If they’re wrong, they’re in trouble.
SEPTEMBER 14, 2021
If they’re wrong, they’re in trouble. Let’s talk on Key Life.
That was author and seminary professor, Steve Brown and this is Key Life. We’re all about radical grace, because of what Jesus has done, God’s not mad at you. Keep listening and that message will set you free to live a life of joy and surprising faithfulness.
Thank you Matthew. If you have a Bible, open into the fifth chapter of Acts, as we look at the, this is a wonderful chapter and it has a funny side to it. I may have told you, the disciples have been thrown in prison and an angel comes and lets them out. And it’s a true miracle. I mean, the doors were not unlocked. The sentries still standing outside the prison. And they were gone. I mean, the angel got them out. And when the leaders came to bring them from prison to the court, nobody was there. And I would love to have been a little fly on the wall and listened to the conversation that went on when they couldn’t find them in the prison. It must have been quite interesting. And the really funny thing, and I maybe told you, I was in the Philippines a number of years ago and was teaching at a college in the Philippines. And I was talking about this particular text and I said that the angel came and got them out of prison. And all you could see were heels and elbows, as they were running away from the prison. And the angel said, not so fast guys, come back here. And I made a motion with my hands, that is a common motion about say coming back and the kids in the college started laughing, after the chapel service was over, one of the professors said to me, Dr. Brown, that motion you made is an obscene gesture in the Philippines. Well, you learn something new every day, but that’s what happened. The angel said, guys, come back here, want you to go down to the temple and teach in the name of Jesus. And Peter said, it’s not in the text, but he’s a friend of mine. Peter said, Peter said to the angel, uh, let me explain something to you. That’s why we got arrested in the first place. Why would we want to go down there and do that? And the angel said, angels are just communicators of a message from a higher power. And he says, go down to the temple and preach. And if you think they were happy about that, you’re out of your mind, but they did. And they stood, and they ended up where you would expect them to end up. We saw yesterday that they, the leaders tried to cancel them, because they were jealous. And that’s what we’re supposed to do in our culture. People, now not everybody’s going to do this, it’s just going to make some, we’re going to see why it makes some of them angry, but some people will be jealous when they see that you’re free. You’re a Christian, you don’t, you don’t seem like our Christian, when you want to say at that time, I’m doing it right. Whatever I’m doing, I’m doing right. Because I’m breaking the religious mold of nonsense and I’m free and I’m forgiven and I belong and I’m accepted and I’m going to live forever. Now that’s a winsome message, and that message will cause jealousy in some, but let me show you another reason the leaders were so frightened about the apostles and tried to cancel them. And this reason’s a bit more complex, but it’s a good one, once you see it. They knew those leaders, that if what the apostles were saying was true, the very presuppositions upon which they had built their life and their empire and everything they held dear was wrong. Now, if you think people are happy about that sort of thing, you’re out of your mind. I was the pastor on Key Biscayne a number of years ago, that’s an island out in the bay in Miami, and it was some wonderful years. I was there for almost 20 years, but the previous pastor John Huffman and his associate Jim Stout had made a tremendous impact on that island. In fact, Jim was the youth pastor and he led so many kids to Christ that any, even thought of drugs disappeared from our island. I mean, these kids were excited about Jesus. One of the mothers said, you know, I wish they would smoke pot again. I could understand that. I don’t understand what’s going on. Well, I’ll tell you what’s going on. Something was happening in the lives of these kids that said to their parents, who weren’t believers, you’re wrong. And you’re wrong and it’s scary that you’re wrong. We’ve got something that is so important and so exciting that it’ll blow you away. You know, sometimes we forget, that those who aren’t believers have to hold on for dear life to their unbelief. There’s a lot of reasons for that, one is they want to be God. And if there is a God, then they’re not. A man by the name of Switzer, who’s a friend of Fred Smith, my late mentor, had three PhDs. And when he finished his final PhD, you know what he said, He said, I have a list of questions that I have to find some answers for before I do life. And the, and the first question on my list is this, is there a God? If there is a God, I’m not. If there isn’t a God, I’m God. So, it’s an important decision. So, a lot of unbelievers don’t want to accept what we believe, because it means their autonomy will quickly come to an end, and there will be a God in their lives, who decides what’s right or wrong, who decides the direction you go and who oversees your life and will love you beyond anything that you can possibly imagine. But there’s also power. People will protect their power, at all costs. Money, power, and sex, I have a friend who wrote a book with a title, Money, Power and Sex. And I wrote him. I said, well you covered about all the bases, but if you’ve got power, you don’t want to give it up. And that explains what’s happening in our time, politically and socially and in every other way. When you’ve got power, you don’t want to give it up. And these people had power, they had religious power, they had ecclesiastical power, they had political power and they didn’t want these disciples to mess with their empire. That still goes on, by the way. It goes on even in the church, sometimes. I remember one time in a church I was serving on a Wednesday night, we had a guest speaker, who was incredible and you could sense God’s Spirit moving. And a young man in our congregation stood up, after he had finished speaking and said, you know, we need to go to prayer. Jesus is here with us. And we’re going to see a revival and you know what I said to him, and if you’re in our television audience, you know, I’m blushing and I’ve repented so much for what I said, I said, sit down son, you can pray after the service is over. And you know what I was saying? I’m in control here. This is my belly wick. This, this is not something I’m going to let anybody mess with and you can’t control revival. And so, we’re not going to have one right now. And even when I tell you that, I wince, I can’t believe that. So, I’m not just throwing rocks at people. I’m talking about me too. In the places where we have power in the family, politically, in the church, among our friends, in a business situation or association, where we have power, it’s dangerous, because when you’ve got it, you’ve got to control it. When you’ve got it, you’ve got to control it. And these leaders knew that if the disciples were right, they were wrong. And if they were wrong, they were going to lose it all. You know, the good thing about being a Christian, is that you don’t have anything to lose. You really don’t. You don’t have anything to prove, you really don’t. And you don’t have to be right, you really don’t. You don’t have to pretend to be something that you aren’t, because you’re loved and you’re accepted and you are his. So, the religious leaders had their underwear on too short, because they were trying to protect their stuff, their empire, their power. When you get any of those things, make sure that you say to the Lord Jesus, this is not mine, it’s yours. And if you want to take it, it’s yours. Harold Myra was the editor of Christianity Today for a hundred years. And he said this about the magazine, it’s God’s, he can take it whenever be wants. That’s freeing. And you think about that. Amen.
And that was Steve Brown, continuing to guide us through Acts 5, as you well know, everything in the Bible is God-breathed and useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness. Yes. Yes, yes, yes. Okay. True. But, can we agree that there’s just something especially exciting about the events here in Acts. So much happening and we will get back into it tomorrow.
Well, if I may quote some lyrics from singer songwriter, Ray LaMontagne, trouble trouble, trouble, trouble, trouble, trouble been dogging my soul since the day I was born. Worry, worry, worry, worry, worry, worry just will not seem to leave my mind alone. You know trouble too, don’t you? And that’s not even the word for it, is it? It’s, it’s suffering. Well Jesus told us, there will be seasons like this, but listen, he also promised that he would be with his people in their suffering. Well, Steve wrote a mini-book that talks very plainly about his own struggles with suffering, but also the hope he is found in the presence of Christ. It’s called Suffering: When Life Falls Apart. Get your free copy today by calling 1-800-KEY-LIFE. That’s 1-800-539-5433. You can also e-mail Steve@keylife.org and ask for the mini-book. If you’d like to mail your request, send it to
Key Life Network
P.O. Box 5000
Maitland, Florida 32794
If you’re in Canada, send your request to
Key Life Canada
P.O. Box 28060
Waterloo, Ontario N2L 6J8
Just ask for your free copy of the mini-book called Suffering: When Life Falls Apart. Finally, would you give to support Key Life? You could charge a gift on your credit card. You could include a gift in your envelope. Or simply grab your phone and text Key Life to 28950. Key Life is a member of ECFA in the States and CCCC in Canada. And we are a listener supported production of Key Life Network.