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Chuck Smith :: Sermon Notes for Acts 17:1

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I. PAUL REASONED WITH THEM OUT OF THE SCRIPTURES.
A. There are those who have the opinion that when a person has embraced Christianity that they have somehow taken leave of their senses.
1. Quite the contrary he has come to his senses.
2. Believing that Jesus is the Messiah is a very reasonable thing.
3. The salvation from sin is a very reasonable offer that God has made to us. "Come now let us reason together saith the Lord, though your sins be as scarlet, you may be as white as snow."
4. It is so reasonable you must search for some reason as to why a reasonable person would not accept it.
B. Those who reject Jesus as the Messiah do so because they are deceived and their eyes are blinded by Satan. It is a totally unreasonable stance.
1. Paul speaks of how the god of this world has blinded their eyes that they cannot see.
2. The prophet Isaiah said, "Having eyes to see, they see not and ears to hear, they hear not."
3. Paul declares, "Professing themselves to be wise, they have become fools."
4. He said, that because they did not want to retain God in their minds, God gave them over to reprobate minds.
5. Paul also said,
2TH 2:10 And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.
2TH 2:11 And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:
2TH 2:12 That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.
C. People just don't stop to consider.
1. God said, "O that they were wise, that they understood this, that they would consider their latter end."
a. If you would only look down the path and see where it is leading you.
b. If you would only consider the final consequences of a life of sin.
2. Twice through the prophet Habakkuk God called on the people to consider their ways.
3. The author of the book of Hebrews called on us to consider Christ Jesus.
D. I believe that the theory of evolution has to be the most irrational, idiotic theory ever invented by the minds of evil men.
1. To look at the wonders of the human body, the organs, the brain, the digestive system, the capacity of sight, hearing, understanding, the capacity to decide, the heart pumping the blood to the cells providing them with oxygen and nutrients, how could a thinking person ever believe that this just came about by fortuitus occurrences of accidental circumstances.
2. Or as they theorize, matter acting on matter given sufficient time can create anything.
a. My new watch.
b. Lets go searching through the desert this afternoon, perhaps we can find a new Oldsmobile emerging out of the sand with digitalized dash and a Bose stereo system.
c. Imagine finding a car that is so sophisticated that it would repair itself whenever you smashed a fender. They now advertise cars that will go 100,000 miles before the first tune up. Imagine one that if blew the engine, it would repair itself, or if someone said, "Your gas tank is leaking." You would say, "That's all right, it will stop in a few seconds as the gas develops little platelet that will seal the hole. It will be like new in a few days." And if you wanted a new little car, just park it besides your wife's car in the garage, and in about nine months you should have a cute little model that is a cross between her Ford, and your Cadillac.
d. Why do you laugh? Because you know that it is absurd.
e. It is even more absurd to say that our bodies have evolved through fortuitous occurrences of accidental circumstances.
II. PAUL WAS REASONING WITH THEM ABOUT THEIR SCRIPTURES CONCERNING THEIR MESSIAH.
A. He was proving to them with their scriptures that the Messiah had to suffer and rise from the dead.
1. He no doubt used Isaiah 53.
ISA 53:3 He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were [our] faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
ISA 53:4 Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.
ISA 53:5 But he [was] wounded for our transgressions, [he was] bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace [was] upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.
ISA 53:6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.
ISA 53:7 He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth.
ISA 53:8 He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? for he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken.
ISA 53:9 And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither [was any] deceit in his mouth.
ISA 53:10 Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put [him] to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see [his] seed, he shall prolong [his] days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand.
ISA 53:11 He shall see of the travail of his soul, [and] shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities.
ISA 53:12 Therefore will I divide him [a portion] with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.
B. He probably coupled these with Psalm 22 which we read this morning. and then he perhaps led them to Psalm 16
PSA 16:10 For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.
III. HE THEN ALLEGED THAT THE JESUS WHO HE PREACHED TO THEM WAS THE MESSIAH.
A. Not only did He fulfill the prophesies in these passages, but in all more than three hundred of the predictions made of the Messiah in the Old Testament.
1. First of all it would be mathematicly impossible for any one man to fulfill all of the predictions. Yet Jesus did.
2. The amazing thing to me is that thousands of Jews were ready to hail Rabbi Scherson as the messiah, even though he was not born of a virgin in Bethlehem. Two of more than the three hundred requirements if he were the true messiah.
B. If you truly stop to consider,
1. The Bible purports itself and proves itself to be the inspired word of God.
2. No other book has been so thoroughly examined to find fatal flaws than the Bible. Surely if they existed they would have been found by now. Many of those who have searched for the fatal flaw have ended up becoming believers.
3. No other book has stood the test of time.
4. No other book has staked its authenticity on declaring in advance, thousands of events that would happen in the future. Many of them hundreds of years before they happened, some of them even thousands of years before they took place.
IV. A PERSON DOES NOT REJECT JESUS AS THE MESSIAH ON INTELLECTUAL GROUNDS. There are other reasons.
A. They don't want to see. "None so blind as those who will not see."
B. They don't want to change their life styles as would be required if they embraced Jesus Christ.
1. I can see why a person who wanted to continue as a drug dealer would reject Him.
2. I can see why a person who wanted to continue in prostitution would reject Him.
3. I can see why those who want to continue their life styles would reject Him.
4. For the life of me, I cannot see how a person with a sound mind, who wanted to live a good life would reject Him.
CONTENT DISCLAIMER:

The Blue Letter Bible ministry and the BLB Institute hold to the historical, conservative Christian faith, which includes a firm belief in the inerrancy of Scripture. Since the text and audio content provided by BLB represent a range of evangelical traditions, all of the ideas and principles conveyed in the resource materials are not necessarily affirmed, in total, by this ministry.

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