When Christianity is Threatened

Do you ever feel like the odds are against Christians?  Or that we’re being ganged up on?  It seems like any view or practice can be promoted except biblical ones.  How long will preachers be able to share the Truth freely?  Will there come a day when the gospel is threatened, perhaps banned?  If so, it won’t be the first time.

God has given us a game plan and that comforts me.  Today’s post is one that we must share with our children, our Bible classes, our friends, and our youth groups.  It will bolster our courage.  It will help us get ready for whatever comes.

Text:  Acts 4

The setting:  Peter and John had been preaching about Jesus.  Some influential people were “greatly disturbed” enough to put them in custody.  Then, in front of a large crowd, the two outspoken Christians were put on the spot.  They were asked, “By what power or by what name have you done this?”  I can envision Peter lifting his chin and raising his voice as he named Jesus Christ and said, “Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved!”  That was all it took.  Let’s see what we can learn from the dramatic events that unfolded.

The Catalyst (v. 13,14)

  • -The people “saw the boldness” of Christians (v. 13).
  • -The people “realized that they had been with Jesus” (v. 13).
  • -The people “could say nothing against it” (v. 14).

The Reaction (v. 17-21)

  • -The influential people planned. “Let us severely threaten them, that from now on they speak to no man in this name.”  Their goal was to make sure that the name of Jesus would “spread no further among the people” (v. 17).
  • -The people “commanded [the Christians] not to speak at all nor teach in the name of Jesus” (v. 18).
  • -The people “further threatened them” (v. 21).

The Solution (v. 19-31)

  • -Determine to listen to God instead of the people (v. 19).
  • -Keep speaking (v. 20).
  • -Glorify God (v. 21).
  • -Talk to God as a united group (v. 24).
  • -PRAY.  Ask God for continued boldness to speak His Word in light of threats (v. 29, 31).
  • -Then ACT by speaking the word of God with all boldness (v. 31).

The Outcome (v. 32-37)

  • -The Christians were united (v. 32).
  • -They had “great power” and “great grace” (v. 33).
  • -The Christians took care of each other (v. 34, 35).
  • -It spurred other Christians to act (v. 37).

When the Christians were threatened, they must’ve been intimidated.  Surely they felt fear. But instead of simply lamenting the fact that those in authority were anti-Jesus, they turned to God, prayed for boldness, and then continued to speak up for Christ.  May Christians today do the same!

“Why did the nations rage,

and the people plot vain things?

The kings of the earth took their stand, 

and the rulers were gathered together against the Lord

and against His Christ.”

(Acts 4:25,26)

Image credit:  Michael Hite

Image credit: Michael Hite

12 thoughts on “When Christianity is Threatened

  1. Excellent! Thank you for this, it was much needed this morning. I am very discouraged by our government and the tyrants bringing down this country but I must remember our light must shine bright in this dark world, a great opportunity to band together in strength in Christ, to be more unified and to bring others to Christ.

    Like

  2. Thanks… This was very much needed today. Much of the comments I have been reading have made me very disheartened. This helps.

    Like

  3. Reblogged this on Illuminate and commented:
    Do you ever feel like the odds are against Christians? Or that we’re being ganged up on? It seems like any view or practice can be promoted except biblical ones. How long will preachers be able to share the Truth freely? Will there come a day when the gospel is threatened, perhaps banned? God has given us a game plan and that comforts us today.

    Like

  4. Pingback: Mentionworthy Monday | Along the Country Road

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s