Date: 11 September, 2016
Text: Acts 26:13-23
Title: Go Win Souls
Theme: Paul speaking before King Agrippa
OUR STORY: This morning begins with the Apostle Paul standing on trial before King Agrippa. He is going to tell King Agrippa how God called him to be a soul winner.
INTERESTINGLY: He tells him the story because he is seeking to see King Agripp and the others in the audience trust in Jesus Christ. He is SOUL WINNING AS HE SPEAKS ABOUT HIS CALL TO SOUL WINNING. Acts 26:28 Then Agrippa said unto Paul, Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian.
13 At midday, O king, I saw in the way a light from heaven, above the brightness of the sun, shining round about me and them which journeyed with me.
14 And when we were all fallen to the earth, I heard a voice speaking unto me, and saying in the Hebrew tongue, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks.
15 And I said, Who art thou, Lord? And he said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest.
exp. Saul's life had been against God.
Acts 8:3 As for Saul, he made havock of the church, entering into every house, and haling men and women committed them to prison.
exp. Paul (Saul) was zealously against God. Few were as zealously against the kingdom of Heaven as he was.
note: But when Paul got saved - few were as zealous in saving souls from Hell as he was. He became a great soul winner.
question: We use that term - "soul winner" but where does it come from?
Proverbs 11:30 The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that winneth souls is wise.
ill. Jesus spoke of it as "fishing for men."
Matthew 4:18 And Jesus, walking by the sea of Galilee, saw two brethren, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers.
19 And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.
ill. We also speak of it as witnessing.
Mark 5:19-20 Howbeit Jesus suffered him not, but saith unto him, Go home to thy friends, and tell them how great things the Lord hath done for thee, and hath had compassion on thee.
And he departed, and began to publish in Decapolis how great things Jesus had done for him: and all men did marvel.
This morning we are going to use the term "soul winning" this morning.
exp. A politician seeking to get into office wants to "win as many people to his side" as he can. That is the sense in which we use the term "winning" this morning.
app. We want to call those on Satan's side to come to Jesus side. We want to WIN THEM TO JESUS. And so this morning we will examine - the call, the need, the work and the confidence of the soul winner, as we look at Paul's call.
I. The call to soul winning.... (Have you heard the call?)
exp. We heard a great message last Sunday morning on how God calls men into ministry. He uses the Word of God applied by the Spirit of God to convince us of His leading.
question: Has God spoken to your heart about "soul winning?"
A. It is a commanding call.
16 But rise, and stand upon thy feet:
exp. Paul has looked into the glory of Heaven and has seen the Lord, who is speaking to Him.
ill. Like Isaiah, he immediately has fallen to the ground with all those who were with him. BUT, LIKE A MAN ON TRIAL, HE MUST NOW STAND UPON HIS FEET BEFORE GOD.
ill. Did you ever have to go to the principal's office? Imagine being called to stand before the queen!
exp. Paul is being commanded by Jesus.
question: Can he say, "Now isn't a good time." or "Let me think about this and get back to you."
app. When God really speaks to your heart - IT IS WITH ALL THE AUTHORITY OF HEAVEN. Is God speaking to your heart today?
B. It is a purposeful call.
for I have appeared unto thee for this purpose,
exp. Paul believes on the Lord Jesus Christ at this point and passes from death unto life. He got saved. But, what I want us to realize is that - God didn't save Paul - just so that Paul could be saved!
question: If God saved you JUST TO KEEP YOU FROM HELL - what about your unsaved family? unsaved neighbors? unsaved friends? Multitudes who need to hear about Jesus.
app. God had a soul winning purpose in your life when you got saved. Are you witnessing? Are believers in general witnessing? Have we forgotten WHY GOD SAVED US?
C. It is an equipping call.
to make thee a minister and a witness both of these things which thou hast seen, and of those things in the which I will appear unto thee;
def. to make: to call, to put into the hand, to chose
ill. When a soldier appears before his commander, he may be handed a piece of paper with his orders on it.
exp. Jesus has just given Paul his marching orders.
question: Would the all wise God ever call a man to do something which that man can not do? (Maybe - but not without equipping that man supernaturally to do it.)
2Co 4:7 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.
app. Do you feel like you can't be a soul winner? Will you trust God to help you be a soul winner? He will equip those whom he calls.
D. It is a protective call.
17 Delivering thee from the people, and from the Gentiles, unto whom now I send thee,
exp. Paul would face extreme persecution - stoning, imprisonment, whipping, etc. But, Jesu would stand with Paul through ever trial he would face as a soul winner.
2Ti 4:16-17 At my first answer no man stood with me, but all men forsook me: I pray God that it may not be laid to their charge. Notwithstanding the Lord stood with me, and strengthened me; that by me the preaching might be fully known, and that all the Gentiles might hear: and I was delivered out of the mouth of the lion.
ill. God helped....
1.) David fight a giant
2.) The three hebrew children pass through the fire
3.) Daniel with the lions.
app. Why do we worry about - what people will say, what they will think, the unknown - WHEN WE KNOW THAT GOD IS WITH US. Mt 28:19-20 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.
quote: J. Hudson Taylor - All God’s giants have been weak men, who did great things for God because they reckoned on His being with them.
transition: Is God calling you to soul winning? Will you respond to his call?
II. The need for soul winning. (Do you see the need?)
“In the vast plain to the north I have sometimes seen, in the morning sun, the smoke of a thousand villages where no missionary has ever been.” ROBERT MOFFAT
question: Have you ever looked at the multitude of people down in Edinburgh and thought about how many will perish in the fires of hell?
app. Are you willing to do anything about the need?
A. These are people who are blind to God's grace.
18 To open their eyes,
ill. Sometimes children shut their eyes when they're scared. It can be frustrating to tell them that what they fear is gone UNTIL THEY OPEN THEIR EYES.
exp. It is frustrating to share the Gospel with those who can't see it. They say things like,
· "I never think about it."
· "It's not my thing."
· "I'm not a religious person."
· "I can't see God."
note: But, if their eyes were open - they would see God, think about Him, it would be their thing and THEY WOULDN' T HAVE A RELIGION, THEY WOULD HAVE A RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD.
question: Did you ever think, "Well God has me here for a purpose today and seek to say something that would open their tightly shut eyes."
ill. Greg - not religious - spoke with me for 30 minutes, was nearly late for work and thanked me for our conversation.
app. You'll notice that "they don't open their eyes" the soul winner does by using God's Word. Psalm 119:130 The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple.
B. These are people who need the light of God's Word.
and to turn them from darkness to light,
exp. Darkness is dangerous.... John 11:10 But if a man walk in the night, he stumbleth, because there is no light in him.
ill. Have you ever gotten up during the night and stubbed your toe or banged your shin because you were stumbling around in the darkness.
exp. Thanfully our homes are relatively safe places to walk even in the dark. But, would you want to walk through a wilderness in the dark.
note: We ought to pity those who don't have Jesus (LIGHT) going through the wilderness of this world.
John 8:12 Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.
app. Do you care about those who are walking in darkness when you have the LIGHT?
C. These are people who need to be set free from Satan's power.
and from the power of Satan unto God,
exp. Paul was taken off of Satan's side and put upon God's side. He was set Free!
exp. We are studying Revelation on Thursday nights - we have seen that Satan is a deceiver and that there is going to be an incredible deception in the last days when God's Spirit restraint is taken away. THAT DELUSION AND BONDAGE IS HERE TO A DEGREE RIGHT NOW.
question: Without Satanic delusion how can you explain how people believe...
1.) An explosion made this incredible universe?
2.) It's ok to kill babies in the womb?
3.) Men can marry men and women can marry women?
exp. Satan has bound this world in his lies and they are loving it. BUT CHRIST CAN SET THEM FREE.
ill. Layton Kelly - Heroine Addict - now a preacher for the Lord Jesus Christ. Linda Britten, Budhist, now a missionaries wife.
app. Don't get frustrated because the world is so AGAINST GOD. Satan is against God and he has bound this world up in his lies. It is our job to seek to set them free.
John 8:32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.
D. These are people who need the burden of their sins removed.
that they may receive forgiveness of sins,
exp. Paul had the blood of the martyr Stephen on his hands. Paul felt the depth of his rebellion against God.
1Ti 1:15 This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.
ill. Wicked murderer in prison in China - Gladys Aylward put her hand on his shoulder and told him that Jesus loved him. That man got saved.
app. We can confidently look any person in the eyes and tell them that Jesus can forgive their sin. NOTICE GOD WANTS THEM TO TURN TO THE LIGHT AND BE FORGIVEN.
E. These are people who need to be heirs of everlasting life.
and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.
Exp. Faith in Jesus made Paul a SON OF GOD AND GAVE HIM AN INHERITANCE IN CHRIST and he got to share that inheritance with all who would trust in Jesus.
ill. Luis Carlos de Noronha Cabral da Camara made an unusual distribution of his money after his death: 70 people listed in a Lisbon phone directory were contacted out of the blue after his death to be told he had made them his beneficiaries. They had been chosen at random from the directory, in front of two witnesses at a registry office 13 years before. It certainly came as a shock to them. In the first place, people do not, as a rule, make wills in Portugal. In the second, Portuguese aristocrats are getting thin on the ground, let alone eccentric ones. In the third - to be chosen by phone directory? No wonder that some feared they were being scammed.
question: If you were chosen - and you were given the privilege of giving others the same wealth and position - what would you do? You would be incredibly selfish if you lived lavishly while others in the same position as you perished.
exp. Paul was burdened by the need for soul winners and his call to soul winning.
19 Whereupon, O king Agrippa, I was not disobedient unto the heavenly vision:
app. Have you been disobedient to God's call or have you ignored the need?
III. The work of the soul winner. (Have you engaged in this ministry?)
A. Starts where you are and works out.
20 But shewed first unto them of Damascus, and at Jerusalem, and throughout all the coasts of Judaea,
exp. Paul was in Damascus when he got saved - so, he started preaching. He then went back to his home area and tried to reach his people.
Ac 1:8 But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.
ill. Looking at the incredible crowd in Princess St. Garden and thinking - where do I start?
app. Sometimes we are so overwhelmed - by the incredible scope of the great commission - that we just don't do anything. We need to focus on what is around us and let God help us to work our way out.
B. Overcomes cultural barriers.
and then to the Gentiles,
exp. Paul was a Jew - just like Peter. Peter had to be encouraged to go to the Gentiles - BUT PAUL WAS CALLED TO GO TO THE GENTILES. Acts 26:17 Delivering thee from the people, and from the Gentiles, unto whom now I send thee,
app. God may send you to another culture to share Christ. He did so with our family - even though Scotland is very similar to our culture - he may call you to third world country or a country that has a different language. The Gospel must be taken everywhere.
Re 7:9 After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands;
C. Encourages men to truly repent and turn to Jesus.
that they should repent and turn to God, and do works meet for repentance.
exp. Paul wasn't given the "easy believism" Gospel which says - "You are fine, just come as you are and stay as you are." He wasn't preaching "John's baptism of repentance" he was preaching "Jesus Gospel of repentance."
ill. Gladys Aylword witnessing in that prison by speaking to the men about Jesus, had those who trusted in Jesus come stand with her. At first there were none and then there were 4. Can you imagine how sincere you had to be to take your place with the woman who was testifying of Jesus while everyone else mocked.
app. We are not to try to make Christianity easier for those who would believe in Jesus. We are to maintain God's standard of A TRANSFORMED LIFE AS TESTIMONY OF TRUE REPENTANCE. 2Ti 2:19 Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity.
D. Brings persecution.
21 For these causes the Jews caught me in the temple, and went about to kill me.
exp. Because Paul preached a bold Gospel he faced persecution - and so will you. That is part of the work that God has called us to - that has such a need.
2Ti 3:12 Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.
app. What are you doing about the need? What are you doing about the call? Are you sharing the Gospel and encouraging men and woman to truly stand with Jesus?
IV. The confidence of the soul winner. (Are you confident in your soul winning?)
A. God will help me because God has helped me.
22 Having therefore obtained help of God, I continue unto this day,
exp. God didn't hang Paul out to dry. Helped Paul was helping Paul and would help Paul.
app. God isn't going to fail you if you obey His call to win souls.
B. Everybody needs Jesus and I need to tell them.
witnessing both to small and great,
exp. Paul wasn't choosy in his evangelism. If God put him with a beggar or a king, he shared Christ.
C. The message I preach is unchanging because God's Word is unchanging.
saying none other things than those which the prophets and Moses did say should come:
23 That Christ should suffer, and that he should be the first that should rise from the dead, and should shew light unto the people, and to the Gentiles.
exp. Notice that even at the beginning of the church age - Paul had the Old, Old Story which was unchanged from the beginning of time. His wasn't a "new" thing, it was the old thing that alone changes lives.
app. We don't need a new gimic or message. God's Word is unchanging and we have a "historic faith" which can save those who come unto God by Jesus.
Paul's is on trial for his faith and he continues to share Christ even while on trial. When is the last time you spoke to someone about Jesus?
1.) Have you heard God's call?
2.) Do you see the need?
3.) Are you doing the work?
app. Perhaps today you can't be a soul winner - because your soul is LOST. You are blind, in darkness, outside of Christ's inheritance. You can change sides today and get on the winning side.
note: Whatever God is speaking to your heart about - why don't you yield to him just now?