SERIES: The Book of Acts
TEXT: Acts 8:1-8
MESSAGE: “The Gospel and the City”
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What was the mission of the early church?
“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” — Acts 1:8
What about the church today? 
“…the person who can most articulately describe what it means to be human, what’s gone wrong with the world, what will fulfill our deepest brokenness… our deepest longings, and what hope is there for the world…is the one who will win the world.  Christians for the most part have missed out on that.” – Jon Tyson
And so, what do we see in today’s text about what God has given us as believers? We have…
  1. A Response To Suffering (v. 1-3)
“And Saul approved of his execution. And there arose on that day a great persecution against the church in Jerusalem, and they were all scattered throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria, except the apostles. Devout men buried Stephen and made great lamentation over him. But Saul was ravaging the church, and entering house after house, he dragged off men and women and committed them to prison.”
“…in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect…” – 1 Peter 3:15
  1. A Message From God (v. 4-7)
Now those who were scattered went about preaching the word. Philip went down to the city of Samaria and proclaimed to them the Christ. And the crowds with one accord paid attention to what was being said by Philip, when they heard him and saw the signs that he did. For unclean spirits, crying out with a loud voice, came out of many who had them, and many who were paralyzed or lame were healed.”
“For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.” – 2 Timothy 4:3
 
“Now the Berean Jews were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.” — Acts 17:11
  1. A Church For Outsiders (v. 8)
“So there was much joy in that city.”
TAKEAWAYS: How can we be a church for the city?
* What’s your response to suffering?
“To be a Christian is to accept the discomfort of a way of life inspired and empowered by a cruel, rugged old cross, a symbol of scorn and degradation. Everything uncomfortable about Christianity begins with and returns to the cross.” – Brett McCracken (Book “Uncomfortable”) 
* Do you understand the gospel?
“…in all the Scripture there is not one condemning word spoken against a poor sinner stripped of self-righteousness…Let sin break your heart, but not your hope in the gospel.” – Thomas Wilcox
 
* Are you living on mission?
“And so Jesus also suffered outside the city gate to make the people holy through his own blood.” — Hebrews 13:12