They Gather Against the Lord

Summary Acts 4:1-22

The religious rulers in the temple were annoyed with Peter and John, for they were teaching the people and proclaiming in Jesus the resurrection of the dead. So they arrested them. And the next day these religious rulers spoke with the apostles, and they asked them by what power or by what name they healed a crippled man. And Peter responded that it was in the name of Jesus, the one they had crucified, that this man was healed.

And Peter told them, “There is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”

Now the religious rulers gathered together to discuss what they should do with Peter and John, and so they decided to charge 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.”

Acts 4:23-30 ESV

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

If we are true followers of Jesus Christ, and our mission in life is Christ’s mission, and so we are speaking the truth of God’s word to the people, we should expect to be rejected, cast aside, deleted out of people’s lives, falsely accused of what we did not do, and even asked to dilute and to alter the gospel message so as not to offend the people with the truth. We should expect that even others who profess the name of Jesus, and even pastors and elders of what are called “church” will reject us and cast us aside and/or they may ask us to back down from the truth so as not to offend people.

For, the Scriptures warn us, and Jesus warned us, that if we follow Jesus with our lives, the ungodly of this world are going to hate, reject, cast off, fight against, falsely accuse, and persecute us for righteousness’ sake. But the ungodly include professing Christians who are still walking in sin, still making sin their practice, and who are not walking in obedience to the Lord and to his commands (New Covenant). And they may include our family members, friends, neighbors, and co-workers, too.

So, why do they do this? Why do the ungodly persecute the righteous? Now, as soon as I asked that question, what came to mind was the story of Cain and Abel. And why did Cain kill his brother? Because Cain’s deeds were evil and his brother’s were righteous. And that is why the ungodly persecute the righteous, and it is why Jesus’ opposition put him to death on a cross. But it wasn’t just that, but it was because Jesus spoke the truth to the people that they did not want to hear, and so they killed him thinking that would be the end of him, and that they would not have to hear from him any longer.

But we are not to let this frighten nor discourage us. Instead, it should serve to motivate us to keep doing what God has called us to do in his power and strength, and to not back down. So, we should pray that we may continue to speak the word of God with boldness, while God stretches out his hand to heal people’s lives. For we can’t change people. Only God can. We can tell them the truth, and we can be instrumental in them changing, but only God can do the heart transformation in people’s lives that needs to be done. And so we obey the Lord, and we trust him to move in people’s lives.

[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.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s