Explore the Bible Study: You Must Decide (Revised Title)

10:21 AM

Sources estimate that adults make about 35,000 decisions each day. About 226.7 of those decisions are related to food according to researchers at Cornell University (Wansink and Sobal, 2007). But there is one decision that everyone must make that is greater than any of these - the decision to respond to Jesus' offer of salvation. This is the focus of LifeWay's Explore the Bible Study: You Must Decide (I revised the title), based on Paul's dialogue with King Agrippa in Acts 26:1-32.

TWO DECISIONS MADE IN ACTS 26:19-29
There were actually two major decisions made in the dialogue between Paul and King Agrippa. First, Paul had to decide he was going to ask King Agrippa to decide what he would do with the gospel. Second, King Agrippa had to decide how he would respond to the gospel. Paul did what God led him to do. He was obedient even to the point of calling on King Agrippa to make a decision. But, what about King Agrippa, how did he respond? Focus on these two decisions and responses as you guide your group.

PAUL DID NOT GET DISTRACTED - ACTS 26:24-26
God led Paul to realize that, if he had begun an argument with Festus, he would have never finished his conversation with King Agrippa. He made sure that he kept the dialogue directed back to King Agrippa. We need to learn this very important lesson from Paul. We can't get sidetracked by arguments from others when God has led us to talk to a certain person. It is o.k. to listen to the other person, but try to stay focused on the person you originally started a conversation with.

NOT THE DECISION PAUL HOPED FOR - Acts 26:30-32
This is not the response any of us might have hoped for. While they didn't kill Paul, they did soften their attitudes toward him at this point. Sadly, they did not do what Paul hoped for and "listen to him and become as he was" (A follower of Christ). If we only focused on this one experience of Paul's, then we might grow discouraged regarding telling others about Christ, but we must remember that there were times when Paul got to see many others decide to follow Christ.

LEAD YOUR GROUP TO DECIDE
Both Explore the Bible study guides include a great discussion question to help your group decide how they will apply the text to their lives. The question is located in the Apply the Text in the Daily Discipleship Study Guide, p.104 or In My Context in the Personal Study Guide, p.117. If the study guide isn't available consider using the following: List those with whom you have had discussions regarding spiritual things, but you did not ask for them to make a decision to follow Christ. How could you give them another opportunity to make a decision? What types of questions could you ask to reignite the conversation?

Asking someone to decide about responding to Christ might be the most difficult conversation to have, but when we have an opportunity, we have to ask people to respond to the gospel.
I hope this session will help your group understand the importance of asking people to make a decision about Christ.

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