How do we explain what happened in the book of Acts? Or in the biographies of those from the past like George Whitefield? Think about how things were turned upside down. You had men and women going to hell and now they are headed to eternal life. You have people who are slaves of sin now in love with Christ. What explanation is there for men turning the world upside down? The Spirit of God came in power!
View Full Sermon | Read Transcript Below
How do we explain what has happened in the books of Acts? Or in the biographies of those from the past? What is the explanation for Paul shaking things up? Shaking! You think about how it turned things on it’s head. You have men and women going to hell and now they are headed to eternal life. They are headed to glory. You have people who are slaves of sin now in love with Christ. You have people that are in darkness, now in light. I mean radical, radical, changes! People who went to the synagogue and it was all about their life and their culture and their religion. And now they don’t go there anymore, now they are worshiping Christ. There is this radical transformation! They were people in darkness, pagans!
How do we explain all of this? What is the explanation? Somebody will say, “Well didn’t you see it there in Acts 17? Paul spoke to them from the Scriptures, He preached Christ.” Oh, undoubtedly so. But have not some of you spoken to people about Christ and you’ve see absolutely nothing? You see that answer isn’t sufficient by itself. That isn’t all there is to it.
You know what I started asking myself? Is right here in Acts Chapter 17. What happened before that? You know what happens before that? Follow the road back up north to Philippi. What happened there? Well, they are singing there and praying and what happened? God came and shook the place.
Luke wants us to see the facts. And if you follow his facts, “God came, and the place was shaken.” God came, the doors opened. God came, Philippian jailer was wonderfully converted. Go back before that: God came, a demon was cast out a spirit of divination, from this fortune teller.
Listen, try to do battle with angels. We have no power, we are helpless. God came and that is what happened. God came down there by the river side and Lydia’s heart was moved. You think about what happened at Philippi. There is no explanation, again and again. Luke is pointing out to us, God came and did this.
You follow back before that. Go back to the coast there and then across from where they sailed from. And what happens there? Paul is not allowed to preach over in Asia. Then he wants to go up to Bithynia and he can’t go up that way. Why? Because God is coming. God is restricting him. God is steering him and channeling him, “No Paul you can’t go that way.” “And you can’t go that way!”
And then he has the Macedonian vision. Where did that come from? God came. God directed him and gave him the Macedonian call. And what happens? You go back before that, now it is not Paul and Silas it is Paul and Barnabas. And what’s happening there? These guys are going on, regular church life, there they are in Antioch and Syria. Then God comes and says, “Set apart for me these men, right here, to the work that I’ve called them to.” God came again.
You go back before that, and what happens? There is this guy breathing these slaughters and murders and he is headed towards Damascus. And God came in the person of Jesus of Nazareth. And drops him down there and wonderfully converts his soul.
You go back before that and now it’s not Paul, it’s Peter. And what happens there? It was the day of Pentecost, and the Spirit of God came.
You go back before that, what’s before that? Are the “Things that Jesus began to do and teach.” And what’s that all about? God with us! God came down! God did all of the things in the Son that we now speak in this message that we proclaim. But all of the way through that’s the explanation. All the way through you keep backing up and it’s “God came!”, it’s “God came!”
What explanation is there for men turning the world upside down? We have to start right here with the living God. That is the answer. That is the answer. Why? Why was it that the things in the pages of Whitefield’s biography seemed so much like the book of Acts? Because they were like the book of Acts! It was like that! God had come. The presence of God was real. God was manifesting Himself. God was moving. What does this have to do with us? It has everything to do with us.