Acts: Our Good News Story

Article by Dr. Les Hollon, Pastor, Trinity Baptist Church, Edited by Dee DeWitt

 

The Bible is God’s storybook.  God wants us to know His story …

 

Not because He thought everyone would love Him because of the stories, though that was His hope.  Not because He thought everyone would get it, though that was His aim.  Not that he thought everyone would live better lives because of lessons learned from the stories, though that motivation moved Him.

 

Rather, He had the stories recorded because they give witness to His glorious acts of salvation and that whosoever had “eyes to see and ears to hear” would personally experience salvation by the stories delivered.

 

Acts is filled with good news stories, like Saul becoming Paul.  Saul, the terrorist, became the Apostle Paul who shared God’s open promise of salvation for all seekers.  On a walk to remember, towards Damascus, he was converted and called.  His call gave him his nickname, Apostle to the Gentiles.  God would use his life experiences to shape his future opportunities of service.

 

The same is true for you and me.

 

Everyone has a spiritual right to know the good news.  God’s love, made perfectly known in the life, death, and resurrection of Christ, is how we see enough to know enough to believe. And everyone has the spiritual right to know this for themselves.

 

Why?  Because in Christ “there is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female’ (Gal. 3:28).

 

How is this possible?  Because anyone in Christ is “a new creation where the old passes away and the new has come” (2 Cor. 5:17).

 

Approaches to Good News Sharing

Like the people in Acts, we become evangelists as we follow Christ.  Evangelists are “good news” tellers of Christ.  We share voluntarily and want people’s decisions to be made voluntarily.  A mutual respect for the dignity of every human being and people group means that faith-sharing must be pursued with respectful love. We can learn the different styles of evangelism so we may know when to use which one, and how to speak with words and actions so other people will understand.

 

Personal – Tell how you became a Christian and what has happened in your life since you began following in the ways of Jesus.  Personal experience carries passionate persuasion.

 

Relational – Build trust into each of your relationships. This positions you to share convincingly about Jesus.  Ask questions about the seeker, listen and apply what you learn.

 

Actions of Servanthood – Use kindness to care for the seeker’s mind and/or body, and let it bean entrée to talk about things spiritual.

 

Intellectual - Guide the person’s curiosity and/or doubts about Christ to the point where reason merges into faith.  This flip-flops a person’s perspective from: “I have to know for sure by reason& observation before I will believe,” to “I believe in order to understand.”

 

Biblical Verses – Verses such as: the Roman Road to Salvation (Romans 3:23; 6:23; 10:13), the Woman at the Well encounter (John 4), the Prodigal Son (Luke 15:11-32); Zacheuus (Luke 19:1-10) – carry the conviction of Scripture for those seekers who believe the Bible is God’s unique book.

 

Teachable Moments – Be present when major life events happen in seekers’ lives because then they are distinctly open.  The soul, at such times, is open to the real Christ for their real life situation. 

 

Our worried world is in need of the gospel.  For such a time as ours, we serve as good news people.

 

Pastor Les Hollon

 

Paul and his companions traveled throughout the region of Phrygia and Galatia, having been kept by the Holy Spirit from preaching the word in the province of Asia.  When they came to the border of Mysia, they tried to enter Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus would not allow them to.  So they passed by Mysia and went down to Troas.

During the night Paul had a vision of a man of Macedonia standing and begging him, “Come over to Macedonia and help us.”  After Paul had seen the vision, we got ready at once to leave for Macedonia, concluding that God had called us to preach the gospel to them.

 

Lydia’s Conversion in Philippi

From Troas we put out to sea and sailed straight for Samothrace, and the next day on to Neapolis.  From there we traveled to Philippi, a Roman colony and the leading city of that district of Macedonia. And we stayed there several days.

On the Sabbath we went outside the city gate to the river, where we expected to find a place of prayer.  We sat down and began to speak to the women who had gathered there.  One of those listening was a woman named Lydia, a dealer in purple cloth from the city of Thyatira, who was a worshiper of God.  The Lord opened her heart to respond to Paul’s message.  When she and the members of her household were baptized, she invited us to her home.  “If you consider me a believer in the Lord,” she said, “come and stay at my house.”  And she persuaded us.

-Acts 16-6-15 (NIV)

 

This article was written byLes Hollon, Pastorof Trinity Baptist Church.  For more information about God and your place in His world, contact Dr. Hollon, click over toTrinity Baptist Church.

 

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Posted on 15 March, 2010 in Inspirational Stories, Spirituality
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