All of the world's false religions. False religion leaves a man in a disastrous state.
We look at these religions of the world as Christians and we see it. What if you worshiped bean soup? But sincerely, you really thought that was God, a bowl of bean soup? What if you were a murder bomber blowing up busloads of children? Wouldn't that prove your sincerity?
My point is sincerity means nothing if it is without truth. This is Cross-Reference Radio with our pastor and teacher Rick Gaston. Rick is the pastor of Calvary Chapel, Mechanicsville. Pastor Rick is currently teaching through the Book of Acts.
Please stay with us after today's message to hear more information about Cross-Reference Radio, specifically how you can get a free copy of this teaching. But for now, let's join Pastor Rick in the Book of Acts, Chapter 4, as he continues his message, Obedient Disobedience. An authority was given to him over every tribe, tongue and nation. Antichrist's reach is going to be global. Incidentally, there's more to the book of Revelation than prediction. There's so much more doctrine. The main thing of the Bible is to get the person of God. No matter what you're studying in the Bible, the purpose is to get to the person of God, who he is, what's his response, what does he think of this?
That's the same with my life. It continues, all who dwell on the earth, who worship him, that is Antichrist, who think he's worth it, whose names have not been written in the book of life of the lambs slain from the foundation of the world. So the Christians will be persecuted, but the world will love this guy. Scripture does not, in and of itself, make life easier for the ones who believe it and study it and follow it.
In fact, in many ways, it makes life more difficult for us. Thus the cross, take up your cross. Jesus says, take up your difficulties.
They're going to be painful. Again Revelation chapter 10. So I went to the angel and said to him, give me the little book. And he said, take, eat it. And it will make your stomach bitter, but it will be as sweet as honey in your mouth.
God's will, God's word. It is sweet, but it can make you sick for a time. Well, John was witnessing billions of people being slaughtered in the great tribulation period, the judgment of God falling on humanity. That would make any righteous person sick. What I'm saying is, as we devour scripture, it is sweet to us. We know that.
That is our first impression. But then there's this war with evil, and that makes us sick. That creates the bitterness. This contest, this struggle. Romans 18, for I consider that the sufferings of this present time, that's the sickness of this life, are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. Don't forget heaven. Don't get so busy with struggles in this life that you forget heaven. I would say, if I were preaching at a pastor's conference, I would say, don't get so caught up in ministry that you forget heaven, the realness of your faith, the difference between Martha, before she was corrected, and Mary. Martha was busy, and she was rebuked, because in her busyness there was self-righteousness. Make Mary help me.
She's trying to dart, work. Mary's sitting at the word of God, and Jesus said, she's chosen the right thing, and I'm not taking it from her. Profound lessons are everywhere in scripture, but we become too bitter with life without Christ sometimes to pick them up or to keep them in front of us. Again, Romans 8, we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to his purpose. Well, what is that good?
What good is it if I'm being flayed in life? Heaven. Ultimately, heaven. God's house. God's place.
The place where there is no curse, where there's nothing wrong. The truth of Christianity rules out all of the world's false religions. False religion leaves a man in a disastrous state.
We look at these religions of the world as Christians, and we see it. What if you worshipped bean soup, but sincerely? You really thought that was God, a bowl of bean soup? What if you were a murder bomber blowing up busloads of children? Wouldn't that prove your sincerity? My point is sincerity means nothing if it is without truth.
It must have truth. When God says those who have a contrite heart, that is under the umbrella of obedience and faith in him, not apart from him. Enter by the narrow gate, for wide is the gate, broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it.
Their choice. What are you gonna do about that? I will post at the gate, and I will try to intercept as many people as I can. I will engage lame humanity and try to be part of the solution. I'll come back to that later on in the message.
Have I started yet? This spirit of the world, of course, and her religions, and communism, incidentally, is a religion that pretends to be a political doctrine. Islam is a political doctrine that pretends to be a religion.
These are where the dominant features of these things are. Islam wants to take over the world. That's not religion. That's imperialism. Closer to. Anyway, coming that side note, no charge for that one, but the spirit of the world is activated by Satan and his lies ever since Eden, and the only thing that can neutralize Satan's lies is the gospel, and the only ones that are entrusted right now with delivering the gospel are believers, and believers suffer, and believers are still expected to preach the gospel, even if they feel forsaken or stay in the wine press and lament why the Bible studies are real good, but you're stuck in the wine press, or be responsive to God, to his call, to his expectations.
Peter was. They're going to get away without a beating this time. They won't next time, but they'll take beatings for Christ. Again, he upset the apple cart by preaching the resurrection, which we still must do in times of war, in times of peace.
That's the in season, out of season. There's no interruption in this. Even if there are wars and rumors of wars, we are to preach the gospel, because we know where everything is going. These apostles vigorously preached the gospel and suffered for the truth, and so Paul again says, why am I in jeopardy? The resurrection.
I can't get away from it. Christ did die for me. Christ did rise.
No one else. He was not resuscitated. Christ was not resuscitated. He was resurrected. He was no longer the same. When he rose again, it wasn't the same body. The rules had changed, and this is the difference between resurrection and why he is the firstfruits.
He wouldn't be the firstfruits if he was resuscitated. Many people have experienced that. Even Lazarus, who was raised from the dead, was not resurrected into a resurrected body.
That would come later. Fact, fact, and the facts surrounding the fact of the resurrection, that makes it all worthwhile. And I think, I know I'm speaking for myself, sometimes I lose sight of the value of the resurrection in dealing with other matters.
I mean, if you stop me and say, are you saying, of course I get that right. The resurrection is the foundation. Without that, we have no faith. But do I remember this when I'm preaching the gospel to somebody? Do I remember to say, Jesus actually died on the cross and rose again? Or do I think, I don't need to do that because everybody's familiar with this nowadays and there's really no point?
The challenges can be exciting. And so, to answer the question, why study, why trust God, the resurrection? Now we look at verse 13.
Because everything I've said has something to do with what we are looking at. Now, when they saw the boldness of Peter and John and perceived that they were uneducated and untrained men, they marveled and they realized that they had been with Jesus. Yeah, they had been with Jesus before he died and after he died and rose again. And that is what they were looking at. They just saw the boldness of so much more. These men, this was anointing like they never encountered ever, ever. What are they going to do with it?
Well, they're going to trash it. But not everybody does that. Peter, he knows the scripture now. And he refuses to be bullied by those who either, one, don't know the scripture, two, think they know the scripture but misapply it, or three, those who just refuse it all together. He, being educated by the Son of God personally, face to face, not he alone, of course. A man was lame from birth and Christians did something about it.
Well, I mean, we have hospitals and doctors today that do something about these things and we applaud that. But spiritually, who is lame? Who are the lame beggars today? Those who don't have the gospel of Christ. Paul said this, and such were some of you. When he lists these immoral, immoral behaviors, these sins that people commit, he says to the Corinthians, and such were some of you, but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God. Paul says you were not left spiritually lame.
Christianity needs people who were once lame from birth who are no longer lame, who have been restored to a relationship with God that man lost there in Eden. It says here, in verse 13, and perceived that they were uneducated and untrained men. Well, they weren't accredited, according to the rabbis. Well, there's something to be said.
We need to be accredited, but by who? Just because these men did not go to seminary doesn't mean they were untrained or uneducated. There's no excuse for a Christian to be untrained or uneducated in the ways of Christ, which was Gideon's initial argument.
Why should I be educated and trained in the ways of Christ if he doesn't do anything for me? They were not approved by those whom Jesus disapproved. You know what Jesus said about these guys? Jesus bypassed the rabbis, their writings, their lifestyles. Early in his ministry, he comes along and he preaches on this mount and he says, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the Pharisees and scribes, you're not going to heaven.
How profound is that? You've got to do better than your pastors, the corrupt ones. The people gobbled that up because they knew it. They knew these guys had become corrupt and there was nothing they could do about it.
As it is in history, so often a minority rules the majority, a corrupt minority. These hand-picked apostles of Jesus Christ were homeschooled by God their Father in the things of the kingdom. And again, it does not mean if you do, I believe a Christian youth should do as best they can when learning anything, as best you can, because you are an open vessel and you want God to pour into you so that later he can pour out of you. But if you've got nothing because you just, you know, I just want to sit here and do this and do that.
Well, you've got nothing. What can he do? He found a man in Paul that could speak multiple languages, knew the Greek culture, was ready to embrace parts of Gentile cultures. I become all things to all men, Paul said. He was ready for this.
He was fit for this. Anyway, the result of this preaching of Peter standing up, it says they marveled. Well, that's not enough. It's not enough to be impressed with the things of the Bible. Hollywood does that. They're impressed. You know what?
We can make a movie out of this and make money. You have to be converted. Revelation 22, and the Spirit and the bride say, come and let him who hears say, come and let him who thirsts come. Whoever desires let him take the water of life freely. Don't let some Calvinists come along and tell you that verse doesn't mean just what it means.
It means just that. Man has free will and he can exercise it in the direction towards God. Jesus said, this is the work that you believe. That's the work. You want to know what work is involved in your salvation? You've got to believe. If you don't act on that, then you miss it. And they realized that they had been with Jesus.
Is that said of me in the workplace, in the school, in the home? Does anybody know or notice that I've been with Jesus? They were not with Jesus past tense. They are with Jesus present tense. Beware of a past tense relationship with Jesus Christ. Some believers have a past tense relationship. They were once all excited and into Christ. But life showed itself to be hard.
The flesh fierce. And now they're not so excited. They don't have that same excited relationship that they once had. And they've stopped calling out for it because they felt, well, I've called so many times nothing's happened.
The fact that you're calling out so many times and continue to call out something is happening. Hell is being rattled. And when you stop, then hell is satisfied. Good. We shut that one up.
Revelation 2, 4. Nevertheless, I have this against you, that you have left your first love not present anymore. You've moved on to something else.
Other things have blocked it out. The sooner the lost know that you are saved, the better for everyone. To try to sneak through. And maybe, you know, certainly in North Korea you might not want to apply this. But here, why not?
Why not? I'm a Christian. And I don't share your view on those things. And if you don't like me, I'm ordered to love you. I don't really like you or love you, but I'm ordered to.
No, you can't. That wouldn't be right. But the world thinks that that's how it works. They think that if you don't like someone, you don't have to love them. Christ says that's not true.
Christ reverses it. He says you don't have to like them, but you do got to love them. What does that mean?
You've got to look out for their best interest so far as I lead you to do this very thing. Verse 14. And seeing the man who had been healed standing with them, they could say nothing against it. Well, they refused the logical conclusion. Like evolutionists who know that it's a theory that cannot be established as science. This theory is a part of science, but it is not science. You get to science with theories.
Oh, let's try this out. And the ones that are eliminated, they're no longer science. You know, you can't boil a pot of water on top of snow. I mean, you need fire.
You need heat. No, I mean, maybe somebody's got some, well, there's a volcanic cavity or some other bizarre thing. That's not the point.
You can't do it. That's science. But if you continue to theorize and say, well, we think it can be done and nobody else should have any alternative belief, this is the same hypocrisy. So we're not surprised when we find this wherever we find it. Verse 15. But when they had commanded them to go aside out of the council, they conferred among themselves, verse 16, saying, what shall we do with these men? For indeed, that a notable miracle has been done through them is evident to all who dwell in Jerusalem, and we cannot deny it. Well, if this wasn't true, why didn't somebody at that time write books to refute this? And why aren't those books being circulated today? Because it was true. These men are looking to cover up the truth and to spin the story of the truth, just like dirty politicians delight to do throughout history to this present day.
How come no one suggested, I'll tell you what we should do since you asked. We should believe the Lord Jesus Christ is salvation and no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved. But they didn't do that. Like Pharaoh, instead of turning to God, they turned further away from God. Verse 17.
But so that it spreads no further among the people, let us severely threaten them. And from now on, they speak to no man in this name. So they called them and commanded them not to speak at all nor teach in the name of Jesus.
It's the madness. They acknowledged that God has done something, and they take steps to oppose it. When Jesus was doing miracles, this is what they said about him. If we let him alone like this, everyone will believe in him. And the Romans will come and take away both our place and nation.
You couldn't see it, but in back of them was a hand moving their mouth. That was Satan. That's Satan's doctrine.
That's his approach. If we let him alone so you go someplace and you're preaching the gospel, you start a church and you're preaching the gospel, you think Satan's going to leave you alone? You decide you're going to serve in the church. You think Satan's going to leave you alone.
You've been loyal in a church for 20 years or more. You think Satan's going to leave you alone? Grow up.
He's not. If he messes with me, he's going to mess with everybody. If he messes with you, he's going to mess with everyone. Fortify yourself for that. You'll know it when your feelings start taking over the ship.
You know he's starting to mess with your head. It's truth. Truth is to dictate our behavior.
That's what's meant by solo scriptura. Scripture alone is the authority for how we live, how we go about life. So instead of joining the truth, they took steps to keep others from benefiting from the truth. They hid the medicine. To them, the sick and tormented people of the world were not to be healed by Jesus.
They could be healed by anybody else who wasn't healing anybody. They criminalized Christianity. This was the first step. God was slowly moving the church away from Judaism. This is the beginning. This third chapter is the beginning of that. Verse 19, Peter and John answered and said to them, whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you more than God you judge.
These religious leaders were trying to silence the very voices that God sent to save them. Peter gets in the last word. Here's a proverb that is quite challenging. If you faint in the day of adversity, your strength is small. Well, I don't like that because I fainted in my life in the days of adversity.
But I know that's right, and that gives me a shot next time. Peter's faith fainted when he stood by the fire pile and warmed himself. It ain't fainting in this day. This is obedience to God and disobedience to man, and that's what it's supposed to be. The Jewish midwives in Exodus and with the Pharaoh, they obediently disobeyed. They might call that civil disobedience today in the world, but it goes deeper than that for us. There's someone else being obeyed. The civil disobedience is disobeying the authorities.
Obedient disobedience is obeying God and positioning yourself against anyone else who's trying to get you to disobey God. Aram and Jacob, the parents of Moses, they hid the baby as long as they could. I don't know how Jacob did that. I don't know how they put that boy in that croc-infested Nile and just said, okay, Miriam trots along. She's watching, you know.
She's like, I might have to put my cape on and jump in there and kill one of those crocs and mess with my little brother. Well, that probably happened. Anyway, Mordecai, Mordecai, I ain't bound to that guy. That guy's a creep.
He's sicko, and I'm not bound to him. Mordecai wasn't ready for the backlash, but not right away. He got ready later on. Wicked people making wicked laws, nothing new about it, and when they can't enforce it, they invade your country. Verse 20, for we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard. Disciples saw Jesus do. They heard him say, and now they're acting on it.
Verse 21, so when they had further threatened them, they let them go, finding no way of punishing them because of the people, since they all glorified God for what had been done. These men are, again, spiritually backwards. If you are spiritually backwards, you're going to be Satan's flunky. That's how it works.
It's what he's looking for. If you're spiritually forward, he can't just waltz in there and make you a sock puppet for himself. Evil has power, but it does not have almighty power. And God said, you know, don't worry about the ones that kill the body. You say that. I do kind of worry about that.
But I get it, and you do too. We worry about the one that has control over the soul. Verse 22, for the man was over 40 years old, on whom this miracle of healing had been performed. Well, we've covered this already through the story. The point is of this story, as we continue through it next session, the first Jewish believers did not realize how different they were. The distinctives were not handed to them. That would evolve.
It would develop in time. And they suffered through it. They were arrested. They were punished.
They were beaten. This was God's first sovereign move to begin separating the church from its roots in Judaism. It is not disrespectful. It is the development of Judaism. That's why Paul says it's obsolete.
He uses that in the English, that word. Judaism is obsolete. Not the moral laws, thou shall not kill, thou shall not stay, but the rituals that were so dear to them. They have been fulfilled in Christ.
He is the Messiah. And now we are in the new covenant. The old covenant cannot stay. That old covenant was given to Judaism, but it was like an acorn. An acorn is not going to stay an acorn.
It's going to become a tree. That is a natural process. There's no violation in the nature of things. And so it is with God's word. This was God's plan. He let them know about it.
And it did not happen easily. The first Christians suffered to remain distinct. So I close with this verse, Paul, that masterpiece to the Romans. He hadn't met these Christians yet. He wanted to get to them. He said, I can share in the blessings, that I can impart some spiritual truth to you. And he ends up writing this long letter that's a book. And he's very excited.
He's animated in this. He says, if then heirs, heirs of God and join heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with him, that we may also be glorifying together. You take that verse and you think about it, you say, well, that's Christianity.
But if you've not given your life to Christ, your sins are on you and there will be no mercy for you unless you repent. You've been listening to Cross Reference Radio, the daily radio ministry of Pastor Rick Gaston, of Calvary Chapel in Mechanicsville, Virginia. As we mentioned at the beginning of today's broadcast, today's teaching is available free of charge at our website. Simply visit crossreferenceradio.com. That's crossreferenceradio.com. We'd also like to encourage you to subscribe to the Cross Reference Radio podcast. Subscribing ensures that you stay current with all the latest teachings from Pastor Rick. You can subscribe at crossreferenceradio.com or simply search for Cross Reference Radio in your favorite podcast app. Tune in next time as Pastor Rick continues teaching through the book of Acts, right here on Cross Reference Radio.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-03-28 23:21:19 / 2023-03-28 23:31:13 / 10