Faithlife Sermons

What's in a name?

Acts 2018  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Introduction

Let me tell you a story. This is a story that has been pieced together by reading letters from two Russian teenagers in 1960s Soviet Russia.
Maria and Varia, 18 years old, 1960s Soviet Russia
18 years old
Their names are Maria and Varia
U.S.S.R.
The two Russian teenagers had once been schoolmates in a Communist boarding school. Varia, a member of the Communist Youth Organization, had constantly teased and tormented Maria, who was a Christian. In response, Maria prayed for the young Communist with special concern.
1960s
The two Russian teenagers had once been schoolmates in a Communist boarding school. Varia, a member of the Communist Youth Organization, had constantly teased and tormented Maria, a Christian. In response, Maria prayed for the young Communist with special concern.
what you did? "No," she answered. "And if they would free me, I would do it again and would tell them about the great love of Jesus. Don’t think that I suffer. I am very glad that the Lord loves me so much and gives me the joy to endure for His name."
No," she answered. "And if they would free me, I would do
it again and would tell them about the great love of Jesus. Don’t think that I suffer. I am very glad that the Lord loves me so much and gives me the joy to endure for His name."
Don’t think that I suffer. I am very glad that the Lord loves me so much and gives me the joy to endure for His name."
so much and gives me the joy to endure for His name."
This was the first time Maria had been able to visit Varia in prison. Her friend was thin, pale, and beaten, but her eyes shone with the peace of God and an unearthly joy. The two Russian teenagers had once been schoolmates in a Communist boarding school. Varia, a member of the Communist Youth Organization, had constantly teased and tormented Maria, a Christian. In response, Maria prayed for the young Communist with special concern.
This was the first time Maria had been able to visit Varia in
prison. Her friend was thin, pale, and beaten, but her eyes
shone with the peace of God and an unearthly joy. The two
Russian teenagers had once been schoolmates in a Communist
boarding school. Varia, a member of the Communist Youth
Organization, had constantly teased and tormented Man' a, a
Christian, In response, Maria prayed for the young Communist
with special concern.
One day Varia said, “I cannot understand what a being you are. Here so many insult and hurt you, and yet you love everyone."
are. Here so many insult and hurt you, and yet you love
everyone."
Maria said, “God has taught us to love everyone, not only friends, but also enemies."
Maria said, “God has taught us to love everyone, not only
friends, but also enemies."
“Can you love me, too?" Varia asked.
Maria hugged her, and they both began to weep. Not long afterward, Varia received Jesus Christ and witnessed openly to everyone about it.
hugged her, and they both began to weep. Not long
afterward, Varia received Jesus as her personal Savior and
witnessed openly to everyone about it.
Maria once wrote in a letter: “We went together to the assembly of the godless [the school’s Communist Youth Club meeting]. I warned her to be reserved, but it was useless. I went with her to see what would happen.
of the godless [the school’s Communist Youth Club meeting]. I
warned her to be reserved, but it was useless. I went with her
to see what would happen.
After the Communist hymn, Varia came forward before the whole assembly. Courageously and with much feeling, she witnessed to those gathered about Jesus her Savior. She implored all to give up the way of sin and to come to Christ.
whole assembly. Courageously and with muMaria ch feeling, she
witnessed to those gathered about Jesus her Savior. She
implored all to give up the way of sin and to come to Christ.
All became silent and no one interrupted her. When she finished speaking, she sang with her splendid voice the whole Christian hymn: “I am not ashamed to proclaim the Christ who died to defend His commandments and the power of His cross.’
All became silent and no one interrupted her. When she finished speaking, she sang with her splendid voice the whole Christian hymn: “I am not ashamed to proclaim the Christ who died to defend His commandments and the power of His cross.’
finished speaking, she sang with her splendid voice the whole
They took her away and imprisoned her.
Christian hymn: “I am not ashamed to proclaim the Christ who
died to defend His commandments and the power of His cross-’
Later Maria visited at the prison.
Afterwards...afterwards they took Varia away. We know nothing about her. But God is powerful to save her. Pray!"
nothing about her. But God is powerful to save her. Pray!"
Maria asked through the iron bars, “Varia, don't you regret what you did? "No," she answered. "And if they would free me, I would do it again and would tell them about the great love of Jesus. Don’t think that I suffer. I am very glad that the Lord loves me so much and gives me the joy to endure for His name."
This was the first time Maria had been able to visit Varia in prison. Her friend was thin, pale, and beaten, but her eyes shone with the peace of God and an unearthly joy.
Months passed after their single visit in prison. Then Maria received a letter from her friend who was in a Siberian labor camp.
received a letter from her friend who was in a Siberian labor
Varia wrote:
camp. Varia wrote:
My heart praises and thanks God that, through you, He showed me the way to salvation. Now, being on this way. my Iife has a purpose and I know where to go and for whom I suffer. I feel the desire to tell and to witness to everybody about the great joy of salvation that l have in my heart. Who can separate us from the love of God in Christ? Nobody and nothing. Neither prison nor suffering. The sufferings that God sends us only strengthens us more and more in the faith in Him. My heart ts so full that the grace of God overflows.
My heart praises and thanks God that, through you, He showed me the way to salvation. Now, being on this way. my Iife has a purpose and I know where to go and for whom I suffer. I feel the desire to tell and to witness to everybody about the great joy of salvation that l have in my heart. Who can separate us from the love of God in Christ? Nobody and nothing. Neither prison nor suffering. The sufferings that God sends us only strengthens us more and more in the faith in Him. My heart ts so full that the grace of God overflows.
showed me the way to salvation. Now, being on this way. my Iife has a purpose and I know where to go and for whom I suffer. I feel the desire to tell and to witness to everybody about the great joy of salvation that l have in my heart. Who can separate us from the love of God in Christ? Nobody and nothing. Neither prison nor suffering. The sufferings that God sends us only strengthens us more and more in the faith in Him. My heart ts so full that the grace of God overflows.
has a purpose and 1 know where to go and/or whom I Sit/[er I
feel the desire to tell and to wztness to evervbodv about the great
joy ofsalvatton that l have tn my heart. Who can separate us
from the love of God in Christ? Nobody and nothing. Neither
prison nor sullenng. The sufferings that God sends us only
strengthen us more and more tn the/aah tn Him. My heart ts so
fit]! that the grace ofGod over/lows.
At work, they curse and punish me, giving me extra work because I cannot be silent. I must tell everyone what the Lord has done for me. He has made me a new being, a new creation, of me who was on the way of perdition. Can I be silent after this? No, never! As long as my lips can speak I will witness to every one about His great love.
because I cannot be silent. I must tell everyone what the Lord has done for me. He has made me a new being, a new creation, of me who was on the way of perdition. Can I be silent after this? No, never! As long as my lips can speak I will witness to every one about His great love.
has done for me. He has made me a new being, a new creation, of me who was on the way of perdition. Can I be silent after this? No, never! As long as my lips can speak I will witness to every one about His great love.
of me who was on the way of perdition. Can I be silent after this? No, never! As long as my lips can speak I will witness to every one about His great love.
No. never’ As long as my lips can speak. I will witness to every one about His great love.
one about His great love.
Here there are many who believe in Christ as their personal Savior. More than half the prisoners are believers. We have among us great singers and good preachers of the Gospel. In the evening, when we all gather after heavy work, how wonderful it is to pass at least some time together in prayer at the feet of our Savior. With Christ there is freedom everywhere. I learned here many beautiful hymns and every day God gives me more and more of His Word.
Savior. More than hallo/the prisoners are believers. We have among us great singers and good preachers of the Gospel. In the evening, when we all gather after heavy work, how wonderful it is to pass at least some time together in prayer at the feet of our Savior. With Christ there is freedom everywhere. I learned here many beautiful hymns and every day God gives me more and more of His Word.
among us great singers and good preachers of the Gospel. In the evening, when we all gather after heavy work, how wonderful it is to pass at least some time together in prayer at the feet of our Savior. With Christ there is freedom everywhere. I learned here many beautiful hymns and every day God gives me more and more of His Word.
evening, when we all gather afier heavy work, how wonder/iii it
is to pass at least some time together in prayer at the feet of our Savior. With Christ there is freedom everywhere. I learned here many beautiful hymns and every day God gives me more and more of His Word.
Savior. With Christ there isjreedom everywhere. I learned here many beautiful hymns and every day God gives me more and more of His Word.
many beautiful hymns and every day God gives me more and more of His Word.
more of His Word.
All our brethren greet you and are glad that your faith in God is so powerful and that you praise Him in your sufferings unceasingly.
All our brethren greet you and are glad that your faith in God is so powerful and that you praise Him in your sufferings unceasingly.
is so powerful and that you praise Him in your sulferings
unceasingly.
Yours.
Yours.
Varia
This was the first time Maria had been able to visit Varia in prison. Her friend was thin, pale, and beaten, but her eyes shone with the peace of God and an unearthly joy.
HOOK?
What a beautiful, powerful story. That the tormentor of Christians becomes a Christian, and even suffers greater torment herself in Jesus name.
What is it that makes someone go against the grain of their friends, family and colleagues? To turn their back on the hierarchy? To risk everything to proclaim Jesus?
What is it that changes the meek into the boldest preachers?
What is it that changes the attackers of religion into defenders of the faith?
This girl was so radically changed. She said “they curse and punish me, giving me extra work because I cannot be silent. I must tell everyone what the Lord has done.”
This story is one of countless stories from the past couple thousand years of what happens when regular people encounter Jesus. It is a familiar and repetitive pattern from the Apostles time to today, that when you receive Christ, you are compelled to speak in His Name, come what may.
Jesus makes Roman soldiers stand up to the emperor, he makes Bible smugglers out of traveling Chinese folks, secret missionaries out of Filipino maids, he makes martyrs out of princes and paupers alike. Jesus turns the ordinary upside down, transforming all kinds of people into Announcers of Good News and bringers of God’s grace.
Christ
Jesus makes Roman soldiers reject Emperor worship, he makes Bible smugglers out of traveling Chinese folks, secret missionaries out of Filipino maids, he makes martyrs out of princes and paupers. Jesus turns the ordinary upside down.
In the case of our passage in Acts today, He causes low class fishermen to stand up to the political and religious elite. Not in the arrogant and revolutionary way that we often see on the news with riots and protests, but with the calm boldness of Holy Spirit powered Gospel preaching.
They’re not there to make a political statement, or to undermine the establishment; they are there to proclaim the good news about Jesus and his resurrection. They could not help but share it to all who would listen!
The
This is the second part of the story we started last week, where Peter and John healed a well-known beggar who had been disabled since birth. When people saw what had happened Peter took the opportunity to preach. He said that the disabled man had been healed in Jesus name!
Second part of last week’s story
That’s where we left it last week, with Peter’s preaching, and now we pick up the story in Acts 4 when the authorities get involved. We’re just going to look at the story in four parts, seeing how these apostles are
Arrested
Questioned
Deliberations
Released
Recap - Peter & John heal a well known cripple beggar, and Peter preaches
All along however, we can see that the name of Jesus must be proclaimed!
Key: The name of Jesus must be proclaimed!
Follow the story, four parts
The name of Jesus must be proclaimed!

Arrested

So while Peter and John were still preaching to the crowd that had gathered at the temple, some of the religious folks get a bit irritated! Look at v1 and 2 with me:
Acts 4:1–2 ESV
And as they were speaking to the people, the priests and the captain of the temple and the Sadducees came upon them, greatly annoyed because they were teaching the people and proclaiming in Jesus the resurrection from the dead.
Acts 4:1
I’m sure you can imagine the scene, there’s a big crowd of people around a preacher in the temple courts, but it’s not a priest teaching, rather it’s some random dude who’s talking about the heretic they had executed a few weeks ago, and how he was the promised messiah!
A concerned citizen speaks to one of the priests, who is very concerned about the whole affair, he then collects the temple guard and calls his boss to come down and put a stop to it!
Soon enough there is a bunch of temple staff and the security team descending on this unsanctioned preacher who prattling dangerous doctrine.
You see the Sadducees who are mentioned in this story are the religio-political group who are in power at this time. They’re different from the Pharisees, who also get a bad wrap in the Bible. They’re kind of like Labour vs the LNP, sometimes they appear somewhat similar, but there are some key areas where they are very different.
Two key issues that set the Sadducees apart from the Pharisees are the Messiah and the resurrection. The Sadducees weren’t really looking for the messiah, and they didn’t believe in the resurrection. This makes Peter’s preaching twice as concerning because he is teaching about the Messiah who rose from the dead!
That’s what got them riled up, or “greatly annoyed” as we read.
So they chuck ‘em in the lockup overnight because it was getting a bit late. Wasn’t enough time to get the Jewish council together to sort this mess out.
It was too late though, the “damage” had already been done. Thousand of people had heard the Gospel. Look at it in v3 and 4:
Acts 4:3–4 ESV
And they arrested them and put them in custody until the next day, for it was already evening. But many of those who had heard the word believed, and the number of the men came to about five thousand.
Acts
The Gospel went out and people believed. The name of Jesus must be proclaimed, and when it is, people’s lives are changed.
It’s not clear here what is meant by the “5000 men”. Is it men and not women or children, or is the term general as in “5000 people”. Its also not clear if these are all new believers, or a total including those who had previously believed. But the point is this: the numbers are growing. More and more people are putting their faith in Jesus the Christ.
There is power in Jesus name. Not because he is some mystical incantation, but because it belongs to the one with authority.
Pretty big crowds. Commotion. Problematic preaching.
Arrested by temple police
And he has authority today. That means we expect the same thing when we proclaim Jesus today! Sure, we might not see thousands turning in a day, but we do expect some! We cannot be “ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes” (). And Jesus uses it for the furthering of His Kingdom.
Sadducee's don’t like resurrection talk
Some people come to faith by reading the scriptures, or because of a dream vision they had, but far and away the most common way for someone to become a Christian is because they heard the gospel, from a friend, or from the radio, or from a preacher.
Fears of a riot?
The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (Wheaton: Standard Bible Society, 2016), .
Paul mentions this in Romans where he asks:

14 How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching?

Getting late - no trial today.
Jesus name must be proclaimed, so that light and salvation can spread to all.
Still - 5000 converts!
Unashamed to proclaim Christ in public
The Resurrection is the “proof in the pudding”

Questioned

Getting back to the story, the next day the Jewish council gets together, and everybody who’s important in Jewish society is there, including the high priests who presided over Jesus trial, and they interrogate them about their authority to teach from v4:
Acts 4:5–7 ESV
On the next day their rulers and elders and scribes gathered together in Jerusalem, with Annas the high priest and Caiaphas and John and Alexander, and all who were of the high-priestly family. And when they had set them in the midst, they inquired, “By what power or by what name did you do this?”
Acts 4:5
Now Jesus had warned his disciples that days like this would come, because standing with Jesus means standing against the world. Jesus had told them :
Beware of men, for they will deliver you over to courts ... and you will be dragged before governors and kings for my sake, to bear witness before them and the Gentiles. When they deliver you over, do not be anxious how you are to speak or what you are to say, for what you are to say will be given to you in that hour. For it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you. ()
Matthew 10:17–20 ESV
Beware of men, for they will deliver you over to courts and flog you in their synagogues, and you will be dragged before governors and kings for my sake, to bear witness before them and the Gentiles. When they deliver you over, do not be anxious how you are to speak or what you are to say, for what you are to say will be given to you in that hour. For it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.

17 Beware of men, for they will deliver you over to courts and flog you in their synagogues, 18 and you will be dragged before governors and kings for my sake, to bear witness before them and the Gentiles. 19 When they deliver you over, do not be anxious how you are to speak or what you are to say, for what you are to say will be given to you in that hour. 20 For it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you

Jesus words were coming true only a couple months after he had died and risen. Lets see what happens next, from v8:
Acts 4:8–12 ESV
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 a crippled man, by what means this man has been healed, let it be known to all of you and to all the people of Israel that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead—by him this man is standing before you well. This Jesus is the stone that was rejected by you, the builders, which has become the cornerstone. And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”
Acts 4:8–13 ESV
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 a crippled man, by what means this man has been healed, let it be known to all of you and to all the people of Israel that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead—by him this man is standing before you well. This Jesus is the stone that was rejected by you, the builders, which has become the cornerstone. And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated, common men, they were astonished. And they recognized that they had been with Jesus.
Acts 4:
So Peter, in front of the respected heads of society, the religious elites, the academics, just generally the most important Jewish people in the country, has the gall to tell them that “the bloke you crucified the other month is not only alive, but this disabled guy is healed by his authority, and Jesus is the only one who can save you lot because he is the messenger God.”
the next day
“The guy that you thought was a heretic and rotten, is actually the solid foundation of God’s people.”
“He was the fulfillment of Old Testament prophesies, and God’s chosen way of Slavation”
The Jewish council - elders, academics, priests, high priests
I’m sure you could of heard a pin drop after that!
Many of these folks, especially Annas & Caiaphas, were part of the group that put Jesus to death. Will they do the same to Peter and John?
This is from Peter, who was afraid to even mention Jesus name a few months ago, is now standing before the same people who killed Jesus to tell them, not only that they messed up big time, but also the good news that Jesus can still save them.
I’m sure
The air would have been
Imagine that, that Peter holds out hope even for the people who he has just accused of murdering the Son of God! I reckon if anyone ought to be condemned outright for their crimes against God, it should be those who killed Jesus, yet such is the grace of God that salvation is on offer even to the most outrageous sinners!
That includes you and me. We have sinned. I have sinned. I have lied, and cheated, and stolen, and coveted and lusted and been unrighteously angry. I have done things many of you would not believe I’m capable of, and yet none of it can separate me from the love of God. None of it can take away my salvation in Jesus Christ. His grace is greater than my sin.
Varia who we looked at earlier was not separated from Christ by her torments and verbal abuse.
Saul, who murdered Christians in the name of God had not sinned so badly that God’s grace could not overcome it.
These religious rulers in today passage who murdered God’s Son are not cut off from God’s gracious offer.
What about you? Is your sin worse than than theirs? Can you say that your sin is worse than executing the Son of God? If grace is available even to those men, you can be assured that your sin will not separate you from God if you call on the Name of Jesus!
Nothing can separate us from the Love of God! Not one big sin. Not a lifetime of little sins. Not a thousand generations of sinful mankind. If God’s salvation is open to those wicked men, you can rest assured that God’s salvation is offered even to you! Call on Jesus!

there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved

It’s not clear whether or not the magnitude if what the Jewish Council had done was sinking in. Did they understand what they had done and what was on offer to them? Lets move to the next section to see how they react to Peter’s bombshell.

Deliberations

First thing that the Council notes is that Peter & John are out of their depth, yet they were so bold and it was clear that Jesus had rubbed off on them. But the evidence of the healed man was right there in front to their eyes. They couldn’t reject the claims, because a man who everyone knew to be unable to walk is now standing there! And they couldn’t produce a body to prove the resurrection of Jesus didn’t happen. They’re stuck, so they pop Peter and John outside to have a chat. Let Just read the account from the Bible,
Acts 4:13–17 ESV
Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated, common men, they were astonished. And they recognized that they had been with Jesus. But seeing the man who was healed standing beside them, they had nothing to say in opposition. But when they had commanded them to leave 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 evident to all the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and we cannot 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.”
Acts 4:13-
So the Jewish council admits to themselves that these guys have proof for their claims, standing right there with them, but they still don’t want this kind of teaching getting around from Peter and John.
So the Jewish council admits to themselves that these guys have proof for their claims, standing right there with them, but they still don’t want this kind of teaching getting around.
On the one hand the evidence is right in front of them! and on the other, they won’t accept it! It’s obvious to “all the inhabitants of Jerusalem”! That the authority of Jesus can heal people physically is plain for them all to see, yet they reject the truth that the miracle points to. The miracle is a big flashing sign saying “Jesus is who he said he is!”.
His claims were legit. He was not some second rate preacher stirring up political and religious trouble. He was the real deal, and even now in his physical absence, his message and mission is going forth by the Holy Spirit.
It’s easy to be blown away by their stubbornness, but we are so often like this ourselves, doubting what is right in front of our eyes!
That Holy Spirit is driving those two ordinary blokes, Peter and John who are now caught up in a cosmic, earth flipping mission. Yet, at this point in the story, they are standing outside a meeting at the mercy of the council. I bet they were preparing themselves to receive the same thing that Jesus received from this council - death as heretics. It seems they were ready for it, they could not help but Proclaim the name of Jesus.

Released

They are called back inside. And given a warning, but their Spirit powered Boldness continues, and they respectfully tell the council to “get lost”. Read v18-22 with me:
Acts 4:18–22 ESV
So they called them and charged them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus. But Peter and John answered them, “Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you rather than to God, you must judge, for 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 were praising God for what had happened. For the man on whom this sign of healing was performed was more than forty years old.
Imagine that, with the lame beggar, healed in the name of Jesus and standing right in front of them, the Council wants to put a stop to it all. They essentially say, despite the fact that the authority of Jesus is healing people, you can’t do this kind of stuff”.
The councils hands are tied though, given the positive reception by the public and the evidence of the healed man, all they can do on this occasion is threaten. No beating or deaths on this occasion.
Peter a John don’t hide their intentions, but come straight out and own up to the fact that what the council asking is a bit presumptuous. They are quite respectable, not being incendiary or aggressive, they simply say in a round about way that they are on a mission from God. Their mission trumps the council’s authority, not because there is anything inherently wrong with religious and political authority, but because they are on a mission from God. They are Christ’s witnesses, and they must go on Proclaiming the name of Jesus, come what may!
God teaches us to respect our elders and authority, its a good thing to obey them and honour them, but when what they desire contradicts what God wants, we appeal to the higher authority. You know what that’s like , maybe at work when your supervisor asks for one thing, and the manager asks for something else, what do you do? You have to respectfully say to your supervisor, “I’m sorry, but someone higher up the chain wants it done this way.”
You may have had friends or family members ask you to break the law for them before, and you have had to appeal to the higher authority to reject their request.
You may have had friends or family members ask you to break the law for them before, and you have had to appeal to the higher authority to reject their request.
That’s what Peter and John do here. They ask rhetorically, “should we do what you say or what God says? We can’t help but tell about what our eyes have seen and what our eyes have heard”
These are the kind of witnesses that make courtrooms work properly. When there is a case before the court and the two parties are putting forward opposing accounts, you get in a Witness who will relate to the judge and jury what they saw. Now the witness may not understand the big picture, or be an expert on the matter before the court, but the best thing they can do is testify to what they heard and saw.
Here we have Peter and James, not trying to undermine the Jewish Council, not claiming to be prophets or spiritual gurus, not trying to start a new religion, just trying to share about what they had seen and heard themselves in the Life Death, Burial and Resurrection of Jesus, the Messiah.

Conclusion

We here today are the spiritual inheritors of that responsibility. The apostles, powered by the Holy Spirit proclaimed the name of Jesus, throwing wide the gates of Gospel grace to the world.
They have passed their eyewitness records and teaching to us through the Holy Scriptures, and we continue to proclaim Christ, generation after generation. We have the historical records, we have the Spirit, we have the linage of all those Christians who have gone before us who were not fazed by political and religious power. What more do we need?
Once a person has received Jesus, you receive the Holy Spirit and transformed in such a way that you do crazy things like preaching the Gospel to the religious and political leaders. It makes
Once you have received Jesus, you receive the Holy Spirit and are transformed in such a way that you do crazy things like preaching the Gospel to the religious and political leaders. It makes you testify to your friends of the salvation you have received. It makes you defend your faith even when the world makes it dumb and foolish.
And we don’t need to fear those days that will come when we are called to give an account to the world for our Faith, because the Spirit will help us to proclaim our Savior Jesus Christ, where it is before kings and governors or discrimination tribunals, or in the face of death at the hands of Muslim radicals.
But we have no fear. The name of Jesus must be proclaimed across the earth! Don’t fear the stubborn a deceived individuals who oppose God's holy people. They don’t realize yet what they are doing. God has us in his hand, he draws our souls up to his presence. He prepares a place for us to dwell with in in abundant peace and security. Look forward to the day that you will be freed from the tyranny of sin.
Luke 12:4–5 ESV
“I tell you, my friends, do not fear those who kill the body, and after that have nothing more that they can do. But I will warn you whom to fear: fear him who, after he has killed, has authority to cast into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him!
But we are not there yet. We live in the here and now. Where the world opposes God and his people, the Church.
Jesus said these days would come, he promised the things that we have seen in history, and even today would happen.
Matthew 24:9–14 ESV
“Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and put you to death, and you will be hated by all nations for my name’s sake. And then many will fall away and betray one another and hate one another. And many false prophets will arise and lead many astray. And because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold. But the one who endures to the end will be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.

they will deliver you up to tribulation and put you to death, and you will be hated by all nations for my name’s sake. 10 And then many will fall away and betray one another and hate one another. 11 And many false prophets will arise and lead many astray. 12 And because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold. 13 But the one who endures to the end will be saved. 14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.

Brothers and sisters, we are living in these days. Do not be led astray by the deceitfulness of this world but prepare yourself to endure through the many trials to come. Prepare to proclaim the name of Jesus throughout the whole world!
Are you ready to follow Peter & John into that council chamber for the sake of Jesus name?
Are you ready to follow Varia into imprisonment and slave labor for Jesus name?
Are you ready to follow Jesus?
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