Plugged in part 4


Early Church was on Fire – Turned their world upside down – Changed the World

A) Seen how the Fire Started


B) What they did to Fan the Fire


C) How they were led by the Spirit

1) DC talk consumed


Tonight we move into part 2 – Guarding the Fire

A) See it was only a few months after the early Church began –


B) The Enemy Launches an all out attack.


C) Saw Last time the Lord used Peter to heal a man who had been crippled  for 40 yrs

1) Many were excited – Praised God


D) Others were not happy because Peter gave the credit for the healing to Jesus


E) They began to threaten the believers in the early Church.

1) It was the start of decades and decades of persecution – where 6 million believers were martyred




2 Tim 3:12

Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution


Now here in America we don’t experience that type of Persecution – not to that degree/ not Yet

A) But do experience things like


          1) Job Discrimination

          2) Friends abandon

          3) Family Forsakes


B) High School kids – Family was Buddhist they wrote him off and out of the will.


C) But should the Lord tarry there is a good chance that we might encounter Persecution


Persecution is not something to be feared 


1) Persecution is a Blessing


Matt 5:11-12

"Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake.12 Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.


Reward in Heaven –


Unique Identification with Jesus

2) Persecution is a Purifier

A) Separation between the true and false believers


B) Russians guards

     1) Plastic vs real gold Bricks in the fire


3) Persecution reminds us of who we are and what the World is.

A) Satan is the god of this world – we live in a world that is hostile to Christ


B) Satan was hoping that the persecution would put out the fire – but it only grew

1) How did the early Church  deal with the Persecution


1) They prayed for Boldness



They didn’t pray for the persecution to stop – they prayed for the boldness and strength to get thru it

Acts 4:29-31

29 Now, Lord, look on their threats, and grant to Your servants that with all boldness they may speak Your word,30 by stretching out Your hand to heal, and that signs and wonders may be done through the name of Your holy Servant Jesus."

31 And when they had prayed, the place where they were assembled together was shaken; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spoke the word of God with boldness.



God answered their Prayers { Acts 7 Stephen Preaches a Sermon – Boldness

A) Result they were going to Kill him


Acts 7:54-60


When they heard these things they were cut to the heart, and they gnashed at him with their teeth.55 But he, being full of the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God,56 and said, "Look! I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God!"


57 Then they cried out with a loud voice, stopped their ears, and ran at him with one accord;58 and they cast him out of the city and stoned him. And the witnesses laid down their clothes at the feet of a young man named Saul.59 And they stoned Stephen as he was calling on God and saying, "Lord Jesus, receive my spirit."60 Then he knelt down and cried out with a loud voice,"Lord, do not charge them with this sin." And when he had said this, he fell asleep.


This would be the very thing that God would use to convert that young man named Saul


Satan’s plan Backfired – Power of a Conversion


Jim Elliot – Auca Indians “ I seek not a long life but a full one!”

People came to Jim questioned why he would risk his life to go to these savage villagers –


“He is no fool he gives up what He can not keep to gain what he cannot lose.”


Jim Elliot and his fellow missionaries lost their lives killed by those Indians


Elizabeth Elliot and the other wives went back – Whole tribe was led to the Lord –


Blown away that these women would want to share love and Christ to the people who killed their Husbands


Thru the gates of Splendor


Acts 9 Saul’s conversion – Hard to Kick against the Goads –



Later that Same Paul Acts 16:25


But at midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them.26 Suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken; and immediately all the doors were opened and everyone's chains were loosed.



27 And the keeper of the prison, awaking from sleep and seeing the prison doors open, supposing the prisoners had fled, drew his sword and was about to kill himself.28 But Paul called with a loud voice, saying, "Do yourself no harm, for we are all here."


29 Then he called for a light, ran in, and fell down trembling before Paul and Silas.30 And he brought them out and said,"Sirs, what must I do to be saved?"



Back to Ch.4


31 And when they had prayed, the place where they were assembled together was shaken; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spoke the word of God with boldness.


Re filled


Hang in there – He Hung in their for us!