- We are all missionaries…Wherever we go, we either bring people nearer to Christ, or we repel them from Christ. – Eric Liddell
- The most persuasive sermon is the example which leads the way. – C.H. Spurgeon
Your walk talks and your talk talks;
But your walk talks louder than your talk talks.
You cannot hide what’s inside; It’s sure to come out.
Your words may whisper but your actions shout!
– Patch the Pirate
During New Testament times, Roman soldiers had the authority to compel any Hebrew boy twelve years or older to carry his heavy military pack one mile in any direction. The Jews already hated this occupying force and this law added insult to injury. Jesus taught his disciples to carry it two miles. Carrying the pack for one mile was simply doing what was expected of them, but going the second mile provided the opportunity to witness when the soldier would ask, “Why are you doing this?”
Our willingness to “go the second mile” is one of the most persuasive ways of demonstrating the love of Christ and our willingness to forgive.
- Of the Divine Ability #Ro 4:21
- Of the Inseparable Love of God #Ro 8:38,39
- Of the Divine Keeping Power #2Ti 1:12
- Of the Certainty of the Divine Promises #Heb 11:13
– The Thompson Chain-Reference Bible
1. What will I gain if I do it?
2. What will I loose if I don’t?
– The Power for True Success
- Do you persuade others to believe on Jesus Christ?
- Do you persuade rebellious sons or daughters to clear their consciences and get back under the authority of God and their parents?
- Do you convince friends who are considering a divorce not to go through with it?
- Do you persuade others to dedicate their lives to God?
- When someone disagrees with you, are you more concerned about proving your point or winning his spirit?
- Is one who rejects Scripture able to draw you into an argument?
- Do personal weaknesses diminish the effectiveness of your public message?
A Sermon by Charles G. Finney
“Agrippa said unto Paul — almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian.” — Acts 26:28
Discussing the subject presented here, I shall,
I. NOTICE THE FACT THAT MEN ARE MADE CHRISTIANS BY PERSUASION.
II. SHOW WHAT ARE NOT REASONS WHY THEY ARE NOT ALTOGETHER PERSUADED.
III. WHAT ARE THE REASONS WHY THEY ARE ONLY ALMOST AND NOT ALTOGETHER PERSUADED.
I. You recollect the connection, which gives us the occasion and the circumstances of this remark. Paul had been arrested and brought before Agrippa to defend himself against the Jews. In this defense he gives his early history, a sketch of his conversion to the faith of Christ, then, of his labors and persecutions subsequent to that event, and finally appeals to Agrippa himself, as if assured that one, familiar with Judaism as he was, must believe the ancient prophets, and hence could not reasonably reject Jesus of Nazareth. “King Agrippa, said he, believest thou the prophets? I know that thou believest.” “Agrippa answered, Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian.” To which Paul nobly responds, “I would to God that not only thou, but all that hear me this day, were both almost and altogether such as I am, except these bonds.”
Paul had so preached that Agrippa felt almost persuaded to become a Christian. Of course under Paul’s preaching, men naturally inferred that the change from being a sinner to being a Christian is wrought by persuasion. Assuming that Paul preached not only the true gospel, but in the truest method and with the soundest philosophy, we infer that men become Christians by means of persuasion. Consequently, they do not become Christians by virtue of any physical change in the substance of either soul or body. It is not, strictly speaking, by any act of creation, an act which gives existence to either substance or qualities, not existent before. Persuasion requires no new creation of faculties. It supposes a mind already in existence and in action, capable of appreciating truth as a motive. Men are persuaded by truth — truth which addresses the intelligence and appeals to conscience or to some form of self-interest. Thus men are persuaded to become Christians.
Now here I do not by any means intend to say that this persuasion is merely human. Far otherwise. It is far more divine than human. There is such an interposition of divine agency as sets truth in order before the mind, and brings forth its strength. Thus to human persuasion is superadded the divine. Yet the influence is altogether of a moral nature. We are compelled to the same conclusion by the nature of this change. If the change were in the substance of the soul, or in any of its original, created powers, we might then assume that the power by which the change is wrought is creative, not moral. But since the change consists entirely in the voluntary attitude of the mind towards God, we infer that it is caused by those agencies which are adapted to produce voluntary change in the mind’s free action — viz., truth and argument, assuming the form of motive. Hence, in every point of view, it is plain that men are made Christians by persuasion.
II. IT IS NEXT PERTINENT TO INQUIRE WHAT ARE NOT THE REASONS WHY MEN FAIL OF BEING PERSUADED TO BECOME CHRISTIANS
Ordinarily, it is not for want of intellectual conviction that they ought to become Christians. For the most part, in Christian lands, the gospel has been preached so fully and so truly that the general intelligence is enlightened, and all men know that they ought to put away sinning and embrace the salvation provided for them in the gospel. They fail to do this, not for want of sufficient reasons to carry conviction that they ought to. Especially, we may say, that almost everyone has light enough before his mind to carry conviction of this duty, if he were honest and would weigh this question seriously and with candor.
The real and exact difficulty is, they do not make up their mind to obey the decisions of conscience and their better judgement. They are not so persuaded as to determine to act now. For the most part they hope to become Christians at some time. As Agrippa, so they, do not yield to their convictions. Selfish considerations overrule their better judgement.
Here I may safely appeal to your own consciences. Let me come very near to you, even as if I were alone with you and were to urge upon your honest hearts this plain question. Is it not a matter of fact that you are in reason and conscience convinced that you ought to become Christians, but yet you suffer some selfish reasons to prevail over you, and deter you from doing manifest duty? You know you ought to do it; you know the reasons why you do not are utterly unsound — radically selfish!
III. LET US SEE WHAT THESE REASONS ARE — THE REASONS WHY YOU ARE ONLY ALMOST PERSUADED TO BECOME A CHRISTIAN
1. Ambitious schemes. This is the case especially with the young, and particularly with students. Often the young become students for the sake merely of distinction. They cherish worldly aims. They are determined that, for themselves, they will become something. They are to be prominent. Hence, when you come to such a young man with the gospel offers, his first thought is — how will my reception of these offers affect my cherished plans of aggrandizement? Ah, how can I become a Christian at the sacrifice of the favorite object of my life and labors? You exhort him to yield his will to God’s so that henceforth he shall have no schemes but such as please God. Alas, he says, but I have schemes of my own that are too dear to my heart to be relinquished yet. Is it not even so with you who are yet young, but not converted? Have you not some ambitious schemes which you seek to realize, and which you suppose are in conflict with the higher claims of the gospel?
This is for many reasons more often the case with young men than with young women, yet is sufficiently apt to occur with the latter, in some seductive form, and of such power as to overrule all the demands of conscience.
2. Many are kept back from full persuasion by a subtle form of selfrighteousness. He cannot quite affirm to himself or to others that he has no sin; and yet he does allow himself to think he has never done anything so very wrong, but has always done about right. He has not been a liar, nor an adulterer. He can almost say with Saul of Tarsus, “I have lived in all good conscience before God.” He thinks, and perhaps truly, that he has had many good feelings; kindly, humane impulses, and these he is sure are good. Really he has no heart to renounce all his self-righteousness as filthy rags that cannot profit. He might consent in a very general sense to be indebted to Christ for his salvation, but to renounce all self-righteousness and do all that is implied in being a Christian, he cannot.
3. Some have too much self-will. Often and for a long time, have they been urged and have resisted, until habitually ascendancy of the will has given it giant strength, and it can easily overrule every appeal which conscience or God can make.
Some even indulge resentment against God, or against His servants. Supposing themselves to have been abused because something has been done by somebody, they fancy they do well to be angry. Thus they harbor a spirit directly opposed to the spirit of the gospel, and this suffices to overrule all the arguments which are presented to induce them to become Christians.
Those who have advanced in age to middle life, have their schemes of ambition, or their plans of business, so that when you make your appeal to them, they have interests that repel it. To you who occupy this period of life, I appeal, if it be not even so. When the gospel has come to you, demanding your attention, and even the warmest reception you can give it, has not some scheme of business or ambition stood in your way and held you back? The political aspirant has too many hopes excited, and has committed himself too fully to his political friends; how can he turn away to be religious? Some years ago, I knew a young man of fine talents and extra-ordinary powers of persuasion, who, from a course of preparation for the ministry, was drawn into public life; studied law — lost his piety — claimed at first that benevolence called him into that department of labor, but soon he showed that he was ambitious as Caesar, and that really he had no conscience, but that of saleable politicians. Such men are in political bondage. Like Agrippa, they owe their place to some higher functionaries, and are intensely sensitive to their own position and standing as before that higher influence. Agrippa held his place under Rome; so did Pilate; therefore neither of them had independence of soul enough, in a position of so much dependence, to be a whole man. Many now, like them, are in political bondage to Caesar. Mark how Pharisees and rulers of synagogues bore themselves towards Jesus and His cause, and you see, as in a mirror, true to nature, how most political men are in such bondage that they will not break away enough to comply with their sense of duty. I have in mind the case of a gentleman who became greatly disturbed in respect to his salvation. I saw him often and urged him to give himself to the service of God. That, he replied, is a step I can by no means take, without the consent of my political friends. I have long been in the habit of consulting them in all matters which might affect my standing before the community. Furthermore, all my religious friends think differently from you. And my worldly friends, I am quite sure, would be opposed to my becoming a Christian in this revival. How, said he, can I look my friends in the face if I were to become a Christian? I answered, “how can you look God in the face, if you do not?” He said. “I am always in the habit of consulting my friends in matters so important; I will do so in the present case, and then will see you again.” I told him I already knew how such a course would result, and had no hopes that could be disappointed. And so it proved. I mention the case only as an illustration of the political bondage into which many fall.
Some men have a pride of personal character which prevents their becoming Christians. One says, “My wife has become converted, and I shall be deemed weak as a woman if I change now.” I have heard men taunt one another, asking, “Will you be persuaded to be religious by such and such a preacher? Will you be one of his disciples?” So it might have been said to Agrippa, “Are you almost persuaded by the prisoner, Paul? By a man who stands before you in chains, and you the honorable judge upon the bench? Will you change your religion and go over to one whom all Jews hold to be a heretic?”
In some cases, the hindering cause is sheer infatuation. They know the truth on all important points; they will say, “I know it all.” Why, then, don’t you yield? “I can’t tell why.” Then, the reason is, simple infatuation in sin.
Another reason is a spirit of deep contempt for God. Those who feel this may not be fully conscious of it; but such is the fact. God’s rights do not weigh, in their minds, as a straw. You may talk to them of God’s right to govern them; you make no sort of impression. What is the reason of this? It is not that they regard God’s claims as a dream of somebody’s imagination, and deny the fact; but it is because they have a deep and overpowering contempt for God, and therefore no appeal on that ground reaches their sensibility — nothing arouses them to action. So deep and so utter is their want of moral honesty, every appeal based on God’s rights falls powerless. In their esteem, moral obligation is equivalent to no obligation at all. There is in their minds a total lack of all honorable sentiments, feelings and principles of action, as towards God. Not one sentiment of honor toward the great God! Does honor bind the child to revere his parent? What would you say of one who had been dependent on you for everything, and yet should totally disregard all his obligations to you? Suppose the obligation to be the greatest possible from man to man; and the disregard to be as utter as the sinner manifests towards God, how would you feel? Horrified! You would have such feelings of indignation, you could scarcely think of the offender with calmness. And yet what are the utmost obligations of man to man, compared with those of all men towards God?
Add to this a total destitution of true self-respect. What? shall I shame my own face by refusing to do my duty? Can a man have true self-respect, who, knowing his obligation, refuses to become a Christian? Certainly if he respected himself, he never could disobey, refuse, and dishonor his God! What! shall I be such a wretch as to abuse my God? No! I would as soon leap into hell as dishonor Christ and pour contempt on my infinite Father! The very thought of so outraging His feelings is horrible. Sooner would I suffer anything in the world than the self-abhorrence and selfcondemnation which must result from such contempt of God!
Add to this a total destitution of all benevolence, which must of coarse be the case with all those who will not become Christians.
Next, a total recklessness in regard to the evils of a course of impenitence. Said one man, as his eyes began to be opened to see himself, “The thought that I was giving my whole influence against Christ and against the salvation of souls, came home upon my conscience as an awful sin! I was appalled at myself!” Suppose a man could sit in his window, open towards the street, and there load and fire his rifle into the thronging masses, just for amusement. How horrible must his state of mind be! You, sinner, may not be firing leaden balls into quivering flesh, but you are sending forth streams of influence that damn souls to eternal death! You reply, “I do not tell them not to become Christians.” Aye, not with your lips, perhaps, but with your life! — a thing far worse, more surely fatal and more widely and terrible destructive! Not those who say most, or sin most openly, do most hurt; but your most moral sinners, who are quite intelligent, and know best their duty, yet are far — O how far from doing it! A fair moral man, of high standing — what can he not do for mischief?
Look at that young man, accomplished, popular and moral; he has such control over the minds of the young people in his village, that you can do nothing to turn them from sin to God. Is it said — then pray for him? You cannot. It will do no good. Preach a sermon to meet his case; he will pick it all to pieces. You cannot talk to him, he knows so much and frames his objections so skilfully. What makes all this mischief? That young man happens to possess the very attributes that give him the power to do great mischief. He can do more harm than all the rowdies in town.
So of a young woman who is accomplished and moral, yet withholds her heart from God. She is altogether in the way of saving souls, and all the more because she has so much morality. I saw a young lady of this description enter a sick room where lay one of her young associates, just passing away to the realities of another world. Calling forward this moral sinner, she reached forth her pale hand, saying, “I am not a Christian because I leaned on you. You were so moral and so happy in sin, you had the greatest influence over me, and I easily put off the claims of my God and Savior.” That young lady trembled and begged to be excused that she might retire from such a scene, but the dying girl said, “No, no; you must hear me now, my last words. How could you let me go on in my sins! Oh, my soul is lost!”
The great difficulty with sinners is that they take a selfish view of the whole subject. Having fully committed themselves to their own interests, all considerations are viewed in a selfish light. They regard nothing, save as it addresses either their hopes or their fears. If this striking fact were properly considered, it would show the need and the character of the divine Spirit’s influences.
Sinners, taking only a selfish view of God’s claims, are not at all prepared to take a disinterested view of the subject. They are not prepared to become Christians, although they are quite prepared to look around and see if they cannot become more happy.
Once more, many are not fully persuaded now because they expect in some way to have another call and a better opportunity. Full of hope as to this, they consequently deceive themselves. Often conscious that they egregiously trifle with their own souls, they yet are so reluctant to meet God’s claims today that they let it slide over. They say, “I am not yet persuaded to become a Christian, but when God’s resistless power comes down upon me, then I shall yield.”
In fact, when you get at the bottom of the case, you find they are desperately depraved. Their depravity is so deep, so radical, it bids defiance to all your motives for persuasion. Sometimes the sense of being greatly obliged, breaks down a really hard heart. But even this consideration many sinners can resist. The sense of being loved and pitied of God, makes some impression on their hearts, but often fails to move them much. So dead are they to the attractions of the morally beautiful and true, that much of the most glorious truth concerning God, seems to fall powerless upon their hearts. They seem incapable of being moved by anything save it be some hope of greater selfish good. For the honor of God they care not. If they could get anything from Him to promote their own selfish good, they would be ready to grasp it. For God, they care not. They would not care if He were dead. If their course were to bring mischief on Him, they would not care. They know they act meanly, cruelly, wickedly towards God; yet they are not persuaded to desist from this course and forsake their sins. Specify some particular form of sin; bring it before their mind; convince them they had better forsake it, yet they will not. In fact, a besotted will not is the only reason why they do not.
Sin is the greatest mystery in this world. How can it be accounted for? I have often wondered at the case of men convinced of duty, who yet will persist in their sins, despite the utmost reason to forsake them. Sometimes they seem to be infatuated. In fact, they are. It is a spiritual infatuation!
How strange to hear sinners object to the mysteries of religion. Indeed! They assume that there is something vastly mysterious in religion, and therefore they cannot embrace it! There can be no greater mystery than sin! All the mysteries in religion are as nothing compared with the mystery of sinning! It is safe to say that if we had not facts to prove it, nobody could believe that men would persist in sin as they do, despite all conceivable reasons to the contrary course. What can be more strange? Sin is indeed a mystery so deep, who can tell what it is and why it is? Surely, no sinner can tell. See that sinner hold his soul, as it were, in his hand, play with it as with a top, and then in the face of Calvary, throw it into hell! Knowing full well that sin brings him no good, but only evil; assured, too, that all good is given by piety, he can yet throw his soul away, for nothing! Truly, this is one of the mysteries of the universe, to be resolved into the sovereignty of a free agent abusing his liberty of free action, having been created with power to abuse it at his own option.
The infatuation of the sinner is an obvious fact. People may abuse Adam and other agencies tending to sin, as much as they please. Yet they cannot help knowing that this infatuation is a matter of their own, and that whatever relation it may bear to any other beings or agencies in the universe, themselves alone are to blame for their own sin. They inwardly know that they are the sole authors of their own sin, how much so ever other agencies may have been its occasions and temptations. The dreadful infatuation lives and reigns in their own souls. Suppose you were to see thousands of people rushing towards and over a precipice, and should also see all sorts of influences thrown in their way to stop them; fathers and mothers rushing in before them with imploring cries, beseeching them to stop — pleading, rebuking, yet all in vain; on they go, and over, and down, down they plunge, with eyes wide open; how astonishing! Whole oceans of men, rushing down the steep of death — an army of maniacs! No wonder that when Christians get their eyes open to this fearful scene, they almost die! They would if they were long subjected to this dreadful view without some sort of alleviation. You hear them saying, “Lord, I shall surely die unless Thou interpose to save these sinners, or in some way relieve me from this dreadful position of seeing souls perish before my very eyes!”
How shocking to hear sinners claim that they are doing about right, while yet they live in utter sin against God and the Lamb! They claim that they have none but honorable feelings and sentiments, and even talk of their moral honesty! What a burlesque upon the truth is all such talk as this! Especially, how strange is it that such sinners should set themselves up for reformers! There is something supremely ridiculous in these pretensions to be reformers. They, who have not the first particle of genuine benevolence — who can rob God of everything they owe Him, yet profess to love the poor slave and the poor inebriate! How deep does this love go down? Is there any moral bones in it at all? If I am morally honest, can I rob and abuse my own mother? Having done just this and all this, can I then turn around and make pretensions to honor and propriety? Yet the sinner, having robbed God all his life-time, pretends to honor, and even to practice, righteousness!
When a man has all needful convictions of duty, he is then and thenceforth, without excuse. Every honest man’s position is this: Show me what I ought to do, and I will do it. No other question need be asked than this one — Ought I to do this? This question settled, nothing more is needed. To settle the question of oughtness, and then stop there without doing duty, is to tempt God. It is to provoke Him to consuming wrath! Such a sinner is utterly without excuse. “I know, says he, that I ought to do this.” Then you must do it — as you would be a man, and would acquit yourself of a man’s responsibilities! Say — “Anything that is my duty, I will do at all hazards; if it be my duty, I will begin now!” But to see intelligent and moral beings throw all these obligations and convictions to the winds — how fearful!
For sinners to wait God’s time to repent, is infinitely absurd. God’s time is now; you wait, just to miss His time and provoke Him to deny you any more time at all. You are persuaded of your duty now. What more do you ask of God than this? What more can you in reason desire of God than that He should reveal to you your condition, your peril, your way of escape, and the reasons which urge you to flee for help to the Lamb of Calvary? All this He has done; and now, in tones of love and pity, calls on you to give heed to His call. Will you do it?
Sermon by Charles G. Finney
1 Timothy 3:1-13
1 ¶ This is a true saying, If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work.
2 A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach;
3 Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous;
4 One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity;
5 (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?)
6 Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil.
7 Moreover he must have a good report of them which are without; lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.
8 ¶ Likewise must the deacons be grave, not doubletongued, not given to much wine, not greedy of filthy lucre;
9 Holding the mystery of the faith in a pure conscience.
10 And let these also first be proved; then let them use the office of a deacon, being found blameless.
11 Even so must their wives be grave, not slanderers, sober, faithful in all things.
12 Let the deacons be the husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well.
13 For they that have used the office of a deacon well purchase to themselves a good degree, and great boldness in the faith which is in Christ Jesus.
1 Timothy 3 gives the qualifications for leadership in the local church. These are not just general guidelines, but the qualities God expects from His servants. The more our life falls in line with God’s requirements the more persuasive our message will be. C.H. Spurgeon said, “The most persuasive sermon is the example which leads the way.” This is not to suggest that the power lies in these qualities themselves. The power comes from Christ. But the absence of these qualities in a Christian leader’s life indicates that there are unresolved conflicts and problems that are hindering the power of Christ working through him.
Paul places particular emphasis upon the Christian’s home. The home is where you discover the reality of a person’s spirituality. If you want to see how an animal really behaves, you don’t go to the zoo or circus where they are on display or perform, you go to it’s natural habitat – it’s day by day environment. If you want to find out what a Christian is really like, where do you go? You don’t go to the Church!! No, you must go to the home. If you want to find out the sincerity of a man’s commitment to Jesus Christ and to following Biblical principles, you don’t ask his Pastor or Church leaders, you need to ask his wife and children. The reality of a person’s spirituality is not found in the church, but in the home. And if our Christianity is going to be effective in reaching a lost world for Jesus Christ, then it must first prove itself in the Christian home.
Does your family see the reality of your spirituality in the home? Do they see you behave one way in the church and another way in the home? Our children – more than any others – will resent our hypocrisy and inconsistencies and most likely reject the God we claim to be serving!
- I will point others in the right direction
- I will not stretch the truth to make it more attractive
- I will appeal to a person’s conscience in terms of character
- I will wait for the best time
- I will not argue
- Older children motivating the younger ones by being a good example
- Parents revealing how commitments to following Christ will strengthen the family and benefit each individual member
- A parent showing children how wise decisions will protect them
At Work or School
- Persuading rebellious sons or daughters to clear their consciences and get back under the authority of God and their parents
- Convincing friends who are considering a divorce not to go through with it
- Going the “second mile” to demonstrate the love and forgiveness of Christ
- Taking every opportunity in words and actions to witness for Christ
- Encouraging other Christians to dedicate their lives totally to Christ by the example which you set
- Taking ministry opportunities to persuade others to follow Christ
- Guiding vital truths around another’s mental roadblocks – Character First!
- Convincing others to follow God’s ways because of how His ways are working in our lives – The Power for True Success
- Thinking through all the objectives before presenting our case. Demonstrating commitment to our convictions by the example of our lives. Understanding the basic needs of our opponents – Character Clues
- The story of Ahithophel in 2 Samuel 16:23 and chapter 17
- The story of Esther in Esther chapter 7
- Paul using his testimony to convince his hearers of the power and truth of God (Acts 26:13-28)
- God’s Final Call (John W. Peterson, 1921-)
- Almost Persuaded (Philip P. Bliss, 1838-1876)
- When We See Christ (Esther Kerr Rusthoi, 1909-1962)
- Rescue the Perishing (William H. Doane, 1832-1915)
- Work, for the Night Is Coming (Annie L. Coghill, 1836-1907)
- I Am Resolved (Palmer Hartsough, 1844-1932)
- Ye Must Be Born Again (William T. Sleeper, 1819-1904)
- Acts 18:13 Saying, This fellow persuadeth <374> men to worship God contrary to the law.
- Matthew 27:20 But the chief priests and elders persuaded <3982> the multitude that they should ask Barabbas, and destroy Jesus.
- Matthew 27:43 He trusted <3982> in God; let him deliver him now, if he will have him: for he said, I am the Son of God.
- Matthew 28:14 And if this come to the governor’s ears, we will persuade <3982> him, and secure you.
- Mark 10:24 And the disciples were astonished at his words. But Jesus answereth again, and saith unto them, Children, how hard is it for them that trust <3982> in riches to enter into the kingdom of God!
- Luke 11:22 But when a stronger than he shall come upon him, and overcome him, he taketh from him all his armour wherein he trusted <3982>, and divideth his spoils.
- Luke 16:31 And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded <3982>, though one rose from the dead.
- Luke 18:9 And he spake this parable unto certain which trusted <3982> in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others:
- Luke 20:6 But and if we say, Of men; all the people will stone us: for they be persuaded <3982> that John was a prophet.
- Acts 5:36 For before these days rose up Theudas, boasting himself to be somebody; to whom a number of men, about four hundred, joined themselves: who was slain; and all, as many as obeyed <3982> him, were scattered, and brought to nought.
- Acts 5:37 After this man rose up Judas of Galilee in the days of the taxing, and drew away much people after him: he also perished; and all,even as many as obeyed <3982> him, were dispersed.
- Acts 5:40 And to him they agreed <3982>: and when they had called the apostles, and beaten them, they commanded that they should not speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go.
- Acts 12:20 And Herod was highly displeased with them of Tyre and Sidon: but they came with one accord to him, and, having made <3982>Blastus the king’s chamberlain their friend <3982>, desired peace; because their country was nourished by the king’s country.
- Acts 13:43 Now when the congregation was broken up, many of the Jews and religious proselytes followed Paul and Barnabas: who, speaking to them, persuaded <3982> them to continue in the grace of God.
- Acts 14:19 And there came thither certain Jews from Antioch and Iconium, who persuaded <3982> the people, and, having stoned Paul, drewhim out of the city, supposing he had been dead.
- Acts 17:4 And some of them believed <3982>, and consorted with Paul and Silas; and of the devout Greeks a great multitude, and of the chief women not a few.
- Acts 18:4 And he reasoned in the synagogue every sabbath, and persuaded <3982> the Jews and the Greeks.
- Acts 19:8 And he went into the synagogue, and spake boldly for the space of three months, disputing and persuading <3982> the things concerning the kingdom of God.
- Acts 19:26 Moreover ye see and hear, that not alone at Ephesus, but almost throughout all Asia, this Paul hath persuaded <3982> and turned away much people, saying that they be no gods, which are made with hands:
- Acts 21:14 And when he would <3982> not be persuaded <3982>, we ceased, saying, The will of the Lord be done.
- Acts 23:21 But do <3982> not thou yield <3982> unto them: for there lie in wait for him of them more than forty men, which have bound themselves with an oath, that they will neither eat nor drink till they have killed him: and now are they ready, looking for a promise from thee.
- Acts 26:26 For the king knoweth of these things, before whom also I speak freely: for I am persuaded <3982> that none of these things are hidden from him; for this thing was not done in a corner.
- Acts 26:28 Then Agrippa said unto Paul, Almost thou persuadest <3982> me to be a Christian.
- Acts 27:11 Nevertheless the centurion believed <3982> the master and the owner of the ship, more than those things which were spoken by Paul.
- Acts 28:23 And when they had appointed him a day, there came many to him into his lodging; to whom he expounded and testified the kingdom of God, persuading <3982> them concerning Jesus, both out of the law of Moses, and out of the prophets, from morning till evening.
- Acts 28:24 And some believed <3982> the things which were spoken, and some believed not.
- Romans 2:8 But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey <3982> unrighteousness, indignation and wrath,
- Romans 2:19 And art confident <3982> that thou thyself art a guide of the blind, a light of them which are in darkness,
- Romans 8:38 For I am persuaded <3982>, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,
- Romans 14:14 I know, and am persuaded <3982> by the Lord Jesus, that there is nothing unclean of itself: but to him that esteemeth any thing to be unclean, to him it is unclean.
- Romans 15:14 And I myself also am persuaded <3982> of you, my brethren, that ye also are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge, able also to admonish one another.
- 2 Corinthians 1:9 But we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should <3982> not trust <3982> in ourselves, but in God which raiseth the dead:
- 2 Corinthians 2:3 And I wrote this same unto you, lest, when I came, I should have sorrow from them of whom I ought to rejoice; having confidence <3982> in you all, that my joy is the joy of you all.
- 2 Corinthians 5:11 Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade <3982> men; but we are made manifest unto God; and I trust also are made manifest in your consciences.
- 2 Corinthians 10:7 Do ye look on things after the outward appearance? If any man trust <3982> to himself that he is Christ’s, let him of himself think this again, that, as he is Christ’s, even so are we Christ’s.
- Galatians 1:10 For do I <3982> now persuade <3982> men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.
- Galatians 3:1 O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should <3982> not obey <3982> the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you?
- Galatians 5:7 Ye did run well; who did hinder you that ye should <3982> not obey <3982> the truth?
- Galatians 5:10 I have confidence <3982> in you through the Lord, that ye will be none otherwise minded: but he that troubleth you shall bear his judgement, whosoever he be.
- Philippians 1:6 Being confident <3982> of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:
- Philippians 1:14 And many of the brethren in the Lord, waxing confident <3982> by my bonds, are much more bold to speak the word without fear.
- Philippians 1:25 And having this confidence <3982>, I know that I shall abide and continue with you all for your furtherance and joy of faith;
- Philippians 2:24 But I trust <3982> in the Lord that I also myself shall come shortly.
- Philippians 3:3 For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have <3982> no confidence <3982> in the flesh.
- Philippians 3:4 Though I might also have confidence in the flesh. If any other man thinketh that he hath whereof he might trust <3982> in the flesh, I more:
- 2 Thessalonians 3:4 And we have confidence <3982> in the Lord touching you, that ye both do and will do the things which we command you.
- 2 Timothy 1:5 When I call to remembrance the unfeigned faith that is in thee, which dwelt first in thy grandmother Lois, and thy mother Eunice; and I am persuaded <3982> that in thee also.
- 2 Timothy 1:12 For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded <3982> that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.
- Philemon 1:21 Having confidence <3982> in thy obedience I wrote unto thee, knowing that thou wilt also do more than I say.
- Hebrews 2:13 And again, I will put my trust <3982> in him. And again, Behold I and the children which God hath given me.
- Hebrews 6:9 But, beloved, we are persuaded <3982> better things of you, and things that accompany salvation, though we thus speak.
- Hebrews 11:13 These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of <3982> them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.
- Hebrews 13:17 Obey <3982> them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.
- Hebrews 13:18 Pray for us: for we trust <3982> we have a good conscience, in all things willing to live honestly.
- James 3:3 Behold, we put bits in the horses’ mouths, that they may obey <3982> us; and we turn about their whole body.
- 1 John 3:19 And hereby we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure <3982> our hearts before him.
- Galatians 5:8 This persuasion <3988> cometh not of him that calleth you.
- Luke 1:1 Forasmuch as many have taken in hand to set forth in order a declaration of those things which are most surely believed <4135>among us,
- Romans 4:21 And being fully persuaded <4135> that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform.
- Romans 14:5 One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day alike. Let <4135> every man be fully persuaded <4135>in his own mind.
- 2 Timothy 4:5 But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof <4135> of thy ministry.
- 2 Timothy 4:17 Notwithstanding the Lord stood with me, and strengthened me; that by me the preaching might be fully known <4135>, and thatall the Gentiles might hear: and I was delivered out of the mouth of the lion.
- Deuteronomy 13:6 If thy brother, the son of thy mother, or thy son, or thy daughter, or the wife of thy bosom, or thy friend, which is as thine own soul, entice <05496> thee secretly, saying, Let us go and serve other gods, which thou hast not known, thou, nor thy fathers;
- Joshua 15:18 And it came to pass, as she came unto him, that she moved <05496> him to ask of her father a field: and she lighted off her ass; and Caleb said unto her, What wouldest thou?
- Judges 1:14 And it came to pass, when she came to him, that she moved <05496> him to ask of her father a field: and she lighted from off herass; and Caleb said unto her, What wilt thou?
- 1 Samuel 26:19 Now therefore, I pray thee, let my lord the king hear the words of his servant. If the LORD have stirred thee up <05496> against me, let him accept an offering: but if they be the children of men, cursed be they before the LORD; for they have driven me out this day from abiding in the inheritance of the LORD, saying, Go, serve other gods.
- 2 Samuel 24:1 And again the anger of the LORD was kindled against Israel, and he moved <05496> David against them to say, Go, number Israel and Judah.
- 1 Kings 21:25 But there was none like unto Ahab, which did sell himself to work wickedness in the sight of the LORD, whom Jezebel his wife stirred up <05496>.
- 2 Kings 18:32 Until I come and take you away to a land like your own land, a land of corn and wine, a land of bread and vineyards, a land of oil olive and of honey, that ye may live, and not die: and hearken not unto Hezekiah, when he persuadeth <05496> you, saying, The LORD will deliver us.
- 1 Chronicles 21:1 And Satan stood up against Israel, and provoked <05496> David to number Israel.
- 2 Chronicles 18:2 And after certain years he went down to Ahab to Samaria. And Ahab killed sheep and oxen for him in abundance, and for the people that he had with him, and persuaded <05496> him to go up with him to Ramothgilead.
- 2 Chronicles 18:31 And it came to pass, when the captains of the chariots saw Jehoshaphat, that they said, It is the king of Israel. Therefore they compassed about him to fight: but Jehoshaphat cried out, and the LORD helped him; and God moved <05496> them to depart from him.
- 2 Chronicles 32:11 Doth not Hezekiah persuade <05496> you to give over yourselves to die by famine and by thirst, saying, The LORD our God shall deliver us out of the hand of the king of Assyria?
- 2 Chronicles 32:15 Now therefore let not Hezekiah deceive you, nor persuade <05496> you on this manner, neither yet believe him: for no god of any nation or kingdom was able to deliver his people out of mine hand, and out of the hand of my fathers: how much less shall your God deliver you out of mine hand?
- Job 2:3 And the LORD said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil? and still he holdeth fast his integrity, although thou movedst <05496> me against him, to destroy him without cause.
- Job 36:16 Even so would he have removed <05496> thee out of the strait into a broad place, where there is no straitness; and that which should be set on thy table should be full of fatness.
- Job 36:18 Because there is wrath, beware lest he take thee away <05496> with his stroke: then a great ransom cannot deliver thee.
- Isaiah 36:18 Beware lest Hezekiah persuade <05496> you, saying, The LORD will deliver us. Hath any of the gods of the nations delivered his land out of the hand of the king of Assyria?
- Jeremiah 38:22 And, behold, all the women that are left in the king of Judah’s house shall be brought forth to the king of Babylon’s princes, and those women shall say, Thy friends have set thee on <05496>, and have prevailed against thee: thy feet are sunk in the mire, and they are turned away back.
- Jeremiah 43:3 But Baruch the son of Neriah setteth thee on <05496> against us, for to deliver us into the hand of the Chaldeans, that they might put us to death, and carry us away captives into Babylon.
- Genesis 9:27 God shall enlarge <06601> Japheth, and he shall dwell in the tents of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant.
- Exodus 22:16 And if a man entice <06601> a maid that is not betrothed, and lie with her, he shall surely endow her to be his wife.
- Deuteronomy 11:16 Take heed to yourselves, that your heart be not deceived <06601>, and ye turn aside, and serve other gods, and worship them;
- Judges 14:15 And it came to pass on the seventh day, that they said unto Samson’s wife, Entice <06601> thy husband, that he may declare unto us the riddle, lest we burn thee and thy father’s house with fire: have ye called us to take that we have? is it not so?
- Judges 16:5 And the lords of the Philistines came up unto her, and said unto her, Entice <06601> him, and see wherein his great strength lieth, and by what means we may prevail against him, that we may bind him to afflict him: and we will give thee every one of us eleven hundredpieces of silver.
- 2 Samuel 3:25 Thou knowest Abner the son of Ner, that he came to deceive <06601> thee, and to know thy going out and thy coming in, and to know all that thou doest.
- 1 Kings 22:20 And the LORD said, Who shall persuade <06601> Ahab, that he may go up and fall at Ramothgilead? And one said on this manner, and another said on that manner.
- 1 Kings 22:21 And there came forth a spirit, and stood before the LORD, and said, I will persuade <06601> him.
- 1 Kings 22:22 And the LORD said unto him, Wherewith? And he said, I will go forth, and I will be a lying spirit in the mouth of all his prophets. And he said, Thou shalt persuade <06601> him, and prevail also: go forth, and do so.
- 2 Chronicles 18:19 And the LORD said, Who shall entice <06601> Ahab king of Israel, that he may go up and fall at Ramothgilead? And one spake saying after this manner, and another saying after that manner.
- 2 Chronicles 18:20 Then there came out a spirit, and stood before the LORD, and said, I will entice <06601> him. And the LORD said unto him, Wherewith?
- 2 Chronicles 18:21 And he said, I will go out, and be a lying spirit in the mouth of all his prophets. And the LORD said, Thou shalt entice <06601>him, and thou shalt also prevail: go out, and do even so.
- Job 5:2 For wrath killeth the foolish man, and envy slayeth the silly one <06601>.
- Job 31:9 If mine heart have been deceived <06601> by a woman, or if I have laid wait at my neighbour’s door;
- Job 31:27 And my heart hath been secretly enticed <06601>, or my mouth hath kissed my hand:
- Psalms 78:36 Nevertheless they did flatter <06601> him with their mouth, and they lied unto him with their tongues.
- Proverbs 1:10 My son, if sinners entice <06601> thee, consent thou not.
- Proverbs 16:29 A violent man enticeth <06601> his neighbour, and leadeth him into the way that is not good.
- Proverbs 20:19 He that goeth about as a talebearer revealeth secrets: therefore meddle not with him that flattereth <06601> with his lips.
- Proverbs 24:28 Be not a witness against thy neighbour without cause; and deceive <06601> not with thy lips.
- Proverbs 25:15 By long forbearing is a prince persuaded <06601>, and a soft tongue breaketh the bone.
- Jeremiah 20:7 O LORD, thou hast deceived <06601> me, and I was deceived <06601>: thou art stronger than I, and hast prevailed: I am in derision daily, every one mocketh me.
- Jeremiah 20:10 For I heard the defaming of many, fear on every side. Report, say they, and we will report it. All my familiars watched for my halting, saying, Peradventure he will be enticed <06601>, and we shall prevail against him, and we shall take our revenge on him.
- Ezekiel 14:9 And if the prophet be deceived <06601> when he hath spoken a thing, I the LORD have deceived <06601> that prophet, and I will stretch out my hand upon him, and will destroy him from the midst of my people Israel.
- Hosea 2:14 Therefore, behold, I will allure <06601> her, and bring her into the wilderness, and speak comfortably unto her.
- Hosea 7:11 Ephraim also is like a silly <06601> dove without heart: they call to Egypt, they go to Assyria.
“Wherefore show ye to them, and before the churches, the proof of your love, and of our boasting on your behalf” (2 Corinthians 8:24).
It’s very easy to say the words “I love, you” – but it’s quite possible that the ones which we love the most may struggle with the knowledge of whether or not they’re really loved. The ones we live with and are closest to may not fully recognize the sincerity and depth of our love.
I have no doubt that in extreme situations most parents would lay down their lives for their children; most husbands would sacrifice their own lives for the sake of their wives. But those extreme situations are rare and most of us are never called upon to make that ultimate sacrifice.
Instead we are called to live in everyday, ordinary situations where we have the tendency to take each other for granted. Meaningful and necessary words and deeds that would otherwise express and prove our love go unsaid and undone; and the depth and sincerity of our love is never fully known.
Paul encourages us to show the proof of our love. Put that love into words and actions. Invest a treasure of time, energy or money into the lives of the ones you love the most.
Morris Hull, Home Life Ministries