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Pastor’s Corner

“SCATTERED”…BACK TO ACTS…ACTS 11:19-21

These three verses constitute a historic note given to us by the Holy Spirit through Luke. Someone has rightly said that Luke was the first church historian. It is amazing to read and reread the Book of Acts and to see the many wonderful details of the early New Testament church. When we buy an object we are given diagrams and instruction how to assemble that object to be used in the manner it was meant to perform. In the Book of Acts we have the design and instructions here and now for the local New Testament church. It is amazing that in the 21st century that the writings of Luke in Acts are modern and up to date for the local church.

These three verses are interesting in that they actually make reference to Acts 8:1-4 where the word scattered is also used. Now we have the word reoccurring in these three verses. Perhaps the period of time between Acts 8:1-4 and Acts 11:19-21 is really a parenthesis of what is happening during this period of scattering.

If we remember correctly Acts 1:8 in the key verse of the Book of Acts where the Apostles and disciples are told what and how they were to carry out the Great Commission beginning at Jerusalem and proceeding to the “uttermost”. In this verse they are told where they should go and how they would perform the doing of it—by the power of the Holy Spirit. However in Acts 8:1 which is a reversal of the numbers in Acts 1:8, we discover that the believers are now under great persecution and are “scattered”. That is the reason we indicated that the verses between Acts 8:1 and as we now come to this Acts 11:19-21 the inner workings of this young church is a parenthesis. When one reads between these two portions of Scripture some amazing things do happen to and with these believers.

Read again Acts 8:1-4 and pick up on the word scattered. Notice also how they were scattered. Saul of Tarsus made havoc of the church. Saul was confronting these believers and taking them to prison. Now read verse four, “Therefore they that were scattered abroad went everywhere preaching the word.

Looking now at Acts 11:19-21, we make reference to the “scattering” of these new believers and their march to God’s command for them in Acts 1:8. However it took a scattering of them in 8:1 to cause them to obey the Lord’s command and instruction unto them.

As we close this study, please note some words found in verses 19-20. “They” is the first word. Who were they? When we return to Acts 8:1, we notice that they are not the Apostles but the rank and file. “Travelled” is the second word to observe. This word indicates to us “as they went they preached”. “Preaching” is the third word to notice in verse 19. This word means talking, speaking or gossiping. They had no pulpit; they had no prepared sermon they just told other about the Word and the Lord. “Some of them” indicate to us that they were not given a name in this particular place and time. The gospel is spread mostly by unnamed and unknown people. “Preaching” again in indicated to us. However this word preaching is different than the previous one. This word means “heralding or proclaiming”. This is the kind of preaching from the pulpit. The spread of the gospel story is both the talking and speaking and the heralding as well. May God help us to find our way BACK TO ACTS.

 

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Final Bus Days Outreach

Support for the Bus Days outreach will conclude on Saturday (10/4) at 9:30 am at the Welcome Center. This will be the last opportunity to support the bus captains before the Country Fair on Saturday, October 11th.  All Adult Sunday School classes and ministries have been assigned a bus captain to assist in reaching new bus riders during the bus days. Even if you don’t have Sunday School class, please plan on joining the bus captains at the Welcome Center to head out to their assigned bus route areas. For questions or more information, please contact Pastor Scott Northcutt (461-5561 Ext 137 or email snorthcutt@lighthousebaptist.com)

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LCA Road to College

The Lighthouse Christian Academy will host a special seminar called “Road to College” on Tuesday, September 30th.  The seminar is open to all high school students and their parents.  The purpose of the seminar is to inform students and parents about graduation requirements, how to prepare for SATs, how to apply to various colleges and their grants and other important information that students may need as they prepare for college.  The meeting will start at 6 p.m. in the Fellowship Hall.  For questions or more information, contact the school office at 461-5561 Ext 117.

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Pastor’s Corner

REVISIT ACTS CHAPTER EIGHT

For several weeks we have called our articles “Back to Acts”. Today we want to revisit Acts chapter eight. I am amazed at the movement and activity within this one chapter. It begins with reference to the death of Stephen. It also makes reference to the fact that Saul/Paul is making havoc of the church. Verse four tells us the believers “went everywhere preaching the word or giving out the message of the risen Lord.” Phillip goes down to the city of Samaria and preached Christ unto them and Scripture records that many miracles occurred. I love verse eight, “And there was great joy in that city.” However, verse nine begins with this word “but”. When one reads the Bible one will soon discover many times that when this occurs the scene will immediately change. That is exactly what happened here in this city of Samaria.

The fact that so many verses are given to the account of the “conversion” of Simon the Magician means that this portion of scripture must contain some very important lessons. Again the opening verses of the chapter are full of triumph, progress and joy, for a great missionary movement was on foot, as we learn from verse 4; there was revival in Samaria; people were being converted, some were being healed and others were being delivered from evil spirits. What was the change? It was this: we are told in verses 9-11 that there was a man in Samaria who had a very powerful personality; he was a magician, a sorcerer and he exercised a great influence on the people. This man heard the preaching of Phillip and was greatly impressed and when he saw other converted and baptized, he too made a profession and was baptized. Then Phillip sent word to Jerusalem of all that was happening. With this news Peter and John came to Samaria. Peter and John we are told in verses 14-17 saw all these converts in Samaria and laid hands on them and they received the Holy Spirit just as others did on the day of Pentecost. Simon saw the power and presence of the Holy Spirit and desired this power for himself and offered to pay for it. Verses 19-24 give us the results of Simon’s desires and motives in this situation. What are some lessons that we could learn from this situation?

• When there is great darkness in a place, God will send someone to bring the light. This can be traced through scripture. A good Old Testament example of this can be found in the period of King Ahab. It was Elijah that God sent to confront and confound that period of darkness. Remember Simon had had a great hold on the City of Samaria with his sorcery. The chapter tells us that he had “bewitched” the people of Samaria, giving out that himself was some great one.”

• We must also prepare sometimes for disappointment in the work of God. It must have thrilled Phillip when this well-known and outstanding personality, Simon, professed conversion and was baptized. However, the scene changed when Peter and John arrived from Jerusalem and laid hand on the Samaritans. They then challenged Simon conversion—read verses 18-24. The question appears, why do we sometimes receive disappointments such as this in the work of God? (1) Satan is very busy and active. Therefore we must always remember that we are engaged in spiritual warfare—Ephesians 6:12 ff. (2) we often make mistakes. Did Phillip discern completely this situation before him? (3) There are some lessons that we can only learn in the school of experience. Lord helps us not to make the same mistake twice or over and over.

 

 

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New Visitor’s Reception

If you are new to Lighthouse Baptist Church, please plan on joining us for a New Visitor’s Reception following the morning service (9/28) in room 203 (next to Bookstore). This a great opportunity to meet the Pastoral Staff and ministry leaders and get a better understanding of ministries & services that our church provides. A light lunch will be provided. For questions or more information, please contact Associate Pastors Scott Northcutt (461-5561 Ext 137 or email snorthcutt@lighthousebaptist.com) or Chris Chaney (461-5561 Ext 121 or email cchaney@lighthousebaptist.com)

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Bus Days Outreach Continues

Support for the Bus Days outreach will continue on Saturday (9/27) at 9:30 am at the Welcome Center. All Adult Sunday School classes and ministries have been assigned a bus captain to assist in reaching new bus riders during the bus days. Even if you don’t have Sunday School class, please plan on joining the bus captains at the Welcome Center to head out to their assigned bus route areas. For questions or more information, please contact Pastor Scott Northcutt (461-5561 Ext 137 or email snorthcutt@lighthousebaptist.com)

 

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Pastor’s Corner

THE BIO OF BARNABAS (BACK TO ACTS – ACTS 11:19-30)

I must admit I have always enjoyed repeating the name of Barnabas. Why, I do not know, it just has a special touch to it. More than that here is a person early in the New Testament church that stands heads and shoulders above many. Someone had replied that Barnabas is the kind of member the church needs. Why is this statement true? One must read the previous verses in Acts 4:36-37 and Acts 9:26-28 that make reference to Barnabas. It is said that “he had a stewardship rather than an ownership view of property”. Think about that statement. He was also called by the Apostles as “The Son of Consolation”. Please read these few short verses in Acts chapters 4, 9 and 11 to get the “Bio of Barnabas”. Acts 11:24 may be the verse that would cap his life as defined by his fellow believers, “he was a good man”. Notice the characteristics of a good man.

• We know that Barnabas was a good man because of what he saw. “When he…had seen the grace of God”. But how can one see the grace of God? Barnabas saw God’s grace through the changed lives of these new Christians. It means that Barnabas saw souls saved and lives changed. Here they “were first called Christians.”

• We know that Barnabas was a good man because of what he felt. What were his innermost reactions when he saw the grace of God? —Verse 23 tells us—“he was glad”. He certainly felt a thrill when he saw what God was doing in their midst. Notice that he was rejoicing although he was only seeing what God had done through others. Can we do that also?

• We know that Barnabas was a good man because of what he said. Speech is a good barometer of character, and our tongues certainly have a great power for good or evil—look up James 3:1-11. In verse 23 of Acts 11, we are told that Barnabas “exhorted them all, that with purpose of heart they would cleave unto the Lord”. No doubt Barnabas meant to encourage the new converts, to urge them to be “out and out”, steadfast believers and to help them to “look unto the Savior” in order to stay close to Him. Barnabas had the ability to draw people unto himself however he pointed them to the Lord Jesus.

• We know that Barnabas was a good man because of what he did. There is something very wonderful indicated in verses 25-26. Barnabas sent for Paul, “the better man”, the abler man, the more gifted man. This was a mark of true humility and spiritual insight. He did not say, “I will keep this work in my own hands.” He desired for God’s work to reach a greater height.

• We know that Barnabas was a good man because of what he was. The real test is not what we see, feel, say or do, but what we are; and verse 26 tells us that Barnabas lived a whole year among the Christians at Antioch, which suggest that his life was consistent. He practiced what he preached. How greatly our churches need members of the caliber of Barnabas. But what was the secret of his life of goodness? Was he inherently good in himself? No, the secret is in verse 24—“he was full of the Holy Ghost and of faith”.

We want to be a Barnabas but we have the tendency to emphasis our failures.

Failure is not necessary; Failure is always possible; Failure need never be final

 

 

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Youth Rally

Teens, please plan on joining us as we head up to Liberty Baptist Church’s youth rally on Saturday (9/20).  We’ll meet at 10:30 in the lower parking lot.  The cost is $5 for the rally and bring extra money for dinner on the way home.  For questions or more information, please contact Youth Pastor Kirk Harrell (461-5561 Ext 136 or email kharrell@lighthousebaptist.com)

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Bus Days Outreach

Support for the Bus Days outreach will continue on Saturday (9/20) at 9:30 am at the Welcome Center.  All Adult Sunday School classes and ministries have been assigned a bus captain to assist in reaching new bus riders during the bus days.  Even if you don’t have Sunday School class, please plan on joining the bus captains at the Welcome Center to head out to their assigned bus route areas.  For questions or more information, please contact Pastor Scott Northcutt (461-5561 Ext 137 or email snorthcutt@lighthousebaptist.com)

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Special Speaker

Please plan on joining us this Thursday (9/11) at Missionary Dr. Wayne Sehmish will be preaching!

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