An Encouraging Word | TBN

An Encouraging Word

Watch An Encouraging Word
August 12, 2019
27:30

Don Wilton

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An Encouraging Word

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  • male announcer: We all can use some encouragement,
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  • and today we'll find it together through the Bible-based
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  • preaching of Dr. Don Wilton, here on "The Encouraging Word."
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  • Dr. Don Wilton: You need to be in Acts chapter 18.
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  • I wonder why Paul would've made this admission, why
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  • would he have said this to these people in Corinth
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  • and made staggering statements.
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  • This is what he said.
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  • He said to them, "I'm coming to you in weakness.
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  • I'm coming to you in fear.
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  • I'm coming to you trembling."
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  • Now, if I had cause today to stand up here and say to you,
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  • "Listen up, I want you to know something,
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  • that I'm speaking to you in weakness.
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  • I just don't feel like I'm capable of dealing with you.
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  • I'm coming to you trembling. I'm coming to you in fear.
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  • I'm afraid of something."
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  • Why would he have said that?
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  • Take a look at this map with me for a minute.
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  • On the second journey that Paul is taking, Paul set out
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  • from Athens where he just simply kept telling them,
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  • I mean, he just kept sharing, "God loves you.
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  • Jesus died for you."
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  • And it seems like from one town, to the next, to the next, to
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  • the next, he was just facing every kind of discouragement.
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  • You feel like that sometimes? Someone discouraged today?
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  • And so, he walked, by the way, and it's exactly 53 miles
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  • from Athens to Corinth.
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  • Do you see Corinth right there?
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  • Corinth is an amazing city, and it's a strategic city.
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  • This is the Peloponnesian Peninsula.
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  • See this little island here?
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  • That's called the Peloponnesian Peninsula.
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  • It's an island and it's joined over here.
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  • Even today, it's joined here by a canal, a little waterway.
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  • Back we can only imagine in Paul's time on the isthmus.
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  • It was called the Isthmus of Corinth right here.
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  • This little connector between this peninsula,
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  • which is huge and wonderfully beautiful, with
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  • towering cliffs and waterways all along the area here.
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  • It connected this peninsula to the mainland
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  • of Greece and of Macedonia.
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  • So, Corinth was a cosmopolitan city of very high significance.
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  • Now, why did I use the word "cosmopolitan"?
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  • What does that mean?
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  • Well, cosmopolitan, in terms of a city, means it was a fusion,
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  • a mixture of every kind of person you could imagine.
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  • So, for example, there were many thousands of sailors
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  • that came to Corinth because of the waterways.
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  • By the way, if you sailed around the peninsula, that
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  • is 200 miles to sail around it.
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  • Two hundred miles.
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  • So, Corinth was filled with sailors getting off boats.
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  • And to all of you that have been sailors, I love you very much,
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  • but some sailors can be some rough customers.
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  • Can we just leave it at that?
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  • Especially when they were on sailboats back in the old days
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  • and they would get off at ports like this.
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  • These were some--let's get onto the next subject.
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  • So, there were a lot of vendors, marketplace, commercial center,
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  • a lot of government people would come in here
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  • because it was very important.
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  • This was the seat of the Greek government as it was
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  • known because of the acropolis and the Areopagus there.
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  • And many of the government officials
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  • would go down to Corinth.
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  • And I'm sorry to tell you this, Corinth
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  • was a very debauched city.
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  • Now, here's the reason why. They had an acropolis as well.
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  • You remember in Athens, there's an acropolis.
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  • I described it like just this big ol' rock, huge, massive.
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  • It's the centerpiece in Athens.
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  • You look at it every time you go there and
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  • you climb it every time.
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  • And Mars Hill is at the base of the acropolis.
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  • Well, they had an acropolis as well, and when Paul arrives here
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  • in Corinth, what happened to him before he got there?
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  • He got thrown out of that city. He got thrown out of that town.
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  • He went a rough sea into Athens.
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  • He got slammed by the epicureans and the stoics.
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  • He got let down. He got badly treated.
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  • And finally, he goes 53 miles to boot, walks it, which is a long
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  • way, and he arrives in the city of debauchery, in
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  • the city of Corinth, where even government officials
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  • are making special trips over there.
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  • They are engaged in every kind of unethical, unholy,
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  • and ungodly behavior.
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  • And here arrives the preacher,
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  • "I'd like to tell you about Jesus."
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  • So, when he wrote back to them some years alter, he said to
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  • them, "I just want you to know, when I arrived in your presence,
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  • I arrived in fear and trembling, in weakness.
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  • I realized the only thing that mattered was that I needed
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  • to just stick to Jesus Christ and him crucified.
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  • And I wanted you to know in the final analysis that everything
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  • that you know, and everything that you are,
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  • and everything that you ever will become is dependent
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  • only on God and not on man, not on people."
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  • He was saying, "Listen, in the context of all this,
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  • I'm running up against the businesses in this community.
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  • I'm running up the government.
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  • I'm running into the pocketbooks of people.
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  • I'm dealing with sailors.
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  • I'm taking--this thing is seen as a threat.
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  • Everything I'm gonna do, even to this massive temple that's been
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  • erected, to all this Pagan worship, when I talk about
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  • Jesus Christ, I want you to know, I need--I'm just
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  • running headlong into the world for which Christ died.
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  • I save to know nothing among you accepting Jesus Christ
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  • and him crucified."
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  • So, my friends, what was it that provided Paul
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  • with encouragement?
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  • How did he remain encouraged?
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  • And God just showed me, as I began to study this,
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  • five wonderful things that were of such encouragement to Paul.
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  • I just wanna share them with you, right here in this text.
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  • Let's read, chapter 18.
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  • It's gonna make sense to you now.
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  • This is what happened.
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  • Chapter 18, verse 1, "After this Paul left Athens and
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  • he went to Corinth.
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  • And there he found a Jew named Aquila, a native of Pontus,
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  • recently come from Italy and his wife Priscilla, whom Claudius
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  • had commanded all the Jews to leave Rome.
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  • And he went to see them, and because he was of the same trade
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  • he stayed with them and worked for them,
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  • for they were tentmakers by trade.
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  • And he reasoned in the synagogue every Sabbath,
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  • and tried to persuade both Jews and Greeks.
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  • Now when Silas and Timothy arrived from Macedonia,
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  • Paul was occupied with the Word, testifying to the Jews
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  • that Jesus was the Christ.
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  • And when they opposed and reviled him,
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  • he shook out his garments and he said to them,
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  • 'Your blood will be on your own heads!
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  • For I am innocent.
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  • From now on I will go to the Gentiles.'
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  • And he left there and he went to the house of a man
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  • named Titius Justus, a worshiper of God.
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  • And his house was next door to the synagogue.
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  • Crispus, the ruler of the synagogue, believed in the Lord,
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  • together with his whole household.
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  • And many of the Corinthians hearing Paul
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  • believed and were baptized.
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  • And the Lord said to Paul one night in a vision,
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  • 'Don't be afraid, but go on speaking, do not be silent,
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  • for I am with you, and no one will attack you
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  • to harm you, for I have many in this city who are my people.'
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  • And he stayed a year and six months,
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  • teaching the Word of God among them."
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  • I'm gonna stop right there.
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  • Just watch these five points of encouragement.
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  • After all of this and in the context in which he
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  • found himself, how did Paul remain encouraged?
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  • Number one, he had great friends.
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  • I'm looking at them.
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  • There's so much to say about Priscilla and Aquila.
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  • They were precious people.
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  • A whole book can be written about them.
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  • In Romans chapter 16, Paul reminds us that they
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  • even did everything they could to defend him in Rome
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  • and prevent him from being executed.
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  • Later on, we're gonna see they even accompanied him
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  • when he left Corinth and went across the Ephesus briefly.
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  • They pop up from time to time.
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  • We know they were part of the fabric of founding the church.
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  • They were the fabric of the church, these friends.
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  • He went to their home. They provided for his means.
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  • They helped him. He joined in with them.
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  • They said, "Come on, you can participate here because we know
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  • that you've gotta live as well and we wanna be part of that.
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  • We wanna help make possible for you to be able to do what
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  • God is telling you to do."
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  • What you find in church, people from time to time may wonder,
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  • why go to church?
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  • Why become part of a local group of believers?
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  • Because it's right there you're going to find 2 a.m. friends.
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  • I promise you, just give it a couple of weeks.
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  • You'll start making friends for a lifetime.
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  • And friendship matters.
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  • Friends are very precious commodities.
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  • I'm just speaking as one individual, but Karen
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  • and I look out across the sea of people and we count you
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  • as our dearest friends.
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  • This is not just a job.
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  • This is life that we live together.
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  • And friends celebrate.
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  • We celebrate children and grandchildren.
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  • We celebrate ups and we celebrate downs.
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  • We get alongside each other. We provide for one another.
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  • We offer a helping hand.
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  • We're there when we need it most.
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  • And at 2 o'clock in the morning, we know that when our hearts
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  • are heavy and broken, we know that we can go to our friends.
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  • That's what Paul was saying right
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  • in the midst of all of this.
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  • He had great friends.
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  • Number two, he stuck with the Word.
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  • I love this.
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  • In verse 5, the Bible says Paul was devoted.
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  • He was occupied with the Word of God.
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  • There's a relentless pursuit here after God's Word.
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  • Beloved people, I'm going to say something to us today.
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  • I'm gonna say this to America.
  • 00:14:57.060 --> 00:15:02.190
  • This Word is coming under more and more attack.
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  • There are more and more churches that don't even
  • 00:15:10.020 --> 00:15:15.010
  • hardly refer to it.
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  • Some are saying, "Well, this has just got some good ideas in it."
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  • There are more and more churches being built and
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  • founded upon what people think.
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  • We've got a lot of good ideas. We've got great ideas.
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  • We've got wonderful giftedness.
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  • But it all has to come from and go back into God's Word,
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  • beginning with our own salvation.
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  • And it's so very easy when you serve the Temple of Aphrodite,
  • 00:15:54.270 --> 00:16:03.110
  • and you believe that your right and your freedom is to do what
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  • you want, and love whoever you want to, and just operate.
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  • And as soon as you do that, you begin to diminish the authority
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  • of God's Word, even down to salvation.
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  • God is so clear that God so loved the world that he gave
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  • his only begotten Son, that whosoever believes
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  • in him will receive eternal life.
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  • It's about Jesus, not Jesus plus something.
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  • Nothing. It's only Jesus.
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  • And the Bible tells us how to get to Jesus
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  • and what the requirements are.
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  • God tells us that.
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  • God tells us how the church should function.
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  • God tells us about pastors, and ministers, and elders,
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  • and presbyters, and deacons, and teachers.
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  • And God tells us about families, and teaches us about love,
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  • and about life, and about meaning, and about purpose.
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  • This encouraging Word.
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  • And Paul remained encouraged, not just because he was around
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  • such great, godly, spiritual, fun-loving, real friends.
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  • He knew how to burn some chicken outside, and he knew
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  • what it was like to paddle a canoe, and to go
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  • to a good beach, and go and catch fish, and run around
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  • with grandkids, and one and at the same time, deal with hurt,
  • 00:17:59.270 --> 00:18:04.230
  • and pain, and suffering, and the trials and tribulations,
  • 00:18:04.240 --> 00:18:09.260
  • and the let downs, and the struggles of life.
  • 00:18:09.270 --> 00:18:15.010
  • But he was a man who, in that context,
  • 00:18:15.020 --> 00:18:17.210
  • stuck to the Word of God.
  • 00:18:17.220 --> 00:18:21.140
  • He never veered from God's Word.
  • 00:18:21.150 --> 00:18:25.060
  • He said, "This is the Word of the Living God."
  • 00:18:25.070 --> 00:18:28.050
  • And time without number, and even right here at the Temple of
  • 00:18:28.060 --> 00:18:32.160
  • Aphrodite in this cosmopolitan city, in this place where every
  • 00:18:32.170 --> 00:18:37.190
  • wind and every philosophy seemed to rule in its own right,
  • 00:18:37.200 --> 00:18:43.160
  • he stood up and he told them about the Word of God.
  • 00:18:43.170 --> 00:18:47.210
  • It's an amazing thing.
  • 00:18:47.220 --> 00:18:51.130
  • He had great friends, and he stuck with the Word,
  • 00:18:51.140 --> 00:18:53.200
  • and number three, he just kept on witnessing.
  • 00:18:53.210 --> 00:18:57.230
  • I love this second part in verse 5.
  • 00:18:57.240 --> 00:19:00.290
  • He said that he just continued to testify to the Jews
  • 00:19:01.000 --> 00:19:05.020
  • that Jesus was the Christ.
  • 00:19:05.030 --> 00:19:07.120
  • And we find this replete right throughout, not only in Corinth,
  • 00:19:07.130 --> 00:19:10.170
  • but at every place that this man walked, every place
  • 00:19:10.180 --> 00:19:14.150
  • that he stopped, every household that he was in.
  • 00:19:14.160 --> 00:19:17.180
  • He just kept talking about Jesus.
  • 00:19:17.190 --> 00:19:22.240
  • Just kept witnessing.
  • 00:19:22.250 --> 00:19:26.190
  • And there were those that opposed him.
  • 00:19:26.200 --> 00:19:29.200
  • There were those that out and out rejected him.
  • 00:19:29.210 --> 00:19:33.040
  • You know, it seems like every table we turn and every page we
  • 00:19:33.050 --> 00:19:38.070
  • turn, we find someone else has given their lives to Christ.
  • 00:19:38.080 --> 00:19:43.050
  • And the joy of seeing people coming to the knowledge of Jesus
  • 00:19:43.060 --> 00:19:47.060
  • Christ as Savior and Lord, and receiving the beautiful gift of
  • 00:19:47.070 --> 00:19:51.180
  • salvation, and being released from the burden of sin, being
  • 00:19:51.190 --> 00:19:56.080
  • set free, being given new purpose, and wholeness,
  • 00:19:56.090 --> 00:19:59.080
  • and joy, and peace in their life.
  • 00:19:59.090 --> 00:20:01.250
  • He just kept testifying.
  • 00:20:01.260 --> 00:20:06.060
  • Boy, I think Paul just was encouraged every time
  • 00:20:06.070 --> 00:20:10.030
  • he opened his mouth because he was sticking to the Word
  • 00:20:10.040 --> 00:20:13.250
  • and he was telling them about Jesus.
  • 00:20:13.260 --> 00:20:16.030
  • But number four, I think that he remained encouraged
  • 00:20:16.040 --> 00:20:20.050
  • because he met with God.
  • 00:20:20.060 --> 00:20:23.160
  • You know, this is such a great Word from verse 9 through 11.
  • 00:20:23.170 --> 00:20:26.250
  • We once again find Paul encountering
  • 00:20:26.260 --> 00:20:31.170
  • the Lord's presence.
  • 00:20:31.180 --> 00:20:33.160
  • The Lord said to Paul in a vision, "Don't be afraid,
  • 00:20:33.170 --> 00:20:36.260
  • but go on speaking.
  • 00:20:36.270 --> 00:20:38.090
  • Do not be silent."
  • 00:20:38.100 --> 00:20:41.250
  • You know, Paul said this to the church at Corinth
  • 00:20:41.260 --> 00:20:44.050
  • when he wrote the letter.
  • 00:20:44.060 --> 00:20:45.170
  • He said, "One thing I want you to know, I want you to become
  • 00:20:45.180 --> 00:20:49.030
  • absolutely convinced that what you hear is not coming from men.
  • 00:20:49.040 --> 00:20:56.230
  • It's coming from God."
  • 00:20:58.270 --> 00:21:03.000
  • And I think Paul was roundly encouraged in his heart,
  • 00:21:03.010 --> 00:21:08.100
  • in the midst of even Corinth, because he met with God.
  • 00:21:08.110 --> 00:21:14.260
  • Have you met with him? Did you meet with him today?
  • 00:21:14.270 --> 00:21:20.150
  • Are you meeting with him now?
  • 00:21:20.160 --> 00:21:23.130
  • And then there was one final thing.
  • 00:21:23.140 --> 00:21:26.000
  • I think that he remained encouraged
  • 00:21:26.010 --> 00:21:28.260
  • because he trusted God to do his work.
  • 00:21:28.270 --> 00:21:34.260
  • He just trusted God to do his work.
  • 00:21:34.270 --> 00:21:38.110
  • You know folks, there's a--I wanna tell you something today.
  • 00:21:38.120 --> 00:21:45.280
  • I want you to really get ahold of this.
  • 00:21:45.290 --> 00:21:51.100
  • We gather like this and we worship the Lord, and I mean,
  • 00:21:51.110 --> 00:21:57.170
  • what incredible praise and worship, and it's a brief time
  • 00:21:57.180 --> 00:22:03.290
  • if you think about it terms of a whole week.
  • 00:22:04.000 --> 00:22:07.280
  • And we're among friends, and we share the Word of God, and
  • 00:22:07.290 --> 00:22:11.200
  • we witness, and we stick to the Word, and do you know something?
  • 00:22:11.210 --> 00:22:15.130
  • Right now, I trust God to do his work.
  • 00:22:15.140 --> 00:22:22.280
  • I have no tension in that.
  • 00:22:24.230 --> 00:22:31.070
  • I'm just trusting God, because God loves you.
  • 00:22:31.080 --> 00:22:37.240
  • I cannot save you. I cannot forgive you.
  • 00:22:37.250 --> 00:22:41.220
  • I cannot make you.
  • 00:22:41.230 --> 00:22:44.270
  • You know, Steve and the team, come up and join me here.
  • 00:22:44.280 --> 00:22:49.250
  • God is speaking to you.
  • 00:22:49.260 --> 00:22:54.240
  • And when I say that, I trust him.
  • 00:22:54.250 --> 00:22:57.050
  • I don't say that in, like, "Well, okay God, I trust you."
  • 00:22:57.060 --> 00:23:01.110
  • I trust him because he's God.
  • 00:23:01.120 --> 00:23:05.240
  • I believe that God is working in your heart as
  • 00:23:05.250 --> 00:23:09.000
  • he works in my heart.
  • 00:23:09.010 --> 00:23:11.060
  • I believe God is speaking.
  • 00:23:11.070 --> 00:23:13.040
  • I believe the Lord Jesus Christ is being revealed.
  • 00:23:13.050 --> 00:23:17.000
  • I believe the Holy Spirit is convicting you of your sin.
  • 00:23:17.010 --> 00:23:21.190
  • And what I'm gonna do is I'm gonna invite you
  • 00:23:21.200 --> 00:23:23.270
  • to respond to that.
  • 00:23:23.280 --> 00:23:27.190
  • I'm gonna invite you to say yes to him, open your heart to him.
  • 00:23:27.200 --> 00:23:35.110
  • I'm gonna invite you to repent of your sin and
  • 00:23:37.110 --> 00:23:41.030
  • confess that sin to Jesus.
  • 00:23:41.040 --> 00:23:44.090
  • I wish I could tell you to go to your priest.
  • 00:23:44.100 --> 00:23:48.160
  • The Bible doesn't say that that's what you do.
  • 00:23:48.170 --> 00:23:53.090
  • That's nowhere in the Bible.
  • 00:23:53.100 --> 00:23:56.160
  • I wish I could tell you to come to me and share with me
  • 00:23:56.170 --> 00:24:02.150
  • your deepest sin, and that I wish I could say to you,
  • 00:24:02.160 --> 00:24:06.260
  • "You know what?
  • 00:24:06.270 --> 00:24:09.040
  • If you could just do the following three things."
  • 00:24:09.050 --> 00:24:12.130
  • But the Bible says that when you come to him
  • 00:24:12.140 --> 00:24:19.010
  • just as you are,
  • 00:24:19.020 --> 00:24:23.110
  • without one plea, no arguments,
  • 00:24:23.120 --> 00:24:30.220
  • open hands and an open heart,
  • 00:24:30.230 --> 00:24:33.260
  • because Christ Jesus died for you.
  • 00:24:33.270 --> 00:24:37.090
  • When you come without one plea to him,
  • 00:24:37.100 --> 00:24:44.230
  • he'll do what he said he'll do.
  • 00:24:44.240 --> 00:24:47.120
  • He will enter into your heart and life.
  • 00:24:47.130 --> 00:24:49.220
  • He will forgive you for your sin.
  • 00:24:49.230 --> 00:24:51.270
  • He'll write your name in the Lamb's Book of Life.
  • 00:24:51.280 --> 00:24:55.170
  • He'll set you free. You'll become a new person.
  • 00:24:55.180 --> 00:25:01.050
  • And if you've already given your life to Christ and you are like
  • 00:25:01.060 --> 00:25:04.210
  • so many of us over the years, and you've fallen, you've gone
  • 00:25:04.220 --> 00:25:11.090
  • far away from God, maybe your heart is in a foreign land,
  • 00:25:11.100 --> 00:25:18.120
  • maybe you're worshipping in the Temple of Aphrodite,
  • 00:25:18.130 --> 00:25:23.130
  • God loves you.
  • 00:25:23.140 --> 00:25:25.270
  • male: What a powerful message.
  • 00:25:29.010 --> 00:25:30.100
  • You know, sometimes instead of just hearing Dr. Don Wilton's
  • 00:25:30.110 --> 00:25:32.110
  • wonderful South African brogue, your hear the voice of God
  • 00:25:32.120 --> 00:25:34.280
  • challenging you to make a difference, to make a change.
  • 00:25:34.290 --> 00:25:37.110
  • If that's the case, start with saying yes to Jesus.
  • 00:25:37.120 --> 00:25:40.210
  • It's a simple prayer. You can even repeat it after me.
  • 00:25:40.220 --> 00:25:43.060
  • Lord God, I know I've messed up. We've all messed up.
  • 00:25:43.070 --> 00:25:46.210
  • But today, Lord, I understand you died for my sins.
  • 00:25:46.220 --> 00:25:50.050
  • I believe you died on the cross for me.
  • 00:25:50.060 --> 00:25:52.260
  • So Jesus, save me. Rescue me.
  • 00:25:52.270 --> 00:25:55.090
  • In your precious name I pray, amen.
  • 00:25:55.100 --> 00:25:57.210
  • The words are not the key thing, but if your heart is ready
  • 00:25:57.220 --> 00:25:59.290
  • to turn around, to turn away from where you've been and
  • 00:26:00.020 --> 00:26:02.180
  • turn ahead to Jesus Christ, today's the day.
  • 00:26:02.190 --> 00:26:05.000
  • Let us speak with you.
  • 00:26:05.010 --> 00:26:06.110
  • Let us put some resources in your hands
  • 00:26:06.120 --> 00:26:07.210
  • that'll help you grow.
  • 00:26:07.220 --> 00:26:09.010
  • Jot the number down on your screen.
  • 00:26:09.020 --> 00:26:10.140
  • IT's available 24 hours a day.
  • 00:26:10.150 --> 00:26:11.270
  • We'd love to pray with you, connect
  • 00:26:11.280 --> 00:26:13.070
  • you with great resources.
  • 00:26:13.080 --> 00:26:14.170
  • Just know we are here for you.
  • 00:26:14.180 --> 00:26:16.020
  • God is ready to change your life forever.
  • 00:26:16.030 --> 00:26:18.250
  • Don: Hello, my friends.
  • 00:26:19.280 --> 00:26:21.210
  • I want to speak to you personally today
  • 00:26:21.220 --> 00:26:24.010
  • from my heart to yours.
  • 00:26:24.020 --> 00:26:26.000
  • I don't think there is ever a better or more important
  • 00:26:26.010 --> 00:26:29.160
  • time for us to respond to our world
  • 00:26:29.170 --> 00:26:32.230
  • by standing up for righteousness.
  • 00:26:32.240 --> 00:26:35.070
  • Now, with this in mind I would like to invite you
  • 00:26:35.080 --> 00:26:38.280
  • to become an encourager ministry partner.
  • 00:26:38.290 --> 00:26:42.170
  • You see, together we can impact lives both now and
  • 00:26:42.180 --> 00:26:47.060
  • for all time and all eternity.
  • 00:26:47.070 --> 00:26:49.270
  • "The Encouraging Word" is a viewer- and listener-supported
  • 00:26:49.280 --> 00:26:53.210
  • ministry and to know that you are standing with me financially
  • 00:26:53.220 --> 00:26:58.190
  • enables me to move forward with confidence to do the work God
  • 00:26:58.200 --> 00:27:03.150
  • has called me to do, so please call the number on your screen
  • 00:27:03.160 --> 00:27:07.140
  • and just simply say, "I want to become an encourager."
  • 00:27:07.150 --> 00:27:11.280
  • Thank you so much for helping me.
  • 00:27:11.290 --> 00:27:14.240
  • 00:27:15.210 --> 00:27:25.160
  • 00:27:25.260 --> 00:27:27.190

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