Based on Biblical Text: Acts 5:29:
Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men.
Laws established by our elected politicians and appointed judges were patterned after the morality established and demonstrated by God in the Bible. The truth is that, until now, there were not many who would even think to challenge such laws.
It is so very obvious that we live in a different era now. In this time of technological genius, we appear to be so intent on maximizing our freedoms that we now have the audacity to challenge even God. We were led by God to draft a constitution affirming that He is no respecter of persons. We seem to have become no respecter of God.
We find biblical morality is being challenged on every front as the divide between church and state grows wider and wider. No prayer in school, no Ten Commandments posted in the courthouse. We find ourselves in an age of confrontation with the political “right” and “left.” The question is, what is a Christian to do?
The answer is very clear for those of us who are “the called according to God’s purpose.” We, who profess to be “children of the most High God,” are mandated to preserve the Word of God at any cost. It would certainly appear that the battle lines have been drawn. How far will we go to defend our cause for Christ?
In our text, we find that Peter and John have taken a stand for the Lord. They have preached the unadulterated Word of God in city after city despite warnings of imprisonment and even death. Now they find themselves standing before the Jewish high court. All the high priest needed to say was, “We gave you strict orders.” Peter and John boasted boldly, “We must obey God rather than men.”
As Christians, it is important for us to realize that we can sometimes do the right thing and end up guilty before the law and innocent before God. We must understand that it is never a light thing to break the laws of our nation. However, there are times when, as the Apostles did in Jerusalem, “we must obey God rather than man.” It is the way that we show that God is truly in charge. It is also the only way that the Word of God will be preserved for our future generations. Jesus warned that the Word of God would not, could not, and must not be altered.
The question for us now becomes “How much effort are we willing to put forth to preserve the influence of the Word of God in our daily lives?” Peter and John’s ministry did not fail the Lord, will ours? Will we have the courage to face off against the political enemies of God? Christ is seated at the throne of God, waiting for the Church to take a stand. Now is not the time for lukewarm Christianity! Clearly, it is high time for us to reach our boiling point and take a stand for the Lord. The truth of the matter is, it is time to get back to doing things God’s way.
In the same week we observe the anniversary of the senseless murder of the Emmanuel 9, we find ourselves grief-stricken as yet another lunatic has, for whatever reason, opened fire in a crowded night club killing 49 and wounding at least 50 others. Once again, the Church of Jesus Christ should have been overwhelmed with sadness to see our citizens pouring into the streets with lighted candles, searching for answers, and not knowing where to look. Again, too soon, we find folk forced to their knees by overwhelming circumstance, yet we still find that too many did not know how to pray or whom to pray to. Has the Church of Jesus Christ lost its influence and impact on America?
Well, I, for one, believe it is time for the church to clear its vision, re-align its priorities, revive its heart, and remold its attitude. It is time for us to once again submit to God’s authority with unyielding faith. It is time that we “lean not to our own understanding” and trust in God’s Word. It is time we come to grips with the fact that alone we have no strength to deal with evil. We must believe in God’s power and surrender to God’s will.
We are challenged in these critical times to take a stand for the Lord. We must summon the courage of Peter and John to face our adversaries, the wisdom of the Son of God to face our trials, and the assurance of the Word of God to overcome our temptations. Beloved, we need the help of the Spirit of God to restore our power. “Oh come, let us worship and bow down. Let us kneel before the Lord our Maker. For He is our God; and we are the people of His pasture, and the sheep of His hand.” (Psalm 95:6-7) and “Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him.” (Job 13:15)