘Lord, they know that in synagogue after synagogue I had those who believed in you imprisoned and beaten. 20 And when the blood of your witness Stephen was being shed, I stood there giving approval and guarding the clothes of those who killed him.’
  • Paul was already accepting potential death

  • His salvation was greater than any suffering

  • The truth He had been looking for all of his life had found him and saved him. He would never be the same!

21 “He said to me, ‘Go, because I will send you far away to the Gentiles.’” 22 They listened to him up to this point. Then they raised their voices, shouting, “Wipe this man off the face of the earth! He should not be allowed to live!”

Acts 9:29 And he was talking and arguing with the Hellenistic Jews; but they were attempting to put him to death.

Acts 13:50 But the Jews incited the devout women of prominence and the leading men of the city, and instigated a persecution against Paul and Barnabas, and drove them out of their district.

Acts 14:5 And when an attempt was made by both the Gentiles and the Jews with their rulers, to mistreat and to stone them,

Acts 14:19 But Jews came from Antioch and Iconium, and having won over the crowds, they stoned Paul and dragged him out of the city, supposing him to be dead.

Acts 16:22 The crowd rose up together against them, and the chief magistrates tore their robes off them and proceeded to order them to be beaten with rods.

Acts 18:12 But while Gallio was proconsul of Achaia, the Jews with one accord rose up against Paul and brought him before the judgment seat,

  • The crowd’s response to the truth was rejection

  • Why?


 

To accept a TRUTH you are unaware of means you are in error. You have Been deceived or chosen deception


 

23 As they were yelling and flinging aside their garments and throwing dust into the air, 24 the commander ordered him to be brought into the barracks, directing that he be interrogated with the scourge to discover the reason they were shouting against him like this.
  • Sin at it’s core is a lie, and all lies have murderous intent

  • It wants to eliminate anything that stands in its way

  • Our responsibility, again, is to SHINE LIGHT on darkness

25 As they stretched him out for the lash, Paul said to the centurion standing by, “Is it legal for you to scourge a man who is a Roman citizen and is uncondemned?” 26 When the centurion heard this, he went and reported to the commander, saying, “What are you going to do? For this man is a Roman citizen.” 27 The commander came and said to him, “Tell me, are you a Roman citizen?” “Yes,” he said. 28 The commander replied, “I bought this citizenship for a large amount of money.” “But I was born a citizen,” Paul said. 29 So those who were about to examine him withdrew from him immediately. The commander too was alarmed when he realized Paul was a Roman citizen and he had bound him.
  • The Romans had more respect for Paul’s citizenship than what he said

  • Today, people respect more of what you have than who you know


 

Christians:

  • Be less of a buddy and more of a real friend. Tell the truth and accept the rejection. It defines you as Jesus' family

Non-Christians:

  • Come to Christ out of need

  • Come to Christ because your way doesn’t work anymore

  • Come to Christ because you want to be loved and valued!

  • Don’t come to Christ because you are expected to

  • Don’t come to Christ because all of your friends and family are doing it


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