Week two of The Amazing Race at Revolution Church. Video and message notes included below.
The Amazing Race, Week 2
Pastor Kris Freeman
Sunday, January 13, 2019
Scripture: Acts 16:11-40 (NLT)
13 On the Sabbath we went a little way outside the city to a riverbank, where we thought people would be meeting for prayer, and we sat down to speak with some women who had gathered there. 14 One of them was Lydia from Thyatira, a merchant of expensive purple cloth, who worshiped God. As she listened to us, the Lord opened her heart, and she accepted what Paul was saying. 15 She and her household were baptized, and she asked us to be her guests. “If you agree that I am a true believer in the Lord,” she said, “come and stay at my home.” And she urged us until we agreed.
What is the purpose of Paul’s missionary journeys in the first place? Why does he do what he does?
– What is a missionary? – the word is a Christian-rooted word that means a person sent on a journey, most often to a foreign country, for the purpose of sharing the message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ to people who have never heard it before. It is rooted in the Latin word missio which means “to send”
While the missionary is person to carry out the act, the act itself has another word. The work of a missionary is an application of evangelism.
– What is evangelism? – the preaching or spreading of the Good News of Jesus Christ, called “sharing the Gospel.” Paul was an evangelist, but more accurately, he was a missionary (a sent one) evangelizing people with the Gospel.
The conversion of Lydia is important, because it gives us the true purpose of missionary work and evangelism. While the Bible is a focus on a Gospel of Ones – the bigger story is how each conversion leads to making disciples and more evangelists.
Lydia received Christ and it made a Gospel impact on her entire family.
25 Around midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening. 26 Suddenly, there was a massive earthquake, and the prison was shaken to its foundations. All the doors immediately flew open, and the chains of every prisoner fell off! 27 The jailer woke up to see the prison doors wide open. He assumed the prisoners had escaped, so he drew his sword to kill himself. 28 But Paul shouted to him, “Stop! Don’t kill yourself! We are all here!”
29 The jailer called for lights and ran to the dungeon and fell down trembling before Paul and Silas. 30 Then he brought them out and asked, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”
31 They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus and you will be saved, along with everyone in your household.” 32 And they shared the word of the Lord with him and with all who lived in his household. 33 Even at that hour of the night, the jailer cared for them and washed their wounds. Then he and everyone in his household were immediately baptized. 34 He brought them into his house and set a meal before them, and he and his entire household rejoiced because they all believed in God.
Now, Paul and another missionary helper named Silas, are jailed after the Holy Spirit used them to deliver a girl of demon possession. They are imprisoned for being a public nuisance but this is indeed targeted persecution.
This time, their experience made an impact on the jailer. And once again, when he was saved, the message spread to his entire family.
35 The next morning the city officials sent the police to tell the jailer, “Let those men go!” 36 So the jailer told Paul, “The city officials have said you and Silas are free to leave. Go in peace.”
37 But Paul replied, “They have publicly beaten us without a trial and put us in prison—and we are Roman citizens. So now they want us to leave secretly? Certainly not! Let them come themselves to release us!”
38 When the police reported this, the city officials were alarmed to learn that Paul and Silas were Roman citizens. 39 So they came to the jail and apologized to them. Then they brought them out and begged them to leave the city. 40 When Paul and Silas left the prison, they returned to the home of Lydia. There they met with the believers and encouraged them once more. Then they left town.
Here’s the progression of The Gospel message of The Good News.
- Self (Personal)
- Family (Circle)
- Friends and Acquaintances (Close Relationships)
- Witnesses (Onlookers)
- Town (Community)
The missionary work of Paul sounds much like the commissioned statement of Jesus:
19 Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations,[a] baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. 20 Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
– Being a disciple is not just about you, it’s about your church, your team, your family, your community.
Paul’s writings to churches and people he influenced resulted in 13 New Testament books we are still using for spiritual instruction today.
What impact could one decision by you make on countless others around you?