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Acts #34 Do Not Be Silent

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Acts Series #34

Back to the Beginning:

When Church was Church

"Do Not Be Afraid"

Acts 18:1-11

Fear – an unpleasant often strong emotion caused by anticipation or awareness of danger

Fear is one of the strongest and most compelling of emotions … it drives us … it controls us … it makes decisions … it is the thing without which psychiatrists would be out of jobs. 

We call them Phobias … fear of heights, fear of insects, fear of water, fear of people, fear of speaking in public. 

I read once that fear of dying was superseded by the fear of speaking in public.  So, I guess most folks would rather die than speak at the service … rather be IN the casket than do the Eulogy

I read about a Japanese soldier on the Island of Guam that went into hiding in 1944 close to the end of the war.  He hid in a cave for fear of the Enemy.  He only came out at night.  He stayed there in self imposed isolation for 22 years.  After awhile he knew the war was over because of leaflets that were dropped.  But he didn’t come out because he was afraid of execution

1658 Voice From Coffin In Truck

Here’s something that sounds like a joke, but it’s a tragedy. It happened in Spain. In Barcelona a truck was rolling along carrying an empty coffin. A farmer who was hitchhiking thumbed a ride. He was bouncing along in the rear of the truck, which was open, when it started to rain. He examined the coffin, found it empty, and crawled inside to keep dry. There he fell asleep.

Further on, two other hitch-hikers got a ride on the truck. They were going along at a lively clip when the farmer inside the coffin pushed open the lid, stuck his head out, and observed: “Oh, it has stopped raining.” The two other hitch-hikers were so terrified that they leaped from the speeding truck. One was killed. [1]

Is anyone afraid here today?

Are you gripped by fear

Are you struggling between obedience and disobedience because of fear?

Are you in the Valley of indecision because of Fear?

Well I came by to encourage you today …

Do Not Be Afraid

Read with me from the Word of God

Acts 18:1-11


1. Do Not Be Araid

The word translated Afraid here … is the Greek Word “phobeo” – fear dread, to put to flight --- The Lord was telling Paul, don’t turn tail and run … stand in and do what I have put in your heart to do

  A. Fear is a Tool of the Evil One

    1. 2 Tim 1:7 – God did not give us a spirit of timidity (fear) but a spirit of power, of love, and of self-discipline and then verse 8 put it in context

So do not be ashamed to testify about our Lord --- one of the greatest things Satan wants you to fear is testifying

  B. Fear is a Lack of Understanding

2 Kings 19:6 Isaiah said to them “tell your master, ‘this is what the Lord says: Do not be afraid of what you have heard …

Most often fear is a lack of Understand … or a misunderstanding …

 If we know who God is and understand what he has done for us and provided for us, we will not be Afraid …

The Lord is not a concept

The Lord is not a way of living

The Lord is a Person, he is someone who can Speak, can Encourage, will come to your aid

He is Alive and Well

He is Creator of All

He Is ruler of all

He has a purpose

He has a plan

So Do Not Be Afraid

  C. Fear is a Lack of Trust

If you are afraid then you do not trust God

    1. Lack of trust is misplaced Fear --- If we Fear God we will fear no man

Pr 14:26 – He who fears the Lord has a secure fortress and for his children it will be a refuge

Is 26:4 – Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord, the Lord is the Rock Eternal

    2. If we don’t trust God we don’t understand the security of his promises

2 Sam 23:5 Is not my house right with God?  Has he not made with me an everlasting covenant, arranged and secured in every part?  Will he not bring to fruition my salvation and grant me my every desire?

David understood the security in God’s promises and so he had no need to fear and in his Trust he found the Ability to move without Fear …

Do Not Fear … because …

2. You are Not Alone


  A. You have Partners in ministry

    1. it is easy to feel like you are alone … But you have partners in ministry here

    2. Paul had Silas and Timothy, Luke and other companions, Paul found a partnership with a husband Aquilla  and wife Priscilla.  They shared a vocation and they shared a passion for the gospel of Jesus Christ

    3. You have people here that share similar backgrounds, similar passions, you are not alone

    4. Part of the reason for the church is for a family where we can encourage and strengthen one another

  B. You are surrounded by other Believers

    1. in the city (you haven’t met) but be encouraged

You may think that you are alone, but let me remind you that Florissant, Ferguson, Hazelwood, St. Louis County, St. Louis City, the entire Metropolitan area is filled with people you have never met that have a passion for Christ and serving him.  Like you they are doing their best every day to surrender to the Spirit of God.  You are Not Alone … Look around you

      a. when you see bumper stickers

      b. when you see JESUS signs /

      c. pray for them

      d. count the fish symbols you on cars

      e. look around at your Restaurant maybe someone will pray before their meal … be encouraged you are not alone

      f. Lisa and I were eating at Olive Garden a few weeks ago and we asked our Waitress if we could pray for her about anything when we blessed our food … she paused and said “I always need prayer” then she teared up and said “I’ve never had anyone ask me that before” … She felt alone … you are not alone

    2. in the heavenlies (a great cloud of witnesses)

      a. there are thousands upon thousands, millions of believers who have gone before you, have struggled where you have struggled, who have failed where you have failed, have gotten up and found victory where you are fighting

      b. Solomon said “though a righteous man falls 7 times, he always rises”

      c. In Hebrews 11 the writer of that encouragement tells us that Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see --- and then he reminds us that many have gone before us to give us an example to follow

Able – faithful in obedient righteousness

Enoch – Faith to walk with God

Noah – Faith to attempt the unbelievable

Abraham – Faith to go into undiscovered land and received the unimaginable blessing

Isaac – Faith to hope in the future of his sons

Jacob – Faith to expect promise fulfilled by experience with God in the past

Joseph – Faith to be part of the promise even after he was gone

Moses – Faith to be counted among God’s people when it would be easier to be affiliated with the world, to disregard disgrace for the sake of hope

Israel’s Faith to cross the Red Sea under God’s protection, to see the walls of Jericho fall and come into God’s Promise

Rahab’s faith to believe the spoken promise though born in the wrong place

The faith of Gideon, Samson, Jephthat, David, Samuel, the prophets

Faith that survived flames, sowrd, armies, weakness, famine, beatings, the chains of prison.

He says in chapter 12 of Hebrews Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles , and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.  Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith …

    3. Those who have gone before us were not successful because they were perfect but because they got past it.  They threw off those hindrances, they cast off the sin, the stepped out of the entanglements of the flesh, got up when they fell, put their eyes back on the Lord … or as David said “on the Hills from whence our help comes”.  They looked to the Lord for strength. 

    4. Their eyes were fixed on the coming hope of the promise of God that would be fulfilled in Christ

    5. Because they have made it, you can too … take heart be encouraged, do not be afraid … because this same Jesus whom they fixed their eyes on, is the same Christ that we fix our gaze on as well.  He conceived of our faith and he makes perfect our faith.

You are NOT alone … You have partners in Ministry

You have Other believers take heart

But Most of All you are Not Alone because if ALL others fall, if all others leave your side, if Others fail …

  C. You and God are a Majority

Jesus told Paul, You are Not alone because

    1. I am with you --- You need not fear because God has put his OWN NAME on the line for you … It is HIS reputation at stake, not yours

    2. Go before the Lord and realize who your God is

2Kings 19:15 – Hezekiah prayed to the Lord: “Oh Lord, God of Israel, enthroned between the cherubim, you alone are God over all the kingdoms of the earth.  You have made heaven and earth … If you can See God for who he is … Creator of All, On his throne, between the Cherubim …

      a. If God is not big enough for your present situation you have the wrong God, and

      b. if God is too Big to stoop to your situation you have the wrong God, or perhaps you just don’t know God the way you should. 

He is more expansive than the universe and small enough to inhabit your heart

He is more incomprehensible than thousands of libraries full of books can explain and yet as simple as

God So Love the world that he gave his one and only son that whoever believes in him will not perish but have everlasting life”

You are Not alone because God is With You

    3. You are Not alone and God has a word for his enemies ---

Doc preached a couple of weeks ago about Hezekiah facing the blasphemous Sennacherib … and God had a word for Sennacherib and you can pass this word along to your enemies

2Kings 19:27-28 - "But I know where you stay and when you come and go and how you rage against me.  28 Because you rage against me and your insolence has reached my ears I will put a hook in your nose and my bit in your mouth …"

Do not be afraid God is with you and he knows who your enemies are and where they are and he will bring them under submission as he sees fit

Do not be afraid God is with you and

Within you … and

    4. Greater is He within me ...

      a. 1 John 4:4 – You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is IN you is GREATER than the one who is in the world

      b. 1 John 5:9 – we accept man’s testimony, but God’s testimony is greater because it is the testimony of God, which he has given about his Son

You can Believe what God says … He is with you

      c. Ro 8:31 - … If God is for us, who can be against us?

Do Not Be Afraid

Fear is a tool of Satan

Trust in God

Ps 27:1 – The Lord is my light and my salvation, whom shall I fear?  The Lord is the stronghold of my life – of whom shall I be afraid?

Do not be Afraid … You are not alone …

Do not be afraid … Open Your Mouth … Do Not Be Silent …


3. Keep On  Speaking

  A. You have a Message

Luke writes in verse 5 that Paul was “compelled by the Spirit and testified that Jesus is the Christ

1 Cor 2:1,2 – When I came to you, brothers, I did not come with eloquence or superior wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God. 2 For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified

    1. the Message we have is Christ and Christ alone

    2. The message is that we are sinners and we can’t clean ourselves up …

      a. It is not Christ plus us living right

      b. it is not Christ plus 10 years of church membership

      c. it is Jesus Christ plus NOTHING

    3. Dr. WA Criswell said that we are often “tempted to take off the rough edges (of the gospel) chisel, polish.  Compare: Samson (was) a fine fellow, but a little crude, uncouth.  Send him to Philistia for culture.  (Send him) to the barber to get his head shaved.  The gospel trimmed, chiseled, polished is weak, like all other philosophers gone before it.  Let us keep it as Christ gave it – all sinner.  Saved by his coming.

    4. Don’t try to straighten it up make it sound better, make it sound modern, make it sound more palatable.

    5. We are NOT a self help group.  We are the church of the Lord Jesus Christ, commissioned to the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

    6. We are Christians --- do you remember what that word means?  That means we are People of the House of Christ, Slaves to Christ, In the lifelong Vocation as Career Christians.  

  B. You have a Mission

    1. put a face on your mission … you mission isn’t to the “world” – some faceless, nameless mass, it is to your neighbor, your coworker, your sister

    2. it is to them that you are to go, to teach, to baptize to disciple

  C. You have a Mandate

    1. be Silent for injustice, no

    2. be Silent about Abuse, never

    3. be Silent about Sin, God Forbid

    4. But MOST of All Do NOT BE Silent about the ANSWER the World needs, The Hope of the World, Jesus Christ Crucified

Perfected Love for God will get rid of fear

When you have a deep abiding love and reverential fear for God you will fear no man and no thing

1 Jn 4:18 there is no fear in love.  But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment.  The one who fears is not made perfect in love

With the word of Encouragement from the Lord, Paul stayed on for a year and a half proclaiming the Word of God in Corinth

Because of his ministry and relationship there, we have two of the greatest of his letters in those letters to the Corinthians

What might you do for the Lord today if you can turn your back on Fear and Trust the Lord?

Why do we need not be afraid?  Because this is NOT our Story it is HIS story.

Jesus Christ is the one who spoke this world into existence

He is the one who taught Noah how to build the ark and brought them safely through the flood

He is the one that led Abram into a new place and blessed those who blessed him and cursed those who cursed him

He is the one who guarded Moses’ basket in the Nile to the safety of Pharaoh’s daughter

He is the one who blew across the Red Sea and dried up a path for Israel to walk across and then closbed it upon her enemies

Do Not Be Afraid

He is the one who called Gideon and defeated the Midianites with only 300 Men

He is the one who guided David’s stone to slay Goliath

He is the one who stood in the fiery furnace with Shadrach Meshach, and Abednego and brought them through the fire

He closed the mouths of the Lions when Old Daniel was in the Lion’s Den

Do Not Be Afraid

He is the one whom Isaiah saw as his hem of his robe filled the Temple and his presence shook the Temple

He spoke to Ezekiel, he called Jeremiah and gave him peace with the Truth though no one wanted to hear it

Do not be afraid

He was Hosea’s strength with an unfaithful wife

He was Zechariah’s Hope for the Future

He was Hezekiah’s Building Superintendent and Security Advisor

He was John’s the Baptist’s reason to call the world to repentance … “Behold the Lamb who takes away our sins”

He called Peter, James and John to leave their comfort Zone and be Fishers of Men

He called Matthew to leave world’s wealth and learn of the Riches of God’s Kingdom

Do Not Be Afraid

He looked into Pilates face and didn’t beg for mercy but walked the way of Suffering and died outside Jerusalem that we need not fear death and the wages of our sin

He knew no sin but became sin so that we would not have to fear

On the 3rd day he left the grave that we need not fear the grave and Paul can say to us

Where O death is Your Victory, and Sting …

Do Not Be Afraid

He was with Stephen when he proclaimed the gospel and they stoned him for speaking the truth

He was with Paul when the ran him out of Berea and Thessalonica

He was with each of the disciples as they faced fires, swords, stones, and arrows.

And said Do Not Be Afraid

He was with Polycarp when they burned him for his faith and he said “82 years have I served him and he has never failed me, how can I fail him now”

He was with Jun Hus when he proclaimed Christ with his last breath burned at the Stake

He was with John Wycliffe as he was persecuted and imprisoned for daring to translate the Word of God so that anyone could read it

He was with Livingstone in the difficult regions of Africa proclaiming the gospel to those who had never heard

He was with Carey in India

He was with Pilgrims that left the persecution of Europe to freedom of worship in the New World

Do Not Be Afraid

He was with Visionaries and Revolutionaries like Galileo, Columbus, Carver, King, Graham, and countless others that went a different route, proclaimed a new way of living, all the while trusting in their Savior who said

Do Not Be Afraid

No Matter who you are

No Matter where you are

No Matter to whom God Calls you to speak

Do Not Be Afraid

Give Witness to Jesus Christ

You are NEVER Alone

His Rod and Staff is a comfort

Though you walk through a Valley that looks like Death … you never walk alone

He is always with you

What can they do to you?  You are a Child of God

What can they take from you? This world is NOT your home

To Live is for the Kingdom of Christ

To Die is Gain as you will be ushered into his very presence

Child of God … Look Up

Live in the Reality of the Presence of God

Live for the glory of his name

You are not alone

You are but one of many travelers on a journey of obedience and faithfulness to Christ

Do Not Be Afraid

Do Not Be Silent


[1]Tan, P. L. (1996, c1979). Encyclopedia of 7700 illustrations : [a treasury of illustrations, anecdotes, facts and quotations for pastors, teachers and Christian workers]. Garland TX: Bible Communications.

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