Going Outside the Walls
Turn to the book of Acts and look at chapter 16 with me.
anytime anytime you are someone who speaks in public anytime. You're somebody who has a microphone attached inevitably some things can go wrong and today much to my horror. I realized it as we were singing. I had failed to mute my mic. And it is my deepest hope. That are sound guy caught that and did not bless you with my singing this morning.
That's what we're going to call it Richard. That's what we're going to call it man. So it so it did get me thinking though is I was as I was reflecting supposed to be reflecting on the sacrifice of Christ. My mind can wander sometimes and I was thinking about I hope nobody heard me instead and I thought wow Lord. Thank you for that because that's what we're talking about today. What we're talking about today is were continuing this idea of things that are crazy things that are hard but things that are totally worth it for the people of God to do and we're talking about going outside of our walls. And for me singing is not something that I want to share with you guys all inflicted on my family at home, right? I'll be bouncing to the kitchen. I'll be singing songs, but I don't want to sing. Here, I don't want to sing outside of the familiar walls of my home. And I realized how many of us. Feel like that we come in here to church. We're going to sing the songs. You don't have a mic so you don't have to remember to mute it if you want a mic next week. I'll give you one and you can try to deal with that yourself. But you coming here and you sing the songs, but then as you walk out. You reach down and hit the mute button. And you walk outside of these walls in a much quieter state that you are inside the walls inside the walls. You can't wait to talk about Jesus inside the walls. You can't wait to open the scripture inside the walls. You can't wait to sing songs that glorify Christ.
But you got yourself on mute. the rest of the week Listen, I get it. And yes, I'm Way Off Script here. And so who knows where this is going? I get it. It is difficult to be the church outside the walls. I understand that right? It's not easier for me to share the gospel with an unbelieving neighbor just because I'm a pastor. Is that easier for me to strike up a conversation?
With somebody than it is for you. It's it's hard for all of us. Is that easy for us as a church to get out of our comfort zone and to try something new? It's it's hard. It's much easier to just do what we've always done.
however Just because it's easier doesn't mean it's better. As a matter of fact 99.9% of the things in this life that are worthwhile. Are incredibly difficult. And so as we think about, you know, it's crazy to devote ourselves to prayer. It's it's hard to spend significant amount of time in prayer together as a church. We need to remember it's worth. Yes. It's hard. Yes, it's difficult, but it's worth it. It's really hard to open up your life to the fellow Sinners that you called fellow worshippers. It's really hard to carry a conversation beyond the weather and sports particularly today is everybody's looking at the Super Bowl. It's really hard to take a conversation beyond that but it's worth it. It's really hard to not hit the mute button as you walk out of these doors. Is really hard to engage people with the gospel. It's really hard to actually stand up for what you believe in.
The church it's worth it. And I don't want you to take my word for it. I want you to look at the word of God with me and see what happens when the people of God go outside the walls. And so you're an Acts chapter 16. And in Acts chapter 16, we're seeing I'm going to set a little bit of backstory your first we're seeing Paul was himself. Not a Believer who God calls to Salvation. And then Paul gets sent to the church at Antioch. And the church at Antioch recognize hate Paul's gift is to be able to teach his gift is to be able to preach and so they have him doing that he's teaching and he's preaching and in the Holy Spirit comes to a meeting. They're having in the holy spirit says set apart Paul and Barnabas and I want them to go out and take the gospel to places. It's never been and it's fascinating what happens there in that passage, which were not looking at this morning, but it's fascinating because they don't, you know, gather a committee. They don't do some long-range planning. They prayed and they fasted and they sent them out. Because that's what you do you go outside the walls and then really the rest of the book of Acts from that point on is all about the people of God going outside the walls of the established church to engage people who've never had the gospel preached to them and it's fascinating and I would encourage you to read through the book of Acts sometimes but but just understand that's where we're catching Paul here. He's been sent out by the church at Antioch. He's going outside the established church. He's going into communities in the sharing the gospel and he's not going in today in which she had an automobile to make this easier. No planes, no trains nothing like that. It's just Paul his two feet and whatever ship he can buy passage on right? That's it. That's all he's got. And yes, he goes everywhere. And we can learn a lot from Paul and those who went with him. And so we come to Acts chapter 16 and week. We kind of catch them on the road as it were where to start reading in chapter in chapter 16 verse 6. And they went through the region region of phrygia and galatia. Haven't been forbidden by the Holy Spirit to speak the word in Asia.
And when they had come up to my Zia, they attempted to go to bithynia, but the spirit of Jesus did not allow them.
So passing by my Zia, they went to troas and a vision appeared to Paul in the night. A man of Macedonia was standing there urging him saying come over to Macedonia and help us and when Paul had seen the vision immediately we sought to go to Macedonia concluding that God had called us to preach the gospel to them where stop right there will pick up more of the chapter later. But I want you to focus in for just a second with me on verse 6 and verse 7. And when they went to the region fridge Iglesia, they were forbidden by the Holy Spirit to speak the word in Asia and when they came to my Z they attempted to go to Bethany, but the spirit of Jesus did not allow them. Now wait a second. Wait a second. I could have swore like three chapters earlier Paul and Barnabas were sent out to share the gospel. But now the Holy Spirit sound them. Don't preach the gospel here and Jesus won't let him go preach over here. But then Paul has a vision and they can click we're supposed to go preach over there. What's going on?
Here's what's going on when your inside the walls and I hate to say this when you're inside the walls. You can pretty much just do things the way you've always done them. Inside the walls we can just follow the program. We can follow the order of service and we can just kind of track right on through it, right? Outside the walls is a whole different story. Outside the walls God's people have to depend on the holy spirit for Direction. Have to depend on the holy spirit for direction, right we depend on him for direction. He doesn't depend on our direction. We don't set it up and just say hey, you know what God you're supposed to show up here at 10:45 next Sunday. We'll call it a plan. Tell you what God if you want to show up on Wednesday at 6:32 and we have our prayer meeting that be great.
But that's not how we should offer it off. That's how we do operate we set our schedule and we expect you to show up when we're outside the walls.
We better be depending on him for Direction. And he will direct us where to go. I'm convinced that the same Holy Spirit operating in Paul's life saying don't preach the gospel there. Don't preach the gospel there at this is where I want you to go. I'm convinced that the exact same Holy Spirit at work in his life is the one who is at work today. Are you convinced of that?
Really? Are you convinced of that? Are you convinced that when you walk out of these walls? The only thing that's going to get you to where you're supposed to be is God's holy spirit directing you.
Good. Because Paul doesn't go and preach the gospel in this place. He doesn't go and preach the gospel in this place because the Holy Spirit has something else entirely in mind in the Book of Romans were setting it on Wednesday night. Paul says, hey, I have often tried coming to Rome, but God won't let me.
This is a man who sang Lord you call the shots. You direct me. I don't walk out the door and decide that you know, what the most important thing for me this week.
Is to get the truck washed wax detailed if you're somebody that does that I have a couple cars in my house. You're welcome to come tackle them, too. Right. I got I got to get that knocked off the list and then you know, then I've got to set aside some time to watch a football game later today. Nothing wrong with that.
But is it the same as walking out saying God, do you want me to talk to them? Do you want me to go there? Lord you want me to stay and see her or do you want if you want me to go to Africa? Lord do you do you want me to use the gifts and abilities that you've given me inside the walls outside the walls or both God. Do you want me to do what I'm doing right now, or do you want me to change and do something different God, would you direct me? Would you set the calendar for me? Would you set the trip? She is Christian's we've gotten in the habit particular is American could have got in the habit of imagining that we're in control. We're not we depend on the Holy Spirit and no less than Paul did for him to say go for him to say stay for him to say they're not here and this is this is very true for us as a church right now as a church right now some of the things that were saying. Hey, we want to be outside these walls. We said hey, here's the challenge every single christ-follower in this building right now the challenges for you to be praying for somebody that God would allow you to share the gospel with him and it if you share the gospel with them and they respond you would begin to disciple them, right? That's the pressure disciple board out there. There's cards. We said move these along this is just accountability. I'm not checking those cards. I'm not out there like oh, You haven't done yours yet? Slacking are we I'm not doing that that's for you prayerfully to say God lead me to the conversations that I ought to be having as a church. We've said hey within the next two years. We want to be a part of seeing a new church started in our area in two years. We want to start a church. That is nuts. I am not joking. That's crazy.
And yet we believe that's what God wants us to do. Here's the thing though. We don't know where And all the leadership books would say it's crazy for the pastor's to come to you and say hey, we want to plan a trip. We just don't have an idea where that's not good leadership to come and say Here's a good idea.
But the reason we bring that to you is cuz we want to be people of prayer. We want to be people who are depending on the Holy Spirit to tell us where to go and there are many options of places where we see there's a need for the gospel in New Harmony. There's a need for the gospel in Enterprise, but we want God to direct us and so this Wednesday night this Wednesday night first Wednesday of every month we've set aside is a prayer night for the church at 6:30. I would encourage you to come whether you're normally a part of our midweek Bible study or not. We're not doing that this week we're praying and what are the key things were fretting about his Lord. Give us Clarity give us Direction tell us where to go because the holy spirit that tells Paul don't go here. Don't go there. This is where I want you to go is the same Holy Spirit resting to tell us the same thing today. Answer the first thing when we go outside the walls, we respond to the spirits leading. We don't wait for him to respond to ours the second thing when we go outside the walls, we don't always go to the most spiritually open places. I want to keep reading here in this passage. Look at verse 11, right? So they conclude that God's calling to Macedonia. So setting sail from troas, we made a direct Voyage de samothrace in the following dates in the opolis and from there to fill a pie, which is a leading city of the District of Macedonia and a Roman Colony. We remained in the city some days and on the Sabbath day. We went outside the gate to the Riverside where we supposed there was a place of Prayer. And we sat down and spoke to the women who would come together. now
if you're not a Bible scholar, I just want to point out some things about this passage that may not jump out at first read. So Paul's normal practice when he would go into a new place was he would go into a synagogue a place where Jewish men and women would gather to worship the god of Israel because Paul was proclaiming the Jewish Messiah. He was proclaiming Jesus and so he would go into the synagogue. Why doesn't he do that in Phillipi?
The most likely thing is because there weren't enough people. Open to the god of Israel to have started a synagogue it took 10 Jewish men to start a synagogue as a matter of fact from the text what we see is it de probably weren't any men interested in worship the god of Israel because he was gathering at the place of Prayer. The women right? This is not the most spiritually open place. There's not a synagogue there for Paul to go and open the scriptures and proclaim the Messiah. He's got to say OK as their kind of Milling around town for a couple days. We get the impression they're asking so is there a synagogue and people kind of look at him funny? Like what's the synagogue? And it's finally somebody like oh, you know what? I think there's some people that pray down by the river on on Saturday. He's like, okay. Well, we'll go there and we'll talk to them and they show up. But there's no men there and now we we live in that totally enlightened age, right? There's no prejudices no discrimination. No, nothing like that happening today, right?
In that day, it was much worse right women in that day and age were not even thought even though there may have been 10 women there. They still couldn't organize a synagogue. They had to have ten men women were basically second-class citizens. They had no say they had no right some of them Rose to Great Heights will be introduced to one in just a second, but it was a very difficult context for a woman to be in hurt. Her word was not accepted as testimony in a court of law. Right. And so this is not the most spiritually opportune moment. Paul is not going to the river to share the gospel with the cultural influences of his day. There's no synagogue. There's no men interested in the things of God and yet this is where God put them. We don't always go to the most spiritually open places. Did you know? Did you know that in the United States? There are two areas with fewer than 5% Evangelical Believers. There are two areas where less than 5 out of 100 people believe in Jesus as portrayed in the New Testament those two areas are the Northeast. and Utah
Yeah, yeah where we live right here is not the most spiritually open late one misconception that I hear a lot of people throw out when I talk about like hey, let's start a church as a church. Let's let's go plant a church in a new community is like, why would we open the church where there aren't any Christians?
Right exactly, right. We're not going to just provide religious services for people who already know Jesus in a place where we can build more walls to keep people in. That's not the point of planting a church. The planet point of planning a church is to go where there's not one.
And introduce people to Jesus know where in the Bible are we commanded to go and plant churches? Know where we are commanded to go and make disciples when disciples are made. They naturally gather into congregations. They naturally gather into worship together. That's what we call it church, but we're not going to start a church primarily. When Ice Age plant a church where talk about working to go make some disciples where there are none. We're going to plant a church. We're going to start a group not providing religious services to the already reach but engaging those who don't know Christ don't know the hope that he offers with the gospel in hopes that they become A church that can then engage their Community open places, right if that was the case. They would have never made it to you. Yeah, it's a people of God had just sat back and waited. Like where is God working o Jerusalem, man. Look at all these people that want to worship God in the temple. Let's go tell about the Jewish Messiah.
Philippine doesn't make the cut and yet that's where the Lord says go. And so if the Lord were to call Red Hills to start a church in a place where there aren't any Christians yet. Guess what exactly where you want to start a church? If the Lord calls us to start a church in a place where there already are Christians, guess what? That's exactly where you want to start a church. You want to go where the Holy Spirit leads whether he needs you to be spiritually open place or place that seems to have nothing going on spiritually. Because the amazing thing is even in those spiritually closed places even those place where it doesn't seem like much is happening. God can do some incredible things because no matter what the place God has sprinkled. spiritually open people everywhere people who are willing to talk about the gospel. That's what we see in verses 14 and 15. So they go out to this prayer meeting, right the only place where people who are worshiping God are gathered. They go out there to tell me about Jesus. And so they sat down and spoke with the women would come there one who hurt this was a woman named Lydia from the cities of thyatira a seller of purple Goods who is a worshipper of God the Lord opened her heart to pay attention to what was said by Paul and after she was baptized and her household as well. She urges saying if you would judge me faithful to the Lord come to my house and stay and she prevailed upon what's the reason we can follow the holy spirit's lead, even if he takes us to a place that looks like that does not make sense. Even if he takes us to a place that doesn't look like the place where Christians hang out. The reason we follow is leaving is because when we get there, We'll probably find some spiritually open People some people who are willing to listen to what we have to say about the gospel. It's fascinating Jesus Paul's just following Jesus is model here Jesus in Luke 9, Luke 10 and Matthew 10 had the exact same thing to say he sent out the 12 disciples and then later he sent out 72 and each time. He sent out people to share the good news of the Kingdom. Here's what he told him interested e, If you find somebody willing to listen to you stay with them. If nobody's willing to listen you move on.
Church, that's what we're called to do to go outside of these walls dependent on the holy spirit for the we're trusting the Holy Spirit to lead us to the people who are open to the conversations. We want to have about the gospel. And then we trust him with the rest and if people listen to us great if they don't we move on. So let me ask you to consider something. Let me let me ask you to consider you've put a name on that board even praying for an opportunity to share the gospel with somebody. And then you get that opportunity to share the gospel.
And they say no, thanks. I'm not interested. Did you fail?
No. No, you did exactly what the Lord asked you to do. And now God has given you an opportunity to move on and share the gospel with somebody else continue praying for that person. Don't give up.
But don't see it as the only place where God might be working. If God calls us and we're praying together as a people and it seems very clear that he's leading us to plant a church in one town and we go there and we try really hard and we're sharing the gospel we're engaging the community and we're we're doing the work that you know, we know he's called us to but nothing happens. Did we fail? No. No. We went we shared the gospel. We trusted the Holy Spirit to do the work and if he doesn't we move on. This is the incredible thing about when you trust the spirit to guide you outside the walls. It's no longer about you. It's no longer about success in your eyes, right Paul shows up in Phillipi, right? He's had a vision. This is like Monumental event. This is not an everyday occurrence for Paul to God. So clearly direct him in one spot or another and yet he gets there. He's in town for a few days and he's like there is nothing happening here.
But he stays because he meets Lydia and Lydia receives the gospel and and the people in Lydia's house receive the Gospel.
And work is a happening there because they found the spiritually open people that God was leading into now. It seems kind of
disappointing go back two verse six looking for 6. The spirit said don't preach the gospel in Asia. How big is Asia? How many people are in Asia?
Man, that's where you want to take the gospel, right? That's where all the people are. No, don't do that. I want you to go to Phillipi. Okay, so we've downgraded from the whole like continent To a town. Okay. Well, I'll preach the gospel in town. There's nobody here that wants to listen. There's one family.
Is it disappointing?
Play Billy Graham how many you know, who Billy Graham is? This is like Billy Graham running out the stadium doing all the run up to the Crusade.
And like me and two of my buddies show up.
There's some disappointment there. The numbers just aren't there cuz like I had to come to Christ.
But it's enough because you know what happens from that one family unit. How many I've ever read the book of Philippians?
That one family unit aren't the only people to get saved. Eventually, there's a church in Phillipi. There's a church that Paul loves so much that he writes a 4 chapter. Thank you notes to them. Like for some of us particularly those younger in the crowd like riding more than a sentence is kind of rough. Call has a relationship with the church at Phillipi the he's like four chapters. Here's my thank you notes. He loves this church. This church doesn't happen. If Lydia doesn't come to Faith. Lydia doesn't come to Faith if Paul doesn't obey the spirit and go to her. He goes he finds a spiritually open person we go out. We look for the spiritually open person. We said that's where God's going to work.
And when we're staying in an area because we found a spiritually open person will have opportunities to engage even those who are spiritually opposed to us. Look at what happens next. Vs16 as we were going to the place of prayer. They still don't have a building Lydia got saved but they still don't have a building there still meeting outside down by the river. How many of you would have showed up to church this morning?
If we didn't have heat how many of you would have showed up to church this morning if we said, you know what we're to have church out by Coal Creek at the mouth of the canyon. Just saying food for thought as we were going to the place of prayer. We were met by a slave girl who had a spirit of divination and brought her owners much gamevice fortune-telling. She followed Paul and as trying out these men are Servants of the most high God who Proclaim to you the way of salvation. I almost second. How do you think she's proclaiming this? How do you think she sang this?
It's really hard when you're reading something to get the tone. I don't think her tone is one of approval. She's possessed by an evil spirit. She's following them around saying these men are proclaiming due to the way of Salvation. I don't think she's doing it as a way of gathering people to them. I think there's a note of sarcasm here. I think there's a note of ridicule here where she sings look at these idiots. Yeah, you should definitely listen to them because they sure know what they're got going on there following a crucified God. dummies That's the tone. I see her using and as Lucas riding to see he says he says so this around and saying this and she kept doing this for many days. Paul having become greatly annoyed.
I love the fact that Jesus is the hero of the Bible. Paul's not the hero of the Bible Paul's just like you and me. He is so fed up with this. He turned around it like be gone evil spirit. When you think of motivations for setting somebody free from evil spirit when you think of motivations for sharing the gospel with someone don't overlook annoyance. Don't overlook the fact that you just might be so fed up with somebody here, like look you need Jesus. Because that's what Paul gets do you get this? What where he's like, this woman is opposing the work. She's shouting us down. She's making us an object of ridicule. He turns around greatly annoyed and says, What is he say I command you in the name of Jesus Christ come out of her and it came out that very hour.
Paul is focusing on the spiritually open People many days. It says this woman followed him around Paul was ministering to those were spiritually open. Here's this woman spiritually opposed to the work that Paul is doing and Paul even has an opportunity to engage her. Yes, even though he was motivated by little bit of frustration. He has an opportune gave somebody who would nobody would think this woman ever going to get saved. Nobody would think that she was ever going to come to Faith recognize this as we're doing work in Enterprise or New Harmony or wherever the Lord leads us. We're going to be working with those who are open to the gospel. But we're going to be looking for opportunities to engage those who are opposed to the gospel as well as those who ridicule the work that we're doing. We're looking for opportunities to demonstrate the love of Christ. Maybe we could tone down the annoyance just a little bit if that's all right guys, when we do this, even those who are spiritually opposed to the gospel the same thing when you're thinking about the names that you're praying for when you think about the people you want to recognize that God may open doors for you to share with somebody that you didn't even see coming. Some of you didn't think was ever going to be willing to hear somebody who looks nothing like you somebody smells nothing like you write somebody from a totally different way of life than you you may have an opportunity of the Gospel don't despise that look for that. That's how the Holy Spirit works the Holy Spirit guides us where we're supposed to go. Even if it makes no sense to be there. He gives us Troop C open people, but he also gives us opportunities to engage people who are spiritually opposed to us. k but when we engage those who are spiritually opposed to us, we need to be prepared for the inevitable results and that's what comes next. First 19 but when her owner saw that their hope of gain was gone They seized Paul and Silas and drag them into the marketplace before the rulers and when they had brought them to the magistrate, they said these men are Jews and they are disturbing our city. They Advocate Customs that are not lawful for us as Romans to accept her practice the crowd joined and attacking them and the magistrate store the garments off them and gave orders to beat them with rods when they did flicted many blows on them. They threw them into prison or during the Jailer to keep them safely having received this order he put them in the inner prison and fastened their feet in the stocks. Manchester bomber and that's putting it mildly. They were just I told them to do they went where God said to go. They found the spiritually open people just like Jesus said to do they were sharing the gospel there. They even had success in reaching some people who are spiritually opposed to them and now they're facing jail time after having been beaten in an act of mob violence.
Did God abandon them at this crucial juncture?
No. God's not done working. And here's the truth of the matter if we are faithful to go outside these walls. If you are faithful to share the gospel with your neighbor your coworker your friend your fam. If you're faithful to go outside these walls if we is a church or faithful to take the Gulf side these walls to a community that does not have an Evangelical presence in it. If we're faithful to go outside these walls. We're no longer in safe territory.
We ought to expect to face hardships sacrifice persecution. This should be our expectation. not our fear And yet so often when we as Christians go out, we're like well, I'll share the gospel so long as it doesn't cost me anything. Yeah, I think it's great that Red Hills will be all about planting a new church. We don't want to let it cost us anything. So I'm going to tell you today if we as a church are faithful to what the Holy Spirit calls us to do and if we are faithful to go outside these walls.
It will be difficult. We will face hardship. It will cost us a ton of money. It will cost us leaders. It will cost us people in this body who we love fellowshipping week-by-week who working send out to be a part of a new church. It's going to cost some of you selling your house and moving to another community. It's going to cost some of you changing your job. To be able to have an inroad into a new place. I don't want to pretend that this is not a difficult thing. But I do want us to remember it's worth it. Right Paul and his companions are jailed Paul and Silas get thrown into prison. They get strung up in the stocks. And this isn't like the stocks like the American stocks. You know, he got the Town Square and then you put your hands through in your head through and people throw tomatoes at you. That's not a Roman stock Roman stock is your chain by the ankle your lifted up to where you're almost vertical barely resting your shoulders on the ground against the wall. But at least nobody's throwing Tomatoes at you. So hey bonus, right? This is not a pleasant place for them to be in.
And yet they don't lose heart. So when we go outside the walls and persecution inevitably comes and hardship comes and it cost us a great deal to do it. remember this when we Face hardship persecution etcetera
We don't lose heart. We should be like Paul and Silas look at verse 25 and about midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God.
All right, so we could identify with Paul cuz he got mad at the lady who was heckling him. How many of you first response you just got beat strip naked run through town by a mob strung up by your ankles in the deepest darkest dank as part of the prison. Everything flows downhill. I'll let you feel any image.
First Response, you know what let's pray and praise the Lord.
Why were Paul and Silas willing to praise the Lord they went outside the walls and also their inside some walls. What happened God we were here doing your work. And now you may recognize God must have something else in mind. Look when we go outside the walls, we will face difficulty will face hardship. We will face persecution, but we don't lose heart in the midst of those things. We can praise and we can pray because of what God does when we go outside the walls when we stay faithful we will reap fruit in unexpected places. I want you to read the rest of this with me. Midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God and the prisoners were listening to them and suddenly there was a great earthquake so that the foundations of the prison was shaking and immediately all the doors were opened and everyone's Bonds were unfasten. When did Jailer woke and saw the prison doors were open he drew his sword was about to kill himself. Now, I need to stop there and explain some of the history here. Roman jailers were often retired military men. They would be given a prison as a means of supporting themselves in their retirement. So this guy is probably battle-hardened Roman veteran, but to make sure they didn't relax in their retirement. The penalty if a prisoner escaped was death for the jailer. So when the Jailer wakes up and the doors are all open in the jackals are all in done. His first thought is they all escaped. I'm a dead man. Anyways, I'm going out on my own terms.
So you draw the sword is about to kill himself supposing that the prisoners escaped All Cried with a loud voice. Do not harm yourself for we are all here and the Jailer called for lights and rushed in and trembling with fear. He fell down before Paul and Silas. Then he brought them out and said sirs what must I do to be saved. You know that question tells me.
Paul and Silas in there praying in their singing they've been sharing the gospel. Dad planted the seed in this jailers mine and he probably wrote it off as these guys are just cuc's these guys are nuts. But then all of a sudden he sees the power of God at work and he recognizes the gospel. They were singing about the power of the god they were singing about it's all true. It's all real sirs. What must I do to be saved and they said believe in the Lord Jesus and you will be saved you and your household and they went and they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all who are his house and he took them the same hours a night and wash their wounds and he was baptized at once he and all his family then he brought them into his house and that food before him and he rejoiced along with his entire household that he had believed in God. look when we go outside the walls. Will see God Rays fruit and totally unexpected places through totally unexpected means Paul and Silas, but they knew God could do something like that anyways, so they prayed and they praised and God did it and a Jailer and his whole family came to trust Christ. They got baptized and they Rejoice because they knew God this war hardens cynical old Roman veteran who was just about to kill himself a few hours earlier is praising God for the gospel. Church when we go outside the walls we get a good idea. We think I'll we're going to go do this and we're going to do this and this is what's going to happen is going to happen on this time frame and it's going to just work out perfectly.
And God says no you're going to struggle you're going to have hardships is going to be difficult. It's going to be doggone near impossible and you're going to see fruit come from places. You never expected to see it. I want you to imagine something with me. If you've written a name and you've put it up on that board out there. I want you to close your eyes and I want you to imagine something with me. Imagine you get the opportunity. You get the chance to share the gospel with that person. And imagine that they hear what you're saying got a few questions, they ask their questions and they say, you know what? You're right. I've been trusting in things that don't matter. I've been imagining that life could fulfill me when all along I was looking for something Beyond this world. I want to accept Christ as my savior want you to imagine what that feels like. When you watch the holy spirit of God bring new life into your friend your co-worker your family member your spouse. I want you to imagine how you would feel in that moment.
To see transformation to see salvation. Would you rejoice like the Philippian Jailer that salvation could come would you rejoice you better believe it?
Now I want us to imagine something collectively. I want you to open your eyes. I want you to look around at the people in this room. If you're a guest of ours, this is weird I get that. But you need to know we're serious about obeying Jesus. We think that's why we exist as a church is to obey Jesus and so I'm asking the people who call Red Hills Home look around this morning.
Now I want you to imagine that you're not sitting in this building. I want you to imagine that you're sitting in a room.
in New Harmony
or rented space in Enterprise and the Gathering that you're seeing is not the same old same old people you see every week. But you're seeing new faces. People who never would have heard the gospel except that this church said, you know what we're going to do some crazy hard stuff and go make sure the gospel gets out there. You're looking at new believers who are worshiping God together for the first time.
What are you feeling right then? What do you thinking right then man? I can't believe we put that much money into this. Man, I can't believe that we had to send some of our best leaders out to this. That's not what you're thinking thinking praise the Lord. Look at what God did. There's five people 10 people 20 people who would not be worshiping with us in eternity. If it were not for the faithfulness of God to call his people to go.
Let's keep our eye on the prize. And it's not that Red Hills would do some cool stuff. It's not that people would know that you're super spiritual. The prize is that Jesus Christ is glorified as king that his commands become our joy to fulfill. And that we welcome new brothers and sisters in disciples being made for the sake of the Kingdom. imagine that with me and then pray with me this Wednesday night and pray with me on Thursday morning. Pray with me tomorrow morning. Pray with me Tuesday pray that God would lead us outside these walls so that we could see things like this Paul goes to Phillipi because it is not it's not the most logical place but he goes in and Lydia get saved and then we can assume the slave girl probably got saved to we can attend the Jailer get saved and there's a church and next thing, you know, this church is financing the church that just started out of the most unlikely circumstances financing the missionary Journeys that would reach the known world with the gospel.
Philip II is better known than Antioch. Antioxidant Paul and Silas Paul and Barnabas out Phillipi gets top billing. It's not about it's not about you. It's about God's work being accomplished in God's work is best accomplished outside these walls. Let's pray.