Mission – Acts The Greatest Danger to the Gospel Acts 28:11-31 June 17, 2018
I. The final CHAPTER of Paul’s STORY. (v.11-25)
A. ARRIVING in Rome to FRIENDS. (v.11-16)
B. Paul’s CONCERN for His PEOPLE. (v.17-20)
C. The OPPORTUNITY to WITNESS. (v.21-23)
D. As USUAL, a divided RESPONSE. (v.24-25)
We have spent the last 11 weeks looking at the book of Acts, more specifically the life of Paul. He stands as an example of what it means to be a witness for Jesus and the gospel. Today we see some of the last narrative that we have from his life as he comes to Rome. Even there, he lives as a witness, all the time, every day.
1. When has a Christian friends presence meant a lot to you during a difficult time?
2. Paul still continues to love the Jewish leaders, even with all the grief they have caused him. Who is it difficult to love in your own life?
II. What is PAUL’S GOSPEL? (Rom 15:15-16)
A. The KINGDOM of GOD. (v.23)
B. JESUS, the KING. (v.23)
C. The REVERSAL of the CURSE of death. (I Cor. 15:3-5; 2 Tim 1:9-11)
We throw around the word “gospel” often, but what does it actually mean. When Paul says he is proclaiming the gospel, what is it that he is actually telling people. It might surprise you to find out that it doesn’t always look like we expect it to.
3. How would you explain the gospel in a sentence or two?
4. Is your explanation in line with what Paul sees the gospel to be? What are they differences? Do they matter?
III. The greatest DANGER to the GOSPEL. (v.25-31)
A. RELIGIOUS PEOPLE… (28:17,22,25; Mt. 23:27-28)
B. …who THINK they already KNOW… (v.25; Jn 9:34)
C. …who REFUSE to HEAR… (v.26; Mt. 23:37)
D. …and CLOSE their HEARTS. (v.27; Jn 11:49-53)
The theme here, and throughout the book of Acts is that the gospel, even though it is good news, always seems to encounter opposition. But the things that keeps surfacing as you read the stories in Acts is that the opposition often comes from the very people you would think would be excited to see and hear the gospel. The greatest danger to the gospel can sometimes come from surprising places.
5. When have you seen “religious people” hinder the progress of the gospel?
6. How can you keep your own heart open to what God is doing? What specific steps can help with this?
IV. Paul’s EXAMPLE as a WITNESS.
A. He ACCEPTED the gospel HIMSELF. (I Tim. 1:15-16)
B. He GAVE himself to the gospel for OTHERS. (I Cor. 9:19-23)
As we end this season of mission looking at the life of Paul, it is fitting to remember two things. First of all, the gospel was good news for Paul. It covered his sin, it made space for him to be transformed. Paul’s experience of the power of the gospel wasn’t something he could just move on from. It changed him, and made him committed to sharing that gospel with everyone. That’s what a witness does.
7. Where are you still resisting the gospel? What part of your own life do you find hard to be honest about before God and allow Him to bring healing there?
8. Who (specifically, by name) are the people that God is calling you to lay your life down for so that they can see, hear, and experience the gospel?