Posts Tagged With: Saul

A Sermon for the Ages (Not mine, but Stephen’s!)

It was a sermon for the ages.

As you will hear in this PODCAST, it was originally preached by a layman. He had no formal training in advanced biblical studies. There is no mention of any degrees. No diploma hung on his office wall, if he had an office. We have no indication that he had studied under a leading rabbi, such as Saul studied under Gamaliel.

His only claim to fame? Stephen was (Acts 6:3) “full of the Holy Spirit and wisdom”; (6:8) “a man full of God’s grace and power.” And that was certainly enough!

Stephen was a humble, unassuming man, selected by Hellenistic, Greek-speaking Jewish believers in Jesus to be one of “The Seven,” chosen to care for their neglected widows.

Through circumstances not of his choosing, Stephen was suddenly thrust into the spotlight, hauled violently before the Sanhedrin, and forced to testify on his behalf.

But instead, Stephen chose to testify on Jesus’ behalf.

And oh what a testimony it was. You talk about power.

Stephen embodied God’s power as he took the High Court on an exciting excursion through Old Testament history.

And in so doing, provided for us a most-significant warning. One that you and I desperately need to hear.

Please remember that depending upon your web browser and connection speed, it may take up to 60 seconds for this podcast to begin to play.

God bless you richly as you listen.

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Pivot-Point

I LOVE meeting new friends.

As you are about to hear in this PODCAST, we have the privilege of meeting yet-another. A standout individual. A stellar human being. Though given his humility, I am sure that he would not be comfortable with my characterization.

His name is Stephanos. Significantly, a Greek name. (As we learned last week, a not-so-trivial factoid.)

A man affectionately known to us as Stephen.

A name that means “crown.” In Stephen’s case, a well-deserved crown that he is no doubt wearing in Heaven as we speak.

A man who stood as—and at—pivot-point of history.

There haven’t been many of those throughout human history. But the event about which you will hear certainly rises to that level of an event after which our world, let alone our lives, would never be the same again.

Please remember that depending upon your web browser and connection speed, it may take up to 60 seconds for this podcast to begin to play.

God bless you richly as you listen.

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Slamming the Door Shut on Satan

3-12-13-mainLast week, when talking about Jesus “watching Satan fall from heaven,” we were encouraged by the fact that Satan is a defeated foe.

As you will be reminded in this week’s PODCAST, Satan isn’t losing the war; he has already lost it.

Be that as it may, however, the devil is winning his share of battles, and the destruction he causes is painful in the extreme.

Of all of the names of Satan I shared with you last week, of which there are many in the Bible, arguably the most personally troublesome is the one found in Revelation 9:11. Speaking of the demonic realm,

“Their king is the angel from the bottomless pit; his name in Hebrew is Abaddon, and in Greek, Apollyon—the Destroyer.”

I say “most personally troublesome” for three reasons:

1. There is a suffix added to the adverb translated “in Hebrew,” as in “his name in Hebrew is Abaddon,” which makes this term particularly forceful. As if to say that Satan is the ultimate destroyer going all the way back to the very beginnings of the Bible.

2. His “most personally troublesome” name because the word means to destroy, corrupt, to exterminate, or to kill in battle or in prison, as in a prison of addiction.

3. His “most personally troublesome” name because, as you well know, it is painful enough for us to personally experience the devil’s devastation in our own lives. But it is exponentially more painful to watch when he has his way in the lives of those near and dear to us. It is one thing for us to suffer personally the consequences our own regrettable choices. Indeed, to have to stand by and watch helplessly as those whom we love suffer the consequences of their regrettable choices? That is agonizing beyond description. And I don’t need to add a suffix to that word agonizing to make it more forceful. You know how much that hurts.

Yes, his name in Hebrew is Abaddon, and in Greek, Apollyon—the Destroyer.

Yet, with all of that, as will be illustrated and demonstrated, underscored and emphasized in this PODCAST, Satan is a defeated foe.

Please remember that depending upon your web browser and connection speed, it may take up to 60 seconds for this podcast to begin to play.

God bless you richly as you listen.

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