Continue to Speak The Word with Boldness

Peter and John were speaking to the people, although I believe it was primarily Peter who was talking, and they were teaching and proclaiming Jesus Christ and him crucified and risen from the dead. And the priests and the captain of the temple and the Sadducees were greatly annoyed at this. So they arrested them and they put them in custody until the next day. And the next day these religious leaders brought the apostles before them and they questioned them about what they were doing.

Peter, thus, took this opportunity to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with them. And he also took the opportunity to let them know that there is no salvation in anyone else other than Jesus Christ who they had rejected, and who they had scorned, and who they had crucified on a cross, although he had done no wrong but only good. But the religious leaders’ response to what Peter said (not all of which is discussed here) was to warn the apostles to speak no more in the name of Jesus Christ. But I love their response:

“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.’” Acts 4:19-20 ESV

When the apostles were released, they went to their friends and they reported what the chief priests and the elders had said to them. And when their friends heard it, they lifted their voices together to God in prayer:

“Sovereign Lord, who made the heaven and the earth and the sea and everything in them, who through the mouth of our father David, your servant, said by the Holy Spirit,

“‘Why did the Gentiles rage,
and the peoples plot in vain?
The kings of the earth set themselves,
and the rulers were gathered together,
against the Lord and against his Anointed’—

for truly in this city there were gathered together against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, to do whatever your hand and your plan had predestined to take place. And now, Lord, look upon their threats and grant to your servants to continue to speak your word with all boldness, while you stretch out your hand to heal, and signs and wonders are performed through the name of your holy servant Jesus.” Acts 4:24-30 ESV

Making it Personal

In America today, so much of what is called “church” is not the church, but they are businesses of men being marketed to the world just like any other businesses. Now the true church probably does exist within most of these gatherings, for they probably began with a core group of Christians, or those calling themselves Christians. But over the course of many years the church began to make more and more compromises in order to attract the world to their gatherings. And so they altered what the church is, and who God/Jesus is, and what the gospel is all about, so as to appeal to the ungodly.

So what we have now are many gatherings of people who call their gatherings “church” but who are following business models and marketing schemes on how to grow their “churches” in place of being led by the Holy Spirit and by the teachings of the Scriptures. And so many of their leaders are more like cult leaders and are being trained to be so in many cases, and everything is under the control of these marketing goals and plans, and so they have gotten so far away from who the church is and what the gospel teaches, and so many of them are teaching lies and are denying the truth.

So, what this means for us who are still sharing and teaching and proclaiming the truth of the gospel, as Jesus taught it, and as his New Testament apostles taught it, is that we are now being rejected and cast aside and treated like the apostles were treated. And we are being cautioned against teaching the truth of the gospel because they don’t want messages any more about sin, repentance, obedience, submission, and walks of holiness and righteousness. For they are telling people all that is needed is a one-time profession of faith in Jesus and they are now guaranteed heaven.

Thus, more and more those of us who are still proclaiming that we, who are sinners by nature, need to repent of our sins, turning away from them, and that we are now to follow Jesus in obedience to his commands in walks of holiness and righteousness, we are becoming the enemy. And those who are spreading the lies are becoming those who are loved and admired and followed while we are largely being shunned, ignored, and rejected. So we, like Peter and John, need to not submit to that, but we must keep speaking of what we have seen and heard from God/Jesus Christ/the Spirit.

And we must not let those who are raging against us get the best of us, but we must take our situations and our concerns to the Lord in prayer. For as they treated Jesus and his NT apostles, so they will treat us. But this should come as no surprise to us, because Jesus and his NT apostles told us that these things would take place. Like Paul said, we were destined for these persecutions. So, we just need to take courage, and trust the Lord, and keep on speaking the truth of the gospel even if it seems that very few are even listening anymore. And we must continue to speak with boldness, too.

[Matt 5:10-12; Matt 10:16-25; Matt 24:9-14; Lu 6:22-23; Lu 21:12-19; Jn 15:1-21; Jn 16:33; Jn 17:14; Ac 14:22; Rom 5:3-5; Phil 3:7-11; 1 Pet 1:6-7; 1 Pet 4:12-17; 2 Tim 3:12; 1 Thess 3:1-5; Jas 1:2-4; 2 Co 1:3-11; Heb 12:3-12; 1 Jn 3:13; Rev 6:9-11; Rev 7:9-17; Rev 11:1-3; Rev 12:17; Rev 13:1-18; Rev 14:1-13]

For Our Nation

An Original Work / September 11, 2012

Bombs are bursting. Night is falling.
Jesus Christ is gently calling
You to follow Him in all ways.
Trust Him with your life today.
Make Him your Lord and your Savior.
Turn from your sin. Follow Jesus.
He will forgive you of your sin;
Cleanse your heart, made new within.

Men betraying: Our trust fraying.
On our knees to God we’re praying,
Seeking God to give us answers
That are only found in Him.
God is sovereign over all things.
Nothing from His mind escaping.
He has all things under His command,
And will work all for good.

Jesus Christ is gently calling
You to follow Him in all ways.

Men deceiving: We’re believing
In our Lord, and interceding
For our nation and its people
To obey their God today.
He is our hope for our future.
For our wounds He offers suture.
He is all we need for this life.
Trust Him with your life today.
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