Pastor Mike will be speaking on Four Keys to Evangelism Part 1. He will be reading out of Acts 5:12-24.
Jesus Christ is the true Lord. He is the set Messiah and He is the one who came to die for their sins and to deliver His people from their sins and if they put their faith and trust in Christ they can have eternal life in Jesus Christ.
Hello, this is Pastor Mike Sanders from The Open Door Church and today we want to welcome you to our hope worth having a radio broadcast. We’re excited as we continue to study the book of Acts. We’re going to be in Acts chapter 5 verses 12 through 24.
We’re learning the four keys to evangelism. So grab your Bible, maybe a pen and paper, and maybe a cup of coffee, and let’s get into our study today. I want you to take your Bible this morning and join me in Acts chapter 5 verses 12 through 42 will be our main text this morning.
We are reminded in the Gospels as well as in the book of Acts that the church has an assignment. Our assignment is from heaven. It is given to us from God Himself, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and that is we have this responsibility of gathering.
We gather together but we also send out. Jesus said you shall receive power and when the Holy Spirit has come upon you you shall be witnesses to me in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria and to the end of the earth.
This is our responsibility. Jesus again said that the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost. We cannot neglect this calling. We cannot neglect it personally or collectively as a church family.
We already just read to you Matthew 24. and we note that even as the end times are coming before us, Jesus said this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all nations, and then the end will come.
Some Christians would like to curl up, wit, and give up, but this is not our assignment. We are called, even in the most difficult times, to be a church that is on the move for the Lord Jesus Christ. When we come to Acts chapter five, we find this infant church that was founded by our Savior, that was entrusted to the apostles.
This church was experiencing triumph because we can see early in Acts chapter two that over 3,000 converts on the day of Pentecost, that later they would describe the church as having daily additions, more and more people coming.
In chapter four, we see that 5,000 came to Christ. In chapter 5, verse 14, we see the Bible says multitudes both of men and women are coming to Christ. According to historians, there were over 15,000 in the first church gathered together.
Satan was not happy. He was attacking the young church, and he attacked the church in two ways, first through persecution. We see that in chapter 4. But the apostles did not retreat, they did not give up, they did not quit, but rather just the opposite.
They kept moving forward. The second way that Satan was attacking was to corrupt the church. We see that in Acts chapter 5, verses 1 through 11, where we have a particular scenario where a couple had lied to God, lied to the Holy Spirit, and lied to the church, lied to the apostles, and immediately God struck them dead.
And as we look at verse 12 through verse 42 this morning, we’re going to learn what are the keys to effective evangelism. In order for the church to be effective in evangelizing the community and the world, there are four keys that have to be true in the church for us personally and together as a family.
The first thing I want you to note is that the church must remain pure. Look at verse 12, and through the hands of the apostles many signs and wonders were done among the people, and they were all with one accord in Solomon’s porch, yet none of the rest dared join them.
Do you think anybody showed up to membership class after Ananias and Sapphire had experienced death for lying to God? The Bible says that no one dared join them, but the people esteemed them highly, and believers were increasingly added to the Lord, multitudes of both men and women.
So what I want you to know is that in the book of Acts chapter 5, the apostles confront sin, They deal with deceit, and what is the result? There is a sweeping godly fear that permeates across the community and the known world that this was a church in which God meant business.
The key to being effective in our evangelism is not to be like the world, but it is rather to be a pure people together as a family and individually in our lives. We often think, boy, if we could just be more like the world and if we could convince the world to like us, then our church would grow, and we would reach our family and we would reach our children, but my friends, it’s just the opposite.
What the church needs to do more than ever is to remain pure. The world around this church in the Book of Acts knew there was something distinct and different about the church. Because God had performed church discipline in such a profound and public way it sent a strong message you don’t just come to this church and have entertainment.
You don’t just come to this church and not take God seriously But you come in great reference There was so much Holy fear for the church for God’s people that the Bible says some would not even dare join them and yet then the Bible reads that there were many that came to Christ because they took it seriously and I want you to Know that in all of our lives that God is constantly purifying the church He’s working out within the church bringing forth its purity making the church blameless and spotless in which he Desires to present us to the Heavenly Father.
Jesus is the head of the church The church is the bride of Christ. We’re not to come in with stains on our garments We’re not to come with soiled lives We’re not to come with corrupt lives into the house of the Lord We are to come striving to be a holy people who follow a holy God You say God practices church discipline.
Absolutely Remember in Hebrews 12 verses 5 and 6 the Bible teaches us My son do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord nor be weary when reproved by him for the Lord disciplines the one he loves and chastises every son whom he receives when you are walking through discipline it is Affirmation from the father that you are his for he only disciplines his children.
He doesn’t go out and discipline the unchurched He may judge them and I think a part of all that we’re seeing taking place not only in America but around the world is the judgment of God of people who have rejected him who have pushed him out of their lives and Want nothing to do with God and I tell you again that if you want to be stupid God will get out of your way God will judge and he will deal with sin and he certainly will deal with it within the church and when we are being disciplined by God we must ask the Lord is there anything that you’re trying to reveal in my heart that I need to confess to you that I need to make right because I want the church and I want my life to be pure I wonder how many of us wake up and say how close can I be to the Lord and still live in this world I fear that there are many believers who say how close can I be in the world how close can I be to the world how fleshly and carnal can I live and still go to heaven that mindset is destructive to the church and it makes the church powerless in its efforts to reach people for Christ if we’re to be effective in evangelism we must be a pure church when we look at the book of Acts we see the church was holy and it walked in the power of God did you see that again in the text did you see that immediately after judgment fell upon Ananias and Sapphira Did you note that verse 12, through the hands of the apostles, many signs and wonders were done among the people.
God is purging his church. Sometimes, I know we get frustrated, but there may be blessed subtractions because God is purging his church. The Apostle Paul had to deal with a couple of men who were causing problems in the church, and he told Timothy, who was the pastor at Ephesus, that Hymenaeus and Alexander, he called them out publicly to be read throughout all of history, throughout all believers.
Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I delivered to Satan, that they may learn not to blaspheme. Certainly, they were blaspheming God. Verbally, they were blaspheming God in their lives. And what is Paul’s solution?
After many admonitions, many warnings, and many conversations of trying to get them to steer their lives back in line with the Lord Jesus Christ, he said, I’ve delivered them to Satan. I’ve delivered them to Satan so that they may learn.
In many cases, God’s people’s lives, unfortunately, are not so different from the world that is around them. And people say, well, why should I ever join the church? And why should I be a part of a faith?
And why should I believe in Christ? Because they’re no different. I’m saying that the church needs to be distinct, and it needs to be different. And if you wanna be effective for God, not only in the church, but in the community, but let me tell you something even more powerful, in your home.
One of the reasons sometimes that children are frustrated is because they see a different mom and dad at church and a different mom and dad at home. And you gotta make sure that you are aligning your heart with the Lord Jesus Christ.
There needs to be personal purity in our lives. The Bible says in 2 Timothy 2 .19, let everyone who names the name of Christ depart from iniquity. Carnal living hinders God’s work from going forward. What is hindering?
the work of God is not the world, but the church. What is hindering the effectiveness of God in reaching people to Christ is the church. It’s our lives, and so we must strive to be pure people. Now, you might say, pastor, how do I do that?
Let me give you three things that’ll help you to stay pure. Number one, I need accountability in my life. I need an accountable partner in my life. I need a mentor. I need someone in my life who will help me to stay on track for Jesus.
Jesus said in Luke 17, verse three, take heed to yourselves. If your brother sins against you, rebuke him. And if he repents, forgive him. Sometimes you need someone to admonish you, don’t you? Sometimes you need someone in your life to say, hey, listen, that bridge is out.
And it is a big mistake to go down that road. And I wanna encourage you to find some people like that in your life. You don’t just need people in your life who will always tell you how wonderful you are.
I need someone in my life to say, hey, Mike. you’re making a bad choice. One of the ways that I can stay accountable is to not only have a personal accountability partner but to stay plugged into Bible studies, stay plugged into Sunday school, and stay plugged into learning the Bible together with God’s people.
The second way that I stay pure is not only accountability, but it’s scripture, it’s the word of God. Listen, the reason that you don’t need to have a cushy devotion life, and the kind of devotion that just tells you heartwarming stories and makes you feel good every morning like a cup of coffee, is because it never confronts your sin.
I want God to confront me every day. Some of you don’t want the Bible to confront you. You don’t want Jesus to confront you through his word, but I want God to confront me, and when I come to the word of God, I don’t say, God, hey, give me a pick me up today.
I’m so emotionally weak that I gotta have some kind of energizer just to help me make it through the moment. I wanna open the Bible, I want the meat of the word, and I want God to say, Mike, here are some changes you need to make in your life.
So I come to the word of God, and I want God to confront me. I want to sit in a service. I want the word of God taught to me. I want the word of God taught to me in Sunday School Bible study. I don’t wanna sit around and everybody shares what they think this Bible verse means.
Because 90% of them don’t even know what it means. I wanna hear what it really does mean from somebody who did study and did prepare for it. And I want to hear what God has to say to me. And I come to the word of God saying, Lord, what do I need to confess?
What do I need to change? I’ve taught you before, and I’ll teach you again. There are several questions you need to ask when you read the Bible. Number one, is there a sin for me to confess? Is there a sin for me to confess?
Is there a promise for me to claim? Has God given me a promise in this? Is there an attitude that I need to change? How many of you have ever… not only woke up with a bad hair day but woke up with a bad attitude?
But I need an attitude adjustment and the word of God is the best at it. Is there a commitment I need to make to the Lord? That’s another question. Is there an example that I need to follow or learn from?
Some of the people in the Bible, it’s not that God’s saying I want you to be like them. He’s saying just the opposite. I want you to learn from their mistakes their failures and their sins, and I want you to learn to walk a righteous life.
That’s the way you come to the Bible. The Bible says, again, 1 Corinthians 11, 31, if we judge ourselves, we will not be judged. Every morning, come to the cross, come to the word, and ask God to confront what needs to change in your life.
The third way to stay pure is not only accountability, Scripture, but prayer. Is there anything that is a great reflection of humility like prayer? Prideful people don’t pray. Prideful people don’t seek God.
Prideful people don’t ask the Lord to help them. Prideful people don’t come to the Lord and say, I’ve sinned, forgive me. Just the opposite, the most humbling thing that you can do in your heart as a believer is to come to the Lord in prayer because you are openly admitting that you need him, that you can’t make it without him.
If I wanna stay pure, I wanna keep my prayer life strong. Jesus taught us in Matthew 6:12 that we are to pray and forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors. He didn’t say that we need to forgive others.
He said, first confront your own sin and then you can forgive others. The reason some of us can’t forgive others is because we’re not confronting our own sin. Prayer keeps me in alignment with the Lord Jesus Christ, helps me to walk a pure life, and helps me to live a life that is honoring to the Lord Jesus Christ.
I wanna encourage you to get a prayer partner in your life. I wanna encourage you to get into prayer groups in your life. I wanna encourage you in your Bible studies, and your Sunday school classes that you are praying for each other and we’re not just praying in which we rightly should for the sick, but we understand that we are praying that the Lord would work in our hearts, that he will work in the hearts of others and that he will help us as we are praying for our own challenges, our own issues, our own attitudes.
The church cannot be effective in reaching out to others when there is sin in the church. Whenever God calls the leaders to address sin in the church, the church should not be mad at the leaders but should thank God for the leaders because we will only be effective as we are pure before a holy God.
The second thing that I want you to learn in this passage is that the church must be an instrument of God’s power. If we are to reach our families, our friends, and our communities for the Lord, we must be an instrument of God’s power.
We saw in verse 12 again through the hands of the apostles, many signs. and wonders were done among the people.” Jump down to verse 15. So that they brought the sick out into the streets. They laid them on beds and couches so that at least the shadow of Peter passing by might fall on some of them.
Verse 16, also a multitude gathered from the surrounding cities to Jerusalem, bringing sick people and those who were tormented by unclean spirits, and they were all healed. Now we are learning from the book of Acts that the secret of the church is it had the power of God upon them.
They were effective because they had the power of God upon them. Now many times when you come to the book of Acts, sometimes we desire to emulate or replicate what we see taking place. So you read phrases like verse 12 that through the hands of the apostles, many signs and wonders were done.
We come down to verse 15 and we see that they brought the sick. to Peter and just the shadow of Peter was bringing healing into the lives of the people. We see that multitudes gathered in verse 16, they were sick, they were tormented, but the Bible says they were all healed, a manifestation of the power of God.
We misunderstand miracles in the Bible because we read the Bible, we Americanize it, we think we’re reading a novel, we think we’re reading in the midst of current times and as a result, we misunderstand, but miracles in the Bible were not just happening every day.
They came in spurts. We look in the Old Testament and we see under the ministry of Moses there were miracles, but there were not any miracles until the ministry of Elijah and Elisha. We see in the New Testament that as Jesus Christ came on the scene many miracles took place and then again through the lives of the apostles.
Why were these miracles manifested in such a powerful and significant way? As I have taught you before and I remind you again, it is a verification of the messenger and the message. It is God’s way of saying to those who are listening, witnessing, and experiencing these miracles that my messenger is true, he is sent from heaven, and that the miracles, the message that they proclaim are being affirmed by the miracles and what is the message?
It is the gospel that Jesus Christ came from heaven, sent from the Father, he lived a sinless life on this earth and that he went to the cross for our sins and that three days later after he was buried in a tomb, he rose again, can God’s people say amen?
That is the gospel message. The greatest miracle is not physical, but the greatest miracle is spiritual. But in the early church, they did not have what we call the canonization of the Word of God, the New Testament.
They had the Old Testament, but they did not have the complete Word of God. So God worked through the apostles. And through the apostles, they were verified by these miracles and tell the completion of the Word of God.
We’ve talked to you about the gifts in the Bible before. And we note that the gifts always fall into three particular areas. There were serving gifts, speaking gifts, and sign gifts. The sign gifts are the miracles that you see here, manifested in the life of the apostle Peter.
These sign gifts, again, they verified the messenger. They verified the message. But the sign gifts would fade out in the church. We come to the book of Philippians, we find that Epaphroditus was extremely sick.
He was a co-labor with the apostle Paul, and yet the apostle Paul who had these sign gifts, in no way did he ever make any effort to try to demonstrate this miraculous sign gift power that he had upon Epaphroditus.
Why? Because as the early church was developing, and as the scriptures were coming together, the need for the sign gifts was unnecessary, because the apostles were already affirmed that they were true.
The miraculous signs given were credentials that were given to the people to know that God was transferring from the old covenant to the new covenant. Again, we will see miracles manifest in powerful ways in the tribulation period.
There’s coming a day that will be raptured out of here as the church, because the tribulation period is for the Jewish people, and the Jewish people need to come to the full understanding that Jesus Christ is the true Lord.
He is the sent Messiah, and he is the one who came to die for their sins, and to deliver his people from their sins, and if they put their faith and trust in Christ, they can have eternal life in Jesus Christ.
When Jesus came the first time, you remember that he met with Nicodemus in John chapter three, verse two, and the Bible says this man came to Jesus by night and said to him, Rabbi, we know that you’re a teacher from God, how do you know that?
For no one can do the sign that you do unless God is with him. When the church is taken out in the rapture during the tribulation period, there will be again God’s designated people who will have miraculous powers, and they will be able to do amazing signs.
Why? In order to verify the message of the gospel to the Jewish people, and to help them understand that the message of Christ is true. what took place after the death and resurrection of Christ is also gonna take place again in the tribulation period.
Remember that Peter taught us in Acts 2, verse 22, men of Israel hear these words, Jesus of Nazareth, a man attested to you by God with mighty works and wonders and signs that God did through him in your midst as you yourselves know.
Though many claim to be the Messiah and they claim to be Christ, they could not do the signs and the miracles that Jesus did. That’s what distinguished him. That’s how the Jewish people know that he was truly sent from God.
How did they know that the apostles were truly sent by God? 2 Corinthians 12, 12, truly the signs of an apostle were accomplished among you with all perseverance in signs and wonders and mighty deeds.
Paul would go on to say in 1 Corinthians chapter 12, do all do miracles? No, do all speak in tongues? No. He teaches us that they will all fade away. Why? Because we have the culmination of God’s word.
We have the complete revelation of God’s word and therefore the signs are unnecessary. I don’t want you to misunderstand. I want you to take your Bible and go to Hebrews chapter two. And again, we see in the scriptures an understanding, an insight within the chapter.
Chapter two, verses three and four. How shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation? Amen. And he goes on to explain how this great salvation came to us, which at first began to be spoken by the Lord.
This message that we have from heaven, how did it come to us first? It was spoken to us by the Lord. And it was confirmed to us by those who heard Him. Who heard Him first? The apostles, the disciples.
They confirmed it to us. Verse four, God also bears witness both with signs, wonders, various miracles, and gifts of the Holy Spirit, according to His own will. What I want you to see is yes, there was this special season in which there were great miracles done and there was significant power manifested in the church through the apostles, that even the shadow of Peter was healing people.
But I assure you there is no shadow of Pastor Mike or any other individual that can heal you today. And I want you to understand that because the Word of God is complete. We don’t need to see that kind of manifestation.
Do not misunderstand, God can heal. And I have witnessed God heal. But God taught us later in the New Testament, how is it that we bring about healing. That if you are sick, you are to call the elders of the church, you are to call the leaders of the church to lay hands on you, to pray over you, to anoint you.
And I’m telling you time after time after time, I have seen God do miracles in the lives of people because they called the elders together. to pray over them. So I want you to understand that yes, God does work powerfully, and he does work, but he works in a unique way with the completion of the word of God.
So how can I be an instrument for God’s power in my life today? Well, I’m gonna give you three things that’ll help you. Number one, be faithful. Be faithful, the scriptures teach us that it’s required of a servant to be faithful.
We’re to be faithful to God who is called to a work that he’s called you to, and you’re to be faithful. You’re faithful to him in your relationship, and you’re faithful to him in your ministry. We understand there are seasons and we get all that.
We understand there are chapters in our life and sometimes God calls us to change. Sometimes He calls us to move forward. Sometimes He calls us to a new adventure. Sometimes He wants us to launch something.
But here’s the thing, long before God opens new doors for you, He wants you to be faithful in what you’re already doing. You don’t just get to get up and say, I’m the pastor of the open door church or I’m the pastor of a church.
You don’t just get to throw out a sign and say, hey, here’s church A, B, and C and you come to hear me preach and teach and I’m just all wonderful. That’s not how God works. Do you understand that? There is a process, there is a pruning, there is a purging, there is a preparation, there is an equipping that God uses and we start out wherever God opens the door.
And you know what, friends? Long before I was ever, ever the pastor of the Open Door Church, I was a 16-year-old boy who was cleaning the church every Saturday night because that’s the ministry God gave me first.
Some people want to be the teacher. They want to be public. But I tell you that long before God uses you on a platform of such enormous influence you must be willing behind the scenes to do the grunt work.
And no matter where God uses you, you’re never too good to move a table. You’re never too good to change a diaper. But I think that sometimes people think that they’ve moved beyond that. You’ve never moved beyond whatever the need is that is before you.
But I want you to know that God does use us by being faithful in whatever he puts before us. Number two, how can I be an instrument? Is to be available. Just be available to God. The greatest ability is availability.
I mean, how many of us have said, Lord, here I am, send me, use me where you want me? Long before I ever knew where I would end up, I just went to the altar and said, Lord, here I am. Whatever you have for me, open the door.
So God works that way. We gotta be available to God. Some of you won’t be available because it doesn’t fit in your plan. Oh, I’m too tired. I’m retired. But I want to tell you something. When you retire, re-fire.
Re-fire for God, find a place, get involved, sacrifice, and do something for the Lord Jesus Christ. Keep the kingdom moving forward. Okay? Let’s be available for Him. Let me tell you the last part about being an instrument for God’s power is to be teachable.
Let’s all be servants. And you know something? As we’re all working together as a team, everyone accomplishes more and we all have a teachable spirit it doesn’t have to be my way or the highway, but we’re all working together to pull the wonderful wagon for the Lord Jesus Christ forward so souls can get safe and we can reach our communities and our families for the Lord Jesus Christ.
Let’s be teachable. What I’m trying to tell you is that if you want to be an effective instrument of God, you are faithful, you are available. and you are teachable. I hope this message has been a blessing to you.
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This is Pastor Mike Sanders reminding you that in Christ there is hope worth having.