Faithlife Sermons

To Infinity and Beyond

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*Show clip from Toy Story, “To Infinity and Beyond”* If you’ve grown up, had kids, or grandkids in the last 25 years you have no doubt seen that movie. That clip sums up our text today: In we see the Church going to Infinity and Beyond! That means that we are going to infinity and beyond! First we have to ask ourselves, why is Chapter 8 even here? Honestly, if you were to take Chapter 8 our of Acts, the end of Chapter 7 and the start of Chapter 9 flow together pretty well: they end and begin with Saul persecuting the church. Why is it so important that we know about Philip, so wasn’t quite as big of a name as say Peter and John, or later Paul, taking the gospel to Judea and Samaria? Well we have to go back to Chapter 1, where Jesus gives the disciples the great commission: He says, “You will go from Jerusalem, to Judea, to Samaria and to the Ends of the Earth.” The church is going to infinity and beyond, and we’ve seen over the past 7 chapters that the Church has quickly overtaken Jerusalem which means the next step is: Judea and Samaria.
Theres just one problem. God chose humans for this mission, and humans tend to get lazy. This is nothing new. We like to get comfortable and never move. Why is this a problem? Well, because if you recall God gave Adam and Eve, and later Noah and his family, this command: “Be fruitful and multiply and spread across the Earth and subdue it.” Doesn’t seem like a hard concept to understand, but we really fudged it up. After flood, do you remember what happened? All of humanity was united by one language and they all settled together and decided to build a tower together. “Let’s all just hang out here. We’ll be so great, we could even build ourselves a tower reaching to the heavens!” God just shook his head and rolled his eyes, and what did he do? He confused their languages and made them move! Even today we like to move closer and closer together for some reason. For the first time every more people live in urban areas than rural! We love living really close together and ironically we still build towers to the heavens in almost every major city!
Well this same thing started to happen in the early church. Christianity quickly spread throughout Jerusalem, and life was good. The community was thriving, and sure the non-Christian Jews probably thought they were weird, but it didn’t seem to bother them too much…yet. See I think this story really does mirror the Tower of Babel. The church got comfortable, and began to forget their mission. But then look what happened: READ 8:1-3. Now I can’t prove this, but I think God may have caused this persecution to happen. Life was good for the Christians of Jerusalem, but they were getting lazy. They wren’t moving. They were going to infinity and beyond. Just like one a child turns 18, and whether they go to college or not, they don’t want to leave home. At first the parents might be okay with it....hoping the child will want to go out on their own....but then they don’t. So eventually you have to kick them out so that they will just go!
I think we are in the exact same predicament today. When I look at the American church I see a Church that has gotten too comfortable and lazy. We’ve had the pleasure of being the “home team” for the better part of 250 years, which is why as the culture becomes more antagonistic and more “anti-Christian” it scares us. And we want to fight back. We want to demand that laws be passed that cater to our beliefs so that we feel safe. But guess what? We are no longer the home team. I think that the culture becoming more aggressive and more antagonistic I think it might be a wake-up call. We better get moving. Honestly, I’d rather have a bunch of people angry at us, and yelling at us and calling us names, as a wake up call, than to wake up one morning and find another Steven stoned to death in the streets.
What does this mean for Hornet Christian Church? It means we need to get moving and that we might need to change some things. Where we are right now is not a good spot. The Spirit is moving in our church with the rise of our youth group, but our congregation is getting smaller. We have to get moving or those church doors will close rather than later. If we are really going to infinity and beyond, then we have to do what Buzz did in that video: He was confident and had faith that he could fly, but first he had to jump. What are we as a church going to do to take that leap of faith?

3 Things: Amazed and Full of Joy

Once we do, crazy things are going to happen. Buzz did all those flips and tricks, with his eyes closed! When the Holy Spirit leads us into our own Judea and Samaria right here in the Hornet area, crazy things are going to happen. They already are! The lives of our kids are being changed every single week as they get closer to Christ and are able to open up about their lives. When these things do happen, three things are going to take place.
The first is this: People are going to be amazed and full of joy: READ 4-8. As we make our way to infinity and beyond, are we changing lives and bringing joy to people? We can do this through church events, like the banquet last week, or through individual acts. When people see lives being changed in the name of Jesus they are going to be amazed and joyful, and they are going to want in. C.S. Lewis described the spread of Christianity as being like a good infection. You get it by being near someone who has it! As soon as Buzz landed back on the bed, all the toys were totally amazed! They wanted to know how he could do that! Which leads us to our next 2 responses


Read: 9-25
The gospel has the power to convince those who think they are great that they aren’t so great. That was the case with Simon. Except, Simon loved the attention and he became jealous of the power of the disciples. He mistakenly thought he could buy the power of God!

Desire to Learn

Read 26-40

Conclusion: Which are you? - Do you need to be overcome by the gospel or do you have the desire to learn, and like the Ethiopian are ready to get baptized?

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