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Chuck Smith :: Sermon Notes for Acts 21:14

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Intro. Paul is on his way to Jerusalem, every where he goes he is being warned by the Spirit of the suffering and imprisonment that wait for him there.
I. THE WARNING BY AGABUS THE PROPHET.
A. He had come down to Caesarea to warn Paul what would befall him in Jerusalem.
1. He took Paul's girdle and bound himself with it, then prophesied that thus would the man who owned the girdle be bound and turned over to the Gentiles when he came to Jerusalem. In the case of Jesus, the phrase turned over to the Gentiles signified death by crucifixion.
2. At this point the friends that had been accompanying Paul along with those in Caesarea began to beg Paul not to go to Jerusalem.
3. The Paul responded, "What do you mean by these tears, are you trying to break my heart? I am ready not only to be bound, but to die for the Lord Jesus in Jerusalem."
B. When they saw that Paul could not be dissuaded from going, they ceased their crying and pleading and they said, "The will of the Lord be done."
II. THE WILL OF THE LORD OFTEN INVOLVES SUFFERING.
A. We remember the prayer of Jesus in the garden concerning the cup.
1. If it is possible, let this cup pass from Me, nevertheless, not my will but Thy will be done.
2. It was the will of the Father that His Son should suffer the shame, humiliation, and agony of the cross, that He might provide the way of forgiveness for our sins.
3. Peter tells us,
1PE 2:21 For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps:
B. Paul spoke of the suffering he endured for the cause of Christ.
2CO 11:23 Are they ministers of Christ? I more; I have labored more abundantly, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequent, I faced death often.
2CO 11:24 Of the Jews five times I received forty [stripes] save one.
2CO 11:25 Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was stoned, three times I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep;
2CO 11:26 [In] journeyings often, [in] perils of waters, [in] perils of robbers, [in] perils by [mine own] countrymen, [in] perils by the heathen, [in] perils in the city, [in] perils in the wilderness, [in] perils in the sea, [in] perils among false brethren;
2CO 11:27 In weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness.
2CO 11:28 Beside those things that are without, that which cometh upon me daily, the care of all the churches.
1. No wonder the scripture says,
HEB 12:2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of [our] faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.
HEB 12:3 For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.
HEB 12:4 Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin.
2. When we read of what people have had to endure for Jesus Christ and what they are enduring today in China, and Iran, and other parts of the world where there is violently opposed to the preaching of the gospel of Jesus Christ, we realize how soft we are. We complain if the sound system is not just to our liking or if the air conditioner is not adjusted properly.
3. Paul and Barnabas were described as men who had hazarded their lives for the cause of the Lord Jesus Christ.
4. These were men who could not be silenced or stopped by threats of violence from their enemies or by the tears of their friends.
III. THE ATTEMPTS OF PAUL'S FRIENDS TO KEEP HIM FROM JERUSALEM.
A. It was motivated by their love for Paul.
1. Many times our love for our friends would cause us to seek to hinder them from following the will of God.
2. We don't want to see them hazard their lives.
B. They were greatly disturbed at the prospect of Paul being imprisoned and afflicted.
C. When it became obvious that Paul could not be dissuaded, they ceased trying to do so and committed it all to the will of God.
D. This is the only place that we will ever really find peace. "The will of the Lord be done." Peter said,
1PE 4:19 Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls [to him] in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator.
E. We see this kind of commitment made often by the saints in the past.
1. When Jacob was forced to send his son Benjamin down to Egypt, he opposed the idea at first, but he finally had to give in, he then declared, "May Almighty God give you grace in the eyes of the man that he may send you away with your other brother and Benjamin, and if I am bereaved of my children, I am bereaved."
2. When Samuel was just a child and he heard his name being called in the night, he ran in to the room of Eli the priest and said, "You called?" Eli answered no, go back to bed. Again he heard his name being called and again he went into Eli. The third time Eli said if your name is called again say, "Speak Lord, your servant is listening." The Lord then told Samuel of the judgment that was coming upon the house of Eli. The next day when Eli asked him what the Lord had said, Samuel was reluctant to tell him, but Eli said, "Tell me everything, and hide nothing from me or may the curses come upon you. Samuel then told him all, and Eli responded, "It is the Lord, let Him do what seemeth good to Him."
3. When David was fleeing Jerusalem to escape from Absalom he said, "If I find favor with the Lord, He will bring me back to this place and to His habitation, but if He says, I have no delight in him, behold here I am, let Him do unto me what seemeth good to Him."
4. Jesus prayed, "Not what I will, Thy will be done."
5. He told His disciples to pray, "Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done."
F. Why is it that some are so reluctant to commit ourselves to the will of God?
1. They have false concepts of God.
a. As a child, I actually heard people say, "Don't say you won't do something, for that is just what God will make you do.
b. I understood that as meaning that the will of God is something that would be personally very distasteful. I thought He would force me to eat cauliflower, because as a child I hated cauliflower. Now I eat cauliflower, without screwing up my nose and gagging. How is that? It is not that God sat on me and forced open my mouth and shoved it in. He gave me a liking for it, I enjoy it.
c. The prophet Jeremiah spoke of the day when God would not write His laws on tables of stone, but on the fleshly tablets of our hearts. i.e. He would guide us by putting His will in the desires of our heart. What a gracious and delightful way of making His will known to me.
2. If you really knew God, you would not fear His will.
a. God is only interested in what is the very best for you.
b. He told Jeremiah to tell the people at the time of their captivity in Babylon that they were to settle down and seek the prosperity of the place where they were, for they were to be there for seventy years, then he would bring them back into the land,
JER 29:11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.
c. God was looking as He always does at the end result that He seeks to accomplish through the trials that He allows us to experience, with God, the end does justify the means.
d. No one knew God better than Jesus His only begotten Son. He actually came to correct many of the false concepts that man had concerning God, and reveal to man the true nature of God.
e. Knowing God so well, He said, "I delight to do Thy will O Lord."
3. God does not always let us know why He is doing or allowing certain things to happen in our lives. He wants us to learn to just trust Him.
4. You will always have turmoil and fear until you come to the place of saying, "The will of the Lord be done."
5. Peter said,
1PE 4:19 Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls [to him] in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator.
6. God is faithful and He is working our His eternal plan in your life and all things are working together for good for you who love God and have been called according to His purpose.
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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