A Good Reason to Stand Trial (Acts 23:12-24:21)

What we believe about the future changes how we live today:

If you believe the stock market will crash, where will you keep your money? Under your mattress, not in the bank.

If you believe that this life is all there is, you’ll work to enjoy it all you can. You’ll work and enjoy the reputation you earn. You’ll travel and enjoy the experiences you have. You’ll care for your health so you can keep living life for as long as possible.

But what if you believe that there is more than just this life? 1 Corinthians 15:53 says, “For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality.” What if you believe that we will live again, either as forgiven sinners, clothed in perfect bodies, enjoying the holy presence of God forever, or as condemned sinners, suffering eternal punishment?

Yes, you’ll care about your life here. But you’ll live it differently because there is another life to come. You’ll invest in people and projects here, but they won’t be your treasure.

No, you’ll listen to Jesus, who said, “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.’ (Matthew 6:19-21).

What does it look like to live with your heart in heaven? We see an example of that here in Acts 23-24. Paul’s life is threatened and his is put on trial. But he says all this isn’t about him, but about Jesus’ resurrection from the dead.

If you face friction because you’re a believer, it should be because you live like someone who is going to live again, with God, forever. So, if believing in the resurrection was a crime, would you be found guilty? Where is your treasure?

The friction Paul faced is captured by three declarations:

  1. ‘We Promise to Kill Paul!’ (23:12-22)
  2. ‘There is No Reason to Kill Paul!’ (23:23-35), and
  3. ‘Jesus’ Resurrection is God’s Guarantee of Your Resurrection!’ (24:1-21)

Sunday 27th October 2019

Review questions:

  • Jesus said, “Lay up treasure in ____________________” (Matthew 6:20)
  • “This perishable body must put on ______________________” (1 Corinthians 15:53)
  • What was the plot against Paul (23:12-15)?
  • If I promise to break God’s law, must I keep the promise (Leviticus 5:4)? Yes/No
  • God uses ____________ people (23:16)
  • Christians not be considered a ______ to a society (23:29).
  • Paul: ‘I am a good _________ (24:11-13, 19), a loyal _________’ (24:14-18)
  • Who is Jesus (3:15, 4:12)?
  • Jesus’ resurrection proves God’s promise to give _________ an eternal ______________ existence with _______
  • A question I have:
  • A truth to share:
  • Something to pray about:
  • How I will change:

Published by Stephen McDonald

Christian, preacher, broadcaster

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