TO SEEK TO SAVE THE LOST
In ancient times, there will be guards that stood on top of walls to warn the people inside if there was an incoming attack from a conquering nation. They are to watch diligently day and night towards the outside for any possible threats that may come their way so that there will be an advance warning for the people inside to prepare if such an attack were to come. If the watchmen did not do their job, then they will be held responsible for the outcome of the nation and would be in serious trouble if the nation were to survive the attack. If the watchman were to give a warning and no one were to listen to it, then he would be free from any and all punishment if the city were to be attacked because he did his job.
Christian’s are the watchmen for every generation. What is the threat that is coming? Jesus. How is Jesus a threat? Jesus is a threat to those who don’t know Him as Lord and Savior for when He comes back, there will be those who will join Him in heaven and there will be those who will have a less desirable fate in hell. We who are saved have a duty to proclaim that Christ is coming so that people to turn to Jesus and prepare themselves for His return by living in His ways!
A lot of times we as Christians fail to do our duty as watchmen because we either don’t want to look foolish or crazy but what is crazier than those things is when we could have done something to help change the destinies of the people around us but did not because we were embarrassed! We may make excuses in that people will not listen to us but our obedience to our calling is not determined by whether people listen or not but rather if we will be willing to obey or not. We have a duty to the Lord and to the people that are in our communities to proclaim Christ for if we don’t, we will find that their fate is on us so let us adopt the mentality that Paul had in today’s passage which was to see people saved no matter the time or cost it took to get there.
Christ is coming, let us warn the people!
NOTES ON THE TEXT
19 “Therefore, O King Agrippa, I was not disobedient to the heavenly vision, 20 but declared first to those in Damascus, then in Jerusalem and throughout all the region of Judea, and also to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, performing deeds in keeping with their repentance.
Paul told King Agrippa that he immediately obeyed the vision that came from God. The Lord’s intention is obedience to the vision or word that He gives His people. How do we obey a vision that involves the fact that He loves me? We obey that vision when we choose to believe in that vision for our lives and also to live a life realizing that His love is to never be forfeited for the sake lesser loves. I think at times that we may not so readily get visions in our lives is because we either don’t seek them or are not willing to obey them. To develop a desire to seek the lost, we must learn how to receive from God visions or revelations with the intent of obeying whatever it is and willing to spread it to whoever the Lord directs us to.
In Paul’s case, the vision that he received was the call to spread the Gospel to his own people and to the gentiles. The message that he received personally was also the message that he needed to spread to the people, which was:
Repent: change the way you think about God and sin
Turn to God (while turning away from sin)
Perform deeds that reflect that repentance.
This is not a fun message to hear because it challenges the way people live and to start aligning it with God’s. For most people this is not a natural thing to do and so we must pray for a supernatural encounter to shift the natural way of living to make a new natural where God is the center.
Regardless of outcome, we know by now through this Acts series that Paul is driven by the love for the Lord and love for people so that a hostile response to the Gospel is not His concern but that He just simply proclaimes it.
21 For this reason the Jews seized me in the temple and tried to kill me. 22 To this day I have had the help that comes from God, and so I stand here testifying both to small and great, saying nothing but what the prophets and Moses said would come to pass: 23 that the Christ must suffer and that, by being the first to rise from the dead, he would proclaim light both to our people and to the Gentiles.
This part of the passage tells us how we are to proclaim the message, who we proclaim the message, and what is the message we proclaim when seeking the lost to be saved.
To seek to save the lost, we must remember that our source of help and strength is from the Lord. To do the work of God requires the presence of God and thus when we proclaim the Gospel, we must first and always live in the Gospel.
For Paul and it should be for us is that anyone small or great is the audience, which means EVERYONE! We will definitely have certain types of people that we focus on, for instance, my target audience in my life right now is youth but that does not excuse me from not proclaiming the Gospel to anyone that comes along my path for the Gospel is meant for everyone!
Paul’s message is found in the scriptures of the prophets that proclaimed the Gospel hundreds of years ago before Christ even was on the earth as a man. As a christian, we must be grounded in the message of the Gospel that is displayed through God’s word (Bible). A Christian that does not know the word and refuses to learn the word is in danger of proclaiming their own story and their own gospel. WE MUST KNOW THE WORD!!!!!
27 King Agrippa, do you believe the prophets? I know that you believe.” 28 And Agrippa said to Paul, “In a short time would you persuade me to be a Christian?”[a] 29 And Paul said, “Whether short or long, I would to God that not only you but also all who hear me this day might become such as I am—except for these chains.”
Paul addresses the king and tells everyone that these events in regards to the life of Jesus was not done in a corner but is something that the whole region knew about. This tells us that what the church does must not be behind closed doors but be out there in the open for the world to see and interact with so how we live our lives is very important to the message that we proclaim. King Agrippa sarcastically asks Paul if he was going to have him be converted in this short encounter and Paul responds back by saying that whether it is short or long does not matter but the fact that he becomes saved in the end. Paul is not concerned by time for that is not up to him. All Paul cares about is for people to be saved. When we proclaim the message and seek to save the lost, it is tempting to get frustrated by the timing. We desire to see people saved and thus may get impatient when things are not happening immediately but the desire for people to be saved should not be time dependent for we are not the masters of timing but we must simply desire to see them saved and that posture will be comfortable whether it happens quickly or in a long time.