Summary: Lessons we can learn from Peter and John’s example in refusing to stay silent or testifying in Jesus’ name.
*Intro>The French Foreign Legion has an inspiring motto: “If I falter, push me on. If I stumble, pick me up. If I retreat, shoot me.”
-Obviously, neither Peter nor John were members of the French Foreign Legion, but they demonstrated a similar determination.
-After being used by God to heal a lame man, then preaching to a crowd at the temple, they were arrested, jailed, threatened, and warned to never again speak in Jesus’ name.
->Their response? -- “No way! We’re going to keep on keeping on!”
-We should learn from their choices, and follow their example.
--I invite you to once again open a Bible and turn to Acts, chapter 4.
-In continuing the mission God has entrusted to us as believers, we can learn from the events in the early church, and apply those lessons to our lives, in our own endeavors to continue God’s mission through us.
Today, I want us to look at...
SIX SPECIFIC LESSONS WE CAN LEARN FROM THE EXAMPLE OF PETER AND JOHN...
1) WE SHOULD EXPECT MIXED REVIEWS.
-We’re going to be misunderstood, mistreated, and ganged up on.
--v.3 -- "And they laid hands on them, and put them in jail until the next day..."
-SOMETIMES IT MIGHT BE SIMPLY A MATTER OF MISUNDERSTANDING.
--Misunderstandings are inherent in any attempt at communication.
--You may have heard the quote of my favorite philosopher, Anonymous, who said it this way: “I know you believe you understand what you think I said, but I’m not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.””
--Similarly, we’ve all heard of Murphy’s Law: “If anything can go wrong, it will.”
--But we also need to know Brinkley’s Law: “If there is any way it can be misunderstood, by someone, somewhere, sometime, it will be misunderstood.”
--It’s why we need to be sure and communicate the good news in clear, unambiguous, easy-to-understand language.
---ILL>As a young boy growing up in church I heard a lot of the “language of Zion,” church phrases and lingo that other frequent church-goers understood, but others, including the youngest among them, didn’t.
---Two songs / hymns that were sung on a fairly regular basis back then especially baffled me:
---a) Often I would hear well-meaning believers stand and sing, “Let us break bread together on our knees.”
-----Years later I would come to understand the meaning was that we should, in an attitude of prayer, come together for fellowship and to observe the Lord’s Supper.
-----But, as a child, I thought they were singing about literally taking a loaf of bread and bringing it down hard over one’s knees so it would break in half!...Break bread together on our knees!
-----And, for the life of me, I couldn’t figure out why such a song had any place being sung on a Sunday morning in a worship service!
----b) Another was particularly troubling: “There is a balm in Gilead.”
-----To the generation just older than I, the word “balm” was well-received and understood as being a medicinal application. They were used to putting “balm” on burns or scrapes for the sake of healing.
-----However, as a child, I had no such understanding, so I did what children often do...I sang a word that sounded like the unknown word...in this case the word was BOMB.
-----So, I heard these well-meaning adults sing with smiles on their face about a poor little boy named Gilead who was walking around with a bomb inside of him! ... There is a bomb in Gilead!
-----I must confess there were nights I would lie awake and wonder what kind of bomb poor little Gilead had inside him.
------Was it a ticking bomb? Could he hear it ticking when everything got silent?
------Or, was it a bomb that might go off if Gilead got a little rowdy or moved around too much?
------It was quite confusing and disturbing to me.
-Likewise, there are going to be some who will simply misunderstand the truths of the gospel because of their background and the efforts of our enemy, Satan, the author of confusion, will be working against us.
--So, we need to be extra cautious in presenting the message clearly and plainly.
-OTHER TIMES WE’RE GOING TO BE DELIBERATELY MISTREATED BY THOSE WHO ARE TRYING TO HELP.
--v.3 -- "And they laid hands on them and put them in jail..."
--Peter and John had done only what God had directed them to do...and yet here they were being arrested, and jailed.
--Notice the group: Priests, temple guard, Sadducees...the same group instrumental in Jesus’ crucifixion.
---The priests viewed Peter’s popularity with the people as a threat to their work.
---The temple guard viewed Peter’s message as an indictment of their part in Jesus’ death.
---And the Sanhedrin viewed Peter’s message as being theologically incorrect...they didn’t believe in the resurrection of the dead.