Go...Stand...Speak!

Go... Stand... Speak!

Acts 5: 19-20

The disciples were arrested.
Not only Peter in John, but probably the 12.
The success of the Christian cause had the effect we might have anticipated.
It aroused the intense hostility of the enemies of the Lord.
So, the disciples were arrested.

But bars and doors and chains cannot shut out those whom God would have to enter.
They also can never shut in those who God would have escape.
The hour had come for God's intervening hand, and all the power of man cannot prevent God
from carrying out His purposes.

In the middle of the night, an angel of the Lord comes and releases the prisoners.
He told them, "Go and stand in the temple and speak to the people all the words of life."
We must notice that their release was not for their personal benefit.

  • They were not told to slip away and hide.
  • They were not even told to avoid getting arrested again.
  • They were not told to change the things they were saying.
  • They were not told to keep quiet and not offend the Sanhedrin.
    They were released to further the gospel.
    They were told to "Go... stand... speak..."

    As surely as the angel of the Lord freed the apostles, we in Christ, have also been freed.
    Sin, no longer has dominion over us.
  • God has freed us and is freeing us from bad habits, wrong attitudes, and desperate circumstances.
  • God intervened when the apostles were in prison.
    We often pray for the direct intervention of God, and right now!
    We often wonder why it does not come.
    Our prayer for intervention should be:

    To ask God to deliver us in His own time and way.
    Then to expect His deliverance at some time and in some way.
    To wait in patient endurance until His time has come.
    To recognize His gracious hand in whatever ways He may be pleased to act.

    The angel told the disciples to "go."
    They did go! They went at once!
    They were in the temple courts early in the morning.

    We are to go.
    We are to run with the glad tidings.
    We must take the first opportunity as the Holy Spirit leads us, and when someone is ready to
    listen.
    Let us tell of the good news that we have learned at the feet of Jesus.

    This was their primary business.
    "Go," said the angel. Go before anything else.
    This is your chief business.
    It is also our chief business.

    Most of us would have been tempted to linger just a little to find out how the angel released the
    prisoners.
    You know how curious we are.
    We just have to know everything.
    The angel opened the doors, and yet, they were closed when the officers came.

    The pressing command was "Go... stand... speak to the people."

    This is our commission!

    "Go, stand in the temple."
    Go to the place where the people assemble.
    They come by the numbers.
    Go where all can see you.
    Standup and stand out.
    Let your voice be heard.
    Go, stand in the temple -- the most public place in Jerusalem.

    This was the most likely place to find attentive hearers.
    The noise will not be like the sheep-market and the bazaar.
    The object is to make the gospel known.
    Therefore, stand in the chief place.

    It is easy to witness in our church before others who share our views.
    It is more difficult to witness in the office before skeptics.
    It is more difficult to witness on the streets.
    It is difficult to witness to those who are openly hostile.
    It is difficult to witness to our relatives and friends who know us.

    But, "Go, stand in the temple."
    They were to go back to the temple where they were arrested.

    We are to go back to our homes.
    We are to go back to our everyday life.
    This is where we are to tell about Jesus.

    The disciples were told to go back, and they did.
    They were back on John about daybreak. (Verse 21)

    It is in church that most of us are challenged to go.
    But many of our church members do not even attend Sunday school.
    They're not willing to give God and extra hour on the Lord's day.
    They are simply telling the world that God's Word doesn't mean very much to them.
    It is tragic to think that other things are more important to them.

    Those early Christians were dedicated.
    Let's face it that is the difference!
    That's why they were out at daybreak teaching.

    "Go... stand ... and speak to the people all the words of life."
    They were instructed to teach the people all the words of life.
    They were to speak all those words which tell the good news of Jesus Christ to their fellow-
    citizens.
    They were to speak on the great subject of the new life, the spiritual life which they had been
    living in Christ.

    Stand and speak!
    Stand and speak all the words of this new life in Christ not your own opinions, and not your
    own message.
    Stand and proclaim of that life that is free from death.

    Stand and speak to the people!
    Stand and speak to all the people.
    Stand and speak to the individual.
    Stand and speak to the masses.
    Stand and speak to the affluent.
    Stand and speak to the poor and needy.

    The gospel is good news to all people, and it is to be preached to every person.

    If we take the word, "people," in its popular sense, it has a lesson to all who teach the Word.
    Some focus on the intellectuals.
    Some focus on the down and outs.

    A minister whose congregation numbered about 40 rejoiced in the smallness of it.
    He professed that a greater work could be done with a few rather than with a large number.
    A friend responded to him by suggesting that he inferred from the minister's statement that a
    greater work could be done with no people at all.

    This reduces the argument to an absurdity.
    This would infer that the better a pastor preaches the smaller his congregation will become.

    Our business is to reach people all people!
    People all about us are perishing.
    They are dying without Christ!

    Let us pray that God will give us the vision to see people in their lost, dying condition.
    We are to "speak all the words of this life."

    This life is Christ.
    We are to proclaim Christ.
    He is the way, the truth, and the life.
    We have the "Words of Life," there are no other words.

    We are to tell about all the great truths concerning eternal life.
    We are to speak about all the words of this life.

    And oh, what words they are!

    Jesus Christ!

    In the 42nd verse we read, "And they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ."
    Jesus has the words of eternal life.
    We are to tell of His deity, His manhood, His life, His death, His resurrection, His ascension.
    We are to tell that He is seated at the right hand of God.
    We are to tell of His intercession.
    We are to tell that He is coming again.

    Regeneration!

    "Ye must be born again."

    Grace!

    "By grace are you saved through faith."

    Eternal life!

    John 3: 16 tells us that if we will trust in Jesus, we will never die.

    The indwelling Holy Spirit!

    We are to tell of God's precious Spirit who lives within us, and guides us and comforts us.

    There is no question that all of us are to "go... stand... and speak."
    Yet, there are those here who have never told anyone the good news of Jesus Christ.
    Can you point to a single person that you have ever spoken to about the things of God.
    There are those who attend church who have never publicly confessed Christ before men.

    Are you satisfied to be silent?
    Surely not -- silence is shameful.
    Silence is sinful.

    Are you content to let loved ones sink beneath surging tide of sin without sharing the good news
    with them?

    We must tell!
    We must speak up!

    What are you left on earth to do?
    You have been redeemed to serve... to speak!
    Tell the lost and lonely of the love of Jesus!

    Let's be honest.
    All of us can do more than we are doing.
    We can do more to learn of God's Word.
    We can do more teaching and preaching.

    We must confess that we are not our own and that we have been bought with a price.
    We have no right to our own selfish ways.
    Let us commit ourselves to greater faithfulness.
    Many are not even faithful to attend worship services on Sunday night.
    Many never attend Wednesday prayer services.

    If we are not in attendance when God's people are meeting, we should be ashamed.
    We are telling the world that other things are more important than the things of God.
    We must be more than hearers only!

    Sermon by Dr. Harold L. White