We continue our journey through the book of Acts picking up in:
Acts 22:14 "Then he told me, 'The God of our ancestors has chosen you to know his will and to see the Righteous One and hear him speak. 15 For you are to be his witness, telling everyone what you have seen and heard. 16 What are you waiting for? Get up and be baptized. Have your sins washed away by calling on the name of the Lord.'
We pick up with our journey in the book of Acts 22 as Paul was arrested because of the religious people accusations and them trying to kill him. Now he asks to speak to the religious leaders himself and we pick up his testimony from where he was struck down by a bright light and the Lord began to speak to him on the Damascus Road and the Holy Spirit sends Ananias to him. Now Paul had supernaturally received his sight back and is listening to Ananias intently.
Ananias begins to prophesy to him about his future, how Father God has chosen him to be a witness to his generation. Little did Paul realize that he would go on and write almost 2/3 of the New Testament. Ananias then tells Paul, you need to get up, get your sins forgiven, get baptized and start telling people about Jesus.
That sounds like what every believer should be doing today especially when we live in a country that has the following going on:
The church in the United States has become silent at a moment when:
· 6,000 teenagers commit suicide each year.
· 13 million children live in poverty.
· 150,000 people die because of substance abuse each year.
· Six million people are incarcerated or on probation.
· The United States is the third largest unreached nation.
· Islam is the fastest growing religion in the world.
· 28 million people left the church over the past decade.
· 72 churches permanently close their doors every week.
Many in the United States have not heard the gospel even once. Statistics show that many people would like to hear the gospel, and they would accept Christ.
Research shows that in America:
· 17 million people would probably accept Christ if they were presented with the gospel.
· Another 43 million people are moving that direction, if someone presents them with the truth.
· 82 percent of the unchurched are somewhat likely to go to church if someone invites them.
· According to Thom Rainer, less than 22 percent of the unchurched have ever been invited to church.
Friends, never has the harvest been so ripe and the laborers so few. Every child of God regardless of what denomination we belong to or don’t belong to must get back to winning people to Jesus, bringing people, not just to church, but leading them into the Kingdom of Father God. Every believer is deputized to be a witness of the good things Jesus did for us. We are commanded to go into all the world (including our world) and tell the good news (Mark 16) that there is a remedy for sin, there is hope for the hopeless, there is help for those who feel helpless and His name is Jesus!
We are very evangelistic on Wednesday nights and when Debbie read the Christmas story in December to our students at The Bridge (on a Wed Night) 40 plus students out of the 100 plus students said they had never heard the true Christmas Story until she read it to them that night. I’m not talking about New York or San Francisco but right here in the supposedly Bible Belt, Beulah AL.
We don’t need to WAIT for the Holy Spirit to tell us to go, we have already been commanded to GO. There is another Paul out there that needs an Ananias and we are the ones chosen to bring the good news to them. I don’t want to stand before Father God on judgment day with blood on my hands.
We must be about the Father’s business which is to save the lost, heal the sick, free those that are bound and set at liberty those who are chained.
Prayer Thoughts: Father in Jesus Name, open our spiritual eyes and let us see people the way you see them, not rich or poor, not the color of their skin, not their social status but rather their spiritual condition (lost or saved). Give us a heart of compassion for the lost like we have never had. Thank you for enduing us with power to be your witnesses of the Gospel, the good news of Jesus.