Uneducated, common, and dangerous.
AUGUST 17, 2021
Uneducated, common, and dangerous. Let’s talk about it on Key Life.
This is Key Life, with our host, author and seminary professor, Steve Brown. He’s nobody’s guru, he’s just one beggar telling other beggars where he found bread. If you’re hungry for God, the real God, behind all the lies, you’ve come to the right place.
Thank you Matthew. If you have your Bible, open it to the fourth chapter of the book of Acts. We’re involved in a rather long study of the book of Acts, and you remember in the third chapter, a cripple was healed. Man, you could always find where Jesus was and later where the apostles were by listening to the clank of blind men’s beggars cups hitting the rocks by the side of the road. And if you look, the crutches were thrown in the air and cripples were dancing and people’s lives were changed and it showed, and the book of Acts is a record of that. One of the mistakes that we make, is to think that the book of Acts is a record of godly and pure and obedient and wonderful people. And that’s not true. By the time we get to the 15th chapter of Acts, we’re going to talk about a church fight, that’s worse than any Presbyterian or Baptist church fight you have ever seen in your entire lifetime. I mean, these people put their pants on and their dresses on just the way our dresses and pants are put on. I mean, they were very human, they were very sinful and they were used in a gigantic way by God. And you know why? Because they didn’t shilly shally. I’m going to be preaching at the church I attend next Sunday, and my pastor said, said to me last Sunday, you do know you’re preaching next Sunday. And I said, really? And he said, oh yeah, don’t forget. And he said, I prayed for you, so don’t mess it up. And then I thought, oh my, I’ll try not. What he was saying is don’t shilly shally, don’t back off, don’t ignore the truth, don’t pretend that what happened didn’t happen, don’t refuse to stand and be counted. And that’s what we see going on in this fourth chapter of Acts. My, Peter is really in your face. Now, you got to know they’d been arrested and they’d been brought into court. And this is not for a parking ticket. This is pretty dangerous stuff. But the problem for the leaders was, that a cripple who had been crippled from birth was standing there in front of them. And they were looking at him. What do you say to somebody like that? And so, they decide, they’ll just tell him to shut up. Fat chance that was going to happen. And then Peter said, you’ll have to decide whether obeying you or obeying God is the first thing. And then Peter, good heavens. I mean, he stands up to the, you talk about speaking truth to power and he tells them you crucified Jesus, you turkeys. And now he’s alive. And he’s nailing together a coffin for you and your empire. Peter said there is no other name under heaven, by which men might be saved. Peter, you could have sanded down that a little bit and they would have liked you a little bit more, but he didn’t, he didn’t back off. And you know why? Because he was called to be a troubler. And Christians are called to be troublers too. Now, there are a lot of things we can say about this text that I read to you yesterday, but I want you to look at the 13th verse. It kind of jumps off the page and waves of flag in your face. This is what Luke wrote about those leaders.
Now 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 man. That’s the issue. Isn’t it? That people know you’ve been with Jesus. And you say, of course they do. I don’t smoke or drink. And I don’t hang out with people who smoke and drink, that ain’t going to do it. Trust me on this. And you say, of course they know I’ve been with Jesus. I go to church every time the doors are open. Listen, that’s not going to do it either. Of course they know I’m with Jesus. I wear a cross around my neck. That’s not going to cut it. And that’s not what Scripture is talking about here. He’s talking about people who are forgiven and who know they’re forgiven. And because they have been forgiven, they are free. And because they are free, they are dangerous. I think I’ve told you before, and it’s worth repeating. A number of years ago, we had a rally for Jesus in Washington. And I mean, it was one mother of a rally. There were hundreds of thousands of Christians, who gathered in Washington to do nothing but praise Jesus. I was on the committee that planned that, and it was kind of a scary time. You said, why was it scary? They were there for Jesus, because you and I both know, we’ve got people in our family that are really weird and we weren’t sure what was going to happen or how it was going to happen, or if there was going to be trouble. And we were scared to death as we met for the breakfast that morning before the rally and a black Bishop got up and I’ll never forget this. I don’t even remember who it was, but boy did he have a word from the Lord. And he said he did. He said, I have a word. And I’ve been told to tell you what it is. And boy, we got quiet, because in that kind of situation, you’re waiting for somebody to bring something. And to say something that will ameliorate the anxiety. And this is what he said. The Lord said for me to say to you, if you Christians will just get over your anger, your fear, not your anger. If you Christians will get, I’m doing the best I can. I’m an old guy. Okay. If you Christians with just get over your fear, you’re going to be dangerous. Oh, that is so true. How to get over your fear? Perfect love, Paul said casts out fear. That’s where boldness comes from. I wrote a book a number of years ago and it was called No More Mr. Nice Guy. And, I didn’t particularly like the title. I don’t like the titles of my books, much. Other people give those titles, but it was a book about Christian boldness, about standing up and being counted. And I spent a long time in that book going through church history and looking at the boldness of Christians in almost every place. They said things, I probably wouldn’t have said. They went places, I probably wouldn’t have gone. They did things, I probably would not have done. And they were all bold. John Knox said, give me Scotland or I die. And one of the early, Peter Cartwright the early circuit writers in America. And I got this story from a book called, Bible in Pocket, gun in Hand. That’s true. And it was about circuit writers, and he would look over a town before they would go and preach and he would turn to a colleague and say, I smell hell, and Mary the queen said, one time. I fear the prayers of John Knox, more than an army of 10,000 men. They don’t say that much to us anymore, cause we’ve gotten quiet for some reason. They don’t say that much to us anymore, because we’ve gotten intimidated. They don’t say that much to us anymore, because we have let unbelievers take the high ground and silence us. Norm Evans, my beloved friend, has a wonderful story, when he was playing football in high school, he was part of the Miami Dolphins perfect season. Norm’s going through some hard physical stuff, now. If you can think of it, do pray for he and Bobbi. But he talks about the time in college football, when one of the linemen came to the coach and said, the opposing lineman keeps pulling my helmet over my eyes. And the coach said to the young man, son don’t let him. That’s the message that we get from Acts, the fourth chapter. Don’t let them do that to you. Now, I’m not just preaching at you. I’m talking to myself. I’m exactly the same way. Sometimes, I just want to be quiet and just ignore the opportunities that God gives me, because of the people who want to silence me. Don’t let them. And I’ll try to do the same thing. You can think about that. Amen.
If we, as Christians will get over our fear, we’ll be dangerous. Now that is good stuff. Thank you, Steve. Such a powerful scene that we see here in Acts four, and we will revisit that scene again tomorrow. Hope you’ll join us. Well, you know that everyone has hard times and as we’re seeing in Acts, that’s nothing new. And in those moments, believe it or not, Jesus identifies with you. In John 11, Mary and Martha send word to Jesus that their friend Lazarus is dying. Jesus eventually gets there after Lazarus dies, but he goes down to the graveyard and weeps. Why did Jesus weep? Because something else is going on and something else is always going on in our pain. Steve spoke about this in a sermon called When Tears Are All That’s Left. If you’re going through it right now, then please call us at 1-800-KEY-LIFE. That’s 1-800-539-5433. And we’ll send you that sermon on CD for free. You can also e-mail Steve@keylife.org and ask for the CD. 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 CD called When Tears Are All That’s Left. Finally, if you’re able, would you prayerfully consider giving to Key Life? You could charge a gift on your credit card or include a gift in your envelope. Or just grab your phone and text Key Life to 28950. Key Life is a member of ECFA in the States and CCCC in Canada. And as always, we are a listener supported production of Key Life Network.