Summary: Our responsiblity to God to be obedient and share our faith does NOT go away when persecution flares up in our face. We are responsible to be obedient when we are chastised for our faith, when we are lied about and dinegrated for our faith, even when we a
Sermon Date: February 18, 2007
Sharing our faith… being obedient to the call of Christ is NOT an option and we cannot dictate the circumstances under which we will be obedient or disobedient.
So many of us look to the missionaries of old and praise them for their courage and boldness in sharing Christ with those around them, but we rarely share with those around us…
As believers, we tend to get excited when Lottie Moon Christmas and Annie Armstrong Easter offering time rolls around! We also talk a lot about the Southern Baptist mission efforts around the world… BUT just what are WE doing to share the love of Christ with the world around us?
It is a given that we are going to be ridiculed and mocked for sharing our faith, so we expect that… BUT what I want to speak with you about is the upcoming storm in this country where Christians are not just going to be mocked and made fun of, but they are going to be chastised, lied about and even killed for their obedience in sharing God’s message of salvation!
Today we are going to be looking at these 3 particular types of persecution that we will eventually face if this world continues down the path it is going!
Now I want you to understand, I am NO prophet, but the signs are there showing us that the world does NOT want Christianity to survive! And sooner or later… it is just a matter of time to when people will be actively seeking the death and destruction of those who believe as we do!
We can see this evident in the Muslim world today, but look at our country… look how much the Christian worldview of our nation has degraded until today it is merely a shell and shadow of what we were when this nation was founded!
For many people America is a declining and decadent country because of all of the immorality and irresponsibility! And I agree that immorality has played a part in the demise of this great nation BUT understand this important point!
We are where we are today because the church has been unwilling and now is almost unable to speak the message of Christ and the message of hope to the world around them!
For far too long believers have cocooned themselves inside their churches and on their committees and in their little circle of Christian friends… and the world has went down… down… down!
We cannot blame the demise of our culture and society on the immorality of society, but we must look squarely in the mirror and see the ONE who is ultimately responsible and that is the church.
In 2 Chron 7:14 the bible tells us, “If MY people who are called by MY Name shall humble themselves and pray and turn from THEIR wicked ways, then will I hear from Heaven and then will I heal their land!”
We are the reason the world is NOT responding to the Gospel because we have NOT taken serious the plan that Christ laid forth for the early church…
Today I want us to look at 3 different situations where the believers involved took on the responsibility of their new found salvation and began to share Christ… regardless of what it brought upon them!
In our 1st example we can see that…
1. WE ARE RESPONSIBLE TO BE OBEDIENT WHEN WE ARE CHASTISED (4:1-4)
1 Now as they spoke to the people, the priests, the captain of the temple, and the Sadducees came upon them, 2 being greatly disturbed that they taught the people and preached in Jesus the resurrection from the dead. 3 And they laid hands on them, and put them in custody until the next day, for it was already evening. 4 However, many of those who heard the word believed; and the number of the men came to be about five thousand.
Acts 4:1-4 (NKJV)
Peter and John were saved and they wanted the world to know what they had… they were simply sharing the good news when some other men came to them and said, “Hey you can’t say things like that…” Peter and John told them that they could NOT stop saying these things because Christ had saved them and they wanted all to know the good news about Christ!
We can see that their sincerity was evident in what they were saying and many came to know Jesus because of their boldness in speaking the Gospel even when they were chastised NOT to do it…
There are many places around our nation that simply refuse to allow open Christian evangelization… they discourage it and have even made it a criminal offense in some cases!
But I want us to understand that even though the government of our nation may not recognize our right to share the good news…. God does and God expects us to share about Him!