The priests and the captain of the temple of God, and the Sadducees came upon Peter and John, greatly annoyed because they were teaching the people and proclaiming in Jesus the resurrection from the dead. So, they arrested them and put them in custody until the next day.
The next day they brought Peter and John before them and they questioned them regarding by what name John and Peter healed a man. So, Peter told them that the man was healed by the name of Jesus Christ whom they had crucified, but whom God had raised from the dead.
Peter went on to tell them that Jesus Christ is the stone that was rejected by them, the builders, and he has become the cornerstone. “There is salvation in no one else,” Peter told them, “for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”
Peter was referring to prophecies from the Old Testament regarding Jesus as the stone of God’s building, his church, which they, the Jews, had rejected. As the cornerstone, Jesus is the head of his church, his body. Only through Jesus Christ can anyone be saved from sin and have eternal life with God.
[See: Ps 118:22-23; Is 28:16; Matt 21:42-45; Eph 2:20-22]
Acts 4:15-17 ESV
“But when they had commanded them to leave the council, they conferred with one another, saying, ‘What shall we do with these men? For that a notable sign has been performed through them is evident to all the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and we cannot deny it. But in order that it may spread no further among the people, let us warn them to speak no more to anyone in this name.’”
People today are still rejecting Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior of their lives. And included among those who are rejecting him are many who claim to believe in him and who profess to be part of his church, his body. Verbally they may profess him, but by their lifestyles they reject (deny) him.
For some, it is because they are blindly following false teachers and false teaching because it sounds good, and they are not taking the time to test what they are hearing against the Scriptures (in context), or they don’t want to test what they are hearing, because they want to believe the lie.
And some (or many) who are rejecting Jesus Christ are also openly (or secretively) opposing his gospel of salvation and all those who are teaching the true gospel. And some of the ways in which they are coming against the truth and against the gospel’s messengers are these:
• They scheme against and try to trick them into getting angry
• They provoke them with lies that they made up against them
• They play mind games with them hoping to confuse their thinking
• They insult, taunt, mock, belittle and make cutting remarks at them
• They attack the truth of the gospel and call it lies
• They claim that what is false is truth and that truth is false
• They convince people not to repent or obey or submit to Christ
• They attack people’s walks of faith calling them “works salvation”
• They teach Scriptures out of their context and spin them
• They distort the Scriptures and teach the opposite of Christ
But this is nothing new. They did the same things to Jesus Christ when he walked this earth. They were always looking for ways to trip him up with his words, hoping that they would have cause to accuse him. They twisted the Scriptures then to their advantage so that they could continue in sin.
So, our opponents may not always outright command us not to speak the truth in Jesus’ name, but they may try to trick, manipulate, guilt-trip, and scheme against us in ways that are not so direct or obvious, but which may be more hidden and subtle. So, we have to watch for traps.
For, our enemy Satan is on a rampage against those who are following Jesus Christ with their lives and who are teaching (preaching, sharing) the gospel as Jesus and His New Testament apostles taught it. For they don’t want people to hear that they must repent, obey God, and submit to Christ.
Acts 4:18-20 ESV
“So they called them and charged them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus. But Peter and John answered them, ‘Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you rather than to God, you must judge, for we cannot but speak of what we have seen and heard.’”
Again, we may not yet have people ordering us not to speak in the name of Jesus, but they may be trying to shame us into denying our Lord and into forsaking the narrow road in favor of joining them on the broad road leading to destruction, which is being disguised as the way of righteousness.
Satan is a master at trickery. So, please pray, and please be on your guard. For, whether on social media, or on Christian discussion sites, or on the blogging world, we are going to hear from people who are not sincere in what they say who are trying to trick us into some kind of compromise of truth.
So, don’t be too quick to respond to people. Pray for discernment. Test what you are hearing them say against the Scriptures. Don’t be fearful. Don’t distrust everyone or be paranoid. Just be sensible, but be alert, for the enemy is very clever and he will attack underhandedly.
But still our response should be that we will keep speaking the truth of the gospel of our salvation no matter what is thrown at us or what people say about us. We must be convinced of what we believe, and we must remain steadfast in faith and testimony no matter what opposition we face.
Here I Am, Lord
By Daniel L. Schutte
I, the Lord of snow and rain,
I have borne my people’s pain.
I have wept for love of them –
They turn away.
I will break their hearts of stone,
Give them hearts for love alone.
I will speak my word to them.
Whom shall I send?
Here I am, Lord
Is it I, Lord?
I have heard You calling in the night
I will go, Lord
If You lead me
I will hold Your people in my heart
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