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Preaching Always Brings Persecution (9 of 24)
Series: The Acts of the Apostles: A Verse-by-Verse Study
October 3, 2007
INTRODUCTION: In our lesson last week, we had looked at (3:12-26), with Peter's answer to the people concerning the healing of the lame man.
Tonight's lesson comes from chapter four, with the beginning of persecution for the disciples. I want to give you three points:
I. Indignation and Retaliation
II. Consternation and Confusion
III. Boldness and Persistance
I. INDIGNATION AND RETALIATION
A. The Religious Leaders Were Angry
1. In (vs. 2), it says they were "grieved" that they taught the people." Then in (vs. 21), it says Peter and John were "threatened" by them. If you want to incur the wrath of the religious community, preach an uncompromising message on sin, repentance and faith in Jesus Christ. Every community has its local "community of faith." Most cities have no problem with the "clergy," so long as they don't get too "churchy." In other words, "You can come and open our city council meetings in prayer, just don't use the name of Jesus."
a. The same is true on an individual basis. People don't usually object to a discussion on world religion, but they will let you know how they feel if you make Jesus the only way to heaven. Look again Peter's words in (vs. 4), "Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved." That kind of preaching and witnessing will get you in trouble, but I remind you; that kind of message will also take some people to heaven.
B. The Disciples Were Put in Prison (vs. 3)
1. How many times was this story repeated in the book of Acts? The disciples often spent as much time on the inside of prison, as they did on the outside. You will remember that the Apostle Paul spent his last hours in a prison.
a. Here's the encouragement for us: whether in priso ...
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