Write your theology in prison and people will listen.
AUGUST 12, 2021
Write your theology in prison and people will listen. Let’s talk on Key Life.
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Thank you Matthew. We’re moving on to the fourth chapter of Acts, in our continuing study in Acts. And this is a great story, just like the third chapter about the cripple who was healed. So much there. We could have spent weeks just on that chapter, but we got to keep moving on and I want to show you about jail, about prison. I’ve often thought that if we wrote our theology in prison, instead of the seminaries, that it would be far more powerful. Now, I don’t want to go there, I mean, I’m preaching, it’s not something I want to do, but in the early church, these people, and we’re going to see how they were called to annoy others. And because others were annoyed, they ended up in jail. Case in point, fourth chapter of Acts. And, let me read some of that to you.
And as they were speaking to the people, the priests and the captain of the temple and the Sadducees came up on them, annoyed
Oh yeah. That’s what Christians are supposed to do. Annoy people.
annoyed because they were teaching the people and proclaiming in Jesus the resurrection from the dead. And they arrested them and put them in custody until the morrow, for it was already evening. But many of those who heard the word believed, and the number of the men came to 5,000.
That’s called a revival. Well, no, it’s called an awakening.
On the Morrow their rulers and elders and scribes were gathered together in Jerusalem, with Annas the high priest and Caiaphas and John and Alexander, and all who were in the high-priestly family. And when they had set them in their midst, they inquired, “By what power or by what name did you do this?” Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, “Rulers of the people and elders, if we are being examined today concerning a good deed done to the cripple, by what means this man has been healed, be it known to you all and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead–by him this man is standing before you well. This is the stone, which was rejected by you builders, but which has become the head of the corner. And there is salvation and no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” 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. But seeing the man that had been healed standing beside them, they had nothing to say in opposition. But when they had commanded them to go aside out of the council, they conferred with one another, saying, “What shall we do with these men? For that a notable sign has been performed through them is manifest to all the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and we can’t deny it. But in order that it may spread no further among the people, let us warn them to speak no more to anyone in this name.” So they called them and charged them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus. And Peter and John answered them, “Whether it is right in this sight of God to listen to you rather than God, you must judge, but we cannot but speak of what we have seen and heard.” And when they had further threatened them, they let them go, finding no way to punish them, because of the people, for all men praise God for what had happened. For the man on whom this sign of healing was performed was more than forty years old. When they were released, they went to their friends and reported what the chief priests and the elders had said to them. And when they heard it, they lifted their voices together to God and said, “Sovereign Lord, who didst make the heaven and the earth and the sea and everything in them, who by the mouth of our father David, thy servant, did send the Holy Spirit, “‘Why did the Gentiles rage,
This is a quote, from the Psalms.
and the people’s imagined vain things? The Kings of the earth set themselves an array, and the rulers were gathered together against the Lord and against his Anointed’ for truly in this city there were gathered together against thy holy servant Jesus, whom thou didst anoint, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, to do whatever thy hand and thy plan had predestined to take place. And now Lord, look upon their threats and grant to thy servants to speak thy word with all boldness, while thou stretches out thy hand to heal, and signs and wonders are performed through the name of thy holy servant Jesus.” And when they had prayed, the place in which they were gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God with boldness.
Now. I’m not going to spend a lot of time going into this right now, but, we’ll do this next week. Tomorrow, Pete comes in and we’ll spend the whole broadcast answering questions, but I wanted to read that text in its entirety, because frankly it’s amazing. What are you supposed to do in a cancel culture? Be canceled. What are you supposed to do if you live in a culture, where your faith is berated, your principles challenged, where all of the power of the culture is coming together to oppose everything you believe to be true. What do you, what are you supposed to do? What if, what if they throw you in jail, just to keep you quiet? What if they kick you off social media? What if, what if all of the cool kids decide that you’re not cool anymore and you can’t be with them and they cancel you out? What if every time you watch the media, things are said that are negative and harsh and are directed to what you believe and think is true. What do you do in all of those? Well, you go off in a corner and wine, right? No, you read the fourth chapter of the book of Acts and you decide I’m going to stand and nobody is gonna cancel me because I represent the God of the universe. As you know, I’m a teacher and spent years teaching students how to preach. And I would say to them, sometimes, because this was new to them. They were sometimes really scared, lot of sweating, perspiring, to get up and preach their student sermon. And I would say sometimes to them or to the individual, son, before you get up to preach, this is what you should say to yourself. Get out of my way, I represent the God of the universe. And I have a message from him and by God’s grace, you will listen. And then get in the pulpit and preach. And students say, you can’t do that. That’s prideful. No, it’s not. It’s who you are. Don’t forget who you are. Don’t forget that you represent the God of the universe. Don’t shout so much. Don’t, don’t get upset. Don’t lose sleep over it, because when you are an ambassador for Christ and that’s what Paul says we are, and that’s who these people knew they were, in the fourth chapter of Acts. When you’re an ambassador for Christ, you represent the King, the King of Kings. I don’t remember the chaplain’s name in England, who was the King’s chaplain. And his wife said to him as she helped him on with his clerics, remember that you’re standing before the king and you could lose your life, but don’t forget that you stand also before the King of Kings. Dear, don’t shilly shally. You think about that. Amen.
Thank you Steve. Another great week of digging into Acts 3. Of course we will resume our exploration next week, but first, tomorrow, it’s time again for Friday Q&A, of course that’s when our friend Pete Alwinson swings by and together, Steve and Pete answer the challenging questions you’ve sent in. So, you know, about our talk radio show, Steve Brown Etc. And it’s true that we have some amazing guests, but we have been told over and over that some of our best shows are when it’s just us. And recently we had one of those shows, and the whole springboard for our conversation was a survey we did on our YouTube channel. And it indicated that a lot of us are struggling with guilt. Well on the show, we really dig into that and what it means and how to overcome it. Could you use some encouragement like that? If so, would you let us know by calling us at 1-800-KEY-LIFE? That’s 1-800-539-5433. Do that, and we’ll be happy to send you that entire show on CD for free. You can also e-mail Steve@keylife.org and ask for that show CD. If you’d like to mail your request, send it to
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