by Jerry Vines

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Acts 4:1-12
Dr. Vines 4/6/86
I think all of us realize that it was inevitable, it was bound to occur.
It was just a matter of time. Sooner or later it was going to take place. As
you study the Scriptures, you will always find that when the Gospel of Jesus
is preached and people are saved there is always opposition and an outbreak of
persecution. Why is this true? One of the reasons it's true is because the
devil is very real. If you have not learned that the devil is real, you
haven't lived the Christian life very long. If you are outside of Christ, do
not know Jesus as your Savior, you may not realize that the devil is real
because he has had you for so long you don't even know in whose power you are.
But, if you have been saved and know the Lord, and try to live for Jesus, you
will find along the way that the devil is very, very real. The devil hates God
and he is displeased with all the work of God. So, the devil will never be
content to see the Christian faith expanded, see lives changed, and to see the
power of God at work. Every time God blesses, the devil begins to debate. The
devil begins to oppose. The devil sends persecution. This is the first
instance in the New Testament, the book of Acts, of the persecution of the
early believers. It will not be the last time. It is the first outbreak of
persecution that the early disciples, the apostles of Jesus Christ experience.
Jesus said that they were going to experience persecution and just exactly
what Jesus said would occur, did occur. There is actually a bold contrast in
the verses I've read for you tonight. I want to put two facts in bold contrast
as we look at these verses this evening.
First of all, I want us to consider together this outbreak of
persecution in the first four verses. Jesus Christ was the strong Son of God.
Jesus Christ was God's love gift, sent down to this world to save men. Yet,
even though He was the Son ...

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