Summary: The Lord warned of persecution on His behalf - this is Our Portion. This passage provides an excellent example of how Christians and the Church should react to it.


Acts 4:23-31


A. Acts 4:23 And being let go, they went to their own company, and reported all that the chief priests and elders had said unto them.

1. There has been quite a bit of fall out over one little healing and the preaching of the gospel.

a. In Acts 3:1-11 Peter and John healed a crippled man in the name of Jesus Christ

b. Peter then preached a short and simple message: the gospel of Jesus Christ and the priests, temple captain and Sadducces were grieved that they taught the people, and preached through Jesus the resurrection from the dead. Acts 4:2

2. For this they were arrested and taken to prison, the next day they stood before Annas the high priest, Caiaphas, John, Alexander and others and were questioned about what they did.

3. Peter preached essentially the same message as before and they did not like it.

4. The Jewish counsel then charged them and threatened them not to speak at all nor teach in the name of Jesus

5. John and Peter said they would do what was right in God’s eyes not man’s and they were released.

B. All this over a simple healing (something you would think people would praise) and speaking in the name of Jesus Christ.

1. It sounds so petty.

2. But it is happening today – have you heard about the military Chaplin’s problem?

a. They have been told they can’t use the name of Jesus in prayer – especially closing in Jesus’ name!

b. It has even gotten a lot of people not wanting to say Jesus’ name on a school campus in fear of a law suit by some self-righteous group like the ACLU.

C. Folks let me take you to God’s word:

1. Jesus said:

a. Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also. John 15:20

b. Then in Rev. 2:10: Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.

2. Peter wrote under the inspiration of God: Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: [13] But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy. 1 Peter 4:12-13

3. And it was Paul that wrote to Timothy, 2 Tim. 3:12 Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.

4. This is Our Portion in this world

D. This being the case how are we to handle it? What should we do?

1. Should we shout and scream, “That’s not fair you raunchy no good government officials?

2. Should we cause a riot or start a revolution?

3. NO I don’t think so, our passage shows us what to do, that is:

a. Lift up the God in Praise

b. Lift up the Church in Prayer

c. Lift up the Gospel in Power

E. And may God receive all the glory He is so worthy of!


When these disciples left their persecutor’s presence, they did not go to the nearest lawyers office and file a petition, they went straight back to the church and told them all that had happened and with that the church

I. LIFTED UP GOD IN PRAISE, Acts 4:24-28 And when they heard that, they lifted up their voice to God with one accord, and said, Lord, thou art God, which hast made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all that in them is: [25] Who by the mouth of thy servant David hast said, Why did the heathen rage, and the people imagine vain things? [26] The kings of the earth stood up, and the rulers were gathered together against the Lord, and against his Christ. [27] For of a truth against thy holy child Jesus, whom thou hast anointed, both Herod, and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles, and the people of Israel, were gathered together, [28] For to do whatsoever thy hand and thy counsel determined before to be done.

A. This may be hard for most of us in the West in our day to fathom – the disciples were threatened, no doubt with their lives though we are not told, and they went back and praised God?

1. Yes – their focus was not on themselves but on God

2. God had been glorified in both the healing and the witness to the beggar and religious elite of their day

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