THE ACTS OF THE APOSTLES
CHRISTIAN SUFFERING FOR GOD
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WORTHY TO SUFFER CAUSE
THE ACTS OF THE APOSTLES
BIBLICAL SUFFERING MEANING
CHRISTIAN SUFFERING FOR GOD PURPOSE
Good day to you
and welcome back! We've been discovering some of the different experiences
that the Apostles went through in their commission to spread the Good News
of Christ, and relating it to our own discipleship, so let's continue with
our study of the book of Acts and see what else happened.
Let's start off
with a little Daily Bread Crumb. We've talked about this once before
briefly, but this time, I'll expound a little more about the subject of
commonwealth. Commonwealth is having all things ... In common. In
other words, when the Christian movement started everyone shared everything.
Those who would become Christian would oft times do as Jesus said and sell
all Worldly possessions and follow the Christian movement. They would then
each contribute their gifts and talents and possessions as their part of the
I know this may sound a
lil strange, having been raised in the selfish generation we live in today.
But, it was an excellent idea because the poor and rich Christians became of
one calling and shared all whether it be financial or skills for a COMMON
GOAL. Let me give you an example. You may be a good sandal-maker, so your
job in the commonwealth would be to make sandals for all the people who
belonged. to the Christian group.
BIBLICAL SUFFERING FOR THE CAUSE
CHRISTIAN SUFFERING FOR GOD AS HE DID FOR YOU
Your neighbor may be a good hunter, so
your neighbor could provide you with the leather that you need to make the
sandals, and meat to feed the commonwealth. Somebody else may have a green
thumb and they would grow fruits and vegetables and herbs for everyone.
Nobody has more or less than anyone else, and everyone's job is just as
important as the next person's.
Now ... There was
a man that wanted to join the Christian movement named Ananias. He and his
wife Sapphira wanted to be part of the commonwealth, so they sold their
land. However, Ananias and wife Sapphira decided to deceive the Christian
group and keep part of the money back for themselves. Ananias then took the
specified amount that he and his wife secretly plotted to contribute and
laid it at the Apostles' feet. In doing this, Ananias was saying, in
essence, that he wanted more than the others and the BIG problem was. His
gesture was showing a lack of Faith and that He thought he was fooling ...
Now, Peter, being clued in by the
Holy Spirit as to the plot said, Ananias, why has satan controlled your
heart to lie to the Holy Ghost and keep part of the price of the land for
yourself? Before you sold it, wasn't it your own? And after it was sold,
wasn't all the money yours?
BIBLICAL SUFFERING TRUTH
CHRISTIAN SUFFERING FOR GOD IN FAITH
Why have you thought this thing in your heart?
You haven't lied to men, but to God.
Peter was saying, it would have been better for Ananias to keep it all to
himself and not be a part of the commonwealth, than to keep part and give
part so that he could have more than the others. When Ananias heard these
words, he fell down, and died. They wound him up, and carried him out, and
It was about three
hours later that Sapphira, not knowing what happened, came in. Peter asked
her, Tell me if you sold the land for this much (the amount that Ananias
gave him)? And she said, Yes, for that much. Then Peter said to her, Why did
you agree together to tempt the Spirit of the
Look, the feet of those who buried your husband are at the door, and will
carry you out too. She fell down immediately at his feet and died, and they
came in and carried her out, and buried her by her husband. Great fear came
upon all the Church, and on anyone who heard these things.
BIBLICAL SUFFERING IS WORTHY
ENDURE CHRISTIAN SUFFERING FOR GOD
Now ... with all the scams going on these days I want to be sure that you do
not believe this message to mean that you should run out and give your life
savings to some Church, group or man claiming to be something. It would be
best for you to check the fruits well and be certain that it is God's will
before making such a rash decision. In addition ... I am not saying Tithes
is not a righteous deed either, so all you Pharisees can sit back down and
lower that brow. If you feel led or called to put forth monies to some
worthy cause, that's great. Just be careful ... The main purpose of
commonwealth was to LOVE and care for one another as family. It is best for
one to sacrifice whatever they can to the Christian cause, but it may not be
financial ... Some of your time, talent, devotion and love shared for the
Christian cause would be deemed as putting your part into the commonwealth.
Many signs and
wonders were done among the people by the hands of the Apostles. They were
all united in Solomon's Porch (at the Temple), and of the rest dared no
man join himself to them, but the people respected them. Sounds like
Jesus Freak was a term even back then huh? I am PROUD to be a Jesus Freak.
More and more believers, both men and women, were added to the Lord. So much
so, that they brought sick people into the streets, and laid them on beds
and couches, that at the least the shadow of Peter passing by might
overshadow some of them. Did you hear that? Even just the shadow of Peter
passing by and overshadowing people, healed them! That's Holy Spirit power!
People came from all the cities round about to Jerusalem, bringing sick
people and those who were possessed with unclean spirits, and every single
one of them was healed.
BIBLICAL SUFFERING IS NORMAL
CHRISTIAN SUFFERING FOR GOD AND HIS CAUSE
The high priest
got up, and all those who were with him, (they were Sadducees,) and were
filled with anger, and they put the Apostles into the prison. But the Angel
of the Lord opened the prison doors and night and brought them out and said,
Go, stand and speak in the Temple to the people, all the words of this
(everlasting) life. This is rather comical if you think about it. God's
sense of humor is wonderful. The Sadducees, as we learned before, don't
believe in the after life or
Angels, so God sent an Angel to free the Apostles and told them to go
back into the Temple and talk about Jesus some more!
So early in the
morning, the Apostles went into the Temple and taught. Unbeknownst to the
high priest, he called his council and all the senate together to get ready
for another wanna be judgment and then sent to the prison to have the
Apostles brought to him. When the officers didn't find them in the prison,
they returned and told the high priest, We found the prison locked up tight,
and the guards standing outside the doors, but when we opened them up,
nobody was inside.
When the high
priest, the captain of the Temple and the chief priests heard these things,
they were uncertain of what would happen. Then someone came and told them,
Look, the men who you put in prison are standing in the Temple, and teaching
the people of Jesus. The captain and the officers went and got them
peaceably because they feared they might be stoned by the people if they
used violence. When they brought them and set them before the council, the
high priest asked them, Didn't we strictly command you not to teach in this
name? And look, you've filled Jerusalem with your teachings, and intend to
bring this man's blood upon us. (To bring someone's blood upon another means
to make them responsible for their death.)
BIBLICAL SUFFERING FOR YOU
CHRISTIAN SUFFERING FOR GOD BLESSING
Peter and the
other Apostles answered, We have to obey God, not man. The God of our
fathers raised up Jesus, whom you slew and hanged on a tree. (Cross was made
of wood which comes from a tree) God has exalted Him with His right hand to
be a Prince and a Savior, to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of
sins. And we're His witnesses of these things, and so is the Holy Ghost,
whom God has given to them that obey Him.
When they heard
that, they were furious, and they discussed slaying them. Then a man in the
council stood up, a Pharisee named Gamaliel, who was a lawyer, and well
known among all the people, and said to the others, You men of Israel, be
careful of what you intend to do concerning these men. In times past there
rose a man named Theudas, who claimed to be somebody important, and had
about 400 followers. Theudas was slain, and his followers were scattered and
came to nothing. After that, rose up a man named Judas of Galilee, in the
days of the taxing, and many people followed him. He also perished, and all
who followed him were also dispersed. Now, I say to you, Keep away from
these men, and leave them alone, because if their message is from men, it
will come to nothing, but if it comes from God,
you can't overthrow it, or else you'll be found to be fighting against God.
The Apostle's message must have been from God
cuz it's still alive and kicking today.
They agreed with
Gamaliel, yet they beat the Apostles and they commanded that they shouldn't
speak in the name of Jesus, and they let them go.
BIBLICAL SUFFERING FACTS
CHRISTIAN SUFFERING FOR GOD AS OTHERS DID
The Apostles left
the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for
Jesus' name, and daily in the Temple and in every house, they didn't stop
teaching and preaching Jesus Christ.
If anyone ever
tries to make you feel ashamed because you're a Christian, because you
believe in Christ, and His teachings, and because you reflect that in your
lifestyle, rejoice, because your unworthiness in man's eyes, is worthiness
in God's. People find it offensive when you speak about your Christian
beliefs? Hot Dog! You're more of a disciple than you know! Rejoice, and
again I say, REJOICE!
What would have happened
if the Apostles remained silent? When you decide to be a disciple, be
careful not to be like Ananias and Sapphira, and hold back anything because
you're afraid to jump in with both feet or because you won't feel secure
about how society feels about you as a Christian.
BIBLICAL SUFFERING CONCLUSION
CHRISTIAN SUFFERING FOR GOD SUMMARY
Jesus is counting on you
to speak boldly, and to rejoice at the consequences. Deep inside you know,
and that little voice inside that says, You shoulda said something, or, Show
them the light, is the Holy Spirit, moving you in the right direction.
Listen. You'll sleep better. You'll feel better. You'll live better.
Can't wait for
next time when we share more Daily Bread. Until then, God Bless!
CONTINUE TO THE NEXT STUDY
TESTAMENT DAILY BREAD
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