November 17: Acts 4-6
27 And when they had brought them, they set them before the council. And the high priest questioned them, 28 saying, “We strictly charged you not to teach in this name, yet here you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching, and you intend to bring this man's blood upon us.” 29 But Peter and the apostles answered, “We must obey God rather than men. 30 The God of our fathers raised Jesus, whom you killed by hanging him on a tree. 31 God exalted him at his right hand as Leader and Savior, to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins. 32 And we are witnesses to these things, and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey him.”
Because we have just finished reading the Gospels, Peter's denial of Christ is still fresh in our minds. When Christ was resurrected He sought Peter out to let Him know that he was forgiven, and to give him (and the other apostles) the charge to spread the Gospel. Here in Acts 5, we find that they have been very effective; God has certainly blessed their ministry.
Here, in the book of Acts, it is hard to believe that this is the same Peter. When the religious council imprisoned some of the apostles because of their teaching, we find that it was Peter who spoke for the rest of the apostles.
“We must obey God rather than men. The God of our fathers raised Jesus, whom you killed by hanging him on a tree. God exalted him at his right hand as Leader and Savior, to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins. And we are witnesses to these things, and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey him.”
In my country, the United States, we have not seen Christians being imprisoned for their faith, but the tide is turning. As more and more ungodly actions become legalized, the Christian is finding himself more and more at odds with new laws. Where will it end?
The time is coming, indeed, is already here in many countries, when Biblical teaching will no longer be tolerated. Pastors will be restricted from teaching principles that are in disagreement with the laws of the land. Christians will not be allowed to share their faith in public; we really already see this in the public school system where all religions are taught except Christianity.
What will you do? How important is your faith? Will you deny Christ, or will your answer be the same as that given by Peter?
Why are we here? Why does God not just take us to heaven immediately when we become Christians? Remember, for the Christian, there is only ONE purpose, and that is to share the Gospel of Christ wherever God has placed us.
But Peter and the apostles answered, “We must obey God rather than men."
Is that your answer as well?
God Bless You,
All Scriptures are from the English Standard Version of the Bible.