Summary: What should we do when our government is ungodly? 1. Spend more time with our Savior (vs. 13). 2. Always choose God over government (vs. 14-20). 3. Keep speaking about our Savior (vs. 20). 4. Keep giving glory to God (vs. 21-22).
When Your Government Is Ungodly - Part 2
Sermon by Rick Crandall
Grayson Baptist Church - July 21, 2013
*Tonight we continue to follow up on the great miracle that took place at the beginning of Acts 3. Peter and John were on their way to the Temple to pray, and they encountered a beggar who had been lame for all of his life. The man asked for money, and in Acts 3:6-9:
6. Then Peter said, "Silver and gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk.''
7. And he took him by the right hand and lifted him up, and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength.
8. So he, leaping up, stood and walked and entered the temple with them walking, leaping, and praising God.
9. And all the people saw him walking and praising God.
*The great crowd of people in the Temple was filled with wonder over this miracle. And Peter gave all the glory to God, as he began to preach about the Lord Jesus Christ. Peter talked about the cross and the wonderful good news of Christ's resurrection. Acts 4:4 tells us that 5,000 men were saved that day, when they believed in the Lord!
*But these things caused such a stir that the rulers of the Temple had Peter and John arrested. The next day, they put these two Apostles on trial. And Acts 4:8-12 tells us:
8. Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, "Rulers of the people and elders of Israel:
9. If we this day are judged for a good deed done to the helpless man, by what means he has been made well,
10. let it be known to you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead, by Him this man stands here before you whole.
11. This is the 'stone which was rejected by you builders, which has become the chief cornerstone.'
12. Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.''
*With this background in mind, let's see what happened next as we read Acts 4:13-22.
*In this chapter, Peter and John faced a group of Christ-rejecting rulers. At this point, their hostility was obvious and threatening. But due to the undeniable miracle, their hostility was still restrained. That sounds eerily like the top tier of our federal government today (much of it anyway).
*They openly support ungodly policies, such as same-sex marriage and abortion. They harshly criticize people who oppose ungodly policies. They compel Christian-owned companies to offer abortion coverage in their insurance. And through agencies such as the IRS, they have begun to use the strong arm of the government to intimidate and silence their critics.
*It may not seem real, but it is real, and it is definitely getting worse. So, what should we do when our government is ungodly?
1. First: Spend more time with our Savior.
*This is the crucial truth we find in vs. 13, where Luke gave this report: "Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated and untrained men, they marveled. And they realized that they had been with Jesus."
*I like the way the KJV puts vs. 13: "Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marveled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus."
*There was nothing special at all about Peter and John, except for one thing: They had been with the Lord! Peter and John had been totally transformed by the Lord Jesus Christ.
*They had the talk of faith, but they also had the walk.
-They were ordinary men, but they were doing extraordinary things.
-They were supposed to be ignorant, but they had the wisdom of God.
-They were supposed to be scared to death, but they had great courage.
*What made the difference? -- They had been with Jesus. And it was so evident that even the rulers could see it. When we spend time with Jesus, it shows.
*And Jesus Christ is always with us. But the truth is that we are not always with Him. The good news is that right now, tonight, we can start spending more time with Him.
*The first step is to trust in the Lord. We have to believe what the Bible says about God loving us in spite of our sins. We have to believe that Jesus came into the world to die on the cross for our sins. We have to believe that Jesus rose from the dead. And we have to believe that Jesus will save us, if we will turn away from sin and trust Him as Lord and Savior.