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There Are No Accidents With God

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The Advance of The Gospel

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The Advance Of The Gospel

There Are no Accidents with God

Philippians 1:12–13 ESV
12 I want you to know, brothers, that what has happened to me has really served to advance the gospel, 13 so that it has become known throughout the whole imperial guard and to all the rest that my imprisonment is for Christ.
The word Paul uses for the advancement of the gospel is a vivid word. It is prokopē, the word which is specially used for the progress of an army or an expedition. It is the noun from the verb prokoptein, which means to cut down in advance. It is the verb which is used for cutting away the trees and the undergrowth, and removing the barriers which would hinder the progress of an army. Paul’s imprisonment, far from shutting the door, opened the door to new spheres of work and activity into which he would never otherwise have penetrated.
Barclay, W. (2003). The Letters to Philippians, Colossians, and Thessalonians (3rd ed. fully rev. and updated, p. 24). Louisville, KY; London: Westminster John Knox Press.
The Letters to Philippians, Colossians, and Thessalonians The Chains Destroy the Barriers (Philippians 1:12–14)

The Praetorian Guard were the Imperial Guard of Rome. They had been set up by Augustus and were a body of 10,000 select troops. Augustus had kept them dispersed throughout Rome and the neighbouring towns. Tiberius had concentrated them in Rome in a specially built and fortified camp. Vitellius had increased their number to 16,000. They served for twelve, and later for sixteen, years. At the close of their term of service, they received the citizenship and a financial payment. Latterly, they became very nearly the emperor’s private bodyguard; and in the end they became a significant problem. They were concentrated in Rome, and there came a time when the Praetorian Guard became nothing less than king-makers; for inevitably it was their nominee who was made emperor every time, since they could impose their will by force, if need be, upon the people. It was to the Prefect of the Praetorian Guard, their commanding officer, that Paul was handed over when he arrived in Rome.

The Letters to Philippians, Colossians, and Thessalonians The Chains Destroy the Barriers (Philippians 1:12–14)

The situation was this. Paul had been delivered to the captain of the Praetorian Guard, to await trial before the emperor. He had been allowed to arrange a private lodging for himself; but night and day in that private lodging there was a soldier to guard him, a soldier to whom he was chained by his halusis all the time.

I will never forget being asked to speak at Seymour Elementary DARE Graduation-
Tell the story
What does the Life Recovery Bible have to say about this passage?
Paul could see how God used the good and bad in his life to spread the Good news about Jesus.
If we take a look at our life in recovery we may see how this is also true in our own life.
Addiction sucks…ITs painful, we hurt others, we hurt ourselves, we create victims
Its Dark-its lonely and empty
Look at the perspective it gives us.
How equipped are you now to share the message of hope with others?
Our personal stories of how God delivered us is our main tool in reaching the lost the least and the left out.
Our painful past and Gods powerful deliverance are what open that door to serving God by helping others.
We cant get this mixed up though. Our Holy work in this world is prayer. That should be our career focus.
Prayer is our main source of power. God doesnt want our service first, he wants a relationship with us. Service comes after.

14 And most of the brothers, having become confident in the Lord by my imprisonment, are much more bold to speak the word without fear.

15 Some indeed preach Christ from envy and rivalry, but others from good will. 16 The latter do it out of love, knowing that I am put here for the defense of the gospel. 17 The former proclaim Christ out of selfish ambition, not sincerely but thinking to afflict me in my imprisonment. 18 What then? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is proclaimed, and in that I rejoice.

The Letters to Philippians, Colossians, and Thessalonians The All-Important Proclamation (Philippians 1:15–18)

All that mattered was that Christ was preached. All too often, we resent it when someone else gains some distinction or credit which we do not. All too often, we regard someone as an enemy simply for expressing some criticism of us or of our methods. All too often, we think people can do no good because they do not do things in our way. All too often, the intellectuals have no time for the evangelicals, and the evangelicals question the faith of the intellectuals. All too often, those who believe in the evangelism of education have no use for the evangelism of decision, and those who practise the evangelism of decision have no use for those who feel that some other approach will have more lasting effects. Paul is the great example. He lifted the matter beyond all personalities; all that mattered was that Christ was preached.

Pauls main concern and burden was that Christ was proclaimed.
As I close, the band can come up.
I love Peters first Gospel message in Acts 2

17 ‘In the last days,’ God says,

‘I will pour out my Spirit upon all people.

Your sons and daughters will prophesy.

Your young men will see visions,

and your old men will dream dreams.

18 In those days I will pour out my Spirit

even on my servants—men and women alike—

and they will prophesy.

19 And I will cause wonders in the heavens above

and signs on the earth below—

blood and fire and clouds of smoke.

20 The sun will become dark,

and the moon will turn blood red

before that great and glorious day of the LORD arrives.

21 But everyone who calls on the name of the LORD

will be saved.’

22 “People of Israel, listen! God publicly endorsed Jesus the Nazarene by doing powerful miracles, wonders, and signs through him, as you well know. 23 But God knew what would happen, and his prearranged plan was carried out when Jesus was betrayed. With the help of lawless Gentiles, you nailed him to a cross and killed him. 24 But God released him from the horrors of death and raised him back to life, for death could not keep him in its grip. 25 King David said this about him:

‘I see that the LORD is always with me.

I will not be shaken, for he is right beside me.

26 No wonder my heart is glad,

and my tongue shouts his praises!

My body rests in hope.

27 For you will not leave my soul among the dead

or allow your Holy One to rot in the grave.

28 You have shown me the way of life,

and you will fill me with the joy of your presence.’

Alter Call:
With heads bowed I would like to give you a chance to respond to the Holy Spirit…and then pray for you…. The bible says this in
8-13 Fix this picture firmly in your mind: Jesus, descended from the line of David, raised from the dead. It’s what you’ve heard from me all along. It’s what I’m sitting in jail for right now—but God’s Word isn’t in jail! That’s why I stick it out here—so that everyone God calls will get in on the salvation of Christ in all its glory. This is a sure thing:
If we die with him, we’ll live with him;
If we stick it out with him, we’ll rule with him;
If we turn our backs on him, he’ll turn his back on us;
If we give up on him, he does not give up—
for there’s no way he can be false to himself.
I dont know what each person here is going through tonight…I know for some we feel lost and confused and like God is just distant in our life. I know for some-you feel broken and maybe even like you have lost control. You may have even walked in here feeling like a failure, the enemy has tricked you into thinking your nothing…there is hope for you.
Tonight might be the turning point for you…
tonight you have an opportunity to let God know that you need Him
In a moment im going to ask you to raise your hands…
but first…I want you to know why your raising your hands…
this is a cry for help for some and a praise to glorify God to others…
Im going to reach out to three groups of people
the first group—-If you have never had that moment where you officially gave your life to Christ and you’d like to do that now…Id like you to just slip up your hand…thankyou you can put your hands down…
the second group—maybe your here tonight and you knew Christ—you gave your heart to him once—-you may have even went forward to the alter call....but you fell away and back slid. Tonight could be YOUR night to rededicate your heart to Jesus. If thats you and you came here tonight in hopes that God would meet you—-now is your chance to show him your ready…if thats you just slip up your hand right where you are….thankyou you can put your hands down
The third group- anyone who who just wants a reason to glorify God and show him your thankful for the work of His grace and mercy in your life. Im going to ask you to raise both hands real high…now look around this building….thats how big our God is….
Can we just lift up our joy and praise to God
Lets pray...
Heavenly Father,
Thankyou for all thats happened to us! Our testimonies are what you often use to advance the Gospel. Some of us have been to prison just like Paul and other men and women have gained thier confidence in you because of our imprisonments. I pray that we would be even more bold in sharing the message of JEsus. I pray that preachers would preach and teachers would teach. I pray that you would give us that boldness needed to just tell people what happened to us. Give us pure motives as we tell our stories. May we spread your good news because we love you. WE lift up preachers and teachers everywhere. I pray that those who are in ministry for wrong motives would see the error of their ways. I pray that you would show them the hearts and their motives and I pray for you to show them that door to repentence. We pray for those who are in prison right now. I lift them up to you LORD and I pray that the Spirit of JEsus Christ would help them and us so that our deliverance will advance the Gospel. I pray for those who raised their hands tonight, that they would be strengthened in you and your plan. I pray that you would protect them as they walk out their faith each day. Thankyou JEsus for going to the cross. Thankyou…in your name I pray amen.
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