Our Destiny Revealed (final sermon in the Building a Great Church Series)

Preached by Chris Adams, June 8, 2008

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God is building His Kingdom here in Syracuse . . . Spiritual Destiny USA!

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In Acts 1:8 Luke records Jesus’ encouragement to those faithful few disciples that they will be his witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth. His dream was God’s dream: that every man would turn and be healed of their sin and have an amazing relationship with his heavenly Father!

Jesus passes this dream on to his apostles and the book of Acts records how God carries them along by his Holy Spirit to live out this dream. Paul has a direct time of fellowship with Jesus and then you see him accepting God’s dream as his own. However, none of these men would see God’s dream become their destiny WITHOUT faith! Living faithfully amidst the testing and refining trials of persecution and suffering, allowed their hearts to be strengthened by God’s grace, not by their own strength or thoughts or spirit.

This is the strengthening we need: like Paul in Acts 27:21-26. He needed strengthening in that boat as he struggled to figure out why God would allow him literally to sink or swim! Verse 25 perhaps has the key to what we need in our faith: “for I have faith in God that it will happen just as he told me.” When you believe that what God’s Word says will happen, will actually happen . . . you obey!

We lack faith because we lack obedience. It is so encouraging to be reminded by Paul’s life that the story didn’t end in Acts 27 by storm or ship-wreck. God moved and Paul obeyed to see his destiny fulfilled by making it to Rome, the most influential city in that part of the world, to preach the gospel. And as he wrote the “prison epistle” to the Colossians from his Roman house-arrest, Paul was able to proclaim God’s victory, the result of his and many other’s ministry, to encourage the faith of his dear brothers and sisters, who were in the battle with him.
Colossians 1:21-23

Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior. But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation—if you continue in your faith, established and firm, not moved from the hope held out in the gospel. This is the gospel that you heard and that has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven, and of which I, Paul, have become a servant.

God has allowed for there to be a building project (called DestinyUSA) proclaimed from our very own Syracuse, New York that few would have ever dared to imagine, much less communicate publicly. Why would anyone attempt to build a 4.5 million square foot, 20 billion dollar complex with 1300 hotel rooms, an indoor aquarium, a water park, three golf courses and a 100 acre glass-enclosed indoor park with a 20 acre artificial lake in Syracuse?! They simply have the vision that millions of people will come!

What many fail to realize is that Syracuse can be an incredibly influential and powerful leading city in this region of the world. Syracuse is located within an 8-hour drive of 50% of the population of Canada and 40% of the population of the United States. Would you want to try to build this project in the Bronx? On Long Island?! Syracuse is the perfect centrally-located spot!

Ultimately, I believe God has a plan to use the disciples here in Syracuse to have an impact on the entire world. God said they will listen (Acts 28:28) and they will come; therefore we will preach and watch God reveal His spiritual Destiny in our lives . . . His Kingdom!

“Our Destiny Revealed” preached by Chris Adams
Sunday, June 8, 2008

Acts 1:8

Acts 9:15-16
• Paul called them to go before the Gentiles.
• God helps you to understand what your sin is.
• Paul’s destiny and dream was from God.
• The world was evangelized in one generation through suffering. (Colossians 1:23)
• It was amazing that God told Ananias this; He had a destiny all prepared for Paul before Paul ever knew it!
• You have to change the way that you view suffering.
• You have to see God’s view of suffering.
• Paul’s first missionary journey. (Acts 13-15)
• Paul’s second missionary journey. (Acts 16-18)
• Paul’s third missionary journey. (Acts 18-21)

Acts 21:17-21
• They figured out this Gentile/Jewish controversy.
• Paul came back to Jerusalem at a critical time.
• A lot of them had a lot of negative things to say to Paul.
• To evangelize means to share the good news or to boast about what God is doing in your ministry.
• Being sold out refers to giving all of your heart.
• Paul was sold out for the mission.
• The sold out discipling movement requires every single person being sold out to do what God has called everyone to do. (2 Timothy 2:2)
Question: What does being sold out mean to you?
Question: What does it mean being part of the sold out discipling movement?

Acts 21:27-32
• Paul dealt with this persecution.
• Deal with the persecution that is around you.
• Any of you who stand up for the truth will be persecuted. (2 Timothy 3:)
Question: When was the last time you were persecuted?
• Suffer for the gospel to be spread.
• Paul’s heart was to help people.

Acts 22:12-16
Question: How many times had Paul shared his testimony throughout the book of Acts?
• Paul was fired up.
• Paul was going to go and hear Jesus’ words.
• Paul did not give into his own fears.
• You see here that the Bible teaches that baptism is the way to be saved, to get your sins washed away!
Question: Isn’t it great to remember people being baptized? Most recently, Jim Rosato!
Question: Who is going to be next?
Question: Do you understand the heart to want to be like Priscilla and Aquila?

Acts 22:17-21
• Paul never forgot that he killed Christians.
• Paul bottled up all of the guilt.
• Paul was the leader of the church.
• The heart of forgiveness is key.
• The bitterness is the issue.
Question: Who is going to forgive?
• Bitterness, if it is not confessed and not repented of, will harden your heart.
• People will not accept the truth.
• You start seeing things completely different than what the Bible has to say.
Question: Do you have someone that you need to forgive?
• It is about your salvation.
Question: Are you distant from disciples?
• Sometimes you do not even realize that you are distant from disciples.
• Maybe you need to BE forgiven.

1. Evangelism brings suffering.
• Suffering brings evangelism.
• God has a destiny for everyone, but not everyone fulfills it.
• In order for those dreams to be fulfilled, you have to be faithful.
• You grow in your faith when you suffer and you are done with sin! (1 Peter 4:1)

Question: Don’t you want to be like Jesus today?
• Jesus was amazed by the Roman centurion’s faith. (Luke 7)
• You got to have faith, but it cannot come from a selfish heart.
• If you do not admit where your sin is, then you will never get anywhere.
• There is nothing more inspiring than putting your faith in God.
• Faith helps to produce work.
• Love helps to prompt labor.
• Hope helps to inspire endurance.

2. Evangelism brings kings.
Acts 24:1-7
• Paul was righteous.
• When you hear someone else being maligned, you have got to examine the fruit of the accuser.
Question: How are you assessing/examining/evaluating the fruit of your life and the lives of those criticizing leaders in our church?

Acts 24:24-26
• God made it so that Paul’s destiny would be fulfilled.
• God’s patience and unlimited kindness was great.
Question: Are you laying it out with your family?
• Your destiny is to lay out the message and point the way to the cross.

3. Evangelism brings adventure.
Acts 27:1-44
• Paul decided to play the Roman citizen card.
• God teaches you that He is sovereign.
• Your ethnic gene pool is created by God.
• Paul may not have even “qualified” as a true Israelite in some people’s eyes.
• God’s Will was being revealed, but here we see that Paul also struggled and lost hope.
• You may be in a situation where you are tempted to lose hope.
• Paul needed encouragement!

Acts 28:23-31
• You got to see your life as an adventure.
• Anywhere Paul went, he found disciples.
Question: Do you think that God was revealing Paul’s destiny?
Question: What did Paul teach about?
• Every Kingdom needs a king.
• Paul knew that every person needed to have the opportunity to make Jesus Lord of his or her life.
• You have to have that consistent faith; that makes your life an adventure.
• God wants to give you a great adventure!

Question: Has your life lost the adventure?
• You get tired spiritually. It’s called Promise Fatigue, when you hear something promised over and over, and yet you don’t see it come true in YOUR life!
• Get refreshed by the cross.
• He would be proud of people getting open about their lives.
• Do not let Satan’s lies and your sin(s) harden your heart.
Question: Do you believe that Jesus rose from the dead?
Question: Did you die to your sins?
• Challenge: You got to say that prayer.
• Let God refresh your heart.