“Forgive and forget.” Or so we’re told. So often we believe that forgiving means forgetting. And, since forgetting about the sin and hurt someone has caused us is darn near impossible, we give up and assume we just can’t forgive. But biblical forgiveness is not forgetting!
So the first Sunday of March (the 6th), I tried something new with preaching… I had been scheduled to preach from Acts 15:36-16:5. As I studied the passage, I felt like God was telling me to do something a little different. Normally I would preach an exegetical-expository sermon, but this time I decided to try a first-person narrative. In my passage, Barnabas and Paul, the great missionary team, argue and split over whether or not to take John Mark along with them on their second missionary journey. Barnabas takes Mark and goes one way; Paul takes Silas and goes another.
No doubt Mark was pretty upset that they parted company over him. But, God had other plans for Mark. He brought Mark and Peter together, and they ended up in Rome, where many scholars believe Mark wrote the Gospel of Mark. He and Paul reconciled in Rome while Paul was imprisoned there, and according to the testimony of some early church fathers, Peter sent Mark to plant a church in Alexandria, Egypt. Mark was likely with both Peter and Paul when they were martyred, and eventually would himself be martyred for preaching the gospel.
What may have seemed like a failure in Mark’s life became an opportunity for God to move people around where He needed them to be so that Mark would be mentored by Peter and eventually write his Gospel. God took a mess and painted an amazing picture with it! In this first-person narrative of Mark’s life, I explore what Mark may have felt in the middle of the controversy, and how God’s resolution of the problem actually turned into a great victory for the Kingdom. I hope it’s helpful to you!
This message was delivered at Pontiac Bible Church.
Sermon delivered at Pontiac Bible Church on 5/3/2015.
Homosexuality has become an explosive and divisive issue in our society. Culture demands full acceptance and legitimization, claiming that homosexuals are born that way and have a right to live however they want. Conservative Christians are attacked as bigots and homophobes, and in response many congregations and denominations have redefined Scripture and what the Church has taught on this issue for thousands of years. But what does the Bible really say about homosexuality? And what should our response be? We’ll find out as we continue the Too Hot To Handle series.