Many signs and wonders were being done by the apostles, and people were bringing their sick and afflicted to the apostles for healing, but the high priest and the Sadducees were filled with jealousy, so they arrested the apostles and they put them in public prison.
Acts 5:19-21 ESV
“But during the night an angel of the Lord opened the prison doors and brought them out, and said, ‘Go and stand in the temple and speak to the people all the words of this Life.’ And when they heard this, they entered the temple at daybreak and began to teach.”
Moral of the story: If the Lord wants you preaching (sharing the gospel and teaching the Scriptures) wherever, he will make a way where there seems to be no way. It doesn’t mean it will always work out like this, though. Paul spent many years in prison, but the Lord used him even there to advance the gospel. And when the Lord is finished with you and your time here on earth is done, then he will take you home, and that will be glorious!
But the important thing for us to remember here is that God is in control and nothing can touch us but what God allows it, and he has a plan for it all. And he never promised us that life would be easy, but he promised us that we would be hated, rejected, abused, mistreated, lied to, falsely accused, falsely arrested, betrayed, forsaken, and abandoned, etc. So, if this happens, it doesn’t mean the Lord has forsaken us. We have to trust him.
Also, if we do get falsely accused or falsely arrested or betrayed or whatever, God can deliver us, too, like he did the apostles. He can open the prison doors or the gates or whatever and he can send us right back to where we were before, or to someplace different, and he can make the way for us to continue in the work that he assigned us to do. No enemy coming against us can thwart God’s plan and purpose for our lives.
And if we get imprisoned, he may keep us there, too, to speak to the other inmates about Jesus Christ. The point is that these are the types of things that the Scriptures teach us are going to happen to us, but if not yet, then they still could be. And we have to trust that the Lord is allowing it for a purpose in our lives and in the lives of others whose lives we touch. Thus, we must surrender our circumstances over to the Lord and let him work it all out according to his plan and purpose and for our good.
And if the Lord miraculously delivers us and he sends us right back to where we were mistreated, betrayed, rejected, and falsely accused, then we must go right back knowing full well that it could happen again, and we must keep on sharing Jesus and his gospel, for to this we are called if we are his followers and his true servants. For we are not on this earth for ourselves but to do the will of God and to love others and to share the gospel.
Acts 5:27-33 ESV
“And when they had brought them, they set them before the council. And the high priest questioned them, saying, ‘We strictly charged you not to teach in this name, yet here you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching, and you intend to bring this man’s blood upon us.’ But Peter and the apostles answered, ‘We must obey God rather than men. The God of our fathers raised Jesus, whom you killed by hanging him on a tree. God exalted him at his right hand as Leader and Savior, to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins. And we are witnesses to these things, and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey him.’
“When they heard this, they were enraged and wanted to kill them.”
Jesus said we would be hated, rejected, and persecuted like he was, so it should not surprise us when it comes. I live in America so most of us who claim faith in Jesus Christ have not yet had to suffer the kind of persecution that people in other nations have had to suffer. It doesn’t mean that some of us are not facing persecution, though. We are. For if we are following Jesus in obedience, and we are sharing the truth of the gospel, then we should expect to be opposed.
Now most of us in America are not being told that we can’t share the gospel anywhere. Right now, but it may not be for long, the internet is available in some locations where we can still share the truth of the gospel. Some church congregations still allow the teaching of the whole counsel of God. And we are able now to share the gospel on social media and on personal blogs, but we know that won’t be for forever.
There are a lot of places where we are not free to share the gospel though like in public places like stores and shopping centers and malls and in many institutional market-driven churches and even on some Christian discussion websites where they want you to teach the cheap grace gospel, instead. So, there is a lot of pressure being exerted against those who are teaching the whole counsel of God to back away from teaching the truth and to say things that will tickle itching ears, instead.
But we must not cave to the pressure to compromise the truth in order to not offend people. We must press forward in speaking the truth of the gospel of our salvation to all who will listen even if we are commanded to stop speaking in the name of Jesus or to stop teaching on repentance, obedience, and submission to Christ as Lord. For we must obey God rather than men when men ask us to disobey the Lord. And we must continue trusting the Lord no matter what comes our way, for God is good. Trust him fully!
[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 5:10,15,21; 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; Ac 26:18; Rev 18:1-6; Rev 21:8,27; Rev 22:14-15]
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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