The Message of Jesus – II
Have you ever wished you could sit in the back of the crowd and listen to the greatest man who ever lived, Jesus Christ, and hear what He said to the lost and seeking crowds? Have you ever wondered how Jesus led someone to salvation? We have the records of Nicodemus, the woman at the well, the man at
This morning we are going to do just that. We are going to hear the soul winning methods of Jesus. How? Through the eyes and ears of those who spent time alone with Jesus. Through the hearts and minds of those who heard Him soul winning for three plus years. Thus the Book of Acts is the most critical source in the universe for our views of evangelism. Acts records the first 30 years of evangelism from the lens of inspiration, on the film of God's Word! Through the inspired words of the Gospels and Acts when we listen to the Message of Jesus captured by the Apostles of Jesus.
Where do we begin? Our text is Mark 1:38-39. Before we read this text let me share that if Jesus left us here to do His work on earth. If Jesus saved us to share the Gospel, the Good News of Salvation, then there are few things more exciting than to actually learn from Him our Master, His message and the way He called men and women, boys and girls to Salvation. We are starting with Jesus going about preaching to all He could find in
But He said to them, “Let us go into the next towns, that I may preach there also, because for this purpose I have come forth.” And He was preaching in their synagogues throughout all
Now turn with me to the end of the Gospel by Luke. As we turn there we are passing over the 89 chapters of the Gospels. We are passing over the 250 different events recorded about the 3 plus years of Christ's Earthly ministry. We are passing over the countless sermons, personal soul winning events and private teachings Jesus performed and offered to His Disciples. Now in Luke 24:44-49 we find Jesus summarizing His ministry and formulating the sending off of His Men to their ministries. Listen carefully:
Luke 24:44-49 Then He said to them, “These are the words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms concerning Me.”45 And He opened their understanding, that they might comprehend the Scriptures.46 Then He said to them, “Thus it is written, and thus it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead the third day, 47 “and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.48 “And you are witnesses of these things.49 “Behold, I send the Promise of My Father upon you; but tarry in the city of Jerusalem until you are endued with power from on high.”
Wow, they are given a message and told to wait until they are connected with the very intimate, indwelling power source of God's Spirit. Then when they are online, bang, they are to launch out and do what they saw, heard, and learned from the very life and ministry of Jesus.
Now turn to the launching pad. It is found in the book of the Acts of the Holy Spirit. That is the sequel to Luke. Luke wrote as the Holy Spirit inspired Him WHAT HAPPENED (that is the content of the Gospels) and then he wrote HOW THEY SHARED WHAT HAPPENED (that is the book of Acts) and then in the Epistles we have WHY ALL THIS HAD TO HAPPEN. That in brief is a summary of the entire New Testament.
Now as we turn to Acts we are actually turning on a video that lasts 30 years. Acts is not so much a book on doctrine as it is a divinely recorded and edited video of 30 years of sharing the greatest message ever given, by the greatest witnesses ever chosen. You see, the Holy Spirit empowered the Apostles to go and take the Gospel to the World and records a news reporter quality full color videotape of the 30 years from Pentecost to Paul's Imprisonment. The Book of Acts is our most critical insight into how they shared the Gospel!
So Acts is a video report of how the Apostles and disciples shared the Gospel message in every possible setting. What we get is to see how the eyewitnesses shared with the world what happened in the life, ministry, death, and resurrection of Jesus. As we go through all 28 chapters we find that there are 22-recorded events where a Gospel Message is presented.
First Gospel Presentation in Acts
The FIRST Gospel Presentation is in Acts 2. The time has come. After being called to be a fisherman for eternal souls, after being given on site, hands on training for three plus years, after being tutored privately, commissioned publicly, and filled with the very Holy Spirit of God, Peter steps up to the microphone to deliver his first sermon. I'm sure his pulse was throbbing in anticipation, his heart pounding with excitement to at last say what he had been taught, shown, and commanded him, to say. So here it is, here is Gospel Presentation number one in Acts chapter 2. Peter preaches the first sermon after Christ's death, burial, resurrection, and sending the Holy Spirit down to indwell the Church. What does he say? Many things and all of them important, but here is the point:
Note in Acts 2:21 a verse we all know from soul winning, it is actually a quote from Joel 2:32:
And it shall come to pass that whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.’
Now to the conclusion in Acts 2:37-39
Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Men and brethren, what shall we do?”38 Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 “For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call.”
What was the result? Note Acts 2:41
Then those who gladly received his word were baptized; and that day about three thousand souls were added to them.
So, what was the summary of the first message? One word, REPENT.
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