Hello everybody, and welcome in to episode 36 of the Bible 2021 podcast. We are reading Acts 10 today and our focus is on the boiled down most important parts of the Christian message and testimony. We are a daily 10 minute podcast, where we will dig in to the truth of the Word of God by reading one Bible chapter a day and discussing it. Welcome to new listeners in .  Thanks for listening! Our goal this year is to encourage DAILY Bible reading, so you can jump in at any time and join with us. We want to invite as many people as possible to join us in daily Bible reading, so help spread the word and share the podcast Don’t forget about our new web-page, Bible2021.com – contact page, show notes, transcript and more – Click here for our reading plan!

I don’t have much of a marketing background, but I have studied marketing and sales enough to know that lots of experts in that field recommend that people who are trying to get hired, and people who are trying to sell an invention, or idea, or business plan should have a well developed and well thought out ‘elevator speech,’ that is tightly focused, lasts about a minute – enough to go up a few floors on the elevator – and contains everything essential that you need to communicate and absolutely nothing empty or superfluous. In the past, Christian leaders have sought to train Christians in the art or skill of ‘soul-winning,’ and have used various methods, including having a well memorized elevator style speech – perhaps one that ends with the question, “If you died tonight, where would you spend eternity?”

I’m not sure that having a well-rehearsed and memorized speech is the best way to share Christ in this day and age, though. People seem to have a better ability to tell when something is canned, or less than genuine…and they seem to be turned off by boiler-plate speech. That said, I do think that Christians should know the essentials of the faith in a way that they could present a compelling elevator-style speech about the absolute core and crux of Christianity. We should be able to – in about a minute or two – hit all of the major elements of the faith, and tell the Christian story. In fact, we are essentially commanded to be able to do this in 1 Peter 3:15

but in your hearts regard Christ the Lord as holy, ready at any time to give a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you.

How apropos that Peter would be the human agent for this command, because he gives one of the best ‘elevator-speech’ style summaries of the whole of Christian faith in our chapter today. Let’s read it…and I know we’re going to read it twice today, but maybe doing so will help us remember the important details here:

34 Peter began to speak: “Now I truly understand that God doesn’t show favoritism, 35 but in every nation the person who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him. 36 He sent the message to the Israelites, proclaiming the good news of peace through Jesus Christ—he is Lord of all. 37 You know the events that took place throughout all Judea, beginning from Galilee after the baptism that John preached: 38 how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, and how he went about doing good and healing all who were under the tyranny of the devil, because God was with him. 39 We ourselves are witnesses of everything he did in both the Judean country and in Jerusalem, and yet they killed him by hanging him on a tree. 40 God raised up this man on the third day and caused him to be seen, 41 not by all the people, but by us whom God appointed as witnesses, who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead. 42 He commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that he is the one appointed by God to be the judge of the living and the dead. 43 All the prophets testify about him that through his name everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins.” Acts 10:34-43

Now, in that one 60ish second proclamation, Peter hit almost every core essential of the gospel  – the only thing I think that is missing is the promise of the resurrection through Christ and eternal life in Heaven. (Note: I am sure Peter proclaimed that hope to Cornelius’ household…I imagine that Luke didn’t write it down, simply because the Bible does NOT record everything said in a particular instance, nor should it – it covers and records the essentials.)  This would be a great passage for all of us to be very, very familiar with in conversing with seekers, agnostics and unbelievers. Maybe we should all be ready to give such a succinct and boiled down summary of the good news when asked! Let’s read the whole chapter.

End of the Show: Bible memory verse for FEBRUARY: Acts 9:31 So the church throughout all Judea, Galilee, and Samaria had peace and was strengthened. Living in the fear of the Lord and encouraged by the Holy Spirit, it increased in numbers.

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