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Repentance vs Retaliation (Part C)

Cross Reference Radio / Pastor Rick Gaston
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July 21, 2022 6:00 am

Repentance vs Retaliation (Part C)

Cross Reference Radio / Pastor Rick Gaston

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July 21, 2022 6:00 am

Pastor Rick teaches from the book of the Acts

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His divine power has given to you all things that pertain to life. Now what part of that do you reject as a Christian? And he's talking about behavior.

He's talking about approaching life, living through life. I think those guys, they'll mess you up. Anyway, I know that it stands out to me. I'm passionate about this because I live in a time where this stuff has crept into the church and taken hold of believers. I don't question their salvation. I don't question their belief in Jesus Christ.

I question their judgment though when it comes to this. 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. And now here's Pastor Rick in Acts chapter 5 with the conclusion of his message called Repentance versus Retaliation. Verse 37, And this man Judas of Galilee rose up in the days of the census and drew away many people after him. He also perished and all who obeyed him were dispersed. Well, Judas and Judas of Galilee, not Judas Iscariot, but Judas of Galilee is this one. They both resisted Roman authority and yeah, Rome had rule in Jerusalem. It conquered the land. So yeah, there were all of the Iscariot, the assassins.

There were all these groups that were looking to break free, these guerrilla groups. The census that's spoken here is not the one in Luke chapter 2. Later when Judah was becoming, when the Romans came in and they begin to divide up the land and put governors there, they would conduct these census to figure out how many people they wanted to tax for the Roman government. And this, this would excite riot in these zealous Jews.

And you could understand it. They felt this is God's money. We're not paying it to Rome.

It's the whole thing when they said, Is it lawful to pay taxes? And Jesus says, Well, whose inscription is on that? Whose image? And you know, give to Caesar what belongs to him. Give to God what belongs to him. God is still saying that.

Whose image is stamped on you? And take that and give it to God or give it to Caesar to figure it out. Well, anyway, that's what Gamaliel is talking about.

They're all nodding their heads and listening to him because when he speaks, people listen. They viewed it as treason to pay taxes. They submitted many of them, but the rebels, these two mentioned, Judas and Judas of Galilee, they did not. They rebelled against it and Rome put them down. Well, the big difference between Christ and those men is that the apostles are serving someone who's already dead and risen again. Those guys died and that was it. But Christ is alive and his movement is continuing on. So with those other two, their followers abandoned them.

And there were other such characters at that time. Ultimately, this rebellious attitude will cause the Roman armies to completely wipe out Jerusalem as the structure and kill countless people. Verse 38, And now I say to you, keep away from these men and let them alone, for if this plan or this work is of men, it will come to nothing. Verse 39, But if it is of God, you cannot overthrow it, lest you even be found to fight against God. So someone who has not received Jesus Christ can say the right things. But still, it's not far enough. You can be the greatest swimmer in the world, all the form and speed, but if you fall overboard and you don't make it to a safe place, you die.

You didn't make it. And that's the case with people like Gamaliel. They can have great insight, they can borrow wisdom, but they can't identify God.

And that's what it comes down to. And this is the difference between someone like Lazarus, who was a beggar, and the angels took him to the bosom of Abraham as the Bible language goes, having greater meaning to that of course, versus the rich man who died and went to hell. So this is true, it's true enough, and God has found enough of what he needs on that council, and he knew it was coming of course, to use it to save the lives of his apostles.

But still, one must confess Jesus was crucified, risen, and is Lord to be saved. And any fight against God is a fight against your own good. That is true of an unbeliever or a believer. This is in their own scripture. Isaiah 45 verse 9, woe to him who strives with his maker.

Well that's true, and we have to learn that, and that's why we submit. That's why we say, not my will be done, but your will be done. If your final response is to Christ, just a pragmatic word of wisdom, but no confession, I mean I have spoken with people who have agreed, yeah the Bible's a good book, and you know I can't refute these things, but they wouldn't take the step into Christianity, they would not repent, at least when, last I checked with them, the ones I have in mind decades ago, but people are still doing this, maybe you know folks like this.

If you die with just a pragmatic view of Christ, and you die an unpardonable sinner, it will be too late for you. Jesus made it clear that it is not possible to be neutral when it comes to him. Matthew chapter 12 verse 30, he who is not with me is against me, and he who does not gather with me scatters abroad. I think that is just very clear. You cannot be neutral, you're not neither for Jesus or against him.

Well then you're against him, according to him. Now remember, the unbelievers, they don't know this, and some once they do know it, they're still going to rebel, but others may repent and be saved. Verse 40, and they agreed with him, and when they had called for the apostles and beaten them, they commanded that they should not speak in the name of Jesus and let them go. Well again, useful, successful in God's hands, still spiritually short-sighted, and when they had called for the apostles and beaten them, there's the resentment. They just couldn't let them go.

That wasn't enough. They were bitter. Because again, remember when Peter opened them up, when you guys crucified, you murdered him, you hung them on a tree, you guys are foul. That's what Peter was saying to them.

You're so messed up, what can I do with you? And they beat them, probably with leather whips, 40 blows each, that would be according to the law, Deuteronomy 25, 3, 40 blows he may give him and no more, lest he should exceed this and beat him with many blows above these and your brother be humiliated in your sight. Well had these apostles been conformists instead of prophets, they could have dodged this beating, and that's the same for you and me. If we just conform to the culture, if we just lose our identity and begin to identify with them, and begin to go around the culture and say, what else can I do for you?

How else can I be like you instead of being distinct? Yeah, we can avoid criticisms and mockings and beatings, but that's not our assignment. The apostles, this is an interesting thought, they did signs and wonders, healings, great miracles, yet here they are beaten and they don't heal themselves of their own wounds because it's not magic, that's why. It's because they had not tapped into some mysterious power in the universe for their own use. They were God's subjects and there was no other way around being his subject, and they're good with this.

In fact, they're boasting in a righteous way. It continues here in verse 40, they commanded that they should not speak in the name of Jesus and let them go. This is the third time that they've said this to them.

It's like, third time's a charm, not for you, not this time. The world is aggressive and right now in our lifetime, aggressively reenacting this great sin today. This is a grand sin. We don't want to hear the name of Jesus. Ha ha.

Too bad. That's the apostles' response. Forbidding the name of Jesus to be spoken at graduation ceremonies, telling chaplains you can't say this in Jesus' name.

I mean, trying to just censor. You can say Satan, you can say Muhammad, you can say anybody else. Not Jesus. Well, why is he distinct? Because he is. That's why. There's no other name given under heaven among men.

No other name. And though they may not realize it, Satan is the one that's trembling behind the scenes. If someone is advocating this censorship of the name of Christ, a never-ending curse awaits those who applaud it, who advocate it, who are for this, or are neutral in its presence.

I don't say that on my own authority. That's why we read the scripture verses. Romans chapter 1, verse 18, the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness. You know that unborn child murdering center that says, well, you can't preach the gospel around us? They're suppressing the truth.

You can't tell the truth about them. Satan has no new moves. They're all old.

But they are very effective. He doesn't need any new ones. People keep falling into the old ones. Look, there's a ditch, clunk.

Look, there's a ditch, clunk. He just keeps going. If by this man Jesus, the sins of sinners are forever removed, what penalty awaits those who withhold his name, who withhold the solution?

This is what we have to tell the world. What do you have against Christ, by the way? What is it that irks you about Christ, that he does not condone perversity of any kind? I mean, there are various kinds of perversity. Stealing is a perversity. It's something that's twisted. It doesn't belong.

It's not right. Lying is a perversity of holiness, of purity. I mean, the list just goes on. What exactly about Jesus Christ do you not like?

Because if you don't like him now, you wait until you stand in judgment. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. That is sorrow and anger mixed together. Acts chapter 13, verse 38, through this man is preached to you the forgiveness of sins. Well, what happens if this man is not preached? Then sins can't get forgiven.

Now you're getting it. 1 John 2, verse 12, your sins are forgiven you for his name's sake. Well, that's the name they don't want to hear. I love praying in Jesus' name. I don't want anybody to be unclear. It's Jesus Christ. That's how I get to God. Jesus is God the Son, and there's no other name by which we are saved.

And I don't want to be vague about that. The apostles will not conform to this again. Ultimately, they will escape the scourge of the Jews and be scourged by the Gentiles. In fact, as far as we can discern, they will be scourged by Rome to death, most of them. Verse 41, so they departed from the presence of the council rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for his name. Well, they would need wound care.

I'm not being funny about that. They were beaten. And this wasn't, you know, smacks on the hand. These guys hated them. Those who beat them hated them. And they weren't like, go easy on this one.

There was none of that. The apostles would now come to expect injustice from these antichrists. That wasn't a surprise at this point. And there's more coming.

It gets juicier, I think. And this is what I mean by we come, you know, when I prepare for a message, I'm looking at God, what do you want me to say? I don't know what to say.

Have a nice day. Same thing to when you come to sit, God, what do you have to say? And I think there's a lot here where it says here in verse 41, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for his name. They're behaving as though they have just been decorated for valor. You would think someone had just put the Congressional Medal of Honor around their necks. They're rejoicing.

Thank you, Lord. Had they viewed themselves as victims, which we are quick to do, that would have been the end of their bright ministry. Had they gone, you know, limping away, this was not fair, this isn't right. They weren't thinking about what was done to them. They were thinking about Christ, the grace they received from him. They had to be thinking, as we do, how would I behave if I was faced with severe persecution? If someone told me I either learned to do this or get fired, if someone told me that I have to put a pinch of incense on the altar of Caesar or be killed, what would I do? Well, looking at it, as a young man, you're a little naïve. You go, oh, I'll take my beating.

You doofus. You don't know what is or is not in you, and you don't have to. What you have to know is what's in Christ, and he is the one that gives the gift of martyrdom. 1 Peter chapter 4. Remember, Peter's the one that really got everybody the beating, and none of the apostles were saying, Peter, not now. Shut up. Restrain it, Peter. Hold it back. You're doing it again.

None of them. They were like, yeah, this is us. Beloved, do not think it's strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you as though some strange thing has happened to you. 1 Peter chapter 4, verse 12. He's writing that first letter to Peter is to persecuted believers, and he's saying, yeah, I've been there, and I'll be there again, and that whole section in 1 Peter 4 through 12 through 16 is worth reading. God does not give this kind of courage until we need it, and that's why when you read about others facing persecution today or in history, you say to yourself, what would I do?

Well, if you belong to Christ, it's what will he do, and what he will do is give you the courage. Why isn't this book of Acts mandatory reading for all Christians? Notice that they did not need counseling or therapy to get through this. I'm serious. I reject any connection.

You might as well mix the prophets of Baal with the temple of Jehovah. I reject everything that has to do with behavioral psychology, pop psychology, therapeutic psychology. My Bible gives it all to me on how I should behave. I just got to face it, and if the believers in the Scripture die and are killed believing God, then why would I be surprised if I've got to fight for courage to face life? And because people aren't saying this, because they're saying the opposite, people are responding to that, you know, subliminal suggestion, I guess. You know, I just flash it out. Yeah, you should get therapy.

Okay, I can. Well, you having someone out is saying to you, you don't need that. His divine power has given to you all things that pertain to life. Now, what part of that do you reject as a Christian? And he's talking about behavior.

He's talking about approaching life, living through life. I think those guys, they'll mess you up. Anyway, I know that it stands out to me. I'm passionate about this, because I live in a time where this stuff has crept into the church and taken hold of believers. I don't question their salvation. I don't question their belief in Jesus Christ. I question their judgment, though, when it comes to this.

They probably question my judgment as to hair products, but that's fair. God's servants have a history of allowing God to let them suffer because God has a history of letting us suffer. It's called submission. We surrender to this. We accept this. Blessed or stressed, blessed be the name of the Lord. That's what we say.

Just may we be blameless in the process. Verse 42, and daily in the temple in every house they did not cease teaching and preaching Jesus as Christ. So I have to go back to one other point about the psychology. Don't take it up in school.

I mean, take up knitting, horseshoe throwing, anything else, but don't take that up. This school of thought was created by men that hated Jesus Christ, Freud, Maslow Young. Those guys weren't in love with Jesus Christ.

They resented that people would go to the church and say, how should I thus live? Just get that out. Every now and then I have to say that, because I don't want someone coming to the church not understanding this is what is preached here, and then find out five months later. We want to try to be upfront, but not be cruel and hard. And so if you're struggling with it, my door is open.

I'll certainly talk to you about it to help you through it, but I don't want to be misleading on such a subject, and I'm not going to give case studies either, although I have a ton of them. Verse 42, and daily in the temple and in every house they did not cease teaching and preaching Jesus as the Christ. Two thousand years later, the Jewish Sanhedrin is gone, but these men are not, and we're looking at what they did and what they said as though the hand of God was on each one of them, because it was. Scholars pour over their writings, but the Sanhedrin marginalized. There was a reformer who belonged to a school of Christian thought that not my school, but he's still a believer. And he said, it is truly, this is written in the days of John Calvin and the Reformations in France, Switzerland, it is truly the lot of the church of God for which I speak to endure blows and not to strike them. But may it please you to remember that it is an anvil which has worn out many hammers.

Oh, that's what we're reading here. The hammers of the Sanhedrin is worn out on the anvil of the Christian testimony. They did not cease teaching and preaching. Amen. You couldn't shut them up. Now they were wise as serpents, harmless as doves.

In some cases, you have to move on. We've covered this. But in this case, they were not to stop. Preaching is the proclamation of God's provision for salvation. That is the Greek word used here for preaching.

We'll get to teaching in a minute. Preaching, therefore, is for the unconverted, essentially. Those are the ones that get preached to. Converts no longer need preaching. So if you go to a church and every Sunday morning there's a message about the Gospel, you're being starved to death.

You're not being nourished. And I think it's a mistake. I don't agree with that, I should say.

I mean, how others do it, that's on them, but this is one reason why we don't do it here. We need teaching. Hebrews 6, therefore, leaving the discussion of elementary principles of Christ, that would include salvation. It doesn't reduce the Gospel at all. Let us go on to perfection, not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith towards God, of the doctrine of baptism, laying on of hands, resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment. Paul says to the Hebrew Christians, you need to mature in your knowledge of Christ. You need Bible teaching. And so instead of teaching the church to maturity, too many are preaching the church to death. They're telling them what they already know over and over again. And the witness of the church includes both teaching and preaching.

And it discerns when it has to do one or the other. This word that I mentioned translated preach gives us our English word evangelism, or evangelus. It means to announce the good news. How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news. And that is the exact meaning, to tell the Gospel of Jesus Christ. A short walk to 1 Corinthians chapter 15, the first eight verses, lay it all out for us. Conversion comes through preaching of the Gospel, but growth comes through the teaching of the word. And when you have smarter Christians, you have more effective Christians. 2 Timothy 2, Paul writes to the pastor and he says, and the things that you have heard from me, and among many witnesses, commit these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also. The emphasis is clear from the days of Christ on through the revelation. And it is quite presumptuous to think as a Christian that you do not need to be taught regularly and re-taught, re-qualified.

It is this process. Imagine if you had a pastor that just thought he knew it all, and just, you know, didn't apply himself, didn't care what other people had to say. You would not applaud that, I hope. Well, why would a pastor applaud a congregation and felt that, we don't need the word of God, we're just Christians now. You say, well, who does that? Well, this is a practice that's not articulated, but it goes on nonetheless. It is also stifling to suppose that the saints must depend upon the pastor on Sunday mornings to save souls. That's why you're taught to go into the world and make disciples, and you make them by converting them and bringing them into this preaching and teaching process, and the cycle continues. Now, Christians have done this without me often thinking it through and just done it because they're led by the Spirit of God. So, the last point that he makes is Jesus as Christ. They did not cease teaching and preaching Jesus as Christ, and they did it from house to house, and they did it because there was no church building.

They found out eventually when Christianity got in place, you know, we've got to organize this more effectively. Well, I want to close with this verse. Paul writing to the Colossians, he says, him we preach, warning every man and teaching every man in all wisdom that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus.

Colossians 1 28. 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 That's 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 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 / 2023-03-21 08:02:15 / 2023-03-21 08:11:45 / 10

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