This past Sunday, I spoke from Acts 5 about the first century church (in Jerusalem) remaining bold and confident in the midst of persecution. They were faced with trial after trial. The Founder and Leader of the church (Jesus) had been taken by force, crucified, and buried.
Three days and nights later, Jesus arose from the grave, walked the earth another 40 days in His resurrected body, was seen by over 500 people, appeared to the assembled church several times, and then ascended into heaven; right before their eyes. THIS EVENT CHANGED THEIR LIVES!!! The Apostle Peter and the church stood bold and courageous in the midst of a blood thirsty, religious group of zealots who were hell-bent on stopping Christianity! Where would this boldness and courage come from in the middle of such turmoil?
The power of the Lord overshadowed this first church by empowering these men and women to be valiant in spite of the opposition. After they were told several times to stop preaching and teaching in the name (or by the authority) of Jesus, they proclaimed, “We would rather obey God than men” (Acts 5:29). Today, some of you may be challenged in your faith to keep proclaiming Christ’s name. Some of you may be weary from the trials and the difficulties of this life. By the grace, mercy, and power of God keep on keeping on!
OBEY GOD RATHER THAN MEN!
If you have yet to truly believe in the Lord Jesus Christ let me encourage you to examine the Christian faith. The things that are said in the Bible (God’s Word) have been spoken for thousands of years. They are reliable words, marked by faithful servants who were willing to give up their lives for this cause. The resurrection of Jesus is what differentiates Christianity between all other religions. Christians do not serve a God that is dead! We serve a God that has been risen from the grave!
He loves you no matter where you are and desires a personal relationship with you! Simply repent (have a change of mind about the direction that you are headed), and by grace through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ call on his name; receiving the forgiveness of sins and a declaration that you now stand righteous before Him!
Jason Sheffstall - Lead Pastor - StoneBridge Baptist Church