Acts 5:40-42 (NIV)
40 His speech persuaded them. They called the apostles in and had them flogged. Then they ordered them not to speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go.
41 The apostles left the Sanhedrin, rejoicing because they had been counted worthy of suffering disgrace for the Name.
42 Day after day, in the temple courts and from house to house, they never stopped teaching and proclaiming the good news that Jesus is the Christ.
Vance Havner, a popular preacher of the twentieth century, used to say, “The problem is the situation is desperate but we are not.”
Our cities are places where violence runs free, political and spiritual leaders are living in a sea of wickedness and our schools are places where violence seems to be the daily news.
Rare it is to be out in the marketplace and hear anyone speaking the name of Jesus in a way that brings him honor. Every hour in our world 25 believers lose their lives for the sake of the gospel around the world. They live in nations where it is against the law to proclaim Christ and they still speak up. We will stand in line next to them one day and I can imagine the conversation we might have.
“You lived in the United States where you were free to talk about Christ out in the open. You must have spoken to thousands upon thousands of people about Christ.”
I can only think of their response when most of those who claim the name of Christ will have to answer, “I am sorry but I was afraid of offending someone so I rarely if ever spoke up for Jesus.”
What will that day be like when we have to admit to those who gave up earthly possessions for the sake of Christ?
God forgive our silence, forgive our lack of concern for those without Christ. Holy Spirit come and open our mouths that the name of Christ might be heard in our nation’s schools and halls of government and homes.
May many hear your name through our voices in the coming days,