Surviving An Attack
August 29, 2011
Everyone has thought about it. “How would I respond if I were attacked by a shark?”
But the truth is that all of us have been attacked at some point in our lives. While it may not be assaulted by an actual predator from the ocean, we have faced crisis situations where we needed desperately to escape.
In this message, Ed Young looks at a story of a biblical attack where Peter found himself in the middle of a full-on feeding frenzy. And as we see how God led Peter’s escape, we discover what it takes to not only survive an attack in our lives, but also what it takes to thrive after one.
Ed: Sharks are all behind the boat, I’m getting ready to jump in. Wow! Look at that shark right there. That is a monster!
Stuart: Any time we’ve had an incident with sharks, a negative incident with the sharks, it’s our own error. If you’re scared of the sharks just do this (covers his eyes). They’ll go away.
Ed: You know, a lot of people do that don’t they?
Stuart: Yeah, they close their eyes.
Ed: Part of life is living and swimming with the sharks. Shark bait! Shark bait! Shark bait! … Whoa! What hit my leg? Oh my gosh! The shark hit my leg! Do you ever feel like you’re surrounded by sharks? I do.
<end of video>
Wow, I almost got attacked, didn’t I? I almost got bitten by that shark. I’ve got a question for you. How do you come back after an attack? How do you come back after chunks and hunks are bitten out of your life.
Because let’s face it. All of us will get attacked by sharks. I’m not talking about in one of the oceans around the world, I’m talking about in life. Because bad things happen to good people. We’re going to get chewed up. We’re going to get gnawed on. Out of nowhere fins will be slicing through the water. And maybe, just maybe, you’re here and you’re like, OK, I’ve been attacked, and I’m being attacked in some sort of relationship. Maybe it’s a marriage. It could be a friendship. Maybe you’re attacked financially. Maybe you’re attack is in an area you would never articulate. We, however, live in a fallen and fallible place. Our world is jacked up, man. Bad things happen to good people.
T.S. Can you come back after an attack? How about the chunks and the hunks that have been taken from your life? Those wounds either define us or refine us. They either define us or they shape our lives. How do you come back after an attack? Is it possible to come back after an attack? Why do bad things happen to good people? When they happen to you and me, what do we do?
There are a couple of guys in the Bible that I want you to meet. These cats were very interesting. One of them was named Paul, you’ve heard of Paul. If you haven’t, Saint Paul, Paul, the guy who hated Christians, the guy who persecuted the church, the guy that had all these people killed. One day something shifted inside of his life that never shifted back. He had a pivot point situation. He opened his life to Christ, made Him the ruler of his life, and from that day forward Paul, this brilliant man, was never the same. Once he was persecuting the church and now he’s building the church.
There was another guy, Silas. He was a missionary as well, a Christ-follower as well. And these guys tenaciously followed the Lord. They wanted to go to one area of the world to spread the good news. Those doors were shut. Sometimes God shuts doors. Sometimes we have an opportunity here or a situation that looks like it’s playing out over there, and the doors are shut. But the Lord gave them a new direction. Say that with me… new direction.
Every time God gives us a new direction in our lives sharks show up. I will say it again. Every time we have a new direction in our lives, sharks show up.
Paul and Silas head to a place called Philippi. It was in Macedonia and it was called Little Rome. There were a number of Little Romes in this area, ruled by Romans. There were very few Jews there. Some of you know Paul was a Roman citizen. The people of Philippi didn’t know it.
Well, Silas and Paul meet this lady in the fashion industry, very wealthy. Her name was Lydia. Lydia opened her home to these missionaries, two followers of Christ. And not only did she open her home, her mansion, to them she also opened the mansion of her heart to them and to the message. She became a follower of Christ. So things are poppin’, man, in Philippi. They’re having a good time! Paul and Silas, missionaries. I mean, you can’t get better than that, right? These radical life-changing experiences, people are freaked out, and Paul and Silas had experienced such a life change.
All of a sudden, though, in this new direction a shark showed up. A little baby shark, you know? Paul was doing the right thing, so was Silas. <sound effect of Jaws soundtrack> When you hear the music get out of the water. This little girl, a little shark, a little distraction. This girl was a fortune teller, and if you study what the word fortune teller means in the original language, it’s the spirit of python, like the snake. It dates back to the time of Apollo, and it was a fortune-telling spirit. She was demonically oppressed. This girl began to yell at Paul and Silas. The Bible says they were following this new direction. Lydia, this fashion icon, had just given her heart to God, and now all of a sudden they’re going to pray and this little girl tries to distract them to get them off their game.
“Oh man! Paul and Silas! You’re serving the one and true God!” Yelling over and over. And after a couple of days Paul and Silas became irritated so they turned and they cast this evil spirit out of her life.
That didn’t go over too well because her owners were making a lot of money from this girl telling fortunes and doing all this crazy stuff. When they saw that they were very upset. Let’s face it. People get funny when you mess with their money. So you’ve got a new direction, right? They’re going this new way and now all of a sudden you have a new distraction, a little shark! Baby shark, boom-boom… yelling at Paul and Silas.
That’s so true in my life whenever God gives me a direction. Like for me, I’m going to set aside some minutes to pray, distractions happen when I start praying. Am I the only one? The phone will ring or the kids will come in, or the dog, something will happen. Distractions. I want to read maybe a text in the Scriptures, distractions trying to get me off of my game. Trying to get you off of your game.
It’s never easy to go to church, is it? Talk about distractions! I talk to so many people.
“Man, it was so difficult to get to church today!” Are these coincidences? No, no, no. I’m telling you, most of them will be that Baby Shark… boom-boom.. little sharks. Those little distractions. You go a new direction and I’m telling you you’ll face a new distraction. You go the way God wants you to go and sharks will show up.
So let’s read some. The book of Acts 16:19. “When the owners of the slave girl realized that their hope of making money was gone, they seized Paul (sounds like an attack) and Silas and dragged them into the marketplace to face the authorities. They brought them before the magistrates and said, ‘These men are Jews and they’re throwing our city into an uproar by advocating customs unlawful for us Romans to accept or practice.’”
And look at verse 22. “The crowd joined in the (say it with me) attack against Paul and Silas and the magistrates ordered them to be stripped and beaten.”
They played the race card: “These Jews.” Then they played the flash mob card: “They’re in the Macedonian mall causing all these flash mobs.” Then they played the religious card: “Man, they’re trying to jam customs and God down our throat.”
That wasn’t the deal! What was the deal? The deal was they had cast out the demon from the slave girl who was making them all of this money, and they lied about them and exaggerated, attacked them, drug them before the authorities, and everybody joined in on the attack. That was the situation. A new direction, a new distraction.
Paul and Silas. What were they about? They were simply about teaching and preaching the grace and the mercy and the forgiveness of Jesus. That’s the blood of Jesus. Jesus shed his blood for you and me. He took the licks that we deserved so we could know God and know him and understand his new direction for our lives. That’s the situation.
So when you’re about the blood of Jesus, when that is your life and your calling, when blood is in the water, sharks show up. Are you with me? Are you smelling what I’m stepping in? When you’re talking about the blood of forgiveness, of mercy and grace, sharks show up.
Illus: Fellowship Church has been going for 20 years. We started with 30 families in a little office complex. I always tell people if you want to understand Fellowship Church don’t take a snapshot of the church today. Five locations and doing work all over the world and a beautiful camp on 1,100 acres in east Texas, and blah-blah-blah. Don’t do that.
To understand Fellowship Church you’ve got to go back, I’m talking about back-back-back-back-back-back, Chris Berman back, back to 1990 at the MacArthur Commons office complex, about 6,000 square feet that we rented. Then you take picture after picture as we were in rented facilities for all those years, and finally we’re able to do this and the whole thing has just multiplied. So that’s the true picture and the true vibe of Fellowship Church. So be very, very careful when you just look at something, whether it be a business or a person, and judge the entity based on where they are today. Because where they are today, yeah is where they are, but also you’ve gotta realize what happened in this whole progression.
Every time God has done something awesome at Fellowship Church, every single time, God has moved in a significant way, every time. When we decided to go to satellites and have campuses in Miami and Dallas and Fort Worth and Plano. For example in that situation every time something great has happened sharks have shown up. I will say it again. Before every breakthrough at Fellowship Church, in 20 years, I can show you, sharks have shown up.
Your life is the same. I’m telling you. I will bet you cash money. Whenever there’s a breakthrough, whenever there’s an opportunity, whenever God wants to lead you somewhere, I promise you just check it out, when you get ready for that new direction there’s gonna be a new distraction in the form of a shark. You walk with God, you’re gonna face sharks.
Now even if you don’t walk with God you’re going to face sharks, but if you walk with God and face sharks the sharks will have meaning. If you don’t, I don’t know how somebody survives. I really don’t. chunks and hunks taken out of you. Blood’s in the water. You’re like, “Well, I guess it’s all about me. I guess I have to just get up enough courage to face those sharks.”
And after a while it’s not going to happen for you. You’re going to be in serious, serious trouble. You can go that way or go the other way where you’re going, “All right, God, I give you control of this situation. I understand that you didn’t cause the sharks but because we live in a jacked up world, sharks happen.”
God can give us meaning in our attacks. God never wants to waste a crisis in your life or mine. Never. He never wants us to waste one because he doesn’t, if we listen to him.
So shark attacks. Why do we sometimes face sharks here? Blood’s in the water. Why do you as a Christ-follower sometimes face sharks? Blood’s in the water. You’re about the blood of Jesus, the forgiving, cleansing blood of Jesus that sets people free.
That’d be a great time to clap. I’m not talking about a golf clap, no I’m talking about a real clap. OK, I thought for a second we were at the US Open. Yeah, we gotta clap, man! We see something or hear something that’s awesome like that, man that’s amazing because all of us have been attacked or will get attacked.
So this attack situation is happening. Paul and Silas you know are going, “Why me?” And then the Bible says they were beaten. The word beaten in the Latin is the word “lictors”. You hear the phrase, ‘taking your licks’; that’s where we get it from. Then they were beaten, chunks and hunks of flesh, blood flying everywhere, then they were thrown into the dungeon. Backs bleeding, feet fastened, their torso were stretched in excruciating pain. Paul and Silas… think about this. I’m talking Paul and Silas! Great people, men of God, anointed and appointed, and they’re getting attacked?
I’m telling you, attacks happen. You can’t get away from it, nor can I. We live in a fallen, fallible place. Sharks are in the water. What do you do? God doesn’t want you to waste an attack. He doesn’t want you to waste a crisis. What do you do?
An attack is either a setback, and you never come back from it, you’re defined by the attack for the rest of your life.
“Oh the attack happened in my childhood. Oh the attack happened in the business… or in the athletic world… the attack… the financial attack…” You’re just defined by it!
You’re either defined by it or you’re refined by it. You’re refined. You realize, wow, God didn’t cause it. But he has used it and wants to use it for his glory. So now those wounds don’t define me, they refine me. I am a better person. I have more commitment, more discipline. God has chipped away all of the junk to make me into this beautiful diamond, this beautiful image-bearer before him. Don’t waste a crisis. Don’t waste a crisis.
Paul and Silas thrown in the dungeon, man! Bad things happen to good people. Can they come back after this attack? Wow. You know, there was a religious festival I heard about in South America. They were selling all of these trinkets, all these religious trinkets, and one both had a little sign that said, “Cheap crosses sold here.” There’s no such thing as a cheap cross. It costs. It costs the blood of Jesus. Jesus took your licks and my licks on the cross, something that I don’t deserve and you don’t deserve. We don’t deserve it.
Paul and Silas understood that. They had been washed by the blood of Jesus. They were preaching the blood of Jesus, a new direction. The girl, Lydia, had been saved. Now the slave girl, the fortune-teller, had been saved. Now all of a sudden they’re thinking, OK, everything’s going great. They’re beaten to a pulp, in prison, but we’re getting ready to hear some Jailhouse Rock. If you’re over 50 you got that, yes, Jailhouse Rock. That’s right, I said it. A new direction, right? A new distraction. You go God’s direction, the enemy is going to try to distract you and me to get us off of our game. It happens individually and corporately.
Now, check out a new disposition. At midnight in the prison. Now check this out. There was a guy who ran the prison, the warden. He’s known as the Philippian jailer. If one person escaped he’d be killed. I mean, it’s not like it is today. I mean one person escaped, BOOM. On the spot, the dude was executed. So this Philippian jailer helped in this whole process of torturing them and wounding them, put them in stocks and torturing them, so forth and so on.
At about midnight (verse 25) Paul and Silas were praying. That is unbelievable. They’re praying?! I’d be praying. I’d be going like, “Lord, why me?” That’s what I’d be saying, and you know they were saying that. It’s OK to say “why me.” Lord, why me, did this happen? Why me? I’m a good guy, a good girl. Why me? I’m a pastor, and I’ve said that many time to God. You have too, and that’s good. Why?!
We are never, ever, ever going to understand all the answers to “why me?” We’re just not. But we better move from “why me” to “what now?” We’re in crisis mode, we need a king of the crisis. Jesus is the King of the Crisis. So as I pray, I’m simply reconnecting, rebooting, recalibrating my life and I’m saying, “Lord, this crisis situation, you have the authority in my life to do what you want to do in it. And also, God, you’ve got the power to rule over the crisis.” Let me say it again, don’t miss that. The Lord wants to be the King of our Crisis. We say, God, you’re God and I’m not. You’ve got the power over the crisis.
Now a lot of times we will play games with God. We’ll be sly. I will do this, too. I’ll go through a crisis situation and I will go, “All right, God. You change her, you change him, you change that situation. Now don’t change me but just get me out of jail.” That’s what I do. You’re clapping, you do the same thing. You’re like, Wow, has this guy been following me around? No, we’re the same.
But here’s how to go to the next level. It’s fine to do that, but within that we’ve got to come to the point where we have to go, God, I know you don’t want to waste a crisis. You didn’t cause the attack but the attack has happened. Yes, Lord, I pray you’ll change these people. But God, you’re God, you’ve got the power, you’re the King of the Crisis and, God, I submit (this is hard for me to do it)… I submit (come on, this is difficult)…. I submit my life to you in this crisis. I submit under your authority. Wow. Another good place to clap, because it’s a God thing.
We can’t do it ourselves. But see, when we pray, we’re like, “All right. It’s not just about me, God, it’s about you. It’s not just about, “Oh well I come out looking cool.”
No, it’s not about that, it’s about God being famous. Because people are watching you and me going through crisis. They’re like, “Whoa! Ed’s attacked. Whoa, Lisa’s attacked. Oh man! Jill is attacked! Look, look, he’s attacked, she’s attacked.”
They’re watching! It’s one thing when you’re riding high, everything is going great. We’re living for the Lord, I mean we’re doing well. I mean, that’s cool. But people will lean in and really watch when the fins are in the water, when the blood’s in the water.
Paul and Silas, they began to pray and they began to praise God. So they prayed, and you know their perspective changed from “it’s about me” to “God, it’s about you. God, you’re the King of my Crisis. God be the King of my life. I submit my life to you. What do you want to do in my life? And we’re gonna see a miracle. Because when you pray and when you praise the Lord (praising the Lord is simply expressing your love to him) it releases the power of God.
I’ll say it again. When you pray and when you praise the Lord it releases the power of God and we understand his perspective on the situation and his purpose on the situation.
So, we’re going a new direction. We have the distraction. By God’s grace he can give us a new disposition. I don’t mean some phony baloney game show host fake smile like everything’s great. You know what I’m saying to you. I’m talking about the real deal, Holyfield. The real deal (that’s a reference to Evander Holyfield, the guy that had his ear bitten off by Mike Tyson).
At about midnight they began to pray and praise God, and when they started doing that do you know what God did? God just elbowed his earthquake angel. He came down, caused an earthquake in the Philippian jail that was off the chart. I mean, just crazy. And the chains fell off of every prisoner, the doors flew open. But here’s what’s so whack about it. None of the prisoners left. They just hung out there in the Philippian jail. Jailhouse Rock. The whole thing rocked. So man, the Philippian jailer, he began to freak out. Turns the lights on and he’s gonna kill himself. He has a sword.
“It’s over!” And Paul and Silas go,
“Man, stop! Stop! Stop! Stop! We’re all here! Chill! Everything’s cool!” And then this Philippian jailer asks the most profound question in the world. The question that every follower of Christ has asked. Are you ready for it? Check it out.
Acts 16:30. “Sirs (he’s talking to Paul and Silas), what must I do to be saved?” What must I do to be saved?
Illus: I remember back when I was at Florida State playing basketball. My career was pretty much in crisis. I did not have a stellar career. If I had been All-World or All-American I’d have never had this situation. There’s no doubt about it.
So, I’m walking to class with one of my teammates and this guy was, I’m telling you, a reprobate. He had gotten kicked out of an Atlantic Coast Conference school. He was a great basketball player. He had stolen everything imaginable, dope, I mean, just a lot of bad stuff. So he’s walking with me and we’re just, you know, talking about the team and everything and he said, I will never forget it, he said, “Ed, I’ve been watching you, man.” He said, “Dude, there’s something different about you.”
I’m like, where’s he going? He goes, “I want what you got.”
What was he asking? “What must I do to be saved?” So I’m like, man I gotta tell this guy. We went back to the athletic dorm and through my stuttering and stumbling and fumblings I talked to him about Jesus and how to open his life to him. I talked about this pivot point and I said, “Man, if you want to pray and ask Christ to come into your life, you know, we can do it right here.” And this dude starts crying, this big basketball star.
He goes, “I’m ready to do it right now.” And he asked Christ to come into his life. What must I do to be saved?
Now why was he watching me, because I was All World? Because I averaged 32 points a game? No, I averaged 32 points a game in warm-ups, but that was about it. He was watching me and I didn’t even know it. Because I was not that great. I was one of the last guys on the team. It’s just a reality. Don’t waste a crisis. We don’t realize, but people are watching us.
The Philippian jailer was listening to them, praying and singing. The prisoners were listening. He hits the knees. What must I do to be saved? And I love their response. It’s so basic yet so deep.
They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus and you’ll be saved.”
Now this word ‘believe’ is not like, OK, yeah I believe that lectern is there and I believe we’re at Fellowship. No, no, no, it’s more than that. It’s believing and receiving the finished work of Jesus. His death, burial, and resurrection. Religion is spelled D-O. Christianity is spelled D-O-N-E. There is nothing I can do except receive what’s been done for me. That’s how someone becomes a follower of Christ. There is nothing I can do. That’s religion and Christ had one thing to say about religion. He was against it.
People say, “Ed, you’re really religious,” but I say, “No, I’m not.”
“I’m into a relationship, not a religion.” It’s a relationship with Christ.
But then check out the jailer. He makes his decision and it’s so powerful he tells his entire household about it. They come in, they listen to Paul and Silas, they become followers of Christ. Then this guy who was helping torture Paul and Silas now, you can read it, washes their wounds. Then on top of that, after this went down, the Bible says in Acts 16:33, “At that hour of the night the jailer took them and washed their wounds. Then immediately (say immediately with me)… immediately, he and all of his family were baptized.”
T.S. So here’s the crisis situation. The miracle served not to deliver them out of the whole deal, but the miracle served to deliver the Philippian jailer and his household. That was the purpose here of this crisis. And moreover, the purpose of the crisis was all about the house. Check it out.
Paul and Silas went from the fashion house to the prison house, from the prison house to the jailer’s house, and from the jailer’s house back to the fashion house, where they started the house of God, one of the most powerful churches in the New Testament. They started it in the mansion of Lydia. Lydia believed, she was baptized. The jailer believed, he was baptized.
Baptism. “Should I pray about baptism?” That’s a no prayer. “Should I get baptized or not?” That’s a stupid prayer. It’s commanded.
“Well, God, should I trust you as far as relationships, as far as the business world?” I mean, again that’s a no-prayer. God has given us the 4-1-1 on what to do. The Bible says from cover to cover, the moment we believe and receive, immediately we need to get baptized. But the most important thing is believing and then getting baptized.
If you’re in a crisis, a new direction, there’ll be distractions. But God’s grace will give you a new disposition. And that’s what baptism illustrates. The washing of the wounds. The washing of sin. The blood of Jesus.
I had to come to a point where I fell in, jumped in, with all those sharks. I was scared. I had some anxiety. Finally after the questions were answered (some of them, not all of them), I fell in. It was one of the great experiences of my life.
Have you believed in the Lord Jesus Christ? Have you made that decision? I want to give you an opportunity right now to make that decision.
Just bow your heads for me. Every head is bowed, every eye is closed. I want you to do what Lydia did. I want you to do what the jailer did. You’re asking, “What must I do to be saved?” I’ve got to receive what’s been done for me. I want everybody to say this prayer after me, everybody. Because I know many of you have said it before. All it takes is one time, but by you saying it you’ll help others who have never said it to say it. Just say,
“Dear God, I’m a sinner. I confess my sin to you. I turn from my sin and I believe that you sent Jesus to die on the cross for my sins and rise again. And right now I receive you into my life. I give you everything I am and everything I’ll ever become. Thank you for saving me. In Jesus’ name.”
Hey, let’s give everybody a crazy round of applause who made that decision.
You know that’s the most important thing I can tell you. As I talk to all our campuses, Miami, Downtown, Fort Worth, Dallas, Plano, to those people who are watching on television around the world let me tell you this. If you prayed that prayer.. awesome! I challenge you if you prayed that prayer to receive Christ to go to a local church in your area and get baptized. Get baptized immediately. And today, we’re gonna get baptized immediately.
Last night in our Saturday night service, after the service, after I had given people an opportunity to believe we had an opportunity for people to get baptized immediately. And I want to show you what a young man did after his belief. Watch this.
[Spontaneous Baptism following…]
Is that incredible?! Here we have someone physically challenged who believed. He had every excuse, every shark, telling him, “Oh no, no, no, man. Don’t liquefy your faith! Don’t jump into the water! You’re paralyzed. I mean people will have to carry you.” Yet, he believed and was baptized.
Have you been baptized? You might have prayed to give your life to Christ five years ago, 10 years ago, 15 years ago, and you’ve never been baptized. Or maybe you’re like my wife. Maybe you grew up and you were sprinkled or spritzed or poured or whatever when you were young. That’s cool! Man, that’s awesome! I would never say that your baptism didn’t take or whatever. But I’m just telling you, the Bible says when we’re old enough to make a faith decision and believe, when we’re old enough, then we should get baptized. And we don’t force anybody to get baptized. It’s not like when people get baptized it’s $10 a head or something. I’m just telling you what the scriptures say. But I believe today many of you need to get baptized immediately.
I want you to meet Justin. Where’s Justin? Come up here, man. Let’s give it up for Justin because… what’s up, Justin? Justin recently made the decision to believe in Christ and to receive him. And man it takes some serious guts, Justin, just to walk on this stage. Well, Justin right now, immediately, in just a couple of minutes is gonna get baptized.
Now we want to baptize immediately today so here’s what we do. Now, Justin, a lot of people decide to get baptized in their clothes. That’s cool. It is hot as fire! I know it’s hot as fire in Miami as well. So, how do I drive in my car afterwards? I don’t care if you’ve got a Bentley or a bomb, these covers will cover any seat. If you want to change we have private dressing rooms, all different sized shirts, dark shirts, Fellowship Church shirts, we’ll give it to you. Cool, long shorts, not the shorty shorts when I wore when I was trying to play basketball at Florida State, the ones that are cool. We’ll give you those. If you’re into the blow-dry look. I mean, you’ve got some Justin Bieber hair. I’ve got Bieber Fever! Anyway, you got some great hair, man. I’d pay top dollar for hair like that. Anyway, we’ve got blow dryers out there. And check these towels out, Justin. Have you ever felt towels that smooth? They’re soft, oh yeah. And then we have stuff. It’s awesome.
So right now, Justin, we’re gonna follow you out and he’s gonna sprint out and we’re gonna watch him get baptized. And let me tell you something, guys. No one get up, no one move, no one try to beat the crowd or try to get out of the parking lot early, because if you do, right now, I don’t want you to disturb the Spirit of God working. I don’t want that to be on your conscience and I don’t want God one day to say,
“Hey, you know what? I was moving in someone’s life but because you wanted to get Bar-B-Q or get some sushi you disturbed and quenched my Spirit.” So everyone hang in here. We’re going overtime just for a couple of minutes. So I want you to sprint right now and we’re gonna baptize him. Let’s do it. Let’s give him a round of applause. Remain seated. All right. Check it out on the side screen.
The Bible says we believe and then we’re baptized. And baptism should be a celebration. You know, the Scripture says when someone believes that there’s a par-tay going on in Heaven. Because we have a cheering section that never sits down as we walk with God.
So there he is, he’s getting his cardio in. Is that great? That’s what it’s all about right there. And I know it’s kinda weird getting baptized, it’s kinda strange. We do it because that’s what the Bible says. That’s what Jesus commanded us to do. It’s a no-prayer.
So he’s in the water. We’ve only found three sharks in there over the last several years, that’s all. But check it out. He’s being baptized. That represents the washing, the cleansing of the blood of Jesus. It represents the death, burial, and resurrection. Let’s go crazy when he comes out of the water. Are you ready? He’s being baptized in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Both of them, let’s go crazy right now! That’s what I’m talking about! That’s what the Bible says happens in every person’s life when they believe and they’re baptized.
Now, I want to give you a chance right now to be baptized immediately. I know you’re thinking about distractions. Wow, sharks. Man, my past, or my clothes, or whatever. We’ve taken away the excuses. This is the new direction that God wants. Again, maybe you became a believer 20 years ago, 10 years ago, and you’ve never been baptized after you became a believer. Lydia believed, then was baptized. The jailer and his household believed, then they were baptized. So at the count of 3, on 3, I want many of you, scores of you, from the balcony, and from every single campus, you can sprint if you want to, to walk rapidly to the back and get baptized. If you want to change into one of our cool Fellowship Church uniforms, that’s cool. We’ll show you where the men’s and women’s changing areas are. At all of our campuses right now on the count of 3. When I hit 3, don’t delay, don’t hesitate. Say,
“You know what, I’m going for it. I’m trusting. I’m a little bit scared, I’m a little bit freaky but I’m going for it. I believe that it’s time to get baptized.”
One… are you ready? Are you ready? You might want to grab someone’s hand and say, “Hey, have you been baptized?” and just encourage them and walk with them. Are you ready?
Two… don’t put it off. I’m talking to guys. Guys, we’ll cheer and go wild for everything else yet we are going to slither in the shadows and not say Christ and Jesus is my Lord. It’s time, man.
One, two… are you ready? Three! Stand! Everyone else, clap. No one else stand. Do not stand for them. Give them room. Everyone remain seated. Let these people go. Everyone remain seated except those who are being baptized. Come on! Let’s pray for these. Some people are hesitating. It’s time to liquidate. You’ve believed in the Lord, now it’s time to get baptized. The Bible says to get baptized immediately. I know it’s not easy, I know it takes guts. From the balcony man, they’re pouring down. In our campuses, in Downtown Dallas, man. Awesome. Fort Worth, Plano, Miami, and if you’re watching us by television the next chance you get, go to a local church and get baptized immediately. All right! Awesome! Come on!
God, continue to move right here. I know there are others who are waiting. Come on, let’s go. Let’s do it. We’re not gonna stay here all afternoon. We rarely do this at Fellowship Church but this is a God moment. You’ve been going through a crisis and maybe this crisis now all of a sudden has a shape to it, a definition to it. God has allowed it and now you’re coming to know him. Anyone else? All right, right there! Man, a whole family! Awesome! Anybody else? From the balcony they’re still coming. All right! Anybody else? They’re still moving in the balcony. All right my brother, awesome! Let’s give it up for him. I’m telling you if we can’t celebrate at church something is wrong. Again, we celebrate everywhere else, at parties and for athletic events and concerts, which is great. But we should get more excited here than at any other place.
Church, thank you for your excitement. They’re still coming! Anybody else? You didn’t plan on it. You didn’t think about it. All right.
Well, after we end the service if you want to join them as the crowds go out and watch the baptism, you just feel free to jump in, man. Jump in. Just like I did. Boom!
There’s a direction. There are gonna be distractions, we all face them. We’re not perfect but I’m telling you the disposition given to us by God himself is absolutely awesome.
Next weekend we will continue to talk about sharks. Don’t miss a single installment. This is a life-altering series. Because there are sharks in the water. There’s a crisis point in your life and mine. Jesus is the King of the Crisis. He’s the King of your life and mine. Pray through it, praise through it. The power will be released and I’m telling you, God will take you to depths you never dreamed possible. Let’s stand and leave with that mentality and that power. See you next time.