A Choice to Make

And as they were speaking to the people, the priests and the captain of the temple and the Sadducees came upon them, greatly annoyed because they were teaching the people and proclaiming in Jesus the resurrection from the dead. And they arrested them and put them in custody until the next day, for it was already evening. But many of those who had heard the word believed, and the number of the men came to about five thousand. [1]

While the rulers and representatives of Israel manifested a spirit of opposition, and even resorted to violent measures by arresting the two apostles, the testimony of the man who was healed along with the proclamation of the word had made a profound impression on a large number of unprejudiced and disinterested hearers; these were entirely convinced, were led to faith, and were converted. I would submit to you that it was not the event itself that had occurred (the miracle which they had witnessed), that induced them to believe; it had created simply wonder and amazement, ch. 3:10 ff.; it was, rather, the word of the apostles, their testimony concerning Christ, which wrought faith in them.

Now, just as Christ was predicted to be the fall of some, and the rising again of others [Luke 2:34], so, too, opposite effects were produced in the present case: the whole occurrence caused some to come to a positive decision, so that they became believers; others decided against the message and assumed the form of positive hostility. It was an occasion which led all to decide in their hearts either for, or against Christ.

Let’s not kid ourselves, the Gospel always has this effect when proclaimed.  It is the power of God for salvation to those who believe, but ultimately it’s a choice.  Is Christ who he claimed to be; the savior of the world?  If he is, then we have a choice to make; follow him or go our own way.  Sometimes, those choosing to go their own way will make it hard on those who believe, like the religious people in our text did by arresting the Apostles.

This means that we as Christians should be ready to sacrifice our personal comfort so that people who are ready to believe may hear the message.  I’m glad that Peter and John were of that company of people who were willing to make that sacrifice.  How about you today?  Remember, it takes a bold step on our part to step out daily, see what opportunities the Lord opens up and then be ready to give voice to the gospel so that some may hear and believe.

[1] The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2001). (Ac 4:1–4). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.

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