Right now, people of all creeds and political alignment are very concerned about current events in this country (namely the gay marriage topic), and Christians are struggling to define what’s going on and how to respond. There are churches who stand on both sides, and the population at large is nearly even on the subject. How are we supposed to handle it?
Well, we’re not.
Should we stand for justice and truth? Indeed. But our goal is to stand for it, not to attack all of those who don’t believe it. It’s tempting to get militant and devise strong arguments, but why waste your breath if it isn’t producing fruit?
But, of course, we shouldn’t just stand by and let things happen. The Bible is full of proactive people — but there’s a way to go about it.
The truth provokes people. (v. 17)
A lot of people don’t believe the Bible is true. If you begin to discuss the tenets of the Bible, it’s going to be offensive. This shouldn’t be surprising at all. In the U.S., people just get upset; in other countries, however, you get killed. Living for what the Bible says is always going to rub people the wrong way. Get used to it — that will never change.
Don’t shut up. About Jesus. (v. 22-25)
If you’re saved, your job is to be obedient to Christ. People that are not followers of Jesus couldn’t care less about what the Bible commands, for the most part. Therefore, the first “argument” should be for the sake of the gospel, not doctrine or morality or righteousness. And that, my friend, is something you can yell about as much as you want. While particular moral questions grate at people, grace never gets old.
Obey God rather than men. (v. 29)
The apostles felt they had nothing to lose but their lives. Their chief concern, then, was not to cease discussing Jesus, and to do it at the expense of possible conviction. Are you looking to please your peers? Your family? Jesus said Himself that family members would turn against each other in His name. This shouldn’t be a surprise either.
“If it’s of God…” (v. 38-39)
New regimes will take over, wars will redefine borders, and cultural norms will change. People change — the heart of man is unstable. But God’s Word will stand firm through it all.
Gamaliel spoke well in this chapter — even with his intentions misaligned — that “if it is of God, you cannot overthrow it–lest you even be found to fight against God.” 2000 years and billions of believers later, the gospel of Jesus Christ has made its way to the far corners of the earth. I sit in California right now, almost exactly halfway around the world from where this was spoken. His work will be finished.
Don’t stop — it’s good news! (v. 42)
Despite the risks they faced (and immediately after being beaten for such), the apostles continued preaching Jesus to the people around them. In the midst of a deteriorating moral structure (at least, in the context of the Bible), it’s tempting to cease telling people the good news. But even then, it’s still good news! Someone is counting on you to convey His grace. Don’t give up!
What is love? It is certainly not preventing a government from passing controversial legislation. Love is God’s gift of salvation for man through His Son. Run and tell that.