Acts 4:1-4 ESV
“And as they were speaking to the people, the priests and the captain of the temple and the Sadducees came upon them, greatly annoyed because they were teaching the people and proclaiming in Jesus the resurrection from the dead. And they arrested them and put them in custody until the next day, for it was already evening. But many of those who had heard the word believed, and the number of the men came to about five thousand.”
The Lord Jesus is leading me to immediately apply this to our situation today in our modern world, so I will not be talking about Peter and John but about believers in Jesus Christ today who are bearing witness to Jesus Christ and to his gospel who are being treated similarly to how Peter and John were treated, and by the same types of people, too. And I will be sharing how we are having similar results to what they had then, too.
Now, I live in the USA, so it is what I know, so that is what I will talk about, but if you live in another nation, which I know many of you do, then please feel free to make the application here that fits your circumstances.
In America so much of what is called “church” are businesses of men which are being marketed to the world just like any other business. Thus, they are conforming the gatherings of “the church” to the world in order to appeal to the world and to draw in large crowds of people from the world. So, they have altered the church gatherings so the world will enjoy them, and they have altered the gospel of Jesus Christ to make it more acceptable to the people of the world and to the flesh of man, so it is not the true gospel.
Therefore, if we who are the Lord’s by genuine faith in Jesus Christ are still holding fast to the truth of the gospel (the whole counsel of God), and if we are publicly proclaiming that gospel to others, and if we are talking about how we need to repent (turn from our sin) and to turn to God to follow him in obedience to his commands (New Covenant), then many of the pastors (elders) of these “church” congregations are annoyed with us and they want to silence us, and they are putting some of us out of their “churches.”
But this isn’t just about people meeting in person in physical buildings. There are a number of Christian discussion sites on the internet that also will encourage you to “go someplace else” if you are teaching the true gospel and not this diluted half-truth gospel which many are teaching today.
They Arrested Them
In America it is not yet a crime to teach the true gospel, the whole counsel of God, but that is coming. They (global powers) have been moving that direction for some time, so it is not really a matter of “if” but “when.” For years they have been talking about how we all need to break down what divides us as a people so that the people of the world can all come together as one voice, one mind, and one heart, so that we will have unity and harmony in the world and not separation based on what divides us.
But the word “arrest” also means to halt, to stop, to block, to prevent, and to obstruct, and this is what is happening today in the modern market-driven churches (and some Christian-based websites) which have compromised with the world. They have altered the true gospel to make it something it is not in order to appeal to the flesh of man, and they are pushing away those who are teaching the truth, and therefore they have obstructed the true gospel from getting out to the people.
And even on websites where we can still teach the true gospel, we are being faced with opposition from those who are adhering to the altered half-truth gospel, and they are in the majority, and we are in the minority. And so we are having to defend the true gospel against the lies of the enemy who is the one behind all of this. For not only is the true gospel not being taught much anymore, but it is being verbally attacked as well as we are, too, who are still teaching the whole counsel of God.
But Many Believed
But, for many of us, we have much more freedom to speak the truth of the gospel on the internet than we have in many local church congregations who are following the marketing schemes of men on how to grow their churches. Our voices are being snuffed in many of these modern “churches” which are altering what church is, and which are altering the gospel to appeal to human flesh. But, at least for me, that is when God sent me to the internet to share his gospel, so that has been a blessing.
Now, my experience personally has not been so far that I am seeing people believe in Jesus Christ who had not believed in him before. Your experience may be different from mine. But the gospel which is permeating the church of today and the internet, too, is not the true gospel but the half-truth cheapened gospel that tells people that they don’t have to surrender their lives to Jesus Christ, that they don’t have to repent of their sins, and that they don’t have to obey the Lord. They call that works-based salvation.
But what I am seeing, from what I am able to see, is that these messages the Lord Jesus is giving me are going all over the world, mostly in North America, Asia, Africa, and Europe, and people are reading them, and I know that the word of God will not return empty, but it will accomplish the purpose for which he sent it, so I believe these messages are making a difference in people’s lives. And I do get some feedback, so I know that they are impacting some people. All glory to God!
Now, in summary, the true gospel message is that Jesus died on that cross that we might die with him to sin and live to him and to his righteousness. He died that we might no longer live for ourselves but for him who gave his life up for us. He shed his blood on that cross to buy us back for God (to redeem us) so we will now honor God with our bodies. And he died to free us from our slavery to sin so we will now be slaves of God and of his righteousness, to the glory and praise of God.
So, by God’s grace, through God-given faith in Jesus Christ, we surrender our lives to Jesus Christ. We are crucified with him in death to sin and we are raised with him to walk in newness of life in him, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. Now we no longer walk according to the flesh, to please our sinful flesh, but we now walk (in conduct, in practice) according to the Spirit of God.
For, if we continue in deliberate and habitual sin against God, then we will not inherit eternal life with God. But if we walk in righteousness, in obedience to our Lord, we have eternal life with God.
[Lu 9:23-26; Jn 6:35-58; Jn 15:1-11; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Eph 4:17-24; 1 Pet 2:24; 1 Co 6:9-10,19-20; 2 Co 5:10, 15; Tit 2:11-14; Jas 1:21-25; Rom 12:1-2; Eph 2:8-10; Php 2:12-13; Col 1:21-23; Gal 5:16-21; Eph 5:3-6; Gal 6:7-8; Rom 2:6-8; Heb 10:26-27; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Matt 7:21-23; Rev. 2-3; Rev 18:1-6; Rev 21:8, 27; Rev 22:14-15]
So, know the truth, and believe the truth, because if you follow the lies they will send you to hell, not to heaven. For God’s free gift of grace is not free license to keep on sinning against the Lord, for the free gift is freedom from our slavery to sin and it is freedom to walk in holiness and righteousness in the power of God. But if you share the truth of the gospel with others, be prepared to be persecuted and to be ostracized, even by those who claim to be your brothers and sisters in Christ, and even by pastors of churches.
Songs in the Night
An Original Work / December 18, 2013
“About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them.” Acts 16:25 NIV ‘84
Lord, I praise You forevermore.
You, my Savior, I now adore.
Hope in heaven awaiting me,
Because You died at Calvary.
I have been forgiven,
And I’m bound for heaven.
Jesus set me free from
All my sin, I say.
I will praise Him always!
Lord, I love You for all You’ve done:
Overcame death, my vict’ry won!
Jesus saved me, and now I’m free!
I rejoice in His love for me.
I will walk in vict’ry!
My sin is but hist’ry!
I am free to please Him
With my life today.
I will love Him always!
Lord, I thank You for giving me
A new life bought at Calvary.
Loving Jesus, I meet with Him.
Tender mercies now flow within.
Lord, I am so thankful;
Through my Lord, I’m able
To sit at His table;
Fellowship with Him.
I will thank Him always!