|Skeleton sermon -- add your own meat|
42 And when the Jews were gone out of the synagogue, the Gentiles besought that these words might be preached to them the next sabbath.
43 Now when the congregation was broken up, many of the Jews and religious proselytes followed Paul and Barnabas: who, speaking to them, persuaded them to continue in the grace of God.
44 And the next Sabbath day came almost the whole city together to hear the word of God.
Paul had just preached a red hot sermon from verse 14 on down to verse 42. When the congregation was breaking up (going home), Paul pleaded with them in verse 43 to continue in the grace of God; in other words, "KEEP ON KEEPING ON! Stick with the stuff! Don't look back!" This congregation, according to verse 44, was so excited that they brought almost the whole town back the next Sabbath day to hear Paul preach the word of God. Oh, I wish some day I'll see this happen. It's one thing to shout it out inside the church building -- anybody can do that, especially where everybody agrees with you. But that lost world needs to see us praising Him in the marketplace. Say "Amen!" somebody.
The point of my message is this: As soon as a meeting breaks, there's Somebody waiting to steal your joy --he's a Roaring Lion who wants to track you down. The devil knows that we are church-junkies, getting high one service and down the next. We come to get our fix, then after the meeting breaks up, we are cold turkey. REMEMBER YOUR ENEMY IS WAITING FOR YOU (1 Peter 5:8).
Three things are going to happen when the meeting breaks up:
You will need all the faith that you can muster to understand why bad things happen to good people. Such as when preachers that pray for their members children who end up getting saved while their own children are rebels, breaking their hearts. Why a preacher prays for someone to be healed of some awful disease, but he has a wife at home dying of cancer. The Apostle Paul himself prayed for others to be healed, but God never answered Paul's prayer for himself.
Some say they have fun golfing or hunting or fishing. To me the greatest fun that a Christian can have is leading an old sinner to saving Grace. When I see a person fall on their knees and repent, I laugh and cry at the same time. Oh, I get happy. Now, this message is for you that come to the altar at church and tell God you are selling out to Him and will now serve him from that day forward -- you truly hunger and thirst to be totally sold out to God's will. I praise the LORD for you. But there are those who immediately after the meeting breaks up, all that's on your mind is the beach, buffet, blowing smoke, bikinis, the ball field, the boat, and Bermuda shorts. You came to church just to sit, soak it up.
My prayer is that you get right and then you will be sad when the meeting breaks up.
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