Samuel Rodriguez - We Must Preach The Good News To Rome
Acts 28. If you wanna be seated at your discretion whatever your polity may be. Act 28. All the other pastors and leaders who are here I greet you and honor you, each and every one of you. Act 28, I'm gonna get right into this. Where is the time clock? Alright, there it is. Act 28. Here is an interesting story. This must be somewhere down the road a film or a Netflix series because it's that powerful and the optics around it are just amazing. Acts 25, "Once safely on shore, we found out that the island was called Malta," somebody say, "Malta". "The islanders showed us unusual kindness. They built a fire and welcomed us because it was raining and cold. Paul gathered a pile of brushwood, he put it on the fire, a viper, driven out by the heat," driven out by what? "Driven out by the heat, fastened itself on his hand".
Another version would read that the snake bit his hand. "But Paul shook the snake off into the fire and suffered no ill effects". So, I wanna speak to you under this innovative canopy, an anointing born out of adversity changes the world. The subtext is this, you not gonna get this till about five minutes into it, you'll get this part. "Come hell or high water I'm on my way to Rome". What I want you to do it's part of what we do in our church in Sacramento, Los Angeles. You gonna do this maybe one time, maybe two. Touch the neighbor you like the most and tell that neighbor, "Come hell or high water, I'm on my way to Rome".
Now touch the other neighbor, the one you barely tolerate, and tell that neighbor, "Come hell or high water, I'm on my way to Rome". On my way to Rome. On my way to Rome. If you're taking any notes, then good luck with that. Point number one, you and your house are anointed for Rome. Greater things. Your destiny is not based on what's in front of you. Your destiny is based on who's inside of you. Act 27:1, we're digressing here, "When it was decided we would sail for Italy, for Rome. Paul and some other prisoners were handed over to a centurion name Julius," somebody shout, "Rome".
Let me give you the story here. Let me give you the story here. Here's the story. Here's Paul. We find Paul in Malta, he's drenched, he's completely soaking wet. He just survived the shipwreck, literally the ship fell apart. I did say "Ship" and I enunciate it, by the way. It fell apart, so he got to the shoreline. When he gets to the shoreline, he gets brushwood. There's a fire pit he acquires additional brushwood, great hospitality by the people of Malta. He puts the brushwood, snake comes out grabs a hold of his hand that's what we find here. How in the world did he get to Malta? What was Paul doing? Here it is. Paul was on his way to Rome not for a mani-pedi, not for a recital, not for a gathering of the road to Damascus association. He was on his way to Rome because four chapters prior God gave Paul his biggest assignment.
Act 23:11, "That night the Lord appeared to Paul and said, 'be encouraged, Paul. As you have been a witness to me here in Jerusalem, you must preach the gospel, the good news in Rome as well'." Paul was on his way to Rome to peach the good news on the biggest stage of the ancient world. Paul was on his way to Rome to change the world with the preaching of the gospel of Jesus. Do me a favor, look around you. Just look around. To a great degree we wouldn't be here if Paul would not have made it to Rome. That was the trip that changed everything. This is where the gospel went vial. It went from Jerusalem and Israel to the world in that trip, that where the gentiles, everyone went, "Whoo," that was it.
So, we're here because Paul made it to Rome. I need you to get ready and I do mean get ready cause I don't really give a holy hoot what the detractor say, what the naysayers proclaim, what you read in surveys, what scholars have projected we are about to see the gospel of the risen Savior reach every nation, every ethnicity, every generation, every demographic without exception. You can't stop God. Isaiah 14:27, "I have plans and they cannot be stopped". Matthew 24:14, "The good news about the kingdom will be preached throughout the entire world. All the nations will hear it and then the end will come," Matthew 24. Listen, God is up to something. We are about to see a gospel explosion like we've never seen before, and this year has not been your, this has been a... Because this year, God's up to something. Around the world God's up to something. Don't get, just the whole alien stuff, and what's happening politically, and this or that. These are all distractions because we are about to see something crazy.
"Behold, I do a new thing. Do you not see it? I've already begun," Isaiah 43:19. Look, let me prove it. Let me substantiate it. So, because we're on our way to Rome. Watch, Rome means the gospel exploding. Rome means the fulfillment of God ordain purpose. This is what it meant, alright, this year kicked off with Damar Hamlin. Monday night football, a football player dies live on national television. We've never seen that before. Monday night football, here's Damar Hamlin, Bam dies, medically, certifiable dead. Both teams coalesce, begin to pray. People around the country begin to pray and the young man who die came back to life. I don't know if you understand what happened. On national television, Monday night football, man dies, people pray, man who was dead came back. Not my wording, by the way, Damar Hamlin post facto interview they asked him, "Why are you alive"? He said, "God resurrected me". His words.
The very next day, the very next day on ESPN. The very next day ESPN, typical program, the panel, the guy looks into the camera, please do your Google due diligence, YouTube this. He gets on television and he's going like, "Yeah, can you believe what happened yesterday? Can you believe Damar died? He died live, he died on national television". And they're taking about like the consequences, whether or not the NFL should have more protocols, safety protocols, safety, all that. And he comes back and says, "Yeah, but he died, and people pray and he came back to life". And the other panelists are going like, "Yeah, but there're some consequences here this upcoming week will there be a special thing"? And the guy goes, "Yeah, yeah, yeah, I get that but he died. And people pray and he came back to life". The other guy is going, "We should be careful about hits above the waist and his heart". And the guy here going like, "We have to discuss that. But he died, people pray, he came back to life".
Google this, and then he goes like this, he goes like, "I think we should pray". They didn't go to a commercial break they kept the cameras on and all of sudden on ESPN they start praying and in the middle of his prayer he says, "Because we serve the God that has the power to heal. We serve a God..." God is up to something. Immediately after he just, the timeline, what is this? Immediately after that in some city, Asbury, Kentucky, the same identical demographic deemed as the most non-Christian demographic in American history, the age group that will never embrace biblical truth for whatever reason God never got the memo and God says, "Oh really"? And he sends precious Holy Spirit to a school in the middle of nowhere and God shows up and a bunch of 18 to 21-year-olds couldn't stop praying, worship, lifting up the name of Jesus. People all over the world flew into Asbury, Kentucky and then it spread to Baylor university and if you think it stopped, no.
Last week, Albourne... you know what happened in Albourne? A bunch of people were baptized in the name of Jesus. Immediately after that my friend, Greg Lauren, from south cal. Greg produces a film called, "The Jesus revolution," was supposed to have made about 7 million bucks, box office receipts, projected. Over $50 million thus far and a few weeks ago he baptized over 4,000 brand-new believers at pirates cove in Orange County, California. I'm just giving you the line. Immediately after that over 6,000 pastors gathered in Amsterdam, we gathered in Amsterdam. And we gather for the purpose of signing a declaration because right now, currently, 3.8 billion people around the whole have yet to hear a viable presentation of the gospel of Jesus.
3.8, you would think with the internet of all that, there are countries that sensor the internet in such a way that Jesus cannot be mentioned and even more, a viable presentation of the gospel of Christ. So, 3.8 billion people have yet to hear a viable presentation of the gospel of Jesus. So, we sign the declaration, declaring that by 2033, in ten years, every single human being on this planet will hear the gospel of Jesus. I don't know if you're ready for this, we are about to see more people get saved, more people delivered, more people healed, more people fill with the power of... I need to you to get ready, we're about to see more people come to Jesus than ever before in world history.
If you believe it, praise like you actually believe it. Matter of fact, if you really believe it raise your right hand. We're gonna make a declaration right now. Repeat after me, "I decree and declare that in the next 12 months more people will come to Jesus through my testimony, my ministry, my mantle of anointing than all my previous years combined". You have no idea what you just said but now you become a magnet for the glory of God and the power of God show it up. Are you streaming? We are? There goes that. Everyone's gonna hear it. You can't stop the gospel. Muslim nations will hear the gospel. Communist nations will hear the gospel. Woke nations will hear the gospel. Millennials will hear the gospel. Generation z, generation alpha. What if I tell you that every letter in the alphabet will hear the gospel.
I'm not saying everybody is gon' get saved but you're gonna hear that Jesus saves, delivers, and heals. Every letter, no, no, I said every letter. That means AARP, are you down of all PPP, LGBTQ+, A-Z, everyone's gonna hear that there is power in the name of Jesus and the blood of Jesus washes away all of our sins. Repeat after me, "Come hell or high water, I'm on my way to Rome". Are there any questions? So, Paul was on his way to Rome for that purpose, getting the gospel, boop. And this is, "Hey, Paul". "Yes, Lord". "You're going to Rome," acts 23:11. "Thank you, Lord". Never including the details. So, the moped, bicycle, tricycle, Maserati, a Prius, we don't judge here. What is it? "It's a boat". "Oh, Norwegian, royal Caribbean, celebrity, carnival". "No, not even the Bougie, the viking cruise line". "What is it"? "It's a prison ship". "A what"? "You're going on a prison ship".
They get on a prison ship, Act 27. He's on his way to Rome to fulfill his God ordain destiny. He's on his way to Rome on a prison ship, Paul warning them, "Y'all this is not the right time, y'all". Nope, they ignored it. And all of a sudden, a nor'Easter shows up, a defacto hurricane and they're being swept around, battered like a cheap pinata. That's slightly racist. Let me take that back. They were battered. And so, this really happened. Acts 27:15-17, their being battered, the Bible says, "That the powers that be determined that it would be better to be driven by the storm". It is better to be driven by the wind in order to try to make it. "Let's not fight the storm," they said. "Let's be driven by the storm".
We are all driven people. We rather driven by the past or the future, by problems or promises, by nightmares or dreams, by the pathetic or prophetic, by the flesh or the spirit, by Google searches or godly searches, we rather driven by drama or by destiny, by trauma or by testimony. Some people are driven by praise and others are actually driven by criticism as it pertains to others opinions of you. Listen carefully, if their praise did not make you their criticism cannot break you. We have too many Christians that spend more time reacting to what comes from hell rather than what comes from heaven. We have too many believers driven by the winds of woke-ism, cancel culture, ideologies and social constructs that are countering intuitive to the word and Spirit of God. Too many believers driven by opinions and feelings instead of being driven by truth and love. What drives you?
Let's talk about drive, I'mma be very transparent here. We just went through a journey, our church family did. We've never been through this journey before. At the end of last year after this conference we went back to Sacramento and I preached a series on the Shunammite woman, 2 Kings 4, Elisha, and by this time next year and so forth. When we illustrated we had a door and my wife and I just to prove a point and just to elevate sort of, this is what it looks like, we went through the door. Something happened God is, and you know whether it's not you, it's not hype, it's not emotional exuberant. A viable, measurable manifestation of the glory of God where it wasn't prompted, it was just by us it wasn't manipulated. God just went, "I'm here". And the whole church with that one word being said just experienced it. The glory of God filled the place. We got it.
My wife and I were like, "Wooow". This is like, this, God's here. So, we said, "God is up something". So, we walked in that same, right after that we get a call. Get a call, right after that, coinkydink. "Pastor Sam," it was the leadership of a prominent ministry in the state of California for ethical purpose I won't mention a name but a prominent ministry that went down, COVID, post COVID. They went from 2,200 to 700 attendees on Sunday, and they had an incredible amount of debt. And the debt was pretty ginormous, immeasurable, in the millions. So they call us up and said, "Pastor Sam, would your church be interested in merging with our church, taking over". Big property, 80 acres, highway frontage, worth $75-80 million U.S. Dollars and crazy stuff just. An auditorium that fits 3,000 people which we desperately need. So, we went like, "This is God answering the prayers". So, I went like, "Wow, three auditoriums: one for three, one for 1,000, the other for three". I went, "This is it".
So, well I met with my team, and I went, "Let's do this". I initially had meetings with the pastor and the members of their team and had the initial four meetings and then it happened. "Alright, Pastor Sam, it's time. We all agree, let's formalize this. Have your board meet with our board, the formal meeting and then we'll sign a MOU, and we'll execute accordingly". So, there it is, we met in a certain coffee establishment whose name I will not mention, and I drank my almond milk latte and Jezebel on the cup. And so, we were there, and so, I never said anything. Did I say anything? So, we sat, and we debriefed. "What are they gonna ask you? What do we prepare for?" 'cause we don't know. So, I'm thinking, "Alright, I'm going in there. Questions will be for diciary governance, immigration systems, attrition for the current staff in that church and so forth, hr components, risk management, typical integrated systems and so forth. And then you know, even if I even went they probably gonna ask, 'will you have Slavic service or Spanish service'? And they probably gonna ask questions that really matter like, 'why do you speak so fast'? questions that are really legitimate. You should be asking".
We walked into the meeting. This is about what drives you. So, I walk into the meeting, I sat right here, I have Jeff Carter, Kimberly Higgs, my board members, four of them. They had their team here. And I came here, and I went, "Okay". This is it, the initial. Like, no joke, it happened just like this. They were witnesses to that. And both sides attest to it because it was so crazy. So, I sat down and I'm going like, "Great, alright, let's do this". And the first question, board member, "Pastor Sam, we wanna begin by asking you this critical question, one question". And I'm thinking, "Alright, here comes systems, ideas, budget. What is it"? They go, "Pastor Sam, our church, we lean left. We wanna know, where do you lean"? This is me, cause I'm thinking, candid camera, you know, like this has been, there's no, I'm thinking, both a sign and a wonder, nothing came out of my mouth. And my team, his wife was there. She's apart of my board. Nothing came out and they're looking at me like, "Say something". Nothing came out and I'm going, cause I'm processing it.
First of all, in line of everything we do I'm a part time comedian. So, help me the first thing that hit me wasn't prophetic, spiritual, the first thing was, "Dude, you have enough jokes for the next three years to carry you over wherever you go. You're covered". The next thing that happened is the Holy Spirit prompted me and say, "Alright, Sammy, go ahead, say it. Answer them". And I didn't want to because if I would say what the Holy Spirit wanted me to say we would never get the building. So, I'm fighting with the Holy Spirit and the Holy Spirit always wins. So, I look up after about a minute of absolute nothing coming out of this Puerto Rican's mouth and I look up and I go, "Thank you for question. Yeah, thank you for the question. With great due difference our church, new season, at our church we don't lean. We stand".
We stand on the Word of God. We stand on the promises of God. We stand on the finish work of Christ. Whatever the Bible calls holy we call holy. Whatever the Bible calls sin we call sin. We don't need Christians in Hawaii or in America, or around the world that lean left or lean right. We need believers that stand! All there any standing believers in the house? Somebody shout like you stand and praise like you standing if you're standing lift up your hands. Repeat after me, "I don't lean, I stand". Say it like you believe it. "I don't lean, I stand". Repeat it again, "I don't lean, I stand". We stand. We stand. 1 Corinthians 16:13, "Be on the alert, stand firm in the faith". It's time, I'm praying, and I know this church don't lean. We need a church that raises up. We can't be driven by the winds of this cultural derivative idea, social construct, ideologies, falsehood and lies. We need a church that stand up for biblical truth. Stand up for righteousness.