North Anderson Baptist Church
Who’s Your One - 2020 - Loving Those Who Hurt You
Locations & Times
  • North Anderson Baptist Church
    2308 N Main St, Anderson, SC 29621, United States
    Sunday 10:30 AM
Paul was an unusual person and could be one whom you might look to for how to deal with opposition. When we get to the last part of the book of Acts we are seeing something that is surprising to us and I am sure to all who came in contact with Paul during those days.

The time frame is his first imprisonment. They have brought Paul all the way from Caesarea in Judea, across 2,000 miles of sea and finally to the shores of Italy. All along the way there were experiences that God allowed Paul to have that would boost the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. One in particular was the poisonous snake bite on the island of Malta, which gave Paul an opportunity to reach many for Christ.

Paul now comes to Italy and is met by believers who were excited about his coming.

It is at this place our scripture begins. He will give quite an example to people he meets on how to love those who hurt you.

1. Paul tells his story - v.17-20
2. The Jews responds to Paul’s story - v. 21-24
3. Paul preaches Jesus’ story - v. 25-31
1. Paul tells his story - v.17-20

After being confined to a house where he is under arrest, within a few short days Paul calls his Jewish brothers to meet with him and tells them his story. Proclaiming his innocence, Paul shares actually how he was arrested and finally how he had to appeal to Caesar to find justice as a Jew and Roman citizen.

At this point Paul relates that he has no desire to put down his Jewish brethren but expresses to them all and especially those that he was talking to right then how he cares for them all and desires that they come to Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. In verse 20 Paul tells them what is of the utmost importance. “It is because of the hope of Israel that I am bound with this chain.” What is Paul saying?

These Jewish leaders know that the Messiah is the “true hope” of Israel. They have been waiting centuries for this “hope” to come and now Paul is clarifying to them that is why he is in chains and under guard by the Romans because those who were in Jerusalem and Caesarea didn’t want to hear the truth about this hope who had already come in the person of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Paul responds to this injustice of his imprisonment by sharing the love and hope of the Lord Jesus Christ. His desire is that they too, Jews just like Paul is, will come to faith in the Son of God, Messiah.
Legend has it that a wealthy merchant traveling through the Mediterranean world looking for the distinguished Pharisee, Paul, encountered Timothy, who arranged a visit. Paul was, at the time, a prisoner in Rome. Stepping inside the cell, the merchant was surprised to find a rather old man, physically frail, but whose serenity and magnetism challenged the visitor. They talked for hours. Finally the merchant left with Paul's blessing. Outside the prison, the concerned man inquired, "What is the secret of this man's power? I have never seen anything like it before."

"Did you not guess?" replied Timothy. "Paul is in love." The merchant looked bewildered. "In love?" "Yes," the missionary answered, "Paul is in love with Jesus Christ."

The merchant looked even more bewildered. "Is that all?" Smiling, Timothy replied, "That is everything."

1000 Illustrations for Preaching and Teaching.
The love of Christ changes people to want to love not only others and even their enemies but to supremely love the Lord God and follow in the way of Christ.

Has Christ’s love changed you?
Are you a different person since you were saved?
Can you tell that the old destructive things are gone in your life and then the way you see others is different?

Surely there have been people who did not like you and whom you in turn did not like. When Jesus comes into our hearts and lives, we are really different, He gives us love for those whom we once hated or did not like. Remember Jesus on the cross when He prayed, “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do?” That is the example Jesus set for all the world, to love those who hated and abused Him. Paul was sharing that kind of love with the Jews, even though they did not love or believe him, at least some of them didn’t.
2. The Jews responds to Paul’s story - v. 21-24

So curious were the Jews that they wanted to have Paul talk about this “new sect,” they made time to see him to talk in depth with him about his beliefs. While spending all day and until evening sharing the Gospel with them, only a few believed in what Paul spoke about but the others did not. It looks like the others argued with each other about what to believe or not.

I find it interesting that these Jews wanted time with Paul to hear his side. While listening to him as long as they did, there was a moment of decision that they had, to believe Paul or not to believe him. Verses 25-27 were part of that discussion before they made their decision. Paul quoted Isaiah regarding people not understanding or perceiving because of their calloused hearts. They had eyes that were blind and ears that were deaf to the Word of God. It is then that the Jews who had heard him all day finally said they would not believe, even though some did.

Friends, people need to hear the Gospel before they can properly accept it or deny it. Our mission is given to us by the Holy Spirit and that is to go and tell, proclaim, share and show the love of God in Christ for all people and relay that they need a Savior to forgive them from their sin. You and I needed that once. We needed someone to tell us that we were lost and needed a Savior that would forgive our sin.

When I was 10, someone relayed to me that I needed a Savior because I was a sinner and lost and if I did not receive Him, I would not go to heaven without Jesus as my Savior and Lord.

That is what Paul did that day when he shared the love of Christ and His mission, with the Jews. Some believed and some did not. When we hear about Jesus we are free to believe the truth or to refuse it. What Paul was doing was sharing the love of God with the Jews who were afraid of this new “religion” that might change their whole life. Paul loved them enough to share with them even though most of them chose not to accept his message of love and forgiveness.
3. Paul preaches Jesus’ story - v. 25-31

How do you love those who hurt you? You pray for a way to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with them. Paul never gave up with the Jews, but he knew they were very reluctant to change, even though some did. In these last verses of the book of Acts we clearly see the emphasis of Paul's mission - tell everyone whom you see about Jesus and who will listen to you about the love God has for them in the person of Jesus Chrtist , the Son of God. Share how Jesus can change people from death to life.

There will always be people who choose to be deaf and blind to the truth of the Gospel but you continue on to tell others just like Paul did. Paul knew that the Jews were reluctant to believe but he loved his own people. We see that in Romans 9:1-5,
For two years Paul had the privilege to be under arrest in Rome and sharing with all who might come his way. There were always people wanting to see this “man of God.” There was nothing that could stop Paul. God had used the Romans to bring Paul to Rome where he would share the Gospel with all who would hear and many from even the palace guards would be saved. Listen to what Paul writes in Philippians 1:12-14,
Paul declares himself that this imprisonment was a blessing for him and for the brothers and sisters in Rome, for they have become more confident to share the Gospel themselves.

Has that ever happened to you, something that seemed bad and yet God used it for His glory and to help you share your story and His story too?
When you look at the book of Acts we see unlikely folks being used of the Holy Spirit to change the world. People just like you and me. People who worked in the jail, those who were merchants, those who labored at daily jobs a lot of people would not like to do. The Holy Spirit used slaves, rich and poor, men and women, church leaders, those who had no religion and those who were deeply religious. Look into your heart and ask yourself, “Am I one whom God has used to touch others with the Gospel of Christ?” If you answered no, why not? He is willing to use anyone who will surrender their lives to the Lord. Are you ready to do just that? Surrender! “I surrender all, I surrender all, all to thee, my blessed Savior, I surrender all!”

How do you love those who hurt you? Love them by sharing the Gospel with them and surrendering your life to Jesus!
The early Latin writer, Tertullian of Carthage, declared that the one thing that converted him to Christianity was not the arguments they gave him, because he could find a counterpoint for every argument they would present. "But they demonstrated something I didn't have. The thing that converted me to Christianity was the Way they loved each other"
1000 Illustrations for Preaching and Teaching.


 Dear friend if you are reading this by way of the internet please know that you are loved and cared for. If you have no relationship with God the Father through Jesus Christ His Son, then I invite you to trust Him by faith and receive Him as your personal Savior. Jesus Christ died on the cross for the sin of everyone in the world that they may have eternal life. All of us have sinned and all are guilty before Almighty God who made us to have fellowship with Him. But sin broke that ability to have a relationship and Jesus has restored the possibility to know God personally through His sacrifice. Please know that if you will seek God and turn from your sin and pray He will respond with His love and give to you a personal relationship through your belief in His Son and the sacrifice He made just for you. He will call for a change in your life too. He wants you to follow Him, not the world, not your own desires, but to follow Jesus. That brings a life change when you turn from sin and self and by faith believe in Jesus Christ as your Savior and Lord. There is no Savior without Him being Lord of your life. Your willingness to change by following Him daily in your life will be the proof of your faith. When life throws its curves your way and you have found yourself broken by others or by the world let us introduce you to the only One who can help you...Jesus! You can write or call the office and we will follow up by contacting you. Office phone number is 864-225-2575 and the website address is and the physical address is 2308 N. Main St., Anderson, SC 29621. Dear friend if you are a believer and you have been touched by the Lord and you would like to talk to someone at the church just contact us in one of the ways you see above. If you are a believer and would like to talk about the church and your interest in being a part, please call and we can set up an appointment for you and get to know you. It would be a great pleasure to share our Lord’s love with you. This is a loving church and you are important to us, so please let us know what we can do for you in the Lord.Pastor Bill Rigsby