THE CH__CH: is it worth it?


march 31, 2019

What do you think about when you think about the church

The Ch _ _ ch 

A movement of people on mission together for the world.

The Ch U R ch

Does it matter?

Now Stephen, a man full of God’s grace and power, performed great wonders and signs among the people.  Opposition arose… - Acts 6:8-9 NIV

against Moses

against God.

against this holy place

against the law. – Acts 6:11-13 NIV

All who were sitting in the Sanhedrin (“high council”) looked intently at Stephen, and they saw that his face was like the face of an angel. – Acts 6:15 NIV

Excerpts from Acts, Chapter 7:

high priest – “Are these charges true?” 

Brothers and fathers”…

our father Abraham – Mesopotamia, Harran

God’s promiseland

But… 400 years enslaved, mistreated

Abraham, father of Isaac

father of Jacob

father of twelve patriarchs – jealous of…


sold as a slave into Egypt.

God was with him

New Egyptian King,

oppressed our ancestors 

forcing newborn babies to die.


saved, raised, educated

killed Egyptian – fled to Midian for 40 years 

I am the God of your fathers – Abraham, Isaac, Jacob” 

back to Egypt – rescue – 40 years wilderness

Mount Sinai,

with our ancestors;

received living words to pass on to us.

ancestors refused & rejected him

their hearts turned back to Egypt.

forget Moses, make us gods we can see and follow” …

God turned away from them and gave them over to the worship of the sun, moon and stars. 


brought tabernacle of covenant law


a dwelling place for the God of Jacob.


built a house for him.

“However, the Most High does not live in houses made by human hands.

“Has not my hand made all these things?”

“You stiff-necked people! Your hearts and ears are still uncircumcised. You are just like your ancestors: You always resist the Holy Spirit! Was there ever a prophet your ancestors did not persecute? They even killed those who predicted the coming of the Righteous One. And now you have betrayed and murdered him— you who have received the law that was given through angels but have not obeyed it.”

When the members of the Sanhedrin heard this, they were furious and gnashed their teeth at him. But Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, looked up to heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. “Look,” he said, “I see heaven open and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.'“

At this they covered their ears and, yelling at the top of their voices, they all rushed at him, dragged him out of the city and began to stone him…

While they were stoning him, Stephen prayed, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” Then he fell on his knees and cried out, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them.” When he had said this, he fell asleep.

Why is this so important? 

Jesus is Lord.

What happened as a result?

The movement was multiplied.

That set off a terrific persecution of the church in Jerusalem. 

The believers were all scattered throughout Judea and Samaria…

Forced to leave home base, the followers of Jesus all became missionaries

Wherever they were scattered, they preached the Message about Jesus. – Acts 8:1-4 MSG

What does this mean for us? 

Beware of the people, places, and things of God.

Be a part of the people, places, and things of God.

What does this mean for us? 

Receive the message of Jesus.

Spread the message of Jesus.

The Message of Jesus 

He died.

He was buried.

He was raised to life.

He appeared to many.

Jesus is Lord.

The Message of Jesus 

You can have life.

You can be forgiven.

You can be free.

By confessing Jesus as your Lord.