Sermon Prepared by James McCullen
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T H E  C H U R C H  S C A T T E R E D
B U T  T O G T H E R
Acts 8:1-12

(1)  Now Saul was consenting to his death. At that time a great persecution arose against the church which was at Jerusalem; and they were all scattered throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria, except the apostles.    {2} And devout men carried Stephen <to his burial>, and made great lamentation over him.   (3} As for Saul, he made havoc of the church, entering every house, and dragging off men and women, committing <them> to prison.    {4}  Therefore those who were scattered went everywhere preaching the word.    {5} Then Philip went down to the city of Samaria and preached Christ to them.     {6} And the multitudes with one accord heeded the things spoken by Philip, hearing and seeing the miracles which he did.    {7} For unclean spirits, crying with a loud voice, came out of many who were possessed; and many who were paralyzed and lame were healed.     {8} And there was great joy in that city.    {9} But there was a certain man called Simon, who previously practiced sorcery in the city and astonished the people of Samaria, claiming that he was someone great,     {10} to whom they all gave heed, from the least to the greatest, saying, "This man is the great power of God."   {11} And they heeded him because he had astonished them with his sorceries for a long time.    {12} But when they believed Philip as he preached the things concerning the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, both men and women were baptized.

INTRODUCTION:
 
 




I.    THE CHURCH PERSECUTED: v 1-4 


(1)  Now Saul was consenting to his death. At that time a great persecution arose against the church which was at Jerusalem; and they were all scattered throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria, except the apostles.    {2} And devout men carried Stephen <to his burial>, and made great lamentation over him.   (3} As for Saul, he made havoc of the church, entering every house, and dragging off men and women, committing <them> to prison.    {4}  Therefore those who were scattered went everywhere preaching the word.

1. Saul.
        a. He Consented: He gave full approval. He was pleased to do so.

Galatians 1:13-14
For you have heard of my former conduct in Judaism, how I persecuted the church of God beyond measure and <tried to> destroy it.    {14} And I advanced in Judaism beyond many of my contemporaries in my own nation, being more exceedingly zealous for the traditions of my fathers.

Philippians 3:4-6
though I also might have confidence in the flesh. If anyone else thinks he may have confidence in the flesh, I more so:    {5}  circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, <of> the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of the Hebrews; concerning the law, a Pharisee;    {6} concerning zeal, persecuting the church; concerning the righteousness which is in the law, blameless.

        b. Great persecution v 1b
                1) Paul was intending to destroy the Church.
 

2. Scattered v 1c
        a. All except the Apostles.
        b. The Home base had to be secure.
                1) During Desert Storm and before the Kuwait Leaders Fleed.
                        a) Makes a statement about Love for Country

2 Timothy 2:19
Nevertheless the solid foundation of God stands, having this seal:    "The Lord knows those who are His," and, "Let everyone who names the name of Christ depart from iniquity."

        c. They had become to much at ease.
                2) They were witnessing primarily in Jerusalem.

3. Stephen v 2
        a. The Devout carried him out.
        b. A Heros' burrial
        c. His witness was increased and honored.

4. Samaria.
        a. A dreaded place for one brought up in jewish culture.
        b. Commanded in the Great Commission.

ILLUSTRATION:
 
 
 

APPLICATION:
 
 

II.    THE CONGREGATION PREACHES v 4-5 


{4}  Therefore those who were scattered went everywhere preaching the word.    {5} Then Philip went down to the city of Samaria and preached Christ to them.

1. All who were scattered. a.signifacant to notice the Apostles were not scattered.
        a. Preached "EUAGGELIZOMOI" I share the good news.

2. Philip the deacon preacher.
        a. Proclaimed v 5
        b. First great evangelism event outside Jerusalem.
                1) Led by Laymen.
                2) First time the word evangelist is used it is use in reference to Philip not an Apostle.

Acts 21:8
On the next <day> we who were Paul's companions departed and came to Caesarea, and entered the house of Philip the evangelist, who was <one> of the seven, and stayed with him.

ILLUSTRATION:
 
 

APPLICATION:
 
 

III.    The City Rejoices.   v 6-12 


{6} And the multitudes with one accord heeded the things spoken by Philip, hearing and seeing the miracles which he did.    {7} For unclean spirits, crying with a loud voice, came out of many who were possessed; and many who were paralyzed and lame were healed.     {8} And there was great joy in that city.    {9} But there was a certain man called Simon, who previously practiced sorcery in the city and astonished the people of Samaria, claiming that he was someone great,     {10} to whom they all gave heed, from the least to the greatest, saying, "This man is the great power of God."   {11} And they heeded him because he had astonished them with his sorceries for a long time.    {12} But when they believed Philip as he preached the things concerning the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, both men and women were baptized.

1. Preach Christ v 5

2. People gave heard and heeded v 6

3. Possessed and Diseased Healed v 7

4. Professions of faith recorded v 12
 
 

ILLUSTRATION:
 
 
 
 
 

APPLICATION
 
 

IV.    The Contrast Between Magic and Christianity.   v 9-12 


{9} But there was a certain man called Simon, who previously practiced sorcery in the city and astonished the people of Samaria, claiming that he was someone great,     {10} to whom they all gave heed, from the least to the greatest, saying, "This man is the great power of God."   {11} And they heeded him because he had astonished them with his sorceries for a long time.    {12} But when they believed Philip as he preached the things concerning the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, both men and women were baptized.

1. Magic can not change lives

2. Magic can not bring Great Joy
        a. Happiness is related to happinings.
        b. Joy is related to the inner person.
        c. Sin are forgiven.
        d. Clean all over

3. Magic can not give deliverence from sin.

4. Magic can not compare to Christianity
 
 

ILLUSTRATION:
 
 
 

APPLICATION
 
 
 
 

CONCLUSION: