by | Nov 5, 2023 | Podcast, Sermons

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Preacher: Pastor Chuck Holiday

Scripture: Acts 28:1-16

The Harvest is ready and Jesus says,“Go!” He has called his church to go into the world with nothing but the Gospel and the Spirit and to expect great results.


Morning great to see you all this morning and and uh glad to be able to One Last Time open the the uh Gospel of Acts David’s got one more next week and then believe it or not we’re we’re Landing the plane after over a year and uh the big question you know you know uh I guess the big question at least in my mind is okay we’re going to get off the plane where are we going to go what are we going to do uh you know it’s it’s it’s kind of scary as a preacher to finish a series a lengthy series and you know because you always remember the words of James that it’s for a man who looks in the mirror and then forgets what he saw you know it’s better if you never took a look you know to study the book of Acts for over a year and to not be changed by it um it’s it’s kind of humbling it’s scary it’s like okay Lord that was interesting that was exciting but am I any different than I was a year ago about talking to my neighbors about praying for my neighbors um what’s Chang changed in our hearts and where where are we going to go when we get off this plane and uh so that’s something for us to be praying about David and I have been praying about it as a church uh and each of us individually okay Lord what difference does this make for me and uh hopefully today uh God will begin to draw us a little closer to to some of those answers I wanna I want to start in uh that the Gospel reading this morning and I’m I’m going to tie it in with this reading in Acts but in this Gospel reading uh Jesus the big the big overarching statement to his to the 72 that he’s sending out to train and by the way he didn’t send them to seminary first he didn’t require a lot of theological study first he just sent them out and and I promise you every one of them was saying but Lord we’re not ready we’re not ready and and the overarching statement and for this passage Jesus says the Harvest is ready finally the kingdom is near he says in the verses following that we didn’t read he says the prophets and kings of old long to see this day and they didn’t get to see it but you get to see it the kingdom has come the king is

here and he and he he said I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven and I’m going to give you power and authority over him and and and what’s his big statement the Harvest is

ready Now’s the Time and and he wasn’t talking about a day he was talking about an age the age of the kingdom in which we live now the reason I tie these two together is because Paul believed that now back back to Look what Jesus said in in Luke 10 briefly this is this is going to be real brief but I want you to think of three three things he said first he said go he said go he didn’t say wait for people to come to you he didn’t say go ahead and do church and if people come in be be nice to them let them stay he said go so what does it mean to go might mean different things for different ones of us but Jesus said go and let me remind you this is All Saints Day which means we’re all Saints if you know the Lord Jesus Christ the word of God calls you a

saint you’re a saint and God says to you go he says to me go so that means different things for different ones of us according to your giftedness according to your position in life but it means go not wait not even receive it means go okay the second thing he said to the 72 he says go with nothing but the gospel he said I want you to leave everything that you might think makes you equipped

behind I don’t want you to take any money don’t want you to take take an extra set of clothes I don’t want you to make a reservation for a lodging before you get there I want you to go empty needy vulnerable in fact he said I’m sending you out like little lambs into a flock of into a into a herd of wolves he said that’s the point you need to go without any self-sufficiency at all no self-reliance for this mission because I am going to teach you that what you need is available through God it will be there when you need it now this is we’re not going to overdo this it doesn’t mean that savings accounts are wrong it doesn’t mean that planning is bad it doesn’t mean any of that but it means you must not trust in any of that and to teach them the lesson he said no I want you to go on this Mission with no provision for your needs I’m going to show you what I can do for you when you have nothing but me so go but go with nothing but the gospel and and thirdly he said and expect everything good to happen expect results this is not just an exercise and martyrdom you are going to change the world because you have the gospel and it’s the age of the Kingdom it’s the age of the Harvest you will be unstoppable because my kingdom has come and my kingdom is Unstoppable okay that’s that’s the message of Luke 10 that Jesus had for his 72 that he was training for their for their future work as as missionaries and evangelists and and um representing Jesus now now let’s go to Paul okay the end of chapter see Paul believed that Paul wasn’t

there Paul came late to the party but he got the same message and and Paul believed that you know Paul was living with a purpose worth dying for and yet knowing he could not be stopped until he had finished his purpose now some you might be when you look at the life of um the Apostle Paul you might some of the old English Puritan preachers used to say their advice to pastors was preach as a dying man to dying men you know the urgency and the freedom of I’m gonna die tomorrow at the stake so say what you got to say and preach that way every Sunday okay and you can see that Paul was Fearless he was living as a dying man but but I you know the image I like better he was living as a resurrected man yesen okay he knew that he had an eternal life that had been given to him and that nobody could take away from him and yes he’s GNA die but he’s gonna live forever with Jesus and he preached with that kind of expectation I am preaching to dying people but I am preaching as a resurrected man to dying people with that conviction with that power now I I love this story this picture of Paul you know I just love it partly because I you know I love I love sailing um I hate

snakes you know but I just love this picture of Paul you know Paul was a bookworm he was a theologian he was he was trained to be a professional clergy he wasn’t trained to be in shipwrecks and dealing with Roman centurions and serpents and let the Hoy pooy do that you know the common people do that stuff I’m I’ve been raised up and trained for a higher purpose well there was no there was no erors with Paul don’t you love this you know he was a prisoner a a bookworm a a member of the clergy but here he is essentially taking command of this ship you know everybody’s taking their orders from Paul now the prisoner you know the little squirly Bookworm you know not the professional sailor not the Centurion not the not the guy that works out every every weekend and probably never in his life he just walked all the time

but essentially he’s in charge now he gets off he gets out of the ocean like everybody else exhausted I mean physically have you ever been out in the ocean and just get gotten caught in the waves and I mean he is absolutely as exhausted as anybody else on that ship he hasn’t eaten any more than they have he hasn’t had any more rest than they

have and it’s raining and it’s cold have you ever come out of the ocean when it’s raining and cold and you’re already freezing and you can just barely get to your car and turn to heater on well there’s no there’s no house but but you know the the uh Islanders have been kind and they saw what was happening and they started a fire now here’s Paul and I’m thinking okay I’ve done my thing here you guys go build a go get some brush you know I mean I just saved 276 people including myself and here we are because God has used me as his Prophet to speak truth to you guys and I’m tired and I’m an old man at least I feel like an old man he was probably 60 or so and he said can I just rest and you and I’m freezing to death and I don’t have the energy no what does Paul do oh we need some more wood so he goes and gets some more would he doesn’t wait for anybody to serve him he’s always asking how can I help what can I do need a sermon I’ll give you a sermon need some brush for the fire I’ll go get the brush he was a servant he he was always thinking of others he was always thinking what can I do not what should somebody do for me and I love that picture of Paul he’s tired he’s cold he’s exhausted and he’s he’s serving going to gather wood he’s as cold as everybody else but he’s going to get the wood and he gets bit by a

snake Okay and he treats it like it’s a mosquito get off of me he’s not screaming like a little girl he’s not he’s not running for medicine he just shakes the thing off in the fire and says get out of here don’t bother me

I mean what a bad dude you know I mean Deon Sanders would say that’s a dog that’s a man that guy’s not afraid of anything that guy’s determined he’s focused he knows what he’s about’s I mean this this guy’s

unbelievable it’s who he was he’s a resurrect Ed man living for the sake of people who were dying in their sins he was a man of purpose of conviction of

strength well he he believed what Jesus said to those 72 he believed that he had been sent he had heard the Lord Jesus Christ himself from Heaven say Paul go go and he went

you know there’s a a missionary a missionary in India who uh medical missionary who was able to have a great Healing Ministry for people who were going blind you know just a simple medical procedure that simple here for us in the west but unknown to them in the remote part of the Jungle where he served and so he you know he he healed a lot of people of their blindness and he he noticed one day that no one ever says thank you and he couldn’t figure that out and somebody explained to him one day that there is actually no word in our language in our dialect for thank you the word the word they use is I will speak your

name so everywhere these people went they they spoke his

name well when the Apostle Paul met the Lord Jesus Christ remember who Paul was when Jesus met him he was Hamas he was Hezbollah he was always a man with a purpose he was always a sincere man but he had been sincerely wrong he was a murderer he murdered and imprisoned Christians and he was on his way to get some more when Jesus Christ revealed himself from heaven and said Paul why are you persecuting me and Paul said who are you Lord and Jesus said I am Jesus whom you are persecuting and Paul fell on his face and his life was changed and Jesus said now I have got a purpose for you Paul a new purpose the right purpose I want you to go to the Gentiles and tell them about me and Paul heard go and he went and uh he went with nothing now now he studied a while he did go off into Arabia and Saidi got to relearn the scriptures because everything I’ve learned I’ve been I’ve learned wrongly everything that I’ve been taught I’ve been mistaught so he had to go you know get it get it straight in his head but but think about this he had spent his whole life learning to be a Jew a leader of the Jews a Pharisee and God said I want you to go to the Gentiles and and Paul had to say but Lord what about all the years in college to be a dentist and now you’re asking me to be a veterinarian or a

plumber I mean God deliberately sometimes calls us out of what we’ve trained for out of our comfort zone he he he specifically will put you with a neighbor that you are not prepared for as hard as you try to get in the right neighborhood and with the right neighbors he’s going to put somebody next to you that you are not equipped for why that’s what he does because he wants you to go with nothing so that he can be everything he does not want us to rely on our own resources he’s going to call you to something you can’t afford he’s going to call you to people you’re not smart enough to talk to he’s going to call you to people who are different than you you’re gonna you’re G to offend them because you don’t understand their Customs that’s what he

does that’s normal because he does not want us to go in our own strength he wants us to know that we have nothing but the power of the holy spirit in the word of God

God and that’s what he’s going to use to change the

world so Paul went with nothing he went as a Jew not as not a wasn’t a Roman since Sur he was a Roman citizen but he wasn’t you know he wasn’t from Rome he he God sent him to a centurion God sent him to a bunch of other prisoners God sent them all over the Gentile world to people that were not like him he also sent them to Athens to the philosophers he was inadequate there he was inadequate on the ship everywhere God sent Paul he was not up to the task but God said go and he went and he always expected something to happen because he knew that as he went with nothing he went with everything he went with the power of the Holy Spirit and the gospel that could change people’s lives he really believed that the gospel could change everybody he believed that and um so on All Saints Day you’re a saint friends I’m a saint not because I went to Seminary David and I aren’t Saints because we’ve been ordained clergy we’re Saints because we’re terrorists have been converted to Jesus just like you are and God calls us Saints righteous ones because we walk in the righteousness of

Christ now just in in closing what about this serpent let’s think about the serpent for a second I don’t want to overly symbolize this make this so more than it is but it is interesting to me that in Genesis 3 the very first promise of the Gospel after Adam and Eve have really screwed the whole thing up in the in in the garden God says to the woman you your seed and the serpents are always going to be at enmity there’s going to be a cosmic war going on from now on between the serpent and his people and you and your your Offspring and specifically he’s talking about the Messiah because he said the serpent is going to strike your seed on the heel but he is going to crush the Serpent’s head that was the Gospel the beginning of God’s proclamation of the Gospel now you go to Luke chapter 10 and and it’s interesting but what does Jesus say he said I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven now you know what do you what do you think when you see lightning coming from Heaven oh my goodness this this I got to find shelter you know it’s scary to be caught in a lightning storm and he said you know what it’s a scary thing that God has Unleashed Satan on the earth it’s a frightening thing and all his demons but then he says I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy nothing will harm you he said yeah Satan’s

scary but you don’t need to live in

fear one of my favorite stories I I probably have told you this before but little little kid was going to camp and his dad he you know when he came home he heard all this you know the scary demon stories at Christian Camp you know so he came back scared out of his mind couldn’t go to sleep at night and as his dad trying to help settle him for bed and he said dad will you pray for me that the demons won’t make me afraid he said no son I won’t pray that I’m G to make you I’m going to pray that God makes you so strong and courageous that the demons are afraid of

you that’s what I’m going to pray pray for you son well my friends that’s what God has given us okay but but again notice that that um Jesus illusion to Satan is is a serpent and uh so here we are in Acts and you know goodness you know I can’t make a big deal out of this because the Bible doesn’t make a big deal out of it but you know here this serpent latches on to the Apostle Paul and Paul knows the Old Testament he knows what the Old Testament he knows the symbolism of snakes but the point is he shakes it off in the fire there two things that would terrify me at night in the woods one would be Satan and the other would be serpents and uh Paul says I’m not afraid of either one because God has given me power and authority but I want I want you to one more illusion to serpents remember in the Book of Numbers when the Israelites were coming out of Egypt and they were complaining to God and God sent a plague of serpents all of a sudden there were there were poisonous snakes all everywhere and it’s one of my night oh my goodness imagine they’re everywhere and they’re poisonous and they’re and they’re you know it’s Indiana Jones you know like in real life you know and people repent they say Okay Moses we’re sorry we’re sorry we’re sorry do something help us and God says to Moses make make a a serpent out of bronze and hang it on a pole and if anybody looks to the serpent on the pole they’ll be healed and they’ll live well in in John chapter 3 right before that most famous verse 16 that we all can quote in John chapter 3 verse 14- 15 Jesus says just as Moses lifted up the snake in the desert so the son of man must be lifted up that everyone who believes in Him may have eternal life then he said for God so loved the world that he gave his one and only son that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have everlasting life Jesus said and this this kind of blows my mind and I don’t have this all figured out okay but in some way Jesus said that that snake which is symbolic of Satan throughout the Bible hanging on a pole is somehow symbolic of me hanging on a

pole and I don’t know if this is theologically if I I don’t know if I figured all this out so if I’m wrong somebody correct me but in some way I Think Jesus is

saying I’m going to take what Satan deserved

not so I mean Bible’s pretty clear Satan’s not going to end up in heaven Satan’s going to end up in the Lake of Fire but Jesus said you know Satan and I were brothers one day up in heaven and I was God and he was not but I was the Eternal Son of God and he was the first among the Angels the created beings of God and he rebelled and and he is God’s Archen enemy ever since and there’s a place of fire reserved for him for all eternity Jesus said ‘I going to suffer the same punishment that Satan serves Satan ends up with that serpent hanging on the cross somehow Jesus said is points to me hanging on the

cross I mean it’s one thing I don’t know why this gets me because it’s one thing to say Jesus Took My Place on on the cross but to but to believe that he took what Satan deserved on the cross

wow now I guess you know if you apply some logic here maybe the logic is what you and I deserve is what Satan deserves maybe we’re all Rebels maybe we’re all traitors and actually I think that’s true isn’t it but Jesus hung on a cross that Satan deserved and that we deserved he didn’t die as Satan’s substitute but he died as our substitute so that all of us who look to him will be saved my friends the Apostle Paul believed that and so when Jesus said go he said I’m going when he said in in your you’re not going to you’re not going to take your Provisions he said I’m okay with

that and he said we’re going to we’re going to reach the world and Paul said okay let’s do it and then to see the way God provides for him you know the Centurion ends up taking care of him you know the the provision on the road to Rome the the brothers are there to encourage him just when he needs encouragement he wasn’t Superman he was frail like you and me he was discouraged he had bad days he had days where he couldn’t believe the way he wanted to believe but God always met him there gave him what he needed you I was uh listening to I love Shane and Shane one of their recent songs I love he said said I’m fighting a battle you’ve already

won my friends Paul believed that I’m fighting a battle that Jesus Christ has already won I don’t know what you’re doing but I know what you’ve done I’m fighting a battle you’ve already won my friends as God sends us into the world with a gospel that’s how we go yeah it’s a real battle Yeah there there real diseases out there and yes we are going to die in the battle at some point but we are fighting with resurrected lives we are fighting a battle that Jesus has already won and we are unstoppable because his kingdom is Unstoppable and you will not you will not fail to reach the destination that he has determined for you you will not fail to reach the goals that he that he in his mind he has planned for you to accomplish in this life and in the purpose of your life because it’s his kingdom and it’s his power and it’s his glory amen amen



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