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Summary: Peter and John rejoiced because they were persecuted for the Name of Jesus ... do we act the same today?

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Worthy to be Persecuted

Acts 5:17-42

Introduction

- Set the stage:

-- Church was beginning to see full assault persecution

-- Peter and John were willing to be bold; to continue proclaiming Jesus

-- (Last week) Ananias and Sapphira give us great insight into integrity

-- We see that even in the face of negativity, nevertheless they continued

- Today we examine the church’s response to persecution

- There is a lot of scripture to look at today so we will take apart in pieces

- Read Acts 5:17-24

Point 1 – Maintain Obedience to the Message

- Jealousy really raises its head here (again) and causes quite a scene

-- The bible tells us that the high priest, the pompous & religious, were jealous

-- What were they jealous of? THE ATTENTION IS NOT ON THEM!

- Even Ananias and Sapphira showed us this last week; we want to be noticed

-- It is in our human nature to desire a pat on the back, to desire credit for things

-- The high priest was the head religious figure and it was “all about him”

- They were arrested, thrown in jail, but look at what God does in the midst

-- v19 – NO ONE opened the doors for them … or us … but the Lord!

-- His ability to open doors for all of us is something of great strength here

-- This is the promise we have, even when we’re struggling He isn’t

- The angel them commands them clearly, “GO!”

-- Matthew 28:19-20 tells us the very same thing, to GO and MAKE disciples

-- But for Peter and John, they needed to be reminded once more to GO

- This is Acts 1:11 all over again! “Men of Galilee,” they said, “why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven.”

-- APP: So, after their correction, they go to the courts at dawn at teach

- But, look at the Sanhedrin – they show up for work and they’re gone

-- The disciples had left the jail, which was still locked, and this challenged them

- Now, there is an important lesson here, when you’re a jailer you’re responsible

-- If someone escapes, YOU take their place; or pay with your life!

- In v24 when they are “wondering what this might lead to” there’s more here

-- They are not just worried about an insurrection; but about their own necks

-- It is YOUR job to keep the prisoners in place, and failure means your life

- TRANS: For us, the good news is God does not leave us to worry “what now”

- Read Acts 5:25-32

Point 2 – Serving God is what Matters

- Now, we see where boldness really comes into play and we have to apply it

-- Being bold for the Lord doesn’t mean that we are foolish or blind about things

-- But that we follow intently the directions and charge God has given us

-- This is where the rubber meets the road in our lives … Who do YOU serve?

- In v25 we see that these men are simply obedient; without pause/apology

-- This obedience demonstrates they do not worry about man; but serve God


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