“So they called them and charged them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus. But Peter and John answered them, ’Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you rather than to God, you must judge, for we cannot but speak of what we have seen and heard.” (Acts 4:18-20, NKJV)
The challenge of obeying the truth of God’s Word over governmental authority was great in the early days of the church as this passage affirms. Down through the ages, Christians have found themselves in just this kind of dilemma.
We should not expect otherwise in our time, culture and generation and those yet to come! Yes, as the apostle Paul affirms, “Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.” (2 Timothy 3:12, ESV)
“We learn from history that we don’t learn from history!” –Desmond Tutu
In every age of mankind, truth is challenged and attacked, going all the way back to the beginning with Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. Why? Because our adversary, the devil, does not like, appreciate or encourage the intended purpose of truth which is to save our souls!
From the earliest of days in the church God’s people have been persecuted, assailed, and even killed for walking in the truth of God’s will! Is this a preview of things to come in our generation or the next generation? Only time will tell!
Words are cheap! Words are easy to speak, and even to shout, but profession is not enough. It never has been … and it never will be! Profession must be consistent with the confession!
As a child of God, I have confessed my complete surrender of self to the Lordship of Jesus Christ with no exceptions or caveats. Perhaps this is why some who know the truth of the Gospel find it difficult to obey it because they are not yet ready for this level of commitment.
If we choose to declare our allegiance to Christ, but with the exception of a private sin or desire, who do we really think we are kidding?
Are we kidding ourselves? Not when we look at ourselves in the mirror, but especially in God’s mirror for the soul. If we allow the heart to become glazed over, hardened to the cutting edge of God’s truth, what a sad and desperate place to be.
Are we kidding others, maybe even fooling others into thinking we are better than we really are? Some of us, most of us, maybe all of us can become very skilled actors in pretending …
Satan is always working on your weakest link, that part of your heart that wants to lean into something or someone that should not be leaned in to! Are YOU listening with YOUR heart to these words?
The war on truth and righteousness is being waged 24/7. This world can and is having an influence on those around us and on those among us! Things have become accepted and practiced that God’s people thirty, forty and fifty years ago would have never accepted as ok.
May I ask this question in all sincerity and love? Thank you, I will! “What’s changed?” Has it been God’s Word through some new revelation or is it because Satan and his agents are softening the truth while at the same time hardening the hearts of many?
Being a Christian is not like going through some sort of food line and being able to pick and choose what you like and leaving behind what you don’t! When our kids were young and we would go to the local Luby’s for lunch on Sunday, as went through the line the kids would go first and invariably pick liver and onions, etc. and the servers would look at my wife and I like we must be the meanest parents on earth! We would even clarify and try to explain they really like liver and onions!
Now, I am not sure if they do today, but the point is each of us must decide when the times of temptation, trial, and suffering come … and they do and they will … what is going to be the standard, the moral compass by which we decide the direction we want to go!
Make the right choice … the only true choice! This world … the evil one … they are not your friend! Should they become your friend that you listen to … you will be making the most costly decision in your life (James 4:4)!
Would you join with me in praying that we do not become as God’s people of old became when it is said, “In those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did what was right in his own eyes.” (Judges 21:25, NKJV)
Bill Fairchild, Jr.