Burning Ones

'But Peter and John answered and said to them, “Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you more than to God, you judge. For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard.” '
Acts 4:19-20

We have been stricken with a concerning plague in the church over the last 25 years. It's one of those sneaky pestilences that you aren't aware of it until you're carefully examined. Sounds bad, right? Don't worry, it's not going to affect your body. Only your eternal condition. Gulp.

What's this disease, pestilence, or illness? Complacency.

It doesn't sound like much, does it? Yet, we've been so fruitless as a Church in America over the last 25 to 50 years we should consider it enemy #1. I know that I can't be the only one to read the bible and pull my hair out wondering why the apostles can preach Christ and have thousands believe yet we can't seem to get anyone to even raise a hand. Hmmmm.

I think this passage and others in the book of Acts gives us some insight into why the first church was so fruitful. Acts, chapter 4 gives us some big clues.
1. "we cannot but speak..." - they were fascinated and dare I say "possessed" with the good news message of Christ. They had given away everything, including their own lives to the cause.
2. "Whether it is right in the sight of God..." - They resolved the fear of man issue. Peter had this punch him in the face earlier. He had to learn it the hard way and we often learn the same way. Now, Peter was all in with Jesus. Nothing was going to stop him from spreading the gospel.
3. "things which we have seen and heard" - The testimony of Jesus was far greater than the threats around them. God had been way too good for them to live their life for any other idol.  Religion tasted nasty because they had been set free. Free people carry a message of freedom. How could they not speak to the captive?

We need an encounter again with the living and risen Christ. We need a trip to the mount of transfiguration where we see only Jesus. The mountain where we hear only the voice of God stripping away all that is good so we can receive the greatness of Christ.

No Comments