If you see something, say something.
AUGUST 18, 2021
If you see something, say something. Let’s talk on Key Life.
Key Life is a radio program for struggling believers, sick of phony religion and pious cliches. Our host and teacher is seminary professor, Steve Brown. He teaches that radical freedom leads to infectious joy and surprising faithfulness.
Thank you Matthew. And if you’re just joining us, we’re looking at the fourth chapter of Acts and I’m not going to read that whole thing. It’s a long, long text, but it is a wonderful text. And one of the reasons that the book of Acts is written. And in this text, the disciples, and you’ll remember, and we talked about it for two or three weeks, about the cripple who had been healed. And then started dancing. He’d been crippled from life and begging for money at the temple gate. And Peter and John gave him something better than the money he was looking for and they jerked him up and he started dancing and everybody saw it and God was praised. And it’s a really wonderful story, but it was also irritating to the leadership. And so they had the disciples and the cripple arrested and brought before the court. And that’s what the fourth chapter of Acts is all about. And Peter, you know, you want to say, after you read what he said to them, Peter, you got to learn not to be shy and just say what you really mean, because Peter is in your face. I mean, he doesn’t back off at all. Now, he was kind, and we’re going to talk about that in a minute, but he was clear, because he had seen something and by God and God’s grace, he was gonna say something. Jeremy, who is the producer of this broadcast. And I’ve told you a number of times, he sits in a control room and I can see him through a large glass window. And sometimes we discuss, when we’re recording these things. And he sometimes tells me the best stories, you can’t believe. He told me about two magicians in, they’re Penn and Teller in Las Vegas. And, one of them, one’s a big guy and one’s a little guy and one of them is an atheist and I’m assuming, he’s the big one. And he said this, and Jeremy said, this statement has haunted him ever since he heard it. He said, to his Christian partner, I don’t mind you proselytizing me, talking to me about Jesus, in fact, that’s what you ought to be, because you believe I’m lost for all of you eternity. And if you believe that about me, and you don’t say anything, there’s something wrong with you. That’s true of us. You know, if you see something, say something. If you see something, say something. Now, we have seen that, Peter and John and the disciples and the early Christians irritated power, and they spoke truth to power, but there’s something else going on here. And, I read it to you yesterday, but it requires a little bit more conversation. It’s in the 13th verse.
And when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated, common men, they wondered. And they recognized that they had been with Jesus.
Oh my. That is so good. In other words, it wasn’t because Peter looked like a movie star. It wasn’t because he had been an athlete and won the Super Bowl and was giving his testimony. It wasn’t because he was a famous Christian. It wasn’t because he was so smart. They noted that he didn’t do very well with the Hebrew language. They recognize this is an uneducated guy, he hasn’t been to any kind of seminary or graduate school. He doesn’t have any numbers or letters after his name. He’s just a nobody, but he’s been with Jesus. And that’s the thing that stands out everywhere. People were always saying to me the thing, they’re not going to witness to their faith, because they don’t know enough. And I want to say, of course you don’t know enough. Nobody knows enough. Are you crazy? This thing is so complicated and so amazing and so big and so revolutionary and so counter intuitive, that nobody knows enough. Listen, I know more than you do. I’m an old guy, I’ve been doing this, I’ve been teaching the Bible before most of you have even been born. I mean, I’m the most religious person you know. I’ve read the books. I taught seminary for years and years and years. I mean, I know a lot and you know, sometimes I hesitate to speak, because I think I don’t know enough. Others say, you know, I’d speak up, but I’m not good enough. Are you crazy? Of course you’re, what do you think this thing is about? It’s not about good people doing good things and making other people who are bad into good people like us. That’s not what the Christian faith is about. It’s about forgiveness and redemption, and of course you’re not good enough, that’s your witness. Your witness is, you can be pure like me, no. Your witness is I’m forgiven and I’m free and I’m loved. And I don’t deserve a bit of it, uneducated, common, but they had been with Jesus. You know, it’s the bottom line of the Christian faith. And Acts reminds us of it over and over again. And once we get it, we’re going to be dangerous and we’re called to be lovingly dangerous. Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so. Hey, you think about that. Amen.
Well, it’s Wednesday. And sometimes, if I have time on Wednesday, I answer one or two questions. And then, Pete, as you know, comes in on Fridays and we spend the entire broadcast on Friday answering questions. Sometimes we’re right. Sometimes we’re wrong. But we’re honest, and we believe every word of the Bible. And by the way, we really do love getting your questions. You can call 1-800-KEY-LIFE and you can do that anytime, 24 7, when you call that number, one of the options is to ask a question and if you hit that number, you can record your question. And then sometimes we put that on the air. And as I said that’s, 24 7, 1-800-KEY-LIFE. Or you can send your question to
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Or you can e-mail your question to [email protected]. And, we will take you and your questions seriously. And by the way, and you knew I was going to say this, if you can help us financially, those are the contact points where you could do that. We’re a member of ECFA in the States and CCCC in Canada. Both organizations ensure ethical monetary practices. And we were that before they came along. But if you want to check, you can. And, if you can help us financially, please do, we promise to use your gift to reach out to others. And if you can’t, we understand that too, so say a prayer for this ministry. Okay, enough said. Let’s turn to one or two questions. This is an e-mail. Why does the Bible state that no drunkard shall enter the kingdom of heaven? Why is that singled out from other sins? Now, I don’t know fact, but it could be that the person who asked that question struggles with booze, I don’t know? But it’s an example of what we all do. You know, we read condemning passages of Scripture. We focus in on condemning passages of Scripture. We feel guilty because of the condemning passages of Scripture. And we think that’s the way it ought to be, it’s not. You ought to always read the passages of Scripture that you didn’t underline, because often the underlining, is a result of our new neurotic attitude about guilt. Now, to be specific about this particular question, when lists are given like that, as in no drunkard shall ever enter the kingdom of heaven. Those lists are an attitude, a lifestyle, a place where somebody defines themselves in terms of their booze and not in terms of Jesus. And in each case, and by the way, when you read those lists in Scripture, and you don’t find yourself, at least in one of the two places in the list, you haven’t understood grace and forgiveness and redemption, which are the themes of the New Testament. And in fact of the entire Bible. But in this particular case, it’s talking about somebody who defines and I’ve talked to a lot of guys who said they’ve done that, where they lived, for the bottle. Where everything they did and thought, was built around the next drink or the next pill or the next high that they give yet. The apostle Paul says, that person doesn’t belong to Jesus, because when you belong to Jesus, you still sin, you still fall sometimes. If you’ve been an alcoholic, sometimes you even fall off the wagon, but a real Christian does not define himself or herself in terms of a bottle. A real Christian defines himself or herself in terms of Jesus. So, if you’re struggling with booze, I was glad to help, you don’t have to thank me, I was glad to have done that. And now, I have a little bit of time, but not enough time to answer another question. But because I love you, I won’t sing a hymn. I’ll simply be still for a second. And then I will say, as is required of me, Key Life is a listener supported production of Key Life Network.