OceanSide church of Christ
|Previous||Return to Sermons||Next|
WE WILL GO…I WILL GO!
Receptive Recipients of the Gospel
Victor M. Eskew
A. The theme for OceanSide this year is: “We Will Go…I Will Go!”
B. Each month we try to present a lesson that keeps our theme constantly before us.
C. In last month’s lesson, we looked at “What We Will Face When We Go” into the world with the gospel.
D. We listed several things, but we omitted one, perhaps the most important one. We want to talk about it in this lesson.
E. When we go, we will find “Receptive Recipients of the Gospel.”
I. JESUS TAUGHT US ABOUT THE POSSIBLITY OF RECEPTIVE RECIPIENTS
A. Fishers of Men
1. After Jesus’ baptism and temptation, He “began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Matt. 4:17).
2. He also started asking men to follow him.
a. The first two He called were Simon called Peter and Andrew his brother (Matt. 4:18).
b. He asked them to leave their fishing nets behind in order to become “fishers of men” (Matt. 4:19).
And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.
1) When fishermen go fishing, they do not always catch something.
2) However, they catch enough to have a profitable business.
3) The same is true for fishers of men. We will not catch all men, but we will definitely catch some.
B. The Parable of the Sower (Luke 8:4-8).
1. One of the soils was “good ground” (v. 8)
And other fell on good ground, and sprang up, and bare fruit a hundred fold.
2. Jesus’ interpretation of this soil is found in Luke 8:15.
But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience.
C. The promise attached to His being lifted up.
1. Jesus knew why He had come to earth. He knew that He would eventually be crucified.
2. In John 12:32, He understood the effect of His death on mankind. They would be drawn to Him.
And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.
a. Jesus knew the far reaching effects of His love.
b. He also understood the power of His blood upon the hearts of men.
D. The Great Commission
1. Just prior to His ascension, Jesus met with His apostles on the Mount of Olives.
2. There He commissioned them to take the gospel to the world (Matt. 28:18-20).
3. Jesus knew that individuals would respond to their message in a positive way. He knew disciples would be made in all nations upon the earth.
II. RECEPTIVE RECIPIENTS IN THE BOOK OF ACTS
A. The Jews on Pentecost (Acts 2:41)
Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.
1. These were Jews (Acts 2:5)
a. The chosen of God.
b. The circumcised.
c. The seed of Abraham.
2. These were Jews gathered for the celebration of Pentecost (Acts 2:1).
a. They were the recipients of God’s covenant through Moses.
b. They were keepers of the law of God.
3. Some of these Jews had witnessed the crucifixion of Jesus (Acts 2:23).
a. They consented to his death.
b. They mocked him and ridiculed him.
c. They denied that He is the Christ.
B. The priests (Acts 6:7)
And the word of God increased; and the number of the disciples multiplied in Jerusalem greatly; and a great company of the priests were obedient to the faith.
1. The priests were the religious leaders of the day. They occupied prominent positions in Israel.
2. If any knew the law, it would be the priests.
3. NOTE: A great company of the priests were obedient to the faith.
C. The Samaritans (Acts 8:12)
But when they believed Philip preaching the things concerning the kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women.
1. These were the half-breeds whom the Jews despised.
2. These were the people who Jesus said knew not what they worshipped.
D. The eunuch (Acts 8:38)
And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him.
1. This man was a religious man, most likely a proselyte.
a. He had been to Jerusalem to worship.
b. He was reading from the Old Testament Scriptures.
2. He was from Ethiopia, a foreign country.
E. Saul of Tarsus (Acts 9:18)
And immediately there fell from his eyes as it had been scales: and he received his sight forthwith, and arose, and was baptized.
1. This was a man who was well educated in the Law of Moses.
2. This was a religious zealot for the Law of Moses.
3. This was a man who at one time was a zealous persecutor of Christians.
F. The household of Cornelius (Acts 10:47-48)
Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we? And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord…
G. Sergius Paulus (Acts 13:12)
Then the deputy, when he saw what as done, believed, being astonished at the doctrine of the Lord.
1. This man occupied a high office on the isle of Paphos (Acts 13:7).
2. He was a prudent man and had called for Barnabas and Saul desiring to hear the Word of God (Acts 13:7).
H. On the first missionary journey Paul and Barnabas preached the gospel in the towns of Iconium, Lystra, and Derbe. Listen to what they did when they returned back through those cities (Acts 14:22-23).
Confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God. And when they had ordained them elders in every church, and had prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord, on whom they believed.
1. These men had established churches in all of these cities.
2. The evidence:
b. Continue in the faith
c. Elders in every church
d. On whom they believed
I. Lydia (Acts 16:15)
And when she was baptized, and her household, she besought us, saying, If ye have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come into my house, and abide here. And she constrained us.
a. A Jew
b. A woman
c. A business person
J. The Philippian jailor (Acts 16:33-34)
And he took them the same hour of the night, and washed their stripes, and was baptized, he and all his, straightway. And when he had brought them into his house, he set meat before them, and rejoiced, believing in God with all his house.
1. A Roman who was loyal to Cesar.
2. A soldier
K. The Athenians
1. Paul entered into this city alone (Acts 17:14).
2. He confronted the Jews in the synagogue (Acts 17:17).
3. He also spoke to the Greek philosophers on Mar’s Hill (Acts 17:22-31).
a. Idol worshippers
b. Well educated in all kinds of man-made doctrines
c. Curious about new and different things
4. It appears from verse 32, that Paul was not successful.
5. Now read Acts 17:34.
Howbeit certain men cleave unto him, and believed: among the which was Dionysius the Areopagite, and a woman named Damaris, and other with them.
III. LESSONS TO TAKE WITH US
A. Receptive hearts are in the world.
1. If only 1% of the population is interested in the gospel at this time, it means that there are 77,000,000 people out there who will obey the gospel when they come in contact with it.
2. 2% would mean 154,000,000 people.
3. All we have to do it get out there and find them.
B. They come in all shapes, forms, and sizes.
1. Jews, proselytes, Gentiles, Romans
2. Men and woman: eunuch, Lydia
3. Worshippers of God and idol worshippers
4. Individuals well studied in their religion: Saul of Tarsus
5. Individuals influenced by the philosophies of man: Athenians
6. Individual who are in high places: priests, deputy, eunuch, Philippian jailor
C. God has promised that if we will take the gospel to the world, it will not return void.
1. Isaiah 55:1
So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.
2. I Corinthians 3:6
I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase.
A. Soul-winning, like farming, is not an easy task.
B. However, if it is done well, there will be a crop that is reaped.
C. Let’s read the passage one more time (Psa. 126:5-6).
They that sow in tears shall reap in joy. He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.