A Christian should never be canceled.
SEPTEMBER 13, 2021
A Christian should never be canceled, Let’s talk on this edition of Key Life.
Key Life exists to communicate that the deepest message of Jesus in the Bible is the radical grace of God to sinners and sufferers, because life’s hard for everyone, grace is for all of us. Our host is seminary professor and author, Steve Brown.
Thank you Matthew. Hope you guys had a great week-end and I hope your pastor’s sermon was as good as my pastor’s sermon. If you have a Bible and you’re in a place where you can open it, open it to the fifth chapter of Acts. It’s been interesting as I have been preparing for this broadcast, how many new ideas have come to me. That’s the way the Bible is, you know, I’ve been doing this, teaching the Bible longer than many of you have been alive. And you would think that I got it and that I, with every text have a prepared sermon and I can do that. But the problem is, it’s like an onion, you keep peeling one layer off and there’s another and another and another. And so, we’re going to pause for a while in this fifth chapter of Acts, and I’m going to spend some time going down a lot of different roads, that have occurred to me as I have been reading this chapter in the book of Acts for the 8,000th time. We’re going to be talking about the fact that a Christian should not be canceled. You know, they tried to cancel the early church. They tried persecution. They made fun of them. They made all kinds of threats. They killed some of them and you couldn’t shut them up. They just would not be canceled. And you know why? Because they didn’t give a rip. Well, they did give a rip for Jesus and for each other, but they didn’t care or what the culture said. God had given them a commission and by God’s grace, they were going to fulfill it. We need some of that infused in the us these days. And we’ll be talking about it as we go along and analyze this particular chapter. Let me take the time to read, at least from the 17th verse through the 32nd verse. And then we’ll finish up with the latter part of that chapter, which is very important, a little bit later on, but this is what Luke writes.
But the high priest rose up, and all who were with him (that is, the party of the Sadducees), and filled with jealousy they arrested the apostles and put them in a common prison. But at night an angel of the Lord opened the prison doors and brought them out, and said, “Go and stand in the temple and speak to the people all the words of this Life.” And when they heard this, they entered the temple at daybreak and they taught.
Can’t cancel a Christian.
Now the high priest came, and those who were with him, and called together the council and all the senate of Israel and sent to the prison to have them brought out. But when the officers came, they did not find them in the prison, and they returned and reported, “We found the prison securely locked and the sentry standing at the doors, but when we opened it we found no one inside.” Now when the captain of the temple and the chief priests heard these words, they were much perplexed
much perplexed about them, wondering what this could come to. And someone came and told them, “The men whom you put in prison or standing in the temple and teaching the people.” Then the captain with the officers went and brought them, but without violence, for they were afraid of being stoned by the people. And when they had brought them, they set them before the council. And the high priest questioned them, saying, “We strictly charged you not to teach in this name, yet you are and you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching, and you intend to bring this man’s blood upon us.” But Peter and the apostles answered, “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 the right hand as a 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.”
Talk about being in your face. Listen, let’s pray. And then we’ll dig in. Father, we come into your presence and we’re thankful for our heritage, so many, and they were sinners just like us and needed grace, just the way we did. Thank you for reminding us about that, but they also didn’t shilly shally and they didn’t back off and they couldn’t be canceled. And you gave them that too. Father, do it again, do it again. Father, you know everybody who’s listening to this broadcast right now and you know the hard places and the soft places. You know the laughter and the tears, and you’re the God, who is sovereign over every bit of it. Teach us to always run to you first. Teach us to lean on you, hard. Teach us to be defined by the definition you have given us, period. And then Father as always, we pray for the one who teaches on this broadcast, forgive him his sins, because there are many. We would see Jesus and him only. And we pray in Jesus name. Amen. The question before the house. And we started on it last week in this chapter, is why in the world did they want to cancel the disciples? I mean, what was it about them? It just blows you away, I mean, this is a group of uneducated, untrained nobodies. Ignore them and they’ll go away. And we’re going to see later in this chapter, how Gamaliel, pretty much said that, you better leave them alone, this might be from God. And if it isn’t, it won’t be anything, so quit worrying about it. So why did they worry? Why did they want to cancel them? And if you were listening last week, And you never listen to me. You, we saw that they were just frankly jealous. It says it clearly in that text, it says at the beginning of the text that these were,
But the high priest rose up, and all who were with him.
This is the 17th verse.
(that is, the party of the Sadducees), and filled with jealousy.
Do you know what Paul said we’re supposed to do with our Jewish friends? You know, we’re related to them. I mean, we’re in the same family. There’s, there’s a covenant there, that ought to bring us together and a modicum of love, but Antisemitism has been a real problem in the church from the beginning. Now, I’m not just saying it was just goyim that did it, the Jews had their hand in it too. They persecuted us first. And we said, you know, if we ever get any power, we’re going to get those suckers. And we did, we got all the power and we did some really bad things for which we ought to repent. But it’s the same God, it’s a covenant that is very, very important. And Paul said that those of us who are Christians have a responsibility, he said this in Romans, we’re to make them jealous. They ought to see what Jesus has done for us. And that ought to make them jealous. I don’t know many Jewish people who are jealous of us, frankly. Which means that we’re not doing it the way God said to do it, but let me tell you something else, we’re called to make the world jealous. I mean, we’re called, we’re called to be so free and so joyous and so authentic and so not caring about anything, except Jesus, that they look at us and go, oh man, that is so cool. I wish I could be like that. That’s what we’re called to do. And that’s what the early church did. They wanted to cancel them, because they were jealous. They still do sometimes, and we ought to work, not at being angry and guilt producing and condemning, and constantly talking about their loss for all of eternity. But by bringing the good news that was brought to us. Does anybody here want to be forgiven forever? Anybody here want to go to heaven? Anybody here want to be free? Anybody here want to not care and to throw the shackles and the chains away and to dance? Anybody here, anybody here like that? That’s our message to the world and it’s really important. We are called to tell them about Jesus. And the reason we tell them about Jesus is because they ask. And the reason they ask, is because they’re jealous. We shouldn’t be canceled. And if we refuse to be canceled, there will be those, not all, but some, who will say could we talk for a little bit? And when they do, make sure you got an answer. You think about that. Amen.
Thanks Steve. That was Steve Brown, taking us down some interesting roads here in acts 5. And specifically today, verses 17 through 32. We’ll be drilling into this text deeper all this week. So be sure to join us again tomorrow. So, what were you doing 23 years ago, last week? Well, attorney Ken Starr knows exactly what he was doing, turning in his historic report to Congress. So, what has he done since then? Well, he speaks, he writes books and very recently he joined us on Steve Brown Etc. to discuss religious liberty, legal insights and yes, even the Clinton scandal. We also talk about Ken’s new book, Religious Liberty in Crisis: Exercising Your Faith in an Age of Uncertainty. It was such a good show, that we put the whole thing on a CD, that we would be happy to send to you, for free. So, just call us right now at 1-800-KEY-LIFE. That’s 1-800-539-5433. You can also e-mail Steve@keylife.org and ask for that CD. If you’d like to mail your request, send it to
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