“But Peter and the other apostles answered and said: “We ought to obey God rather than men. The God of our fathers raised up Jesus whom you murdered by hanging on a tree.
And they agreed with him, and when they had called for the apostles and beaten them, they commanded that they should not speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go. So they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for His name. And daily in the temple, and in every house, they did not cease teaching and preaching Jesus as the Christ.”
Acts 5:29-30, 40-42 NKJV
Our world has been flipped. Up is down and down is up, and those who were once the establishment have become the radicals.
I remember, as a child, getting ready for church on Sunday morning. I would don my best clothes set aside especially for the occsasion. We would all get ready, polished and cleaned up, and somewhat respectable. This was the case in most of the homes across the country, as Americans everywhere went to church on Sunday.
The morality of the time , though mostly on the surface, was dedicated to showing descretion and a perceived holiness, a goodness and respectability. We hid our gross sins. We performed a morality seemingly based on the bible, or at least a basic understanding of it, and people put great emphasis on good behavior.
In truth, society had a cauldron of sin bubbling and simmering under the surface, as many “good church folk” had hidden indiscretions lurking. Over time, those hidden sins, began to creep into the great social sphere and they became lifestyles as they broke the surface and people did them openly.
Likewise, churches began to make allowances for the changing mores of the time. Rather than cling to the word of God, people began to redefine the the meaning of the Holy Scriptures, softening their indictment of sin, repeating the lie of the serpent, as he deceived Eve in the garden.
“Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said to the woman, “Has God indeed said, ‘You shall not eat of every tree of the garden’?” And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden; but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die.’ ” Then the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.””
Genesis 3:1-5 NKJV
Society has indeed behaved as if a god, seeking to redefine good and evil. As humanity moved toward the desires of the flesh, those who remained true to the Scriptures became the outliers, marginalized and rejected.
As I work my way through the book of Acts, I am reminded of how similar the times we are living in now are to that time when the early church began to do its work. Like us, those who still believe, they were clinging to the teachings of Jesus, the God/Man who came into the world to seek and save what was lost. They had the advantage of memory and first hand experience, yet they still encountered opposition.
The religious authorities had long ago drifted from the truth of God’s word, and were running headlong after their own traditions, dispite the warnings of Jesus. They found themselves adrift, carried by the winds of false doctrine. They were more concerned with keeping up appearances and building up their own power.
“He answered and said to them, “Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written: ‘This people honors Me with their lips, But their heart is far from Me. And in vain they worship Me, Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’ For laying aside the commandment of God, you hold the tradition of men —the washing of pitchers and cups, and many other such things you do.” He said to them, “ All too well you reject the commandment of God, that you may keep your tradition.”
Mark 7:6-9 NKJV
They had flipped the commandments of God to meet their own will, and when Jesus came along, the Word become flesh, they went against and killed Him, only to see Him rise again and have more power and influence than He ever did while on the planet. These disciples were indicting them anew. He left behind a band of radicals, increasing in number and willing to take on the establishment, by taking them back to the bedrock of truth.
I grew up in the sixties when the REAL radicals were marching in the streets. I am amazed at how what was radical, has become commonplace, and what was commonplace, has become radical. I am excited by what is to come, as I know that I am standing for truth, absolute truth, that brings eternal ilfe in Jesus Christ.
In the face of increased and dire opposition, I am experiencing the presence of God more than ever.
We who are of the First Born, bring a the truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, he who died, was buried and rose again. As our world becomes more and more lost, the truth salvation in Jesus stands out brightly against the darkness.
Brothers and sisters, lets be radical for Christ as time is running out. There are so many timetables being bandied about, that point to coming world wide woes. Those of us who believe the bible, know that there is coming a day when Jesus will return. Before that day comes, we will know times like the world has never known before.
““Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake. And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another. Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. But he who endures to the end shall be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.”
Matthew 24:9-14 NKJV
But, do not fear!
“Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.”
Matthew 24:30-31 NKJV
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