You never run into Satan if you’re going in the same direction.
SEPTEMBER 21, 2021
Steve Brown: You never run into Satan if you’re going in the same direction. Let’s talk, on Key Life.
Matthew Porter: 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.
Steve Brown: Thank you Matthew. If you have your Bible, open it to the fifth chapter of Acts and we’re looking at verses 33 to the end of the chapter. And, I’m just simply making some observation on those verses. They are wonderful verses, Gamaliel and he had a real history of teaching grace, believe it or not, I don’t have time to go into it. But he was a famous rabbi and there is some speculation that Paul sat at his feet and not only Paul, but Barnabas too. And we don’t know that for a fact and it’s surmised, but this particular rabbi was a man who got it, before anybody else got it. He understood some things about God. And that’s the reason for his gentleness and kindness. He says with great wisdom and authority, Hey, leave these guys alone. If it’s of men, it’ll die. If it’s of God, you don’t want to mess with something like that. And that’s wise advice given by Gamaliel. And it’s advice that maybe we ought to take a lot of times too. But we saw, if you were listening yesterday, that there’s a direct correlation between your commitment and the persecution against you, G. Campbell Morgan.
If you’re in Christian work and you’re not persecuted, you ought to go out and look for some persecution, because you are not in Christian work.
I Corinthians 16:9, Paul said.
A wide door for effective work has opened to me, and there are many adversaries.
II Timothy 3:12
Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be he persecuted.
Hmm. I don’t know if I’d put that on a billboard as an advertisement, come and get persecuted, come and get hated, come and get rejected, come and lose your friends. I have a dear friend. He’s a lawyer and we’ve been friends, for almost 40 years. And I remember when he first became a Christian, he came out of the church and said, I pulled a C.S. Lewis this morning, and I didn’t know what he meant. In C.S. Lewis’ autobiography, Surprised by Joy, his testimony is wonderful and boring. He simply says, this is it.
I left for Whipsnade Zoo this morning. When I left, I didn’t believe that Jesus was the son of God. When I got there, I did.
And I want to go, that’s it? That’s all? Well, at any rate, I’ve used that as an illustration. And my friend came out of church and said, I pulled a C.S. Lewis this morning. And then he turned and walked off. And it hit me, as he was walking away, that he had become a Christian. And I chased him down the walkway, and grabbed him and said, that’s so cool. You became a Christian. And he grinned. And, he really did. He had become, well at any rate. He lived a lifestyle that was not exactly wonderful. And, he said, I wonder, he told me later, he said, I wonder what I’m going to do about my friends. I said, don’t worry about them, they’re going to leave you. And he told me later, that’s exactly what happened. Once people found out what had happened to him, he wasn’t as much fun in the way they defined fun, as he had been before. And that’s a part of what happens to us. If you want to be accepted, remain a pagan. If you wanna be affirmed, remain a pagan. If you want everything to be smooth and copacetic in your life and for you to live your life in peace, just stay a pagan. You become a Christian and those things begin to change. Now, don’t get me wrong. My friend Tony Campolo is always saying that when he first became a Christian, he was expecting persecution and it never came. He thought somebody was going to kill him, that he would be beaten. And he said, I was never beaten. I kept waiting for it to happen. And it didn’t happen. Well, he knows now, cause he’s been doing this a long time. And I have too. You know what Matthew 5:11 says? It says blessed are you, when you’re religious. It doesn’t say that.
Blessed are you when men shall say bad things about you, for great is your reward in heaven.
You know, I have a Matthew 5:11 file? You say, what’s that? Well, it’s, you know, I get a lot of criticism. I really do. And I don’t understand it. I don’t think that if I go out to see if I can get people to be mad at me, but it happens. And I get letters that you wouldn’t believe. And you know what I do, I put them in my Matthew 5:11 file. And I say to Jesus, great will be my reward in heaven. And then sometimes he says, you know, that doesn’t go in that file. What they said about you was true. And then I have to take it out of the file and try to answer it in a reasonably positive way. But listen, you know exactly what I’m talking about. There was a time, even, not too long ago, 25 years ago, when being a Christian got you business. When being a Christian, got you elected. When being a Christian, got things going the right direction. But that’s not so true anymore. We’re being marginalized. We’re being canceled. If we affirm sexual morality, that is taught in Scripture, there are people that are going to say that we are angry haters. And we’re not, but they’re going to say it. And it’s going to hurt when they say it, Christians are taken off platforms all the time. We’re going to do a program in the not too distant future. I suspect by the time you hear this, it will have been aired. But if you will go to our website, keylife.org and look at the archives of the talk shows Steve Brown Etc., you can find that program on free speech. We’re living in a time when it’s dangerous, when you can be eliminated for what you say. And as I understand it, that happened to Eric Metaxas. And we’re going to interview him and talk about it. But, but you say it, the platforms that we once had, we don’t have anymore. That’s called persecution. And you know why? It’s because of Jesus, that’s why. And I want to say to him, it’s your fault. It’s not my fault. I’m a nice person. If it weren’t for you, these people would love me. And then the very quiet acceptance, I told you, before it happened. So, you wouldn’t, this is John. So you wouldn’t be surprised when it did. And so, if you’re going to be a Christian. And you think everybody’s going to like you for it, even if you’re a likable person, forget it. Some people just don’t want to be around you and will think you’re ugly and your mother dresses you funny. And that goes with the turf. And so, these disciples found out, because of their relationship with Christ, they were persecuted. Now, we’ll talk about it more tomorrow, but let me give you another observation. God helps you when you’re persecuted. Now, he helps you when you’re not too, of course. That goes without saying. But, if you’re willing to stand, in the second book of C.S. Lewis’ Space Trilogy, Perelandra, speaking of C.S. Lewis, Ransom is fighting Weston. And Weston is the personification of evil, the devil himself. I mean, he rips the innards out of birds and rips flowers. You can find where he is, by looking at the flowers, that he’s destroyed, that are along the side of the pathway. And Ransom realizes, he’s been sent to Perelandra to do battle with Weston, and he doesn’t like it a bit. And he’s sitting there, and there’s a dark Perelandran night going on. And he starts thinking about, whether or not he wants to do battle with this really, really bad person, Weston. And then he realizes that’s what I’m doing here. And in the silence of the night, Ransom hears a voice and the voice says quietly, my name is Ransom too. You want to, you want a better spiritual life, speak up, stand up, be kind and loving, but don’t back off. And when you do that, at night before you go to bed, even if you wish you hadn’t said it, you’ll hear a voice that says, my name is Ransom too. You think about that. Amen.
Matthew Porter: And of course, that was Steve Brown, teaching us from Acts 5, events that happened thousands of years ago. And yet, God’s word rings just as true today, doesn’t it? Hope you’ll join us again tomorrow. Hey, and by the way, if you’ve missed any episodes in our series on Acts, you can access those anytime you want at keylife.org and with our new layout on the site, it has never been easier to find exactly what you’re looking for and to discover new content that you’re going to love, from Steve and all of our other Key Life voices. Also on keylife.org you’ll find transcripts for this radio program. So everything you hear Steve teach, you also have it in print. That’s pretty cool. And at keylife.org you’ll also find our brand new digital magazine and sermons, video versions of Steve Brown Etc., Key Life Connection, even a link to our new Key Life app. All of it is still free, thanks to the generous support of listeners, just like you. If you’d like to donate, just call 1-800-KEY-LIFE. That’s 1-800-539-5433. Or you can mail your donation to
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