In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. John 1:1 NKJV
Back in a time when books were scarce, and only written by intellectuals and for intellectuals, two books, one actually a pamphlet, hit western civilization like a great tsunami, reaping devastation wherever they were felt. They were THE ORIGIN OF THE SPECIES by Charles Darwin in 1859, and THE COMMUNIST MANIFESTO, by Frederick Engels and Karl Marx in 1848. You can make a case that the ideas espoused there caused the bloodiest century the world has ever seen – the 20th – by far, and still cause great destruction and bloodshed today.
Ideas are the most powerful things in the universe.
If man is just an animal, as Darwin promoted, having ‘evolved,’ which is against all proven science, from some one cell creature, and related to a monkey, then you can justify abortion, you can justify genocide and ‘total war’ (i.e. war against civilian populations), you can justify slavery, homosexual barbarism and every other vicious treatment of man to man…because man is JUST an animal (the real eco-freaks advocate a 90% reduction in the human ‘species’ – that’s 6.3 billion people exterminated – to ‘save the planet’ – this is in their literature…again, ideas)!
…undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving, unmerciful; Rom 1:32 NKJV
Marx and Engels argued that individual rights and freedoms were superceded by collective rights, the ‘rights of the masses,’ and thus they developed the cursed doctrine of socialism – thanks guys! – that today holds over one billion people in slavery (see CHINA), and causes untold human suffering wherever (see VENEZUELA, CUBA, and NORTH KOREA) it is tried. What a legacy of these three men!
You must understand the power of ideas, especially ones that are specifically focused and prepared for the right target audience, and delivered in the most advantageous way. The devil understands it – he had Marx, Engels and Darwin positioned quite well – the Holy Spirit understands it, and the people of God need to understand it.
For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. Rom 1:16-17 NKJV
Having said all this, there is one idea that is far greater than all others. The gospel of the resurrection of Jesus Christ, and all that it entails, is far and away the most powerful idea ever released upon the universe. The gospel changed the world, and it can do it again right now!
“These who have turned the world upside down have come here too.” Acts 17:6 NKJV
The impact of the idea of the gospel has been incredible wherever it is released. There is scientific evidence to prove that if you want a free and prosperous society, simply put an anointed missionary, not government controlled or religious, in a time machine and send him back one hundred years. Even unintentionally, the gospel will bring light to dark places and life to the dead. The fruit of the gospel, the blossoming of the greatest idea ever conceived, is everything you would expect it to be!
If you want light, and life, and freedom to prevail in society, there is only one answer – the ascendency of the idea of the gospel of the resurrection of Jesus Christ and all that it entails.
So the word of the Lord grew mightily and prevailed. Acts 19:20 NKJV
Now, how do we plant the idea of the gospel so that it bears the greatest fruit?
Douglas Mentze, one of my mentors in the art of preaching, said, “People will come from far and wide to watch a man burn!” What was he saying? Brother Mentze used to pack out the little Santiam Chapel every Sunday in our little town because people came to watch a man ‘burn,’ and feel the fire themselves. The disciples on the road to Emmaus said that their hearts burned within them when Jesus opened their understanding to the scriptures. Anointed preaching will produce ‘heartburn’, bless God forever!
“Is not My word like a fire?” says the Lord, “And like a hammer that breaks the rock in pieces? Jer 23:29 NKJV
The Word of God, the gospel of the resurrection of Jesus Christ, works everywhere, on everyone, in everything, all the time, with 100% integrity – it is the idea that holds the universe together, because it is backed by the Most High God. Test it out! You’ll find its true…
How do we introduce the idea of the gospel at work, in school, on social media, to children, to strangers and friends, to the rich and influential, to the poor and downtrodden, to young people having fun and old people crying in misery? If you truly believe that the idea of the gospel is the answer to everything – and if it isn’t, we are of all men most miserable – like I do, then you have to seek answers to that question.
…for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure. Phil 2:13 NKJV
The spirit of God is burning in you, or you wouldn’t have read this far into this message. Now, here is where the rubber meets the road. To bring the idea of the gospel into fruition, you have to trust that God is working in you, and then act. Some times you may need some explanation from the Lord, and confirmation before you act. Ananias did!
Now there was a certain disciple at Damascus named Ananias; and to him the Lord said in a vision, “Ananias.” And he said, “Here I am, Lord.” Acts 9:10 NKJV
If you understand the power of ideas, then you realize that this is one of the greatest moments in the history of the first century Church, and indeed of all Church history. Why was Ananias chosen to minister to the Apostle Paul? And, what would have happened if Ananias had refused this assignment? We all have assignments from the Lord that we can answer or refuse, and the fruit or consequences of our actions have long term effects, because the power of a right idea released at the right time is huge!
So the Lord said to him, “Arise and go to the street called Straight, and inquire at the house of Judas for one called Saul of Tarsus, for behold, he is praying. And in a vision he has seen a man named Ananias coming in and putting his hand on him, so that he might receive his sight.” Acts 9:11-12 NKJV
Paul would some day write the capstone to the Word of God, the seven Church epistles, the revelation of the Mystery, the Church – the POIEMA – the masterpiece of God. But before he could write the revelation, he had to experience the revelation. But suppose he left the house of Judas still blind and confused, without being filled with the Spirit, without being baptized, because Ananias didn’t minister to him? What kind of negative impact would that have had on him? This stuff happens all the time, dear ones. Suppose Ananias chose not to go? Decisions and actions have consequences.
Ananias had a problem. He seemed to think it was a good idea that Paul was blind and hobbled.
Then Ananias answered, “Lord, I have heard from many about this man, how much harm he has done to Your saints in Jerusalem. And here he has authority from the chief priests to bind all who call on Your name.” Acts 9:13-14 NKJV
One time I had a decision about making a trip that I really didn’t want to take. I finally decided to go, and my wife said, “I wonder what Jesus thinks about you making this trip?” Right then, I saw a picture in my spirit of Jesus’ face with tears of joy running down it. I said, “I think He is crying tears of joy.” Like this trip for Ananias, there were many miracles on that one.
The Lord reassured Ananias, like He did for me.
But the Lord said to him, “Go, for he is a chosen vessel of Mine to bear My name before Gentiles, kings, and the children of Israel. For I will show him how many things he must suffer for My name’s sake.” Acts 9:15-16 NKJV
Now, its honest to ask the question – why was Ananias chosen to minister to Saul, the future Apostle Paul?
And Ananias went his way and entered the house; and laying his hands on him he said, “Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you came, has sent me that you may receive your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” Immediately there fell from his eyes something like scales, and he received his sight at once; and he arose and was baptized. Acts 9:17-18 NKJV
One thing that stands out immediately is that Ananias showed no personal fear of Paul. Other believers were afraid of Paul. When he showed up in Jerusalem later as a believer, the born-again ones refused to fellowship with him. Ananias had an ‘attitude’ towards Paul, but no personal fear. Perfect, matured love casts out fear. If you want to help people with the gospel, your love has to be greater than your fear. You also must be someone who likes people, not just loves them.
Secondly, when Ananias ministered to Paul, he had to minister healing effectively, he had to deal with demons, because Paul had a few, he had to minister water baptism, and the baptism of the Holy Spirit. How many pastors today, let alone believers, are competent to minister all those services effectively?
Ananias had no fear, but rather mature love. Also, Ananias was competent in the operation of the gifts of the Spirit. That’s why Ananias got to minister to the future apostle.
To bring the idea of the gospel into fruition, you have to trust that God is working in you, and then act.
We need creative new ways to present the gospel. Whatever you enjoy, be it sports or knitting or camping or just taking a walk, if you’re in school or at home, working in a job or not, ask God to show you how to present the gospel to the people you encounter. Learn to ‘burn.’ Certainly become competent in all the gifts of the Spirit. Lightbearers can show you how! The gospel of the resurrection of our Lord is the most powerful thing in the universe. Let’s release it to bless everyone in our world. Love you!
Remember dear ones, we must be about our Father’s business!