Summary: While every wicked thing imaginable is coming out of its closet,it’s time that the people of God came out from underneath the rock, stood on the Rock, and let it be known where they stand. Link inc. to formatted text, audio, PowerPoint.
Am I a soldier of the cross, a follower of the Lamb, and shall I fear to own His cause or blush to speak His name? [old hymn]
When every vile and wicked thing imaginable is coming out of its closet, I think it’s time that the people of God came out from underneath the rock, stood on the Rock, and let it be known where they stand, don’t you? I really do.
Do you stand up and stand out for the Lord Jesus Christ? I heard of a little boy who had a dog - kind of a mangy pooch. And somebody asked him, ‘What kind of a dog is that?” He said, “Well, he’s a police dog.” They said, “Well, he doesn’t look like it.” He said, “Well, he’s in the Secret Service.” I think we have some Christians who are in the Secret Service. I mean, they’re not bold believers. They don’t stand up like the apostle Paul and say, “I’m not ashamed of the gospel of Christ.”
You say, “Well, it was easier in his day.” No, you’re wrong. It was far more difficult in his day to stand up for the gospel of Christ than it is in this day. Today, we decorate with the cross. We put the cross of gold around our necks and we put the cross upon our steeples, but I want to remind you that the cross was an instrument of capital punishment. It was an instrument of execution. Can you imagine somebody coming to church tonight with a little gold electric chair around their neck or a miniature gas chamber around their neck? Why, in Roman society, you did not even mention the cross in polite society. It was so ghastly, so gruesome. And in Paul’s day, Jesus Christ was not known as the great world religious leader. Ah, to the people of Paul’s day, Jesus was a mad man at best and a criminal at worst. I mean, the gospel was identified with a poor Jewish carpenter. And on top of that, this poor Jewish carpenter died an ignominious death. He was crucified.
Besides that, He was a Jew. Paul is writing to the Romans, and the Romans had no special appreciation for the Jews. The Romans would ask themselves, why should I put my faith in a Jew, a carpenter who was nailed up on a cross and crucified? Besides that, the Romans had some great philosophers and some great philosophy. Why should we at Rome pay any attention to the fable about a Jew who rose from the dead? Well, if Paul believes in this gospel, evidently he’s uneducated. He must not have any social standing. He must not have studied. Well, I want to tell you that the apostle Paul was not only brilliantly intelligent, but he was superlatively educated. He had the equivalency of a double or triple Ph.D. He was an intellectual genius. He had a pedigree. He was a Jew of the tribe of Benjamin. He was a born leader. And in the face of all of these things, the apostle Paul says here in Romans 1:16: “I am not ashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ….”