Act Four

the Attacked Church (w/o) (v.3)


The evil forces that attacked our Savior will attack His church. Like it or not, we are at war. Every conflict, battle and world war is simply a reflection of the battle between God’s good and sin’s evil. The greatest battle field is in the heart of man. Having said that, in the fourth chapter of Acts we see the church under fire.

The message of the church is not accommodating but exclusive. “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” These are fighting words. Peter and the first century New Testament Church did not attempt to “sugar coat” this. Their message was clear.

Today we are more diplomatic. I am not suggesting that we should be offensive, arrogant, or rude. I am suggesting that our message must be clear. “Ye must be born again.” If we think the boat we are in has a small leak we might, or might not, mention it to our fellow passengers. But, if we know the hull has been torn open and the bulkheads are collapsing, and the ocean is rushing in, we are not likely to sign up for shuffleboard that afternoon. That boat is sinking. These are extreme examples, but the point is the New Testament church had a sense of urgency in the delivery of their message. Trust in Christ's righteousness and not in any self-righteousness.

Self-righteous people are deeply offended at any suggestion that they are not “good enough” for God. Likewise, nothing will raise the ire of the irreverent more than to suggest that without faith in Christ they will perish. The offended will do everything in their power to stop such talk.

The religious authorities tried to shut Peter down for preaching without a permit (4:7). Peter and John made it clear that silence was not an option. “For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard” (v. 20). The problem with our generation is that

our churches are filled with people who have not seen or heard anything.

The fact is the world hates the message of Christ and the messenger. “The kings of the earth stood up, and the rulers were gathered together against the Lord, and against his Christ.” (4:26).