Crazy Talk (Acts 26:19-32) *New King James Version*
Read Acts 26:19-32
Previously, in the Book of Acts…
– The Apostle Paul had been a Jewish Pharisees, and led the charge of persecuting Christians. He became radically saved, and given the mission by Jesus to preach the Gospel to the Jews/Gentiles.
– Not long ago, when in Jerusalem, Paul was seized by an angry Jewish mob that wanted to kill him, accusing him of teaching against the Laws of Moses.
– The Pharisees were mad that he taught salvation was also for the Gentiles, and the Sadducees were mad that he taught Jesus was resurrected from the dead. Both are key truths of the Gospel!
– Paul was arrested and taken into custody by the Roman soldiers, mostly for his own protection. Even though they couldn’t find a Roman law he had broken, he remained captive for over 2 years.
– He now finds himself sharing his testimony in front of the King of Judea, King Agrippa, and a room full of the most influential people in Caesarea and the surrounding areas.
#1: Fear did not stop Paul from being obedient.
– Acts 26:15-19, So I said, ‘Who are You, Lord?’ And He said, ‘I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. 16 But rise and stand on your feet; for I have appeared to you for this purpose, to make you a minister and a witness both of the things which you have seen and of the things which I will yet reveal to you. 17 I will deliver you from the Jewish people, as well as from the Gentiles, to whom I now send you, 18 to open their eyes, in order to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who are sanctified by faith in Me.’ “Therefore, King Agrippa, I was not disobedient to the heavenly vision,
– Paul was obedient, but look where it has gotten him. He’s standing trial, falsely accused, before Gentiles with the power to kill him, and Jews lying in wait to kill him if he is released.
– Example: My fear of leadership, bootcamp story, setting up tents and getting punished for no reason. Avoided those with power over me ever since. Then invited Chiefs to church.
– I got burned before, but needed to get over that hurt, and move forward with ministry.
– Paul dealt with significant hardship before this day, but he held onto the words of Jesus, “I will deliver you from the Jewish people, as well as from the Gentiles, to whom I now send you,”
– YOU have a word from the Lord too! Luke 12:4, (Jesus said) “And I say to you, My friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do.”
– Just like for Paul, Jesus has given YOU the ability to share the gospel and your testimony “with both small and great.” Don’t be afraid to be committed to your Christian faith in public.
– Psalm 56:11, In God I have put my trust; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?
#2: Paul’s “crazy talk” almost worked!
– Verse 24, Now as he thus made his defense, Festus said with a loud voice, “Paul, you are beside yourself! Much learning is driving you mad!” (crazy)
– Agrippa insulted Paul about his persistence in the faith, but Paul wasn’t offended or deterred.
– Christianity is counter cultural. It’s common to get push back from people when you make life decisions based on your beliefs, especially when they conflict with the cultural norms.
– Example: Vegan, many were antagonistic even almost offended by it, I couldn’t understand why people cared so much about what I ate. I felt great, healthy, and getting good results…
– Isn’t this what happens with your Christian faith also? Healthy, good results, but people want to criticize it, and tell you what you’re missing out on. (Instead of meat, cut out sin.)
– The reason is, that you changing your life takes away their excuse for NOT changing theirs. You show it’s possible to live for Jesus, and not compromise your values to fit in the culture.
– 1 Cor. 1:18, For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.
– Paul said, “King Agrippa, do you believe the prophets? I know that you do believe.”
– Paul didn’t miss his opportunity to push the King to a decision! (Be direct, “Ask for the sale”…)
– Romans 1:16, For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.
– My evangelism at times has been soft, presumptive, making sure not to offend, and failing to ask the most challenging question… “Will you accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior?”
– Example: I was called to minister to a man on his death bed. I wanted it to be easy… He said to me, “Why are you talking to me about this? Why now?” I should have said, “Because you are going to die soon, and I care about your salvation!” but I didn’t… I went gentle, let it go, I’ll try again in a couple days… he died later that night.
– I missed an opportunity that night, but really, I missed the opportunity every day I spoke with him that whole year. (Like Shawn Alexander missing the rushing title by one yard…)
– Verse 28-29, Then Agrippa said to Paul, “You almost persuade me to become a Christian.” And Paul said, “I would to God that not only you, but also all who hear me today…”
– The King wasn’t ready, but how many others in that room were impacted by Paul’s message?
Phil 1:12-14, But I want you to know, brethren, that the things which happened to me have actually turned out for the furtherance of the gospel, 13 so that it has become evident to the whole palace guard, and to all the rest, that my chains are in Christ; 14 and most of the brethren in the Lord, having become confident by my chains, are much more bold to speak the word without fear.
– Let us use Paul’s example to be more confident in speaking the truth of God’s word without fear.
– Hebrews 10:23, Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful.
#3: Paul didn’t take the easy way out.
– In verse 32, The King says, “This man might have been set free if he had not appealed to Caesar.”
– 2 years earlier, Acts 23:11, But the following night the Lord stood by him and said, “Be of good cheer, Paul; for as you have testified for Me in Jerusalem, so you must also bear witness at Rome.”
– Paul appealed to Caesar, who is even more powerful, and less sympathetic to Paul’s cause. BUT, God had called him to this work. This was his mission, and he knew it.
– This doesn’t sound like “deliver you from…”, it sounds like “deliver you unto…”. The decision to not take the easy way out doesn’t make sense on paper. Not rational.
– Why not go back to what was working before? Traveling around encouraging believers. It would be more predictable, comfortable, reasonable, easier. Was it not worthy and meaningful work??
– Paul could have said, “Is talking to Caesar really my calling? Let’s weigh the pros and cons…”
– Paul didn’t “phone a friend.” (My wife would say, “Well, what did the Lord say when you prayed about it?”)
– Example: Captain promotion, never wanted to promote, 20 year club. I rationalized not testing, PTSD, exposures, I’m settled, I’m doing important work, etc… rough summer last year, gripped with anxiety, even considered failing my way out after committing to test.
– Common sense would say that my spiritual focus should be on missions, or church stuff. Why would I take more responsibility at work? How does that benefit the kingdom?
– I’m not sure yet, but who am I to question what the Lord has prepared for me?
– Proverbs 16:2-3, All the ways of a man are pure in his own eyes, But the Lord weighs the spirits. Commit your works to the Lord, And your thoughts will be established.
– I’m not sure if Paul expected those years to go that way. I don’t know if he contemplated finding an easier way. But he did trust the promise that the Lord gave him. You can trust in that too.
– The mission may be hard, and you may see good points along the way to quit, or convince yourself that your God given work is over, or changed focus, but be honest with yourself and your motives.
– Proverbs 3:5-6, Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.
– Romans 8:28, And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.
– Paul risked his life and gave up his comfort to preach the gospel so Verse 20, “…that they should repent, turn to God, and do works befitting repentance.”
– Give your life to Christ today, and Trust your life into Christ’s hands, and his plan for you.
– prayer –
For more sermons please visit our SERMON PAGE
Please subscribe to our YOUTUBE PAGE