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Obeying the Great Commission. In. Times of Persecution. Acts 8:1-4.

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Obeying the Great Commission

In

Times of Persecution

Acts 8:1-4

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Acts 8:1 “And Saul was consenting unto his death. And at that time there was a great persecution against the church which was at Jerusalem; and they were all scattered abroad throughout the regions of Judaea and Samaria, except the apostles.”

“Now at that time a violent attack was started against the church in Jerusalem;” BBE

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tThreats to Our Religious Freedom

  • Walter Reed National Military Medical Center
  • Army Chaplain - post on Facebook
  • School in Canada - “Life is wasted without Jesus”
  • London England - Preacher arrested
  • Fox Sports Sportscaster - Craig James fired
  • San Antonio, Texas - City Council
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tThreats to Our Religious Freedom

  • School Teacher in New Jersey - Facebook
  • New Mexico - Photographer
  • Phoenix, Arizona - Home Owner arrested
  • Florida - Bible study in their home
  • Washington State - Gary Tabor - Judge
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Gary Tabor

“Judicial authorities in the Pacific Northwest state of Washington formally admonished Gary Tabor” …. “for voicing his preference not to perform same-sex marriages.”

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WE HAVE A COMMAND

Matt. 28:19 “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them …….”

Mark 16:15 “And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.”

Acts 1:8b “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.”

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Acts 8:1 “And Saul was consenting unto his death. And at that time there was a great persecution against the church which was at Jerusalem; and they were all scattered abroad throughout the regions of Judaea and Samaria, except the apostles.”

Acts 22:20 “I also was standing by, and consenting unto his death”

Persecution floodgates were opened

Christians scattered

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Acts 8:2 “And devout men carried Stephen to his burial, and made great lamentation over him.”

Brethren buried Stephen

Grief at loss of a good man

More intense when death by violence

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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.”

Saul hunted Christians to persecute

Acts 26:9-10

“I verily thought with myself”

“I shut up in prison”

“When they were put to death”

“I gave my voice against them.”

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Acts 8: 4 “Therefore they that were scattered abroad went every where preaching the word.”

Enemies thought this would kill the church.

Instead it ignited the gospel fires

Mt. 10:23a “But when they persecute you in this city, flee ye into another.”

They scattered and preached the word

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Application

Preach the Word

Warned about persecution

Jn. 16:33 “In the world ye shall have…”

2 Tim. 3:12 “…shall suffer persecution.”

Phi. 1:29 “also to suffer for his sake.”

Never been this bad ? Noah - Genesis 6

Never compromise the truth to avoid trouble !!

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Application

Joseph - Genesis 39

Sold - in Egypt

v. 2 “And the Lord was with Joseph”

God will be with us

Gen. 45:5-8

“and God sent me before you to preserve”

“now it was not you that sent me”..”but God”

Gen. 50:20 “but God meant it unto good”

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Commanded to “Go into All the World”

Tarried in Jerusalem

Persecution

God can use these circumstances

Have to be shaken out of comfort zone

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Acts 11:19-21 “Now they which were scattered abroad upon the persecution that arose about Stephen travelled as far as Phenice, and Cyprus, and Antioch, preaching the word to none but unto the Jews only.

20. And some of them were men of Cyprus and Cyrene, which, when they were come to Antioch, spake unto the Grecians, preaching the Lord Jesus.

21. And the hand of the Lord was with them: and a great number believed, and turned unto the Lord.”

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In Times of Persecution

Is it possible that God would allow persecution to awaken us to the task of preaching the Gospel !

Would we spread the gospel if persecution came.

Disciples in first century

More they were persecuted

The more they multiplied

We do not know what is coming !

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We must

Obey the Great Commission

In

Times of Persecution

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Sermon by Arthur Pigman

Evans Church of Christ

515 Gibbs Road

Evans, Ga. 30809

706-855-1249

evanscoc@bellsouth.net

www.evansgachurchofchrist.org

Sunday Morning December 15, 2013