* Pray, Promote, Prepare *
*Ac 5:26-33* 25 So one came and told them, saying, “Look, the men whom you put in prison are standing in the temple and teaching the people!”
26 Then the captain went with the officers and brought them without violence, for they feared the people, lest they should be stoned.
27 And when they had brought them, they set /them/ before the council.
And the high priest asked them, 28 saying, “*Did we not strictly command you not to teach in this name?
And look, you have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine,* * and intend to bring this Man’s blood on us!” *
29 *But Peter and the /other/ apostles answered and said: “We ought to obey God rather than men.* 30 The God of our fathers raised up Jesus whom you murdered by hanging on a tree.
31 Him God has exalted to His right hand /to be/ Prince and Savior, to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins.
32 And we are His witnesses to these things, and /so/ also /is/ the Holy Spirit whom God has given to those who obey Him.”
*33 When they heard /this,/ they were furious and plotted to kill them.
Our nation has never faced the kind of anti-family, pro-abortion assault that we’re likely to see in the coming weeks and months.
· President-elect Obama has promised, “The first thing I'd do as president is sign the *Freedom of Choice Act*.”
That bill could wipe out every abortion restriction in state and federal law and result in an increase in abortions each year in America.
· He has also pledged to overturn the *Defense of Marriage Act* /—/ signed by President Clinton in 1996 /—/ and force every state without a constitutional amendment or specific state law protecting traditional marriage to recognize same-sex marriages.
· Obama has vowed to sign the *hate crimes and Employment Nondiscrimination Act (ENDA) *badly damaging religious freedom
And religious freedom will be badly damaged if and when the gay lobby’s two top bills /—/ *hate crimes and Employment Nondiscrimination Act (ENDA)* /—/ become law.
A veto threat is all that has stopped them before, and Obama has vowed to sign them.
*What does this mean to us?*
*1. **Pray for courage, strength, and boldness*
*2. **Promote the truths of the gospel*
*3. **Prepare for persecution*
*Pray for courage, strength, and boldness*
*Trying times are coming*
*Lk 22:31-32* 31 And the Lord said, “Simon, Simon!
Indeed, *Satan has asked for you, that he may sift /you/ as wheat*.
32 But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to /Me,/ strengthen your brethren.”
*Pray that you may be strong*
*Lk 22:39-40* 39 Coming out, He went to the Mount of Olives, as He was accustomed, and His disciples also followed Him.
40 When He came to the place, He said to them, *“Pray that you may not enter into temptation.”
*Pray that you may be bold*
*Eph 6:18-20* 18 praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints— 19 and for me, that utterance may be given to me, *that I may open my mouth boldly to make known the mystery of the gospel*, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains; that in it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.
*Pray to prepare your heart for faithfulness*
*Mt 13:20-21* 20 But he who received the seed on *stony places*, this is he who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy; 21 yet *he has no root in himself*, but endures only for a while.
For *when tribulation or persecution arises because of the word, immediately he stumbles.*
*Promote the truths of the gospel*
*To expose and refute falsehoods*
*2 Ti 3:16* 16 All Scripture /is/ given by inspiration of God, and */is/ profitable for* doctrine, *for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness*,
*To defeat every argument that contradicts the word of God*
*2 Co 10:4-5* For *the weapons of our warfare /are/* not carnal but mighty in God *for* pulling down strongholds, 5 *casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God,* bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ,
*God has chosen to use us to spread the gospel*
*Mt 5:13-16* 13 “*You are the salt of the earth*; *but if the salt loses its flavor*, how shall it be seasoned?
*It is then good for nothing* but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men.
14 *“You are the light of the world*.
A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden.
15 Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all /who are/ in the house.*16
Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.
*It is our chance to be a testimony for Christ*
*Lk 21:12-13* 12 But before all these things, they will lay their hands on you and persecute /you,/ delivering /you/ up to the synagogues and prisons.
*You will be brought before kings and rulers for My name’s sake*.
13 *But * *it will turn out for you as an occasion for testimony.*
*Prepare for persecution*
*The world hates the exposing of their deeds as evil *
*Jn 7:7* *7 The world …. hates Me because I testify of it that its works are evil.
*If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you.
*Jn 15:20* 20 Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’
*If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you.
*Persecution is a fact of the Christian life*
*2 Ti 3:12-15* Yes, and *all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.*
13 *But evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived.*
14 *But you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned /them/*/,/ 15 and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.
*Persecution for the kingdom of God is honorable*
*Mt 5:10-12* 10 *Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, *
For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
11 *“Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake*.
12 *Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great /is/ your reward in heaven,* for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
*Pray for these people*
*Mt 5:44-45* 44 But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and *pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you,* 45 that you may be sons of your Father in heaven;
*Be strong and courageous*
*Jos 1:9* Have I not commanded you?
Be strong and of good courage; *do not be afraid, nor be dismayed*, for the Lord your God /is/ with you wherever you go.”