Blessed Witnesses to Save Samaria (Acts 8:4-8) 11/17/2019
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Blessed Witnesses to Save Samaria (Acts 8:4-8) 11/17/2019
Jesus told us that we would be witnesses in Samaria, to the ends of the earth, but what kind of place is Samaria?
Originally, Samaria was the capital of Israel after Israel split into North and South following King Solomon’s reign. Then, it was destroyed in B.C. 722 by Assyria, a nation that demolished the city and killed its men or took them as captives. Assyria brought captives over and had them marry Jewish women, and later when Israel was restored, the people of Samaria was looked down upon and persecuted for not being purely of Jewish descent.
Jesus went into this land first. In Luke 9, Jesus went to Samaria, but the people rejected him because he was going to Jerusalem. There are such times when we are rejected and persecuted for intending to save lives. In John 4, Jesus went into Samaria and gave the gospel to a woman that came to collect water. When he asked her for water, she was surprised that a Jewish man would talk to a Samaritan woman. There, he explained to her what living water of eternal life was. Today, the Lord is telling us to become such witnesses to save Samaria. If so, what does Samaria of this age signify? We must think about at least three healing missions.
- Individuals around us that are suffering.
1) There are many healing recipients around us. This is not only about struggles for basic necessities.
There are so many people that fall into substance abuse and addiction and suicide, full of hatred and anger toward people that result in murders (UCLA reports that within the past three months, nine students have passed away due to substance addictions and suicide, and a high school student had shot a friend on their birthday and then shot himself).
2) There are people like this near us. They may be among non-believers, or believers in the church.
They may be struggling from hidden scars, loneliness, anger, and despair as they cry out for help, but we may be oblivious to it. To put it in an extreme way, most of us may be in that kind of state as we near the end times. We just hide it well. What are we going to do? Are we going to separate people? Ignore them? Neither is what God wants (Luke 10’s Samaritan parable). If we act those ways, we will be deceived as well. You must be able to see at least three things and give them the answer.
① Their hidden scars.
Usually, they are scars from childhood. It may be from parents, other people, or public humiliation. At that time, if they do not receive the answer and healing within the gospel, it will undoubtedly turn into spiritual problems that they will not be able to handle (Isaiah 61:1). They may have been scarred by their parents. However, if you think about it in the gospel, every human being is a victim. We all grew up not knowing the gospel, with our background of idols and worldly standards. The parents themselves sometimes have similar scars from their own parents. Unbeknownst to them, those things are passed down. To free us from all of this, Christ took on curses and suffering in our stead (Romans 8:1-2), is with us now by the Holy Spirit, and is healing us one by one through the word and prayer that we hold onto.
② There are many that suffer because of the lack of assurance.
When problems come and the pain is overwhelming, we even question our salvation. However, the fact that we doubt or question our salvation means that we are saved. It is just that we must continue to change our imprints within the word and root down in faith in prayer. In the end times, there will be one deception after another. That is why we must “continue what we have learned and have become convinced of” (2 Timothy 3:13-15). You must personally meet them to help them through the word. If personalization, gospelization, and disciplization take place, that individual will be healed and stand as a disciple.
③ There are many believers in despair and resentment because their problems have not been answered.
If their problems are not solved even when they pray, they conclude that God does not exist or that He doesn’t listen to their prayers. Salvation itself is the answer of all answers, and the fact that He is inside you the moment you accepted Christ is the evidence of all evidences (1 John 5:11-12). If someone is lacking assurance, it may be necessary to have them accept Christ again. Sometimes, people do not realize that they are receiving answers either because they are not so bright, or their hearts have turned cold (Luke 17 Samaritan’s gratitude). The sure fact is that even if you do not see answers right now, if you wait, God will bring different or greater answers (Jeremiah 33:3). Try jotting down answers that you have received in your prayer journals. You will come to realize that you had been given so much that you have no choice but to give thanks.
- Regions around us that are full of darkness.
1) In the passage, deacon Phillip went into a region of Samaria, where many were demon possessed, diseased, or depressed at heart.
He proclaimed of only Christ and many were healed. There was great joy in the city.
2) When I pioneered this One Mind Church, I heard the voice of God telling me to go to Washington, D.C.
I have been praying and looking for God’s plan in the region of Berry Farm for a while. This is a piece of land that was given to the African Americans after the Civil War but had become filled with darkness. The housing prices are predicted to rise, but we must spiritually save the region. Please pray so that there may be established a regional church.
3) God has placed you as a watchman in your region. We are not here to merely make a living.
We are the Phillips of this age. The power of Christ that you hold onto and proclaim, the prayers that you pray for your region is what will change the spiritual flow of your area. There is a spiritual flow associated with all the crimes, depression, drugs, and violence that is going on.
- The nations are suffering in this age.
There are so many countries under curses, disasters, pain and darkness. These can be the sign of the end times.
1) First of all, the central and south Americas are in a critical state. These nations are the closest to the United States, and many refugees are fleeing here.
The Venezuelan refugees are under great hardships. Many students in Chile are dying while protesting. Bolivia’s president has resigned and went to exile. It is fundamentally because the Spanish armies and Catholicism had entered into these nations before the gospel had.
2) Many nations have and are suffering under communism.
The Churches of East Europe (Serbia, Bulgaria, etc) have crumbled, yet there are remnants and people that God has remained that are rising up. Hong Kong is facing crises and the children nof North Korea are in danger.
3) Islamic nations.
Refugees are fleeing from Bangladesh, Iraq, and Pakistan.
Conclusion – Discover the mission for your life. For that, God will give you everything. Do not be dismayed before hardships. Hold onto the mission of healing people like you. As Phillip was being chased out under persecution, he saved Samaria.