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Watch 2022-2023 online sermons » Peter Tan-Chi » Peter Tan-Chi - Be a Faithful Witness

Peter Tan-Chi - Be a Faithful Witness

Peter Tan-Chi - Be a Faithful Witness
TOPICS: Truth Matters, Witness, Faithfulness

This is the reality of life What happens to you is out of your control but how do you handle what happens to you It's your responsibility. It's within your control. Why am I talking about this? Because I know a lot of people are hurting today, people are killing themselves, reality is swinging left and right, it's how you respond to tough situations, how you deal with disappointment, so today I want you to look at Paul's example and let me share with you some important principles if you don't. Understand those huge Why can't you transcend the content of life without understanding the purpose of life? What is the meaning of life? What do I mean?

For example, the apostle Paul, he was thrown in jail, he was falsely accused, he was beaten, why did he continue to do what he was supposed to do? Because Paul understood the big why. Paul knew why God saved him. Once you understand the big why, you don't always have to understand the small why. What do I mean? If I knew God had saved me for a purpose and that was to be His witness I wouldn't always have to understand those little whys like, why... why my daughter was raped years ago why my loved one years ago People died and some of you have your little questions: why? You don't know, you don't always know why but you have to understand that huge why the Apostle Paul understands that huge why why life is so important to help you understand what life is about what is happening to you today.

Let me give you an example. An example, in Paul's case he may not always understand why he's in jail and why he's in trouble, but he understands the huge why because if you look at the Bible we're going to be talking about Acts 24, 25, 26 These three chapters are all about Paul Paul understands why in life Lord, who are you? This is an important question Who is your Lord? Paul realized I am the Jesus you are persecuting. Many of you don't even know who you are serving. You are really serving someone. It could be yourself, your family, your company. There is nothing wrong with that but you have to know who the ultimate is. The Boss For Paul, the ultimate boss is Jesus. Why? Why do I say this? this is very important.

Everyone reads: For this purpose... Please note, it is very important, for this reason, for this purpose, I have appeared to you to appoint you as a deacon. The "appoint" here is a beautiful word. You are specially chosen. You are precious. You are special. God told Paul: I have chosen you and will appoint you as a minister and a witness. Wow! To be a deacon (minister) Many people don’t know what the word "deacon" means. If you are the Minister of Finance. If you are the Prime Minister you may think of yourself as the boss. No, not the Greek usage of the word deacon. It is a special word. Means the lowly slave is the bottom rower in the boat you are the bottom rower God told Paul you will be a servant not a boss but a servant but you will also be a witness.

What an honor you will be a witness you will talk about me so that's Paul's mission to be a witness not only to the things that you see but also to the things that I'm going to show you a witness is someone who testifies to what happened you have to have first hand knowledge the word witness Comes from the word Martyr. Everyone says: Martyr. The Greek word for witness is this word. A Martyr tells others: This is what happened to me. I am a witness. But today it has to do with death because the original martyrs all The apostles almost all of them died because they recognized what they saw and Jesus rose from the dead and rose again.

Now you will understand why Acts 1:8 is so important. What is your purpose in life? I suggest you all read this together: You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you, and you will be my witnesses, Martyr, in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth. Take heed, God knows. Become a Witness You Can't Do It on Your Own The Christian Life I always say over and over again that the Christian life is not difficult but impossible. Let me repeat that: it is not difficult but impossible The Christian life is not difficult but supernatural. If you do not experience the power of the Holy Spirit you will be enslaved to all kinds of things: pornography, addiction, anger, bitterness.

The truth is that some of us are still enslaved. Why? You haven't experienced the power of the Lord Jesus Christ in your heart. But once you have that power, He will give you a reason. What is that reason, folks? You're going to be my witnesses. So ladies and gentlemen, you need to know the big picture: Why did God save you? Why has God touched your life? You must know what is the purpose of us still living on earth? God saves you. God doesn't touch your life just to take you to heaven. If that were the case, we should all be in heaven now. No, He touches your life so that you can be a witness to those around you. That's God's only plan.

The question is: Are you a faithful witness? Are you consistent? Let me explain to you. Guys, what is the topic of today's sermon? Be a Faithful Witness in Season and Out of Season Here's the truth: It’s one thing to bear witness in the good times, but to bear witness to the Lord in the bad times? When you have cancer, when your loved ones are dying, right now we have two pastors whose loved ones are struggling and they both have cancer. One is our pastor in Davao City and his son has a brain problem. It's a brain tumor and many doctors think it's almost impossible (to treat), so we're praying for Pastor Rich and there's another pastor, Pastor Owen, his wife was diagnosed with cancer and it wasn't in stage one or stage two. Not good So how do these people become witnesses?

Friends, when you understand the why of life you can become a faithful witness. For example, a few years ago I missed my flight. Now what is your temptation when you miss your plane? What is your tendency? Tell me, you like to miss you. flight? No. So what will you do? You may mutter, you may complain, but I have learned to seize every opportunity and every disappointment. You see, the situation is out of my control, but what is within my control is how I do it. In response I give you a tip in every situation, in every situation in your life you have to think: This is going to be an opportunity to glorify God and that's what I did, I missed my flight and so did everyone else flight and I started thinking why did we miss our flight? There has to be a reason so I told him you know what? God loves you very much. Why? You and I missed our flight because God had a message for you.

God loves you and He loves me. We are together. God had a special message for you. Isn't that a great way to start? So what is the message? Yes. I remember another time, this was a few years ago, I was in Hong Kong, I had checked in, my luggage was checked, and I was ready to go home, back to Manila. Do you believe it? My plane flew away without me. I missed my flight. How is this possible? You see, I thought I was someone. The planes would never fly away without me. They left me. I could have muttered. I could have complained. I was thinking: a sacred promise to be a witness. to be a faithful witness. The Lord spoke to me and the Lord said: You went back to Kowloon because you have an aunt and you have a sick relative and you did not witness Jesus to her.

I went back and they were shocked: What are you doing here? I said I got a message so I talked to her about Jesus and a few weeks later she passed away. Friends, be a faithful witness. Please turn to the person next to you and tell your neighbor: Be a faithful witness. Now, Believe it or not, Acts is all about Paul and others bearing witness so today you'll find that we're going to cover three chapters chapter 24 chapter 25-26, okay? Three chapters, but easy to understand, are about Paul's testimony and defense. He was falsely accused. So in chapter 24, Paul was tried before the governor Felix and his wife. How did Paul give his testimony? How did Paul defend himself? He defended his life, and you will learn this.

Acts 25 and 26 has Festus the governor. Chapter 26 has Festus the governor, King Agrippa and Bernice. Here is the outline. How do you do? Become a faithful witness? It starts with intention. You have to understand that you are going to be a witness. I suggest number one, be trustworthy. You will find that Paul is trustworthy in chapters 24, 25, 26. What does it mean to be trustworthy? Who are you? What are you talking about? How do you behave? These need to match and be credible. I'm reminded of a family where the father told his daughter will you prepare breakfast? Will you heat my coffee? The girl, obviously, was a little slow. The father was very angry. The father yelled at his daughter. It was a Sunday morning and they all went to church. On Sunday morning, my daughter sat down.

Who was the preacher? This father. The father is a pastor. Now let me ask you a question. Do you think this daughter would have listened well that Sunday morning? I doubt. You know why? There is no credibility. You claim to be a pastor. You claim to be a follower of Jesus. And then you throw a tantrum at home. You yell at your children. What kind of testimony is that? To be credible you must walk the talk. Most of us don't pay attention to this. Do you have credibility in your home, among your family, and in your office? Be a trustworthy person. You will notice that Paul is trustworthy. In addition, Paul is brave. You know that sometimes it is not convenient to talk about Jesus. You feel embarrassed.

Paul is willing to speak in front of kings and governors. Be brave and tell the truth. Sometimes I feel embarrassed. I remember there was a time when I was studying the Bible with a group of LGBT people and I wanted to be careful and I wanted them to know: We love them so I was very careful but I learned what does it mean to be brave? You have to speak the truth in love. They all like to read the Bible, but I talk to them in the Bible.

I say please turn to 1 Corinthians Chapter 6. We should memorize these verses, Chapter 6 9-11. Let me carry it for you. Don't you know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Don't fool yourself! That's what the Bible says. The unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God. Then he said, neither the sexually immoral, idolaters, adulterers, pedophiles, thieves, covetous, extortioners, homosexuals, etc. See Among the sins are thieves, greedy, extortioners, homosexuals, etc., who cannot inherit the kingdom of God. Then the next verse is that some of you were like this in the past. You have been washed, sanctified, and justified. In other words, there is great hope for all kinds of sinners. As our friends read these verses, I remember them...

I remember clearly one of them who was very honest and had this look on his face... because the Word of God is shocking. Today I am happy to tell you that this man is walking with Jesus praising God! People don't realize that in the CCF church we probably have the largest number of LGBT people attending the CCF church. Do you know why? Because they know we love them and we welcome them but they also know we speak the truth and we speak the truth so my friends you have to love all kinds of people don't judge them love them let God's word speak to them Speech I have many testimonies to give you Do you really believe that people can change? Sure, but if they don't know the truth, they'll think that all Christians are the same. They'll think that Christians are all judgmental.

Friends, be careful and be trustworthy. Say it to me: Be trustworthy. What's next? Be brave. Finally, be Christ-centered. When you give your testimony, don't always talk about yourself, but tell them what God has done in your life. Are you ready? good! I'm going to show you: Super speed. Three chapters in five minutes. No, no, but you're going to love this sermon. Okay, let's get started. Acts Chapter 24 Five days later, Ananias, the high priest, came down with some elders and Tertullus, a debater. Their party was well organized. They accused Paul to the governor. As a follower of Jesus, that doesn't save you from trouble. They're accusing Paul here, accusing him If you're a Christian and you walk with Jesus don't be surprised people will accuse you We've been accused left and right but what do you have to do?

Look, they accused him of three things. First, this man, like a plague, was inciting chaos among all the Jews in the world. He was also a leader of the Nazarene sect. Do you know what they accused Paul of? Three things. First, it’s really like a plague. How do you say plague in Filipino? Don't talk about insects, okay? That's Paul. No matter where Paul goes, they will accuse him like this. It's an exaggeration. Second, you are a leader in a certain religious party. You are the leader of this crazy religious group. Third, the most serious accusation is that he even wants the temple. Filthy so we arrested him. So they accused Paul. Now what did Paul do? Credibility Is Paul guilty? No governor nodded to call Paul to speak. Paul said: I know that you have been in trouble in this country for many years, so I am willing to defend myself.

If you ask, you will know that it has only been twelve days since I went to Jerusalem to worship. Everyone, please read: They I was not seen in the temple, in the synagogue, or in the city, arguing with people and stirring up the crowd. What they are accusing me of now cannot be confirmed to you. In other words, Paul is saying: I have no credible witness of my sin. I am not guilty. But one thing I confess to you is the way they call heresy, and I am serving the God of my fathers in that way. You know what Paul is talking about? Yes, I admit it. Christians are called "the Word" and they follow a "way".

Now let me ask you, do you remember what Jesus said? What did Jesus say? What did Jesus say? Jesus said: I am the way, the truth, and the life. In the early church, Christians were known for a way of life called "the word". They followed a certain "way". What kind of way? They don't steal or rob or commit adultery They help the poor Christians are known for following a certain way That's why they are called "The Way" They are different, they get together They bring dinner to eat together They are always in small groups The Bible tells us that I serve the God of our fathers. Do you know what Paul is talking about? We are the same. I serve the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. We are the same. And then Paul says, and he believes everything that is lawful and written in the prophets.

Paul is saying, Hey! Everyone! You see, in terms of credibility, Paul was qualified. He knew how to connect with people. In Filipino: You worship God, and I worship God. You believe the Bible, and I believe the Bible. I believe the Bible, the law, the prophets, I believe it all and then Paul said: I have hope in God just like you, we all believe in God Wow! Even they themselves have this hope. Now please note that he is now introducing a truth that everyone must encounter. Please read with me: And relying on God, hope that the dead, whether good or evil, will be resurrected. Suicide is not the end of life. Good people and Why is this truth so important that the wicked will be resurrected? This truth is so important because you are now forced to think about eternal life and life does not end after this life on earth.

Paul is saying: Because of this truth I therefore encourage myself friends who have a good conscience toward God and men, if Do you truly believe that one day you and I will stand before God to be judged by Him and that you will follow Paul's example and that I will do my best to live a blameless life and that my conscience will be clean before men and before God? You know why? Because you know God sees everything let me give you an example of the importance of conscience I can do a lot of things behind your back you won't know, you won't see but because I believe God sees everything I try my best to Just because I'm not perfect today doesn't mean you are perfect but I do my best to live a life with a clear conscience before God.

For example, just this week my wife left on Wednesday morning and we came from Singapore to attend. Had a seminar and then she said she had to accompany my daughter she was attending a seminar she rarely does but she left this wednesday and then she knew I like massage because we always have a masseuse come to the house to provide in home services So my wife said honey, are you going to get a massage? I said: What's the problem? She said: I'd rather... you don't get a massage when I'm not here. I'm thinking... In Filipino: You're so vague! Because our massage ladies are like wrestlers. Well, I mean, they're big, OK? But my wife since she asked me, I said: No problem, I won't get a massage now if I get a massage. she won't know, but you know why I follow this principle: Always keep a good conscience Why I do this? Because I told her if it bothers you, I won't get the massage.

Of course she doesn't know that, but when she gets home, she's going to give me a massage and make her pay for it, OK? What I want to say is: How are you and your conscience? Don't go against your conscience because God sees your heart. I can do a lot of things with my phone, my computer, no one else will know, but by the grace of God, I have a good conscience. By the way, my secretary, My employees, my wife, have access to my phone and my computer. What I'm trying to say is, it's important to be a credible person. Tell the person next to you: Be a credible witness. You've heard this? Argument? Is this Christian style? Have you ever heard of this? Is this Christian style? Why? No Credibility It makes me sad when I see Christians fighting over email, online, on social media. Why should we fight with each other? Be reputable.

Tell your neighbor: Be credible. Can you be trusted at home? Are you credible in the office? Are you trustworthy in the eyes of others? Are you trustworthy in the eyes of others? Paul is trustworthy. Paul said: I have no sin. Paul said: I have no sin. You know the Bible tells us 1 Peter 3:15. But in your hearts you sanctify Christ the Lord. Please read: If anyone asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, always give it. Preparation You must always be ready to talk about Jesus, be ready that's why I ask people to prepare their testimonies What were you like before? How did you believe in Christ? What happens after you believe in Christ?

You heard Daniel Laugan's testimony about what he was like before he came to Christ and then you tell people what Christ did to you and you tell people that's your story. What changes then? That's the Christian life. The only problem is that many of us, maybe not all, but some of you, may not have a story. You don't have a testimony. Do you have a story to tell? How were you before? How did you come to Christ? What happened to you? Be honest with me: Do you have a story? If you don't have a story, I worry If you don't have a story, I worry Maybe all you have is religion but no Jesus You need to have credibility Let people see the change in your heart What's the verse after verse 15? Can anyone answer this? What's the next section? After testifying...can anyone answer this?

Great, verse 16. What is verse 16 about? Let’s read together: 1 Peter 3:16 Keep a good conscience so that those who speak falsely against your good conduct in Christ may be put to shame. I share this. If someone accuses you of something you don't have to be defensive. You don't have to be angry. You know why? If that accusation is not true, praise God! It's not true. God will defend you one day. If the accusation is true, repent and you change. But the point is a good conscience. Paul was before Felix and he gave his testimony, right? He told his story. Felix, who knew this in detail, hesitated to them and said... Do you know why? Felix was playing politics. He didn't want to release Paul even though he knew Paul was innocent. He asked to wait for the commander Lysias to come down. He knew what was going on and the commander told him. He was playing politics.

So you know what happened? A few days later, Felix arrived with his wife Drusilla, a Jewish woman, and called Paul to listen to what he said. Believe in the Word of Christ Jesus. Have you seen Paul's courage in front of this governor? He talked about Jesus. Paul talked about righteousness, temperance, and the coming judgment. Felix was very frightened and said, "Go away for now, and I will call you back when I can. See how Paul testified courageously. Do you know why"? What was he talking about? Not just faith in Jesus He also spoke about righteousness, what else? Temperance, what else? Judgment Paul was brave in preaching the truth. He would not sugarcoat the gospel. For the apostle Paul, he did not seek to draw people to believe in Jesus. He said: Come to Jesus and you will be rich and happy and you will have no more trouble.

Yeah, Paul doesn't do that. Paul doesn't offer a cheap gospel. He's telling us the truth. When you come to Christ, you need to repent. You have to know why Paul said that because this guy Felix and Drusilla in Josephus. It's famous in history. This guy was immoral. This guy was cruel. This guy somehow seduced another man's wife to become his wife. Paul knew all these things so he preached this gospel in which there is forgiveness of sins but must There is repentance, so he talks about future judgment and he talks about righteousness. What else does he talk about? Moderation Friends, do you have the courage to speak the truth in love? The Bible is so clear. Speak the truth in love. Many of us speak the truth without love. You lash out at others. Some people talk endlessly without the truth.

My friends, be balanced. Maturity will help you to be balanced. Truth and love, one cannot exist without the other. Amen? So tell your neighbor: Be trustworthy! Be brave! Be a Faithful Witness Let’s say it together: To be a faithful witness, be brave! You know, this guy Felix expected Paul to send him money, so he called him repeatedly. There was something really wrong with this guy. Felix, I discovered that there are four main reasons why people don’t believe in Christ: Maybe you are one of the four main reasons. Why are people not really changed by Jesus? Why don’t they really understand the gospel? Do you want to know these four main reasons?

First, ignorance Felix didn't have this problem Felix knew the truth you know a lot of people were sincere but no one told them about Jesus so some people didn't have Jesus because of ignorance Second, pride. I know some people they're so proud you know what they say? I will stay in this religion. I am how I was born. I will be what I am when I die. Proud. I don't want to change. 3. Moral Issues I remember my friend came to my office and I talked to him about Jesus and he said: Peter, I know what you are talking about? He's smart. He graduated from a top university. He's a scholar. I said, why don't you believe in Jesus? Then he pointed at a woman outside my office and said that's not my wife.

Did you see that? Moral issues will affect your belief in God because you need to rationalize your behavior. Many people do not believe in Jesus because there are moral issues. You need to find out what the problem is. Fourth, Idolatry What is idolatry? Idolatry is not the worship of images, okay? Don't be superficial. Idolatry is when you love anything more than you love God. You trust anything more than you trust God. Let me give you an example. Felix, what was his problem? He loved power. Felix loved pleasure. So why did he give up? You see, idolatry. You have to examine your heart. What do you love more than you love Jesus? This will stop you from coming to Jesus. Be a faithful witness.

Two years later, Perseus Festus took over from Felix. So we now look at the next character: Festus. Felix wanted to conquer the Jews. If you like it, keep Paul in prison. Do you see Felix’s problem? He wants to make everyone happy He wants to keep his power so he's not doing the right thing You should let Paul go! He is not guilty! But to keep his power, to keep things quiet, he played politics, and that was the problem. Festus, now this is another guy. From Felix to Festus, he was now a new governor, and he took over. The new governor was playing politics again. Fest wanted to please the Jews, so he asked Paul, "Are you willing to go to Jerusalem"? Have you seen this story? How many years did the old governor keep Paul in prison? Two years later, the new governor came. What was his name? Festus.

Same accusation, so Festus said will you go to Jerusalem to be judged? Do you know why he wanted to take Paul to Jerusalem? Because the high priests and the leaders wanted to assassinate Paul on the way to Jerusalem, they would kill him. But Paul was very smart. Paul said: If I have done any unrighteous thing, if I have committed any sin that deserves death, I will not refuse. If what they accuse me of is not true, no one can deliver me to them. I will appeal to Caesar. You see, Paul is smart. If you want to be a witness, you have to be smart. Paul knows that the court in Jerusalem will be a kangaroo. Court What is a kangaroo court in the Philippines? A court where the verdict has been settled, Luton Macau I don't know why they sound like Macau food Luton Macau means you already know what the verdict is, it's been settled Paul is very smart I don't want to be judged by these Jews won't Those who are just, I will appeal to Caesar!

The Bible tells us: He appealed to Caesar, so they could not touch him. After some time, King Agrippa and Bernice came to Caesarea to ask Festus. Now there is a third character: Agrip King Paul and Bernice stayed there for many days. Festus told the king about Paul and said, "There is a man here whom Felix left in prison". You see, there is a problem in Festus. The problem is this: Paul was a prisoner, but no specific charges were brought against him. Secondly, he was a Roman citizen which was a problem so he said: What am I going to do to him? That's what they did. These people came to accuse Paul. The people who accused him stood up and accused him. What they accused was not as evil as I expected. It was just a few arguments for their own worship of demons and gods.

Everyone read: See how brave and Christ-centered Paul was. Let’s read: And a man named Jesus was dead, but Paul said he was alive. You see, Paul was brave. Paul was Christ-centered. He spoke of Jesus Christ. Gippa said to Festus: I myself would like to hear this man argue. You can listen tomorrow. Do you know why? Governor Festus and Agrippa discussed privately. What did they discuss? But I found out that he has not committed any crime that deserves death. This man is not guilty. Since he complained to the emperor himself, I am determined to release him. But this is a problem. In my opinion, it is unreasonable to send a prisoner without specifying his crime. what do I do? Do you see the problem now? Was Paul faithful in his testimony? Some of us get discouraged Lord, you are not fair. I had been in prison and nothing was going to happen to me. But that was not the case with Paul. Paul would use every opportunity to bear witness to Jesus.

So Agrippa said to Paul: You can speak now. Paul stretched out his hands and said: Okay can you tell me what Paul will say? Before I show you those verses, if you were the apostle Paul, what would you talk about to defend your case? very impressive! Paul talks about what Jesus did in his life. It's called bearing witness, just like Daniel Laugan did. Witnessing is the most powerful way to bear witness to Jesus. First, no one can argue with you. It's you. Secondly, it has authority, it is first-hand experience. This is what Paul did. How do you bear witness? Three Key Points Before Believing in Christ How did you come to believe in Christ? Turning Point After Believing in Christ Do You Remember? I ask you to write down all your testimonies? Before Believing in Christ The turning point, how did you come to believe in Christ?

The outline after believing in Christ is this: Before believing in Christ, Paul is saying: Before believing in Christ, fast forward and let’s read together: I was a Pharisee from the beginning according to the strictest sect in our religion. You know what Paul said in say what? If you read the Bible I'm religious, the most conservative sect of our religion in modern English, Paul would say I'm Opus Dei I'm a Baptist I'm a Pharisee Wow, that's his testimony Why do you think it is unbelievable that God raised the dead? Please read his testimony. In the past, I myself thought that the name of Jesus of Nazareth should be attacked in many ways. Paul once opposed Jesus.

Next, I did the same thing in Jerusalem. I imprisoned many saints in prison, having obtained authority over them from the chief priests. I am also famous for being killed and the verdict is finalized. You definitely don’t want to invite Paul to your Bible study meeting. It’s very dangerous. Do you know why? Paul hated Christ. He hated Christians. I put them in prison. I caused them to be killed. Paul said: I punished them in the synagogues. I forced them to speak blasphemy. I was extremely angry with them. I kept pursuing them. In other words Can you see Paul's life before he believed in Christ? He's not just indifferent, he's radically opposed.

Now let me ask you a question. Do you know someone in your life who you think is next to impossible to come to Christ? You love this person, but you know that with his current state of mind, it is impossible for him to come to Christ. Do you know such a person? raise your hand! You see, all of us are, we have friends, you know? Not only is it very hard, it is harder than stone! His heart seemed impossible... just like Daniel Laugan's. Did you know that Daniel Laugan was against Christ and he persecuted Christians just like me? You don't know my life. I used to hate Christians. I used to be religious. I hated that these people were called born again Christians.

I know what I call them? Born against it I don't like them but I've discovered some things the gospel of Jesus can move anyone don't give up, if you have a family you have friends maybe your kids have left you or your parents are in your mind you feel like no If possible, I suggest that you should keep praying, be a good example, be trustworthy and brave, speak the truth in love and be Christ-centered. When God’s time comes, your job and my job is not to convert people to your faith. Your job is to be a witness. Do you see the difference? As a Witness I tell the truth, what has God done in my life? Believe it or not, that's your business. That's God's business. And my responsibility is to be trustworthy.

I have to pay attention to my life. Secondly, be bold and speak the truth in love. Thirdly, be Christ-centered. Are any of you today? Many of you are here because someone invited you to see your life. Why are you here? Because you have seen changes. The question is whether your life has changed. The question is whether your life has changed. If your life has not changed, you have to think about it. You have to think about it. So the Bible tells us to bear witness. Paul said: I received the authority and command from the chief priests to go to Damascus at noon. Please note that the sun is the brightest at noon, O King! I saw lights from heaven, brighter than the sun, shining around me and those who walked with me.

You see, Paul is now going to talk about his turning point, Christ-centeredness. What was I like before? How did I believe in Christ? Boom! Something happened. Paul had an eyewitness: We all fell to the ground. I heard a voice saying, Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me? If you were Paul, you would be horrified that I was persecuting Christians... and then you heard a voice: Why are you persecuting me? What are the theological implications of this? Theological Meaning: God, Jesus, is so identified with us that when people attack you they are attacking Christ you are so identified with Christ Christ is telling you now: When you are hurting Christ says I know you see, oneness with Christ is Theological Truth This is theological truth Paul was scared to death God told Paul Jesus told Paul it was hard for you to kick against the thorns!

What does that mean? This thorn is a tool in the pasture it is made of metal God, Jesus is telling Paul: Paul, when you fight me you are hurting yourself you will not win the Bible tells us Paul surrendered Paul Say: Lord! Who are you? The Lord says: I am Jesus whom you are persecuting. Let me ask you a question. Do you think it was possible for Paul to lose his faith? Have you ever heard of someone losing their faith? have you heard of it? Do you think it was possible for Paul to lose his faith? It's impossible for me to tell you why once you encounter reality once you encounter the truth and the truth is a person and that's Jesus you can't possibly lose your faith but if what you encounter is religion yes you can lose your Faith but if you meet truth you meet Jesus how can you lose your faith?

This is real stuff for Paul and for all the apostles Jesus was real He rose from the dead and if you ask me Jesus is real He did certain things in my life so why did I lose mine Belief? Losing courage is possible but not losing your faith so be careful. Don't be influenced by people saying it's normal to lose your faith it's not normal unless you haven't met the Lord then this was Paul's big experience Paul now understands why God saved him I saved you for a purpose and I appeared to you for You will be sent as a deacon for a purpose, to bear witness Paul, and you will be my witness. The Bible tells us: Paul is faithful, and I will deliver you out of the hand of the Jews and the Gentiles. I am sending you to them, Paul, that It won't be easy. I will save you, but it won't be easy for you. Really meeting Jesus will change your heart and change your life.

What is the gospel? Let me share with you what it means to be Christ-centered. When you come to Christ, your eyes will be opened. Open their eyes. Turn from darkness to light. Next, turn from the power of Satan to God. Third, forgiveness of sins, fourth, inheritance with all who are sanctified This is crucial Imagine that a Jesus-centered gospel provides you with the following: Open the eyes of the blind I see my past life I really Have you ever had this experience of being unable to see the truth? You ask others: What are you doing? In Tagalog: What are you doing? Do you know why people do what they do? Why? Blind they can't see Many people today have physical eyesight but are spiritually blind, they really can't see.

I've met some people I've seen the decisions they make I've seen the choices they've made I've made a prediction: 100% of disasters but they don't see that when you live in sin you are blind in immoral relationships, premarital sex, there are many things like that because you are blind you cannot see the next step, you are bound and enslaved to Satan Deliver from the power of the devil and come to God. Did you know that there are many people today who are enslaved to these things: bitterness, anger, unforgiveness? I'm not just talking about sex addiction, you are enslaved but the gospel of Jesus will set you free. But you don’t understand what follows, and I love this quote: To be forgiven of sins, do you need forgiveness?

Ladies and gentlemen, today I'm going to tell you that the gospel of Jesus offers you forgiveness of sins, no matter what you've done in the past. That's good news to me, Paul. No matter how bad you have been, no matter how stupid you have been, no matter what you have caused. So many people are dying Paul, I want to forgive your sins Paul, this is your message you tell the world: Have hope in Christ and inherit the inheritance oh my God! Why do you reject the gospel? When God forgives your sins and makes you an heir my friend that's what money can't buy So why do people reject Jesus? I told you four reasons: Ignorance, they are blind pride, don't want to change their moral lives, refuse to give up idolatry, it's crazy that you love something more than Jesus, but that's what's going on so you know what Paul said What? I did not disobey this vision from heaven. I obeyed the Lord's instructions. First in Damascus, then in Jerusalem, throughout Judea and among the Gentiles.

What is the gospel? It includes repentance. They should repent and turn to God. You don't hear many churches today preaching repentance and turning to God. Conduct yourself in a manner worthy of a repentant heart. Meaning, how do you know you have repented? How do you know you have faith? How do you know you have experienced God's grace? Conduct yourself in a manner worthy of a repentant heart. You are not saved by works. Works are evidence of faith. Do you understand? So let me ask you, have you ever experienced repentance? Have the appropriate behavior to tell the world, tell Jesus: Lord! I've changed Thank you for your grace I'm willing to change We want salvation without repentance. It doesn't work You know, the gospel is Christ-centered Religion is traditional The gospel focuses on the heart, Religion focuses on ritual.

You just join, you just each Go through the ritual gospel on Sunday. You have a new master, Jesus. Religion is about yourself. You are still the boss. The gospel talks about the need to repent of religion. It is okay to not repent of religion and not to repent of religion. The gospel focuses on the change of life. Religion is okay without life change. The gospel brings you the guarantee of salvation and inheritance. Religion has no guarantee. The Gospel Focuses on Grace It's all about Christ Religion, you have to earn it Friends, why would anyone reject a Christ-centered Gospel? Because of blindness.

You know what Paul said? Paul has finished his message about Jesus. Let's read it together: That Christ had to suffer and rise from the dead in order first to preach the word of light to the people and to the Gentiles. What is Paul talking about? Christ, suffered for our sins and He rose from the dead. That's the wonderful thing about the gospel is it's about Christ, what He did for you. You know when Paul was speaking, Festus shouted, Paul, you're crazy. Come on! Your knowledge is so great that it makes you crazy! Then Paul answered and said: Lord Festus, I am not crazy; I speak truth and plain words. Then he said: King Agrippa, do you believe the prophet? I know you believe.

Agrippa said to Paul: You want to make me a Christian with just a little persuasion? Paul was very emphatic and then Paul said: No matter how little or how much I ask of God, I am asking God not only for you but for everyone who listens to me today to be like me, just not to be like me with these chains that you cannot imagine, Paul testified. Paul, who was wearing chains on his hands, said: I want you all to become Christians, just without these chains. Do you know what they accused Paul of? You must be crazy. Everybody look at me. If Jesus didn't rise from the dead, we'd all be crazy. You know why we're crazy?

Think about it, what do we believe? We believe: As sinners we can be forgiven of our sins We can have eternal life through Jesus Christ Isn’t that crazy? That's why people think we're crazy. Are we crazy? If Jesus did not rise from the dead, we would all be crazy. But if Jesus died and rose from the dead, we would not be crazy. We would not be crazy. You know who is crazy? Agrippa, Felix, Festus, let me explain to you. They were wearing crowns. They were wearing beautiful clothes. They were judging Paul. But you know what happened to them? According to history, Felix lost his position. Felix lost his wife. His wife and his children died in Pompeii. He lost everything when Mount Vesuvius erupted. Festus was lost in two years.

Do you know the power of Agrippa and Bernice? Is Bernice the sister of King Agrippa? This is an incestuous relationship. Isn't it crazy that the younger sister is marrying the older brother? Because your moral life will determine your theology. Look at history. No one was named Herod. But there were cities named hospitals, schools, after Paul. Many were named St. Paul after St. Paul. You had children named Paul. No one was named Herod or Archibald. Why? I love this quote and we're almost at the end of it. Who's crazy and who's not? The Bible tells us, everyone read this sentence: Such a man is not a fool: He gives up what he cannot keep but gains what he cannot lose Sooner or later all of us will leave this world one day I promise you 100 years from now, none of you will be here.

You can't take anything with you. You can't take anything away. Your money, your bank account, your real estate, your jewelry. You can't take anything away. You will lose everything. This kind of person is not A fool who gives up and surrenders to God anything he can't keep in order to gain something he can't lose. Paul is not stupid. Paul is not crazy. I am not crazy either. I believe with all my heart that Jesus died and rose from the dead and that He will come again. Mine Hope rests entirely on the reality of who Jesus is, how about you? I hope God has spoken to you. Some of you are still kidding. You haven't surrendered everything. You're like Festus. You're like Agrippa. You're holding on to something. But you know what? When it comes to Jesus He is either everything or nothing. Either He is Lord of everything or He is not Lord at all. You have to make a choice. Let's bow our heads.

If God has spoken to you and you want to take your faith seriously and you want Jesus to be Lord of all, I want to pray for you. Are you willing to surrender your life? Please raise your hand! Praise God! Is there anyone else? Don't put your hands down because I want you to join me in a short prayer. Just stand up! Stand up now! You want to give your life to Jesus You don't want to play tricks on Him Second challenge If you know Jesus I'm going to challenge you now to witness to someone this week I want you to pray to Jesus Lord! Help me. Let me be your witness to someone. One, or two, but ask Jesus to help you.

Are you willing to accept this challenge? Be a faithful witness. Be trustworthy. Be courageous. Be Christ-centered. Stand up! Praise God! stand up! You say: Lord! Help me to be a witness I want you to be a witness this week My challenge to you is to ask Jesus to lead you to witness to someone this week Speak to that person about Jesus this week Anyone else? You stand up and you ask Jesus to guide you so He will lead you to someone who you can talk to about Jesus. Listen to me, your job is not to force someone to believe in Jesus. Your job is to bear witness. I ask you today to be a Witness but you need Jesus' help to open the door you want me to pray for you, please stand up! Is there anyone else?

You say: Lord Jesus, I am afraid to be a witness but please help me, I need courage. Is there anyone else today? I'm asking you today to be a witness for Jesus. You can't be a witness for Jesus if you haven't met Jesus yet. Maybe that's why some of you are still sitting still because you don't have a witness. You don't have a witness. Maybe you need to stand up today. Say: I better give my life to Jesus first so stand up! Why don't you take a chance and don't play with your eternal soul. Honestly, if you don't want to bear witness, it's just because you haven't experienced the grace of God. You haven't experienced the forgiveness of sins. You haven't experienced the joy of salvation. It doesn't matter. We are here to help. Do you have anyone else? Friends, the danger of not responding to the gospel is that you develop a hard heart. That's what I'm concerned about.

If you keep coming here, if you don't obey Jesus, your heart will become harder and harder. My suggestion is that you're being deceived. Self I suggest you stand up and surrender maybe you are living in sin maybe you are doing something that is not pleasing to God that is why Jesus came, He loves you He is not your enemy, He is your friend He said I come This is here to help you but you need to surrender and you need to humble yourself and others? Please stand up! Because you know why? I don't know what's going to happen to you today. Anything can happen tonight, tomorrow. What makes you think you have next week? Today is the most important day. Speak truth to God today and say: Lord! Is there anyone else here? Praise God! I know sometimes it's a battle. I love you, everyone! I'm giving you a chance to respond. Let's bow our heads and pray this prayer with me. If you don't have a real relationship with Jesus you have to pray this prayer:

Lord Jesus, I'm here and I admit that I'm a sinner and I think I'm religious. But I haven’t established a relationship with you yet. So Lord Jesus, I come to you and ask you to change my heart. Change my life. I give my life to you. Thank you for dying on the cross for my sins. Lord Jesus, I am Those who have committed to witness to someone this week pray Lord! I am included in this group of people and I pray that this week you will allow me to be a witness. Please allow me to meet someone who is eager to know you. Lord, lead me to these people. Lead me to you who are here today. Lord, they are standing up, please give them the courage and the opportunity to witness to someone. Lord, this is the mission you have given us, to be a witness. We want to obey you but we want to obey. You, because we love you because you have done so much for us and we pray in the name of Jesus! Amen! Amen!

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