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February 8, 2022 7:05 am
When adversarial critics get into a showdown with Christians attempting to sabotage the faith we cherish. Scripture teaches us to be prepared with an answer. So how do we get ready for those awkward moments of confrontation. How do we stand up for our beliefs and do so in a grace filled way today on Insight for living.
Chuck Swindoll believes the answer is found in a standoff. Peter, John, and the religious leaders who were out to get teaching from acts chapter 4 check title. Today's message the integrity of righteous resistance, sweet moment.
It is our father, we pause and turn to you to release the burden on our hearts. For some, the burden is heavy today some recently lost someone they loved deeply and dearly for decades.
They grieve so in prayer we call upon you to strengthen them to comfort them to give them grace in this time of need summer setting alongside those who were sick, then there are those in the bed sick. Some fearing the possibility of death in their sickness, the sickness is serious and no man or woman has the power the ability to simply say be healed for that is your work and we stand back and we wait upon you to do what you please.
Perhaps it is to wait longer. Perhaps it is to heal today. Perhaps it is to take to be with yourself. Give those who stand alongside a special amount of strength, wisdom and encouragement and hope. Some are burdened and their families because there is conflict that hasn't ended.
It's going on and on.
So distracting. Nerve-racking draining hard to continue on. I pray for those families that you were somehow by your wonderful presence and grace reach in perhaps through a friend, a counselor, someone who cares minister to them. We've already been reminded today that there are many in need. Our tables were full of food in our refrigerators overstuffed. There are many who have an enough we pray that you will use our gifts are boxes and bags filled with not only food but love and prayers to bring hope and encouragement to them to meet their need to touch their hearts the seasons before us bring joy to many, but extra loneliness to those who are alone, so we pray for your presence to be for them the companionship and in prayer we bring them before you as well.
It's a sweet hour this hour prayer, and we wait upon you for your answers. Speak to us through these pages of the Scriptures made a statement stand out mail word meet a need me the confidence of these two men strike a note to special courage to the hearts of those who are in threatening places in need of standing alone, a bit fearful of doing so use your word to transfer strength to them.
Thank you for the privilege of prayer for sustaining us as a church meeting our needs individually in the name of Jesus powerful Savior.
We pray everyone said to search the Scriptures with Chuck Swindoll. Be sure to download his searching the Scriptures. Studies by going to Insight world.org/studies Chuck titled his message the integrity of righteous resistance. Let's not be impressed with Peter and John just ordinary men and another standing trial, but the problem his the people who have them on trial or a loss to know what to do they really do more than threaten them with Mariah Soto, marjoram in front of them and in the asked by what power and in whose name have you done this, Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them about rulers and elders of our people are weeping question today because we done a good deed when did you notice this man is healed of his role Jesus is alive with you want to believe it or not and live in the faces of theologically trained official people. In fact, Peter goes on to say there is salvation in no one else, God has given no other name under heaven by which we must be saved. Great statement of salvation.
Only Jesus, the members of the Council were made when they saw the boldness of Peter and John because they could see that they were ordinary man with no special training in in the Scriptures. Verse 13 tells us that they notice they were men who had been with Jesus and they asked among themselves.
Verse 16 what what are we going to do with.
We can deny that they have performed miraculous sign in and everybody in Jerusalem knows about.
To keep them from spreading their propaganda any further, we must warn them not to speak anymore in that name again sometime. Parents do that with your kids is if it's going really stop so they go just it just about as effective as standing knee-deep in the surf and a 25 foot wave is coming toward you when you go just stop it. Just stop right there it that babies coming in and it's going to wash all over you have few but but but what will work and threaten.
You don't threaten people who know the words of Jesus better than no the laws of Israel. At least these laws take this to heart folks. No offense, but I think I'm talking ordinary people. I'm one I think you are were just like they would be. That's us the difference between them and those they lived way back then, we live now and they faced the Sanhedrin and we don't we face. People who pull rank on this who try to put us down because were followers of Jesus who want to cancel loss because where were numbered among those who believe in eternal things and we love the Bible were convinced that there is an eternity in is a God will answer to the creator who made us and those right and that is wrong just ordinary folks.
So there's a lot of similarity in all of this. I don't want you to miss that so that they decide the time to stop for the bring up back in verse 18.
They call the apostles back in the command. Men listen to this. Don't speak again in the name of Jesus stop so Peter and John there nonintimidating listen. The answer to the living God. So dig our lives we got 5000 already carry out the message so let me respond to this threat, Peter, John, say, do you think God wants us to obey you rather than him a great place to get a life. What you thinking we cannot stop telling about everything we have seen and heard to courage to say that but they they were ready to sit for a portrait of courage, they just did what you do and you been with Jesus. They saw Jesus do this dozens of times when he was threatened when he stood before this Sadducees and the Pharisees and those are trolling your role. We know who our father is. As they insulted him as if he's an illegitimate new window.
Answer were not to enter. They were right there for all that they were there were trained by him, so we cannot stop telling everything we've seen and heard, so would the Council do well look for yourself. Verse 21. Just what they did before they threatened him. They finally let them go because they didn't they didn't know how to punish them with a starting Orion for everyone was praising God. It'll told you that the public was allowed to be in their people and their already singular, so praising their Savior, they look upon this as an opportunity for the Lord to work and on top of all there is there is this manikin keeps stop smiling, who is still just having the greatest time being able to walk. The silence must've been deafening. These men having been instructed threatened: button it up. They observed the confidence of Peter and John. They realize they were dealing with those who spoke from another authority greater than their own, and talk about effective as a miracle, standing among them, and these men are yielding to the control of the Holy Spirit. Now remind everyone of us the same Holy Spirit is the one who fills every believer today. Same kind of power and how greatly he is worked down through the years. What more can I say, the time would fail me to tell of Gideon and Barak and Samson and Jephthah and David also in Samuel and the prophets who through faith subdued kingdoms and wrought righteousness and sought the mouths of lions, and quenched the violence of fire out of weakness were made strong and escape the edge of the sword. Women received their dead raised to life and others were tortured, not accepting deliverance somersault into and they wandered about in sheepskins and goat skins being destitute, afflicted, tormented, they were people of whom the world was not worth love that statement the end of Hebrews 11 talk about great men and women. These people are like that ordinary men who knew Jesus how contagious they must've been now before I finish. I have to drive this home.
We live in a decadent era. I have no plans to start a rebellion I have no interest in marching on someone or something. I'm speaking to individuals today. Yes, you, you each one you're in a place for you have an opportunity to stand for Christ. It will boil down on occasion to you're doing so at the risk of being singled out as one man said to me not too long ago. If I were to do that I would lose my job, lose your job these men to do that would've lost her life you that concerned about your job.
You see what I'm saying, trying to be foolish or trying to be faithful to the Scriptures. This kind of independent thinking.
This kind of courageous integrity. This kind of righteous resistance needs to be seen no quoted witness say will not powerful place of authority all wait a minute. Yes, you will your sphere of influence is no one else's. It's yours. God has you there for a reason. The specifics of that look this way to you and some other way to someone else. The person sitting just behind you that's not insincere or her situation is yours. From talking to you and to that person and to myself why we were reluctant, I came across a marvelous old book by Johan vice WEEI S is titled earliest Christianity in volume 1, pages 42 and 43 came across in beautiful reading. He writes early Christians had listened to these characteristics. A tempestuous enthusiasm and overwhelming intensity of feeling an immediate awareness of the presence of God and incomparable sense of power and irresistible control over the will and inner spirit. Even their physical conditions. These are the ineradicable features of historic early Christianity. That's top why did it stop who silenced us.
Every one of us has been in situations where we are marked out don't run from that run with it. Don't be afraid of that standard.
The strength of Christ through it for nothing. Now I can just feel some of you wanted me to get real specific. I'm not going to. I'm not going to go there because it will leave out another area that needs to be mentioned also and another area and yet another in yet another whatever may be the area you know your situation. You know where you can stand up and be counted.
You know where you are not doing that in your compromise has weakened your relationship with Christ in the eyes of those you're with because of fear, your freedom if these men stand for nothing else they stand is ordinary men who had been with Jesus and simply told the truth is what I'm asking of all of us and those who cannot do that. Simply revealed I don't know the Lord. The others will not do that. That's a matter of the will. If you cannot, you have of the Savior, but if you have the Savior at work within you. He longs to stand alongside you in this world that has lost its way to tell the stories from my own past where I failed in this and were succeeded at this. I'll not go to either one. This isn't about me. I want to leave this with you special review never met the Savior see you've not been with Jesus. So you can't imagine standing like Jesus. That's first is the initial step you take. I want to do some thinking about this.
This is a message that has homework.
I don't want you to just simply get in your car and drive to wherever you're going next and let this pass is another sermon. When you turn it over your mind. You work or were you in school or what team are you on what group do you run with isn't there an opportunity for Christ to be made known for series don't opportunities opened up. Of course they do step in step up step into and if you say I how to do that. Let's start there for you.
You come to Christ in you telling who you are and where you are in life and you leave it all with him and let him empower you in a way you've never known before.
Not only will you receive him. You'll receive his spirit and when you receive his spirit you receive his power. Amazing what that does to us you won't even be afraid when death comes amazing. Because you see will Paul put it best. I persuaded neither death nor life, nor angels, principalities and powers, nor things present, things to come. Height depth any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord is right there and he's urging you to think seriously about your walk and your courage, your carrying out integrity when you're in the minority evil honor that just as he did with these two ordinary men named Pete and John bow your head with me when you just for a few moments disclosure arrives you'll be at work tomorrow or you will be engaged in some particular event that will probably include other people quite likely there will be an opportunity, maybe not tomorrow but before too long when you will know this is a time when I can stand if necessary. Standalone and I want to do it. I would be afraid to do that on my face to shine forth and I want Christ to be glorified. So Lord I'm going to commit to you these next several days that you will give me the courage add to my integrity that I might be the Peter or John for the moment and I leave the results with you. Keep me from fearing when I should aspire from faltering when I should climb higher and if you've never known Christ simple prayer Lord, you and I are not on speaking terms. I'm lost your holy and I'm I'm not so I come to you as a sinner and I place myself before you. Thank you for the gift of eternal life in Christ.
I take that gift now empower me to live above the drag of my old nature.
Use me in a unique way the rest of my life that I might count for you dear father I pray that there might come from this message. Several very encouraging signs of courageous integrity that you would free the malls and tongs of those who had been silent long enough, you will enable them to step up to step into and to be your emissary. Your representative, your servant thank you in advance for the strength you and for those you're speaking to. Right now, those without Christ, pray especially for them. Give them the willingness to come in the ability to receive the gift of eternal life is in the name of the Savior Jesus we pray all God's people said Amen. Our prayer is that God will use today's message to ignite a renewed passion for telling others about Jesus seizing opportunities to represent him. Chuck Swindoll titled today's message the integrity of righteous resistance. And if you'd like to learn more about this ministry. Visit us firstname.lastname@example.org and then if you're prepared to dig deeper into this topic.
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I live alone I've had no one. Pastor Chuck's messages became my companion and drew me closer and closer to God and his word. My relationship with my Lord Jesus has become. Thank you Insight for living God's blessings upon you and his remnant. Well, if you're among those who give thanks for making it possible to bring insight for living people were hungry for the truth. Those were longing for companionship to give a donation today. Call us listening in the US style. 1-800-772-8888 or give email@example.com/Tony Davis Mike inviting you to join us. When Chuck Swindoll describes the integrity of missing on Wednesday on Insight for living. The preceding message the integrity of righteous resistance was copyrighted in 2021 and 2022 and the sound recording was copyrighted in 2022 by Charles Moore Swindoll. All rights are reserved.
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