Summary: I would like to thank Pastor Jerry Shirley for sharing this series on Acts. It has been a blessing as well as a great help. I have used these for our church, as I spend my days caring for my dying father.
Go, Stand, and Speak, pt. 2 Acts 5:17-33
Last week we looked at the “Go” in our outline and saw that it deals with the consistency or the reliability of our witness. Are you the same out there as you are in here?
This is a command BUT you and I should not look at it as a burden or something we have to do, or else. We should see this opportunity to be a testimony for the saving power of Jesus as a privilege. It is something no one can do but you…
Look at verses 19 & 20. If the angel had power to break them out of prison, why didn’t the angel go to the temple and do his own speaking?
The reason is simple. The cross of Jesus and salvation through the blood of the Lamb was not his story to tell!
The greatest story ever told is not for the angels to share but for you and me to declare from the mountain tops, through the prairies and around the globe!
The message the angel delivered from God to those disciples is the very same message given to you and me, today.
That message is, “You’ve been set free, now YOU go, YOU stand, YOU speak…!”
Today we’ll look at, “Stand” which deals with the courage of our witness
We are called or commanded to stand but we need to stand voluntarily not because we feel we have too!
Most people who do things because they have no choice will usually do it with a sour attitude…
It won’t be the easiest thing you’ve ever done because taking a stand for anything takes courage!
The angel told them to go witness to men who had the power and the authority to beat them, but they had more than just the power to beat or imprison them. All they needed was to just say the word, someone was waiting to kill the disciples!
According to verse 33 they actually thought about it!
None of that mattered, however, to these apostles as they witnessed in the face of death!
It is a well-known fact that fear is the #1 reason we don’t witness.
Fear of rejection or embarrassment. Fear of offending someone or being labeled as a fanatic.
It seems to me that the greatest fear is the fear of being made fun of…
A boy went off to camp for summer but he was afraid the others would make fun of him for being a Christian. He asked his pastor to pray and when he got back, his pastor asked if they laughed, made fun of or rejected him for being a Christian? He said “no pastor, they didn’t.” When his pastor asked why, he said “because they never found out!”
This young man kept his salvation a secret all summer long.
Could this be your story today? Are you camouflaged so no one can see that you are a Christian?
I believe that while the gay community, the atheists and radical Islamic fanatics are coming out of the closet and making a bold stand, it’s time for some Christians to step out of their closets and STAND on the Word of God!
Our message to this dark and dying world should be that we are not ashamed of our God or His gospel!
[Rom 1:16 NKJV] “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.”
Jesus said in, [Mat 10:32-33 NKJV] “32 "Therefore whoever confesses Me before men, him I will also confess before My Father who is in heaven. 33 "But whoever denies Me before men, him I will also deny before My Father who is in heaven.”
You might boldly declare that you have NEVER denied Jesus but when you are with your unchurched family and friends; does your life give evidence of the blood of Jesus or do you cuss and drink with the best of them? If so you live the secret life of a believer.
There are those who try hard to blend in and we are seeing this happen today, not only in individuals but the entire body. Rewriting the Word of God to be politically correct is becoming more acceptable in the church today than standing on the truth of God’s Word, as HE wrote it!
But listen to me!
When it comes to witnessing, we ARE to be bold and courageous…NOT obnoxious, arrogant or combative nor are we to have that holier than thou attitude!
As we watched the recent protests and riots in our nation we saw burning and looting… people filled with hate and anger. BUT did you notice those who quietly stood for what they believed? Why not? Was it because our eyes and our thoughts were focused on those who were loud, obnoxious and combative? Has anything been accomplished by the burning and the looting?