Revival is here! It’s happening online, through phones and tablets. Revival can happen EVERYWHERE.
“Now those who were scattered because of the persecution that arose over Stephen traveled as far as Phoenicia and Cyprus and Antioch, speaking the word to no one except Jews. But there were some of them, men of Cyprus and Cyrene, who on coming to Antioch spoke to the Hellenists also, preaching the Lord Jesus. And the hand of the Lord was with them, and a great number who believed turned to the Lord. The report of this came to the ears of the church in Jerusalem, and they sent Barnabas to Antioch. When he came and saw the grace of God, he was glad, and he exhorted them all to remain faithful to the Lord with steadfast purpose, for he was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and of faith. And a great many people were added to the Lord. So Barnabas went to Tarsus to look for Saul, and when he had found him, he brought him to Antioch. For a whole year they met with the church and taught a great many people. And in Antioch the disciples were first called Christians.” Acts 11:19-26 ESV
The Church of Antioch. One of the greatest churches every started by people with no training. The pain of persecution caused believers to move out of Jerusalem into Antioch (and other parts of the known world).
What is the pain of this pandemic pushing you into that you normally wouldn’t have done? How is God causing you to come out of your comfort?
Jesus asked, “Who wants to follow me?” NOT “Who wants the title of Christian?” We often want a title for prestige or hierarchy, but Jesus solicited ACTION.
What actions can we take as believers right now to expand the Kingdom and take territory?
Sermon takeaways from today:
1) pain of persecution forced disciples out of Jerusalem into Antioch —what destiny is the pain of pandemic pushing you into fulfilling today?
2) Jesus never asked if people want to become Christians. He didn’t give a title, but an action—FOLLOW.
— Mike Signorelli (@mikesignorelli_) April 19, 2020
What is a Christian? Is it FANS or FOLLOWERS?
Multiplying the church in our culture = disciples. The spirit of God and the word of God and people are ALL that’s needed.
What is a Christian? The Biblical Definition
Since the Bible is the authority for the Christian faith, let’s see what it says about the word “Christian.” The word is only used 3 times in the New Testament and each instance is referring to the first “Christians” of the early church.
“So for a whole year Barnabas and Saul met with the church and taught great numbers of people. The disciples were called Christians first at Antioch” (Acts 11:26).
“Then Agrippa said to Paul, ‘Do you think that in such a short time you can persuade me to be a Christian?’” (Acts 26:28).
“However, if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name” (1 Peter 4:16).
WHAT ARE THEY LIKE?!
- They forgive.
- They are a river, not a reservoir. While everyone else is hoarding, they’re giving.
- They feel fear, but they don’t surrender to it.
- When they don’t know what to do, they receive information from the Word.
Jesus said that His true followers are those who have been “born again” by the Spirit of God. When a Jewish religious leader named Nicodemus came to talk with Jesus one night, he declared that God was with Jesus because of all the miraculous signs Jesus performed. Jesus had this penetrating response: “I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again. … Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit” (John 3:3, 6, NIV).
The phrase “born again” in Scripture literally means “to be born from above”–a spiritual rebirth. A Christian is a man, woman, or child who has experienced a spiritual new birth through the regenerating work of the Holy Spirit. That new birth is a gift of God, through Jesus Christ, given by the grace He freely offers to all.
Some believe you can be born into a faith. For example, a child born to Muslim parents is considered a Muslim by many people. A son or daughter born to a Jewish mother is typically considered to be Jewish, and someone born into a Christian family is often assumed to be a Christian. No one, however, is ever automatically a Christian by birth. To be a Christian, you must make a conscious choice to turn from your sins–that’s repentance–and by faith believe that Jesus is the Son of God, who loved us, paid the price of our sins on Calvary’s cross, shed His blood and died, was buried, and was raised to life on the third day.
How do we tell if it’s real in our lives? The Bible says, “We know that we have come to know him if we obey his commands. The man who says, ‘I know him,’ but does not do what he commands, … the truth is not in him” (1 John 2:3–4).
A Christian, then, is a person who is born again by the Spirit of God as he or she wholeheartedly trusts in Jesus Christ and seeks to follow Him in obedience.
Jesus never asked anyone “Will you be a Christian!” He asked people, “Will you follow me?”. Christian is a title but following is an action. We don’t want titles, we want movement!
I had a fun time going this interview —how we reinvent and recalibrate during crisis https://t.co/VlccPBqaJg
— Mike Signorelli (@mikesignorelli_) April 22, 2020