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Go, Stand, and Speak, pt. 2

Acts 5:17-33

 

“Go” deals with the consistency of our witness

“Stand” deals with the courage of our witness

“Speak” deals with the communication of our witness

 

There is something we are privileged to be able to do/commanded to do, which even the angels cannot do. 

v. 19        Angel had power to break them out of prison…so why didn’t he go to the temple and do his own speaking?  Because a witness must have first-hand knowledge of something!/experienced something!

        Angels cannot enjoy the thrill/joy/power of being saved!  Angels can sing “Holy, Holy, Holy…”, but not “Jesus Paid it All, All to Him I Owe…”

All hail the power                   but not, Since Jesus came into my heart

How excellent is thy name     but not, Amazing Grace, how sweet…

 

That’s why the angel delivered the message from God, I’ve set you free, but now YOU go, YOU stand, YOU speak…!

 

Last time we talked about our Going…the consistency of our witness.

 

Now, our Stand…the courage of our witness.

        We are called to take the stand…we need to voluntarily take a stand!

 

It takes courage!

The angel told them to go witness to some men who had more than just the power to belittle them, but to beat them…and they did at the end of this chapter.

More than just the power to cuss them, but to kill them!

v. 33        thought about it!

 

None of that mattered to these apostles…they witnessed in the face of death!

Fear is the #1 reason we don’t witness.  Fear of rejection/embarrassment/offending someone/being labeled as a fanatic/disappointment/fear of being asked a hard question/be made fun of…

Ill.—boy went off to logging camp for summer, was afraid they would make fun of him for being a Christian/asked pastor to pray/got back, pastor asked if they laughed, made fun of, rejected him for being a christian…/no pastor, they never found out!

        God has no secret service!

He wants for us to send the message that we’re proud of Him, not ashamed of Him!

Matthew 10:32-33

    Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.

John 10:10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. [11] For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.

[Baptism is God’s method of making it public!]

1 John 4:15

    Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God.

John 12:42

    Nevertheless among the chief rulers also many believed on him; but because of the Pharisees they did not confess him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue:

[secret believers, like Nicodemus who came by night!  Different than underground church where illegal…but what happens when found out?]

Hebrews 11:35

    Women received their dead raised to life again: and others were tortured, not accepting deliverance; that they might obtain a better resurrection:

John 12:43

    For they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God.

Who do you want happy w/ you?  Them, or God?

See v. 29

 

When it comes to witnessing, we are to be bold and courageous…not obnoxious or arrogant or holier than thou, but bold and courageous…take our stand!  Make God happy, love Him more than ourselves!

 

3 things about our courage:

1.     We need courage born of compulsion

Instinctive, an impulse, an urge we can’t help!

Look back at Acts 4:18-20

    And they called them, and commanded them not to speak at all nor teach in the name of Jesus. [19] But Peter and John answered and said unto them, Whether it be right in the sight of God to hearken unto you more than unto God, judge ye. [20] For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard.

        Peter says, we can’t help it…you’re asking us to stop something we cannot!

When you see a dog burying a bone, you don’t ask why, and you don’t try to stop him!  He can’t help it!

Cat chasing mouse/me eating fried chicken!

 

Joke—atheist running from bear in woods/asked God to turn bear into a Christian/God said, ok, it’s done/man stopped/bear caught up, slapped him to ground/but God, you said you’d make him a Christian/I did/Bear folded his hands and said, TY Lord for the food I’m about to receive!

 

A believer should witness from instinct, by compulsion!

 

I’ve had the privilege of leading many to the Lord over the years.  And it’s so wonderful to see them go out wanting to tell someone, first thing!

        They weren’t a great Christian, hadn’t taken a soulwinning course!  When I was saved I was 6, I couldn’t tell you what propitiation was…still can’t!

But I wanted to share the good news!

 

It was instinct, compulsion!  And if you have no desire to witness…1 of 2 things:

1.     You’re not saved

2.     You’re so backslidden you ought to be scared of facing Christ one day!

It’s possible for a Christian to suppress their instincts in this area to the point they become comfortable w/ being a secret Christian.  They ignore their instincts, and then wonder why their end…stinks!

compulsion

2.     We need courage born of consecration

v. 27-29   “ought”  Comes from the word “owe”.   We have to witness, we owe it to the Lord!

“but drops of grief can ne’er repay the debt of love I owe…”

 

Jesus said if you love me keep my commandments/why do ye call me Lord and do not the things that I say?...and the last thing He told us to do was to be a witness/take our stand!

 

We should be so consecrated, that our witness is:

  • Intentional—some would say they don’t witness because they don’t know how, as if that excuse would stand up, as if God would overlook it on the basis of ignorance.  God will hold us accountable not only for what we know but for what we should have known if we had taken some initiative and found out!  We will cover the “how to” in the final message “speak”, and nothing would please me more than to help someone learn how to witness who asks!
  • Immediate—while the high priest is saying not to witness Peter’s doing it!  He just throws it out there, opens his mouth, and blurts it out!

Procrastination is a form of disobedience…who have you been putting off witnessing to?

consecration

3.     We need courage born of compassion

You’ll never really witness until you put them before yourself.  Until them going to hell is worse than you being embarrassed or talked about, you’ll never make progress!

It’s ok for us to be afraid, but if we love people it will overcome that fear until we’re “afraid not to tell them!” [perfect love casteth out fear]

1 John 4:18

    There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear

 

Ill—Dr. driving down country road/teenagers flagged him down and said, our friend fell in the lake, we got him out but can’t get him to breathe, we’re afraid he’s dying!/dr. ran and saw boy lying on shore face down/dr. reached around neck and felt for pulse/sorry, he’s already dead/…then they flipped the boy over and in moonlight dr. could see it was his own son!/when he saw that he dropped to his knees he began pounding on his chest, giving mouth to mouth, doing cpr until he revived that boy…what made the difference?...Compassion!

 

And about the time we start loving the lost around us as if they were our own children is when our fears will be set aside and we’ll become the witness that we ought to be!

Jude 1:22-23

    And of some have compassion, making a difference: [23] And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire…

 

Ill.—Baptist missionary in Romania, Joseph Song, years ago when communism was strong the state asked him to sign a license to preach/I can’t do that, I answer to God, the state is not sovereign/they said if you don’t sign it, we will kill you/he said, your greatest weapon is killing me, my greatest weapon is dying, for all who know what I have preached will know it was worth dying for, and as a result, even more people are going to get saved…your greatest weapon is to kill me, my greatest weapon is dying…I must warn you that if you use your weapon, I will be forced to use mine!

        Went and told their leaders, leave that guy alone, he’s crazy!  And because he took a stand, the gospel is now powerful in that part of Romania!

You’re not asked to die, just to go, stand, and speak!

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