Friday, July 26, 2013

Just A Matter of Time

Acts 5:28 - ..."Did we not strictly command you not to teach in this name?"

The Book of Acts describes the beginning of the first church. It describes what church and discipleship should be. Many churches have strayed from this. What's just as bad, churches and religious institutions are feeling the heat because it has become politically incorrect to mention God's name. In the 1960's Madalyn Murray O'Hare put the bee in the bonnet of others to begin the task of removing Bible reading from schools. And so it continues.

Anything that mentions God is becoming an offense because who are we to say there is only one way to heaven? Who are we to say that that one way is the Way? Who are we to say this name...Jesus? Military chaplains may no longer use the name of Jesus in prayer. It could be offensive to some and we can't have that. Doesn't matter if the offense of others offends us... The biggest offense in all of this, however, is the offense toward God.

It's just a matter of time before ordinary believers are tossed into jail for their views...because we'd been warned "to speak to no man in this name" (Acts 4:17). Will we continue in our beliefs or will we back down?

Will the power of God be so strong for us as that of Peter and John when they were imprisoned for their preaching in the name of Jesus? Will we see the same results as Peter and John when they were so warned not to preach? Will we be adamant and declare "we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard" (Acts 4:20). Will "that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth...whom God raised from the dead..." (Acts 4:10) be able to be preached by the same Power? Will we see walls shaken and jail doors miraculously opened that we might go out and preach some more the true Gospel?

What will we consider important? Will saving our own lives be more important, or speaking what we know is truth? Will we be willing to be offensive and lose our lives for this truth? Might we see this in our future? I believe so. If it happened in the Bible, it will happen again. It is so said that we will be persecuted for such behavior because Jesus was. Jesus told us if they hated Him they would hate us (John 15:18).

We are already being warned "not to teach in this name" in public. It won't be long before it will be illegal in the churches too. Underground churches are all over in some parts of the world where Christianity is not looked upon vey well. It's only a matter of time when this "free" country will have lost forever one more freedom. For a time...

Jesus Christ came to save and yet there are so many who do not want this salvation. It does not compute with their lifelong beliefs. It is to be shunned, mocked and ultimately removed from as not to offend. But Jesus offended, to the point of death, and yet He still exists. And those who are an offense because of His name will still be because of their standing in their faith no matter the cost.

Man cannot ever exalt himself over Jesus, no matter how hard he tries and how much he believes he has. Ever. This will, as it did in the days of the Book of Acts, infuriate some. If God is who He says He is, a day will come when they will find out they cannot overthrow Him.

There will never be a ceasing of preaching the name of Jesus. Through Him is the true freedom. Offensive or not, the Gospel must be and will be preached. Not to is the greatest offense to One greater than ourselves. The mandate is clear:

Acts 5:29 - ..."We ought to obey God rather than man."

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