Time Has Told
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ConnectUs Church Audio Podcast
ConnectUs Church Audio Podcast

Episode 93 · 7 months ago

Time Has Told

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Time usually tells and for the Church, time has told. What Jesus did 2000 years ago ignited a new movement that we get to be a part of and keep living out the mission.

So we're going to jump right in. If you have your Bible, turn with me to acts chapter five today, and if you don't have your Bible, that's okay. The words will be on the screen behind me and we'd love to give you a free Bible if you don't have one in the lobby that we have a new here area. We have a lot of free bibles we'd love to give you. And so acts chapter five is where we're going to be today, starting in Verse Thirty Three says this. When they heard this, the high council was furious and decided to kill them. What a place to jump in death. Welcome to connect the church. But one what? One member, a pharisee named Gamoliel, who was an expert in religious law and respected by all the people, stood up and ordered that the men be sent outside the council chamber for a while, and then he said to his colleagues, men of Israel, take care what you are planning to do to these men. Some time ago, there was that fellow, theudis, who pretended to be somebody great. About four hundred others joined him, but he was killed and all his followers went their various ways and the whole movement came to nothing. And after him, at that time of the census, there was Judas of Galilee. He got people to follow him, but he was killed too and all his followers were scattered. So my advice is leave these men alone, let them go and that they're planning and doing these things merely on their own. It will soon be overthrown, but if it's from God, you will not be able to overthrow them. You may even find yourselves fighting against God. And the others accepted his advice and they called the apostles and had them flogged, and then they ordered them to never again to speak in the name of Jesus, and they let them go. And the apostles left the high council rejoicing that God had counted them worthy to suffer disgrace for the name of Jesus. Wow worthy to suffer for Jesus. And every day in the temple, from house to house, they continued to teach and preach this message. Jesus is the Messiah. Jesus is the Messiah. What gravity we have looking to the Bible, looking to the word, to teach us about the thing that we are participating in, this thing called the church, this this thing that we're here doing, like, like, what does God have to say about that? And may our message be that Jesus is the Messiah, that he is the savior, that he is the Lord, that he has come to redeem the world, to say save the world, to change and transform the world. And we jump into this text and interesting place where the High Council, the leaders, the ones in charge, were furious and decided to kill them. That was the world the church was born in. Furious leaders, angry at them and deciding to kill them. And you might think, what in the world was this church doing that was so bad, that was getting everybody so upset, everybody was so furious and the only thing they could resort to was to kill them. Well, we read in the verses just prior to this that they were helping people and telling people about Jesus. Caring for people, loving people and telling them about Jesus led to wasn't first death, it was jail. For that jail first, but...

...it was a little complicated because they put them in jail, that the first apostles, the first disciples here, they put them in jail and God would rescue them out of jail and so it just you know, it's amazing picture, right. They put them in jail and it's like the Roman officers come over and they're like where'd they go? And God had freed them, rescued them, and they go back and they're like, oh, they're over here helping more people and telling them about Jesus. Right. So it's like if they can't stay in jail, then I guess we have to kill them. But in steps a guy named Gamilile, and this guy was like Yoda, he was the sage, he was the religious leader of religious leaders and the writer of the book of acts. Luke tells us this. He was an expert in the religious law and he was respected by all people. Later in the book of acts we would read that someone that you might know, the Apostle Paul, who was a Pharisee. His name was Saul of Tarsus. He would go on to defend his ministry and say I was a Pharisee of the Pharisees. I studied under the best teachers, I had the best situation, I had the best education. It was all really good. And Paul's teacher was Gamilile, and Gamiliel was the man everyone would have been like wow, amazing, you're studied under that guy. Oh Man, he's awesome. So that's Gamilil. And he what did he do? He stood up and he ordered the men to be sent outside the council chamber for a while. And Hey, free life advice. If things get heated, if anger and temper start flaring and things go crazy, take a breather. Just go outside, go for a walk, walk around the park, something, send it outside. Do what you got to do. Just take a second. Don't do it in the moment. Don't make crazy decisions in the moment of the greatest anger. Just take a second, wait ten seconds, count to ten, take a deep breath, whatever you got to do. Okay, that's free life advice. And then he said to his colleagues, men of Israel, take care what you are planning to do to these men, because some time ago there was that fellow, theudist, and everyone would have been like, Oh yeah, I remember that guy. He pretended to be somebody great and about four hundred others joined him, but he was killed and all of his followers went their various ways in the whole movement came to nothing. Like we don't know who few this was, but they must have right to just throw him out in a sentence like that. Remember that Guy, Theudis? Yeah, remember that guy and those four hundred people that followed him. Like that's impressive for hundred people, you know, to follow you, to believe that whatever you're doing is right and good and you're going to conquer the the world, or whatever you said he was going to do. Right. But then what happened to him? It was killed, and Jesus was killed too, right, and after this Guy Feudis died, those four hundred people disappeared and the movement came to nothing. And so these apostles, these fishermen, these Galileans that were caring for people and healing people and telling them about Jesus. and well, their leader, Jesus, he died too, just like a couple months ago. And so like, if that's what happened to this Theudis Guy, well then the probably will be happening to this Jesus Movement, to their leader is dead. So this is what happens. And he's like, just for good measure, there was another guy. His name was Judas of Galie. Remember him? And everyone's like, oh, yeah, I...

...remember him. He was crazy, and then he was killed and all of his followers scattered too, and so Judas was killed, like Jesus was killed, and so Gamilil just steps up and he's like, I know, we have to do something about this movement. These people are going crazy, these people are causing a commotion. We have to do something about it, and they're so passionate about their leader. Right, the movement is going the leader was but the leader is dead and just like all these others, you know, Theudas and Judas, they're dead and they kind of just dissipated, they kind of just stopped meeting, they stopped doing stuff. So this will be the same way, and then we don't have to do anything crazy. We will won't have any blood on our hands. Right. Just give it time, Gamiliel says, and maybe you've said something similar to the believers in your life. You know, they experience something great, something miraculous, something amazing. Their life is like different, and you're looking at them saying, just give it time, just give them a month or two or three, and they're not going to be doing that stuff anymore, they're not going to be believing that stuff anymore. Or maybe somebody's looking at your life this way and maybe this whole Jesus thing, this whole being a part of church, is kind of new for you and like you just got saved recently. You put your faith in Jesus and like your life feels different, like you're free and it's like this amazing thing, and you're engaging with church and like you're studying a Bible and you're praying and like all the stuff, and they're just looking at you like, just give it time, it's cool. Right now. Just give it time. They'll stop believing, they'll stop praying, they'll stop giving generously, they'll stop they'll stop attending, they'll stop associating themselves with other believers in attendant church. Just just give it time. Just give it time, and I think that's that's really normal, really good advice. Just give it time, because time often tells, and that's what Gamaliel is saying. Just give it time, just just let it play out, just let it see what's going on, and so that's the advice that he gives. Leave these men alone, just give a time, let him go and if they're planning on doing these things merely on their own, it will soon be overthrown, but if it is from God, you will not be able to overthrow them. You may even find yourself fighting against God. And you don't want to fight against God because, spoiler alert, you lose. Right. It is a losing battle to fight against God. And Gamilil is speaking to the religious leaders. These people are doing everything right, a hundred percent right, to be exactly perfect so that that God would accept them, and they don't want to go against God. Absolutely not. They don't want to fight against God. But if what the disciples, the apostles, are saying is true, then that would be exactly what they're doing. And so the question is, what is different about this Jesus Movement? What's different about this Jesus Movement than this feudist movement? What's different about this Jesus Movement then this Judas Movement? What's different about this Jesus Movement? Last week we talked about a man named Peter, and Peter, just a few months before this event that we're looking at today, he denied even knowing Jesus us. He was one of...

Jesus closest followers. But in the moment that the leader that Jesus was going to die. Peter, just like every normal other person, was like I don't know that person, and the movement was going to be over. There was nobody following Jesus. But fast forward now from that event, fifteen hundred fast forwards fifteen hundred years into the future. Okay, Peter Denies Jesus. Fast Forward fifteen hundred years and they start building this in honor of the fishermen who denied knowing Jesus. And this, if you don't know, is St Peter's Basilica in Rome, the Very Kingdom that crucified Jesus, built this thing. It replaced an older version of it, but this particular version that started building in one Thousan five hundred a d took a hundred and twenty years to build. Hundred and twenty years. It is the largest church building by interior measurement in the whole world. And if you just go in, I've never been here. Maybe you've been for one day. I maybe I'll get there, but if you'd go in and you look up at the ceiling, it's like, amazing, don't look at the ceiling. Bad ceiling is amazing, it's incredible. And there's an artist you might recognize Michael Angelo, not the teenage mutant Ninja Turtle, but he did a lot of work on the ceiling and it seemed like they don't make buildings like this anymore and they made this five hundred years ago like amazing. Time has told. Gamiliel said, give it time, see what happens. Let them go, see what happens. That happen. Fifteen hundred years after Gamilil said these words, and now you know, fast forward another five hundred years. Here we are. Here we are, twozero years after this event. Time has told, time has told, give it time, see what happened. But that's not all, say, tell your neighbor. That's not all. How about this building? Does anyone recognize this building? That is the colosseum, also in Rome, used for big events, major spectacle events, sports events, if you want to call it that, gladiator events, where people would fight to the death and where criminals would get thrown in and they would release the live animals like lions to tear them apart. And many, many Christians would get thrown in to the kept colosseum. And just imagine, you know, the biggest sporting event, the Super Bowl, all those people, you know, sitting in their bleachers watching the what's happening and they're watching lions kill people. and Rome was so good at this, putting on this big spectacle, putting on this big show, that they perfected what is known today as Crucifixion, which is just simply a way to put somebody to death, the death penalty. And thousands upon thousands of people were eaten by lions and killed in the Coliseum and thousands upon thousands of people were crucified, you know, put on across and just left on the side of the road and like literally, like the Cross would...

...be on the side of the road so that you could walk and like eye level, so that you would walk right next to them and like look at them as they're excruciatingly dying the worst pain ever. And it was all a show. I mean, there's faster, more efficient ways to do it, obviously, but it was a show. To say, if you mess with Rome, that's you. If you do this, that's going to be you. So keep your mouth shut, don't do anything. It's going to be really, really bad for you if you mess up. So thousands of Christians killed in here crucifixions, thousands of people killed by crucifixion and the very kingdom, so this is Rome, this is there today, the Very Kingdom that crucified Jesus. In this picture stands. What's that across? And nobody has to ask what that cross means. Nobody has to ask which criminal does that cross represent? Out of the thousands of people that died on a cross, there's not even a question of which one that one represents. Time has told. Give a time, give a time. Time has told. What about this date, February twenty seven, three hundred eighty? I know you are all there for this important day in history. February twenty seven, three hundred eighty. Some important people met in Rome and what is called the edict of Thessalonika. I think I recognize some of your signatures on there. And they decided at this meeting that Christianity was going to be the official state religion of Rome. And we look back on history and we're like, AH, no big deal, of course right, everyone knows that. But Honan, okay, the leaders of Rome decided to recognize a criminal that they crucified as the only God that you can worship. And this was only three hundred, Fifty Years after they crucified that criminal. It's almost like today that dates don't match up, but I was trying to find something. It's almost like today we make a law, you make a law, you're in a room with some important people, you signed the paperwork that the only God that everybody in our country can worship is a criminal that was put to the death penalty when George Washington was president. That's crazy, like, that's insane, like why would you do that? Right? Time has told. Time has told something was different about this Jesus Movement. Something happened, something happened that made the Jesus Movement different than the theudist movement. Something happened that made it different than Judas Movement, because on the day that Jesus died there were no Christians, there was no Bible, there was no church, and in the weeks and the months following Jesus's death, for some crazy reason, people still believed in him, they still followed Jesus, and they were called not Christians, they were called followers of the way, and then they were eventually called Christians, which this is like little Christ in a city called Antioch. We read about that in acts, Chapter Eleven, Verse Twenty Six. And as this was happening, the Bible was being written, like the individual parts were being written in the New Testament, but they wouldn't be collected together for another about three hundred...

...years, as we know it today, with the sixty six books in the Bible. So the year is around three hundred ish a D. Emperor Julian of Rome steps onto the scene of history and he wants to revive the Roman gods, the Pagan Roman gods, and he's saying this is the way that we got to do it. But I got a fight against. I got to contend against this thing called the church. There's all these people that still believe in this criminal that we crucified three hundred ish years ago, and we got to like get, you know, do something about them so that I can instill back to our regular Roman gods and goddesses. And so this guy who was opposing Christianity, he wanted to get rid of the church. He tells us why so many people were a part of the church. This is what he said. Three hundred a D atheism. Don't you love that? This guy calls the Christian faith astheism, because where is our God? Where is he? Do you see him, he's like, I could show you my statue of my God. Right, that's what he was saying. But for the Christian it's like, I don't see him, he's not here. Right. Atheism has been specifically advanced through the loving service rendered to strangers and through their care for the burial of the dead. It is a scandal, I love the word scandal, that there is not a single Jew who is a beggar and that the godless Galileans care not only for their own poor for but for ours as well. That's crazy that these godless Galileans wouldn't just not care for their own people, that like them, that believe like them, that live like them, that look like them, that spoke their language. You know, they cared for everybody, they loved everybody, they cared about everybody. And this Roman emperor is like what, that's crazy, people don't do that. And he's like, well, those who belong to US look in vain for the help that we should render them. Like people are coming to me, I can't do anything about it. So they go to the Church and the church helps them. Like this is a problem, right, absolutely, it is a scandal. So something happened, something happened that made people care about everybody, it didn't matter who they were, and told them all everyone about Jesus. Something happened that turned a fisherman who denied knowing the crucified criminal that day. Jesus turn this fisherman into having that giant Church building built in his honor that took a hundred and twenty years to build. Something happened that turned a kingdom crucifying thousands of people, you know, every day somebody was crucified and somebody died in the colisseum every single day, or you know often, and turn that where the only the old the only symbol of the Christian faith that's left in this building. This the kingdom is gone right. Rome is no more and what is left is just the ruins of these old places where they killed these Christians. There's only a symbol left there. That is the cross, the symbol of the Christian faith, and no one has to ask the question what does that cross represent? And something happened that...

...made the leaders of this Kingdom of Rome recognize a crucified criminal as their God, three hundred, fifty years later. So what happened? Because something happened right. Somebody tell me Jesus rose from the dead. Jesus rose from the dead. Yes, and so what we celebrate last week is so important because it just shows that time has told. The movement is true. Anyone who opposes it opposes God. Nothing is going to stop it, nothing is going to get in its way. Time is told. But we don't just believe in Jesus and go to Heaven Right, we live for him. And Eternal Life starts the moment that you put your faith in, trust in Jesus Christ, and eternal life continues forever. And so today, now, you are empowered by God through the person of the Holy Spirit, to live a life that makes an eternal difference in our world. And you know, our world needs to be different right, like there's a lot of problems in our world today, like poverty and war and racism, addictions and economic and social fual injustice and ecological disasters and famine and disease, and on and on and on and on and on. You right, you could just let him go, but there is no law that can be passed to fix the problems. There's no political leader that can step on the stage and make it all better. There is not a business you can start that would solve the problems. There's not an invention that you could create that would make things go away. There's not a new social movement, not even a new religion can solve the world's problems. They all might be helpful in one way or another, right, but the hope of this world is in one person, and one person only, one person who is alive, one person who resurrected from the dead, the one person named Jesus so Max Lucato. He's a Christian author. He talks about getting a Christmas card in the mail one year and it says this. If our greatest need had been information, God would have sent an educator, and if our greatest need had been technology, God would have sent us a scientist, and if our greatest need had been money, guy would have sent us an economist. But since our greatest need was forgiveness, God sent us a savior. Christmas cards sound good, right, a savior that would pay for our sin, to set us free to live for him. But God chooses you and me to change our worlds. God is alive in you, working through you, and so you might be an educator, amazing, and you can give this world amazing information, awesome. It is a super necessary, helpful thing, but there is no amount of information that you can give somebody, that I can give somebody, that's going to solve man's greatest problem. Right. Or how about if you're a scientist and you are awesome at creating life saving things, making new innovations. Great, they're super helpful,...

...necessary, they're great, but science isn't going to solve humans greatest problems. Or maybe you're an economist and you can give this world lots of great money, making money, saving money, giving tips and advice. You can put it all in the best investments. You got it all planned out, you got the whole the whole deal. There's no amount of money and there's no amount of good money handling that will ever solve man's the greatest problem. So God, as it entrusted you and me, the educator, the scientists, the economist, to connect what we do well, what God has created us to do, and connect that to Jesus, who can do what only he can do. God doesn't need you, but he desperately wants to use you and you are a vital part of what God is doing in this world. And so the church, the church. The church, it's a you shaped whole. I'm playing on a lot of words here. Okay, the church is you. The church is not a building. The church is the people. The Greek Word Church in the New Testament that you read is literally Ecclesia, which means a called out assembly. The church is not a building. The church is the people. But how do you get that word church in the English language? That is an interesting word study for you to do at some other time. The short story is that there's a Greek word that then turned into a German word, that turned into an old English word that now we have an English word. So it's interesting. But that is the church. But the church is not a building, it's not a place, it's not a movie theater, it's not a computer screen. The church is you. The church is the people and it's a you shaped. It's shaped. So if the church is you, then like when you become a part of the church, it shapes it a little differently than it once was. So that's why our mission at connectors church is very intentionally said that we are connecting who the God's next step for their life. You, not people, not men, not women, not children, although of course that is all this, but we're connecting you, which means when you say the mission of our church and you tell somebody like literally, it's them. We're connecting you to God's next step for your life. So when they join the church, when they become a part of the church, then it shifts things a little bit, whether they joined the the local church here or the Universal Church, whether they get involved in serving and using their gifts and abilities, you shifted a little bit. You bring your own unique flavor, your own unique kind of thing to the church. It's shaped as you shaped, and it's a hole, like without you, we are lacking, without you, we are missing, and together we are whole, and that's why your intendence, your...

...engagement, really matters. And when I say that, we miss you, like we really do. We really miss you like you might not be preaching on the stage, but you are preaching with your life as you walk around, as you engage with people, as you talked with people, as you do what you do, and what you preach is probably more important than what I preach, because this is my job. Like everyone knows, it's the pastor's job, right. So when the pastor calls and the pastor praise and the power, off course, but when you do it, no one's making you be here, no one's forcing you to show up, no one's forcing you. Right when you do it, like people catch that differently, like it's a real thing, like it is amazing thing. And what you do to the people in your life could literally change someone's life forever. That you have an incredible we all have an incredible opportunity, like the way you welcome somebody to a space like this could literally change someone's life for all eternity, and some people we could tell their story right now. That this is your start, like you were saved, you, your life was radically changed and transformed because some of you all did the thing that you were created to do and you were filling that spot that only you were going to fill. At that moment, you were pressing buttons and Streams of Gospel. We're going forth, over everywhere we could get it to go. You were holding the door open and just smiling and somebody was like wow, so they see me, they connect with me. You hosted people at Your House, you had people over for dinner, you had Bible Studies, you prayed for them, you did something you have done something that has literally made an eternal difference in people's lives. And the very fact, and don't miss this, this is so I don't know if you think about this often, but it is so, so true. The very fact that you are here gives somebody when they come into a space like this, they're always looking. You're always looking. This was you at one point, maybe it's you today. You're like, is anybody here that looks like me? is any buddy here that talks like me? Is Anybody here that dresses like me? Because we want to feel like we're accepted, that this is okay, that it's comfortable, that it's fine, and if I'm so different, then it's like there's no way that I could ever be accepted here, no matter what they say on their signs, no matter what they, you know, look at on the Internet, no matter what their videos says whatever. If they're not here, then I probably shouldn't be either. So the very fact that you are here give somebody when they come in and be like Oh yeah, like that's sometimes all it takes. And if you aren't here it's impossible to do that. So all of this, all of what we've studied today, all that history. I was given you. Everything we're doing today is a result of what we celebrated last week, that Jesus really did rise from the dead. And that's true. And if it's not true, then what we're doing right now is a waste of time. We should just go home. And we know this today. The Apostle Paul knew this. And First Corinthians, he said, if Jesus didn't rise from the dead, everything is in vain, it's useless. And the apostles, like months after Jesus Resurrection, knew this to like this moment. The fact that Jesus rose from the dead was the thing, is the thing that changes, ever, everything. And so the Apostle Peter, in...

...acts chapter two, stands up to preach, and I told you, Peter knows this. And so what does Peter include in his sermon? God raised Jesus from the dead, and we are all witnesses of this, like everything, the reason that Peter was standing in front of all these people telling them about Jesus was because of this, that God raised Jesus from the dead, and we are all witnesses of this. And then he goes on. He says now he is exalted to the place of highest honor in Heaven, at God's right hand, and the father, as he had promised, gave him the Holy Spirit to pour out upon us, just as you see in here today. For David himself never ascended into heaven. Yet he said, he's quoting scripture, Old Testament stuff. The Lord said to my Lord, sit in the place of honor at my right hand until I humble your enemies, making them a footstool under your feet. He's like, that's not David, that's Jesus, that's the father, that's Jesus, that's not David, that's that's what that's about. And so let everyone in Israel know for certain that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, to be both Lord and Messiah. And Peter's words pierced their heart and they said to him and to the other apostles, brothers, what should we do? And Peter replied each of you must repent of your sins and turn to God and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and then you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. This promise is to you and to all your children and even to the gentiles, everybody, all who have been called by the Lord are gone. And then Peter continued preaching for a long time. You think I preached for a long time. Peter Preach for a long time, strongly urging all his listeners. Save yourself from this crooked generation. And those who believe what Peter said were baptized and added to the Church that day, about three thousand in all. That's why we keep attendance here, because they did three thousand. They're keeping track. They want to know. Is The church reaching people? Is the message getting out? Are People connecting with this? It's big, it's big numbers. The Gospel is going out, changing lives. Threezero people on the first day and all the believers devoted themselves to the apostles teaching and the fellowship and to sharing and meals, including the Lord Supper and the prayer. That's what they were doing all those three thousand people, and a deep sense of all came over them all. And the apostles perform any miraculous signs and wonders, and all the believers met together in one place and shared everything they had. They sold their property possessions and shared the money with those in need. They worshiped together at the temple each day, met and homes for the Lord's supper and shared their meal with great joy and generosity, all the while praising God and enjoy the good will of all the people. And each day the Lord added to their South Fellowship those who are being saved. Out of all the things that the church could be doing, they were basically doing two things. They were developing, starting a relationship with God, developing starting strengthening their relationship with other people. They were studying what Jesus Taught, what the apostles taught, and they weren't just hearing it, they weren't just learning it, they were learning to apply it, to change their life because of it. They were spending time together, doing life together, sharing time together, sharing what's going on, sharing the good stuff, sharing the bad stuff. They were eating together. There's something special about eating together, inviting somebody to have a meal together, including communion, remembering what Jesus did for us on the Cross. They prayed. They prayed to talk to God, trust in him like you need some help. Ask Them Right. They were sharing what they had. They gave generously...

...to fuel the mission and the ministry. Of the church. They worshiped together, they met in each other's homes, they praised God and enjoyed the company of other believers and church. If we do this, more people will get saved and the church will grow and the kingdom will advance. The mission will continue and nothing is going to stop it. So get on board. Let me pray for us. Lord Jesus, we thank you that you are alive, that you rose again from the dead, and because of that fact, that historical fact, we are standing here today worshiping you, learning from you, loving you, pointing people to you. And Lord, I'Ds I just pray in this moment, as we kick off this new series about the church, that you would teach us, that you would shape us, that you would empower us and bolden us, give us courage to do what you want us to do, to be the church that you want us to be. Help us to love people and to care for them in radical ways, and, Lord, help us to always point people to you, Jesus, that you died on the Cross to pay the penalty for our sin, that you were buried and everyone thought it was over, because that's what always happens. But, Jesus, you rose from the dead and we believe that, and because of that everything is different. So may we live for you, and I asked that you would help us in Jesus name. Amen.

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