Thursday, October 7, 2010

Don't Preach In Jesus Name - So They Say...

I'm studying through the book of Acts right now and came across a couple of verses that really impacted me. In Acts 5, the apostles had already been warned not to preach in the name of Jesus (4:17-18 and 5:28). The apostles had already been beaten and put in prison (5:18). They had previously warned them not to teach in Jesus name but did not beat them. Now, they apostles had been beaten and thrown in prison.

In Acts 5:19, the Angel of the Lord opened the door and let them go and told them to speak words of life to the people at the temple. So, the apostles left and obeyed - at the risk of being beaten and killed. When the council found out what they were doing, they sought to kill them this time (5:33). Most people stop doing what put them in jail when they are released because they don't want to go back to jail and face a stiffer penalty. But not the people of God. They had a calling to preach and teach - to build the Church.

Gamaliel, a doctor of the law and Pharisee (Paul's mentor before he was converted), said not to hurt them because if what they were doing was not real, it would quickly fade. He even gave a couple of examples of those who had done the same in their own names and failed.

Acts 5:38-39 is awesome - "So in the present case, I say to you, stay away from these men and let them alone, for if this plan or action is of men, it will be overthrown; but if it is of God, you will not be able to overthrow them; or else you may even be found fighting against God."

They agreed partially with his advice and just beat them and told them not to speak in Jesus' name anymore. Again, what did they do? They rejoiced that they could suffer for the Lord and continued daily in the temple and from house to house teaching and preaching Jesus!

Don't let opposition keep you from preaching and teaching Christ. Acts 6:1 says that the number of disciples was multiplying. Keep on preaching and teaching the word. What you are doing is of God (v. 39). I'm amazed at the apostles resolve, dedication and loyalty to the Lord. I pray that my devotion would increase to that of the early apostles! I must preach and teach in Jesus' name. When we do this, His church will grow and multiply! Preach Jesus!

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