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FBCWest 539 | Praying without Ceasing

Praying without Ceasing | Poster

Recorded On: 01/22/2023


Hymn # 325 “Footsteps of Jesus”

SCRIPTURE READING – 1 John 1:1 - 5
Giving of Selves and Our Offerings

Praise and Worship
“Way Maker”
“Raise a Hallelujah”

Proclamation of the Word
Message by Pastor Joe
“Resolved to Obey and Worship Only the Lord, God”
“Rejoicing to Suffer for Christ”

PRAYER TIME / Time of Reflection
“Another in the Fire”

Benediction “There Is Freedom”
Sermon Notes

Acts 5:17 & 18 Because of the High Priest’s and leaders’ jealousy they had apostles arrested and thrown into jail
Acts 5:19 & 20 An angel of the Lord freed them and instructed them to give the whole message of Life in the Temple
Acts: 5:21 – 24 Officers were sent to bring the Apostles to the High Priest the prison was found securely locked and guards at their station but the Apostles were not there
Acts 5:25 & 26 The captain and officers went and brought the Apostles back to the proceedings
Acts 5:27 & 28 The High Priest question them and said we gave you strict orders not to speak about Jesus
Acts 5:29 – 32 Peter states that they must obey God rather than men and witnessed to those who were present
Acts 5:33 They were cut to the quick and want to kill them

Gamaliel gives counsel
Acts 5:40 The leaders accept the advice and repeat their demand that they not speak of Jesus and flogged them
Acts 5:41 The Apostles left rejoicing that they were considered worth to suffer for Jesus
Acts 5:42 They continued to teach and preach


Transcript of Service


We've been going through a series briefly here on the fact that we are to worship, obey the Lord, our God only, and bow not our knee at anyone else. And we've taken a look at two different occasions of that one where three young Hebrew men refused to bow down and worship an idol, and they were thrown into a furnace, a blazing fire, and the Lord was with them and they survived.And nothing had any impact on them. No, there wasn't singed their clothes didn't smell of of well, nothing. And then we saw Daniel, who continued to pray without ceasing, whether he was told that he can only pray to the king. And he continued to do what he had always done and prayed three times toward Jerusalem for the deliverance of his people. He found himself in a lion's den in both of those instances. We didn't bring it up. There was something about these two events that the people who participated in it then they didn't say, Woe is me, how unfairly am I treated? This isn't right. We as Americans have a tendency to, when we suffer persecution or or at least ridicule or mocking that that we think, oh, it's so undeserved and maybe God has abandoned us.

And I want him to look at this particular reason, because that is not the case for us. There is a sense that if if you raise children or you've been around people, there is a sense that we always tell people there's only one thing that you can control your attitude and there's kind of a sense of it's like the young person who's making and building a Archimedes screw. Now, if you don't know what that is, you can look it up. But they're trying to make it and they're discouraged and say, I can't build it. And then someone apparently owns it. You need to be positive. And so they'll respond and positive. I can't build or we're kind of like the person who buys two lottery tickets and one of the tickets is the maximum jackpot and multimillions dollars are being paid out. And the second lottery ticket didn't get anything. And you're upset because you bought the second ticket. Know, we tend to always think we only want the blessings and outcome and whatever. And so I want to take a look at these people who happened to be Peter and John, who decided to do what God had called them to do and not what man had told them, not to do and their attitude.

So in the context here that Jesus was crucified and laid in the tomb and was raised from the dead on the third day, and there was an excitement and a change in his disciples and they became encouraged. And Jesus didn't just hang around for the first. After the first week he was with them for an additional 40 days. And then after those four days, he said, Not many days from now, this Holy Spirit will come upon you and you will be bull witnesses. And He will tell them that they were to be his witnesses, starting in Jerusalem and then in Judea and Samaria, and through the uttermost parts of the earth. And so after that, 40 days he leaves. And ten days later is Pentecost. And the Holy Spirit does come upon them. And they start speaking in other languages and people start wondering why. And Peter preaches a sermon and 3000 people come to know the law. And then throughout the rest of the time, people are coming daily and becoming converted and they're sharing all things and, and, and there's a unique experience. And then Peter and John decide that they're going to the temple to pray. And as they go, there's a young man who is lame and he's begging. And Peter says, Silver and gold, have I known? But what I do have, I give you, He says, Rise up in the name of Jesus and walk. And he begins to walk and he's jumping and he's praising God. And Peter preaches another message. But in between these two messages, the Sanhedrin and other religious leaders had arrested them and told them that they were not to preach this Jesus. And they impress upon him sternly that they were to keep quiet. And Peter says, Well, you be the judge. Whether it's right for us to obey man or God, we kind of puts it on their shoulders, you know?

But what do you think? Are we supposed to obey men or God?

Well, after this second series, the Peter then preaches another sermon. 5000 people are converted. While with this all, Jerusalem is in an uproar and things are happening. And now the religious authorities have had enough. And in Acts Chapter IV, verse 17 and starts. But the high priests rose up along with the associate that is the sect of Sadducees, and they were filled with jealousy. Now, you've got both religious parties upset here. You've got the Pharisees who do believe in a resurrection and insurgencies who don't believe in a resurrection, but neither one are happy that they're talking about Jesus, who rose from the dead and all of these people being converted to the way, but they laid hands on the apostles and put them in a public jail. A During the night, an angel, the Lord opened the gates of the prison and taking that, he said, Go start then and speak to the people in the temple. The whole message of this light upon hearing this, they entered into the temple about daybreak, began to teach. Now the high priest and the his associates came and they called the council together, even all the Senate of the Sons of Israel. And they sent orders to the prison house for them to be brought. But the officers who came did not find them in the prison and returned and reported back, saying we found the prison house locked quite securely and the guards standing at the door. But when that when it was opened up, we found no one inside.

Now, when the captain of the temple guard and the chief priest heard these things, these were they were greatly perplexed about them as to what would come about of this. So they're arrested, they're thrown in jail for the night because you can't have the court proceedings during the evening. So they wait been accused, thrown in jail, and now they're going to have their hearing, but they're not there. Everything's locked up tight. God, in his miraculous abilities, sent an angel not to open the prison door, but to get them out. But the door still locked. You see, we always want to tell God what to do and how to do it. God does things far greater and better than we could ever imagine. So he gets them out of prison. Jail. But he doesn't do so by opening up or knocking out the prison guard. He just takes them out of the jail. And no one can figure out how this happened. But someone came and reported to them. The man whom you put in the prison are standing in the temple and teaching the people. Now, see, they were arrested for doing this very thing and had been told sternly, you're not to do it. But their response was, We're going to listen to you and listen to God. Then the captain went along with the officers and proceeded to bring them back without violence, or they were afraid of the people that they might be stoned. Now, I want you to again notice two things. The guard who went to arrest them are afraid of the people.

Now, Peter and John could have said, we're going to take this opportunity to be protected by the people and we're not going with you because they don't want us. They don't want you to, but they comply. And they went so that no violence would happen, Even though there was fear of mine when they had brought them, they stood them before the council, the high priest question saying We gave you strict orders not to continue teaching in this name, and yet you have filled Jerusalem with all your teaching ever intended to bring this man's blood upon it. So we have told you not to do it. We've told you not to teach. And you keep doing this not only, but you're trying to. In essence, their thinking is to get the people all riled up that they will take them on because they were responsible for Jesus's death, burial and resurrection. But Peter and the apostles answered, We, I want you to know this must obey God rather than He didn't say it's a good idea. He didn't say we choose to. He said we must obey God rather than men. All too often we want to obey God. When the majority of people say it's okay to obey God. But we're living in a time where it's less and less going to be popular to obey God. Because, you know, you Christians, you're so narrow minded. You think that Jesus is the only way to the Father. And it wasn't our idea as Jesus, who is the only way The father told us that we're only following the teachings of our Lord, and He has told us to be His witnesses in Jerusalem and in Judea and Samaria, in the uttermost parts of the world. And that's where we are and the uttermost parts of the world.

And we are to be his witnesses and we are to do that regardless of the consequence, regardless of whether people applaud it or market, we must obey the law rather than men. The God of our fathers raised up Jesus whom you had put to death by hanging him on a cross. He is the one who God exalted to his right hand as a prince and as Savior to grant repentance to Israel and the forgiveness of sin. Now you see, Peter is preaching the gospel to those who would never hear it unless they were arrested because there weren't interested in him. They weren't going to go to a revival meeting, they weren't going to go to church. They weren't what they were going to do, what they're going to do. And in this situation where they were arrested and instructed not to and told you're not to do this under penalty, they said, we're going to do it.

We must obey God. And Peter chooses to preach to them. It is an intimacy know we're going to do what we're going to do because God told us to do it. He continues and preaches and teaches to them. Maybe God put you in an uncomfortable situation for the very purpose of being able to give the testimony of him in that situation where you would not otherwise be able And we are witnesses of these things, and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who will be innocent. We saw Jesus crucified, we saw him buried, and we saw him alive. And we are testifying to this. And not only us, the Holy Spirit also has testified who Jesus is, and he's been doing so. And at Pentecost and at the resurrection and the raising of the slain man and the recall of these 5000. God is doing a work.

The Holy Spirit is working in the lives here in Jerusalem. And he's not only working in Peter and John, but in those 8000 people plus who gave their lives. But they heard when they heard this, they were cut to the quit and it's still intended to kill. You see, in our wonderful many series how we like to watch the movies, there is an opening and everything is wonderful. Then there's conflict, then there's resolution. And usually that resolution is good. My wife loves a good ending. She hates bad. And there's a I won't name the movie, but there is a particular movie When it starts, the the main actor is going to die because he's already drinking some poison or something and there is no cure and he's going to die. And at the end of the movie he dies and my wife's upset because he die. And I go, But I told you that at the beginning, but I was hoping there would be some change. She's a positive person. She's not the one that says, I'm positive it's going to fail. She's always hope for the best. They were preaching these responses.

They were convicted, but rather than responding to the Lord as their Lord and savior, they decided, let's get rid of them. Let's build them. Male who is a rabbi, intercedes. They'll get me out. Was Saul, who later became a mentor, and he gives them counsel. He goes, You know, guys, we've kind of had this experience before. There have been others who have come who claim to have been Messiah, and we've dealt with them. And sometimes we put them down and sometimes whatever. He goes, Let's, let's look at it. If if there's anything to this, if God's in it, then we're going to be in in great difficulty because we're working against God. And if God isn't in it, it's just going to fall apart. Well, let's just not do anything. Let's let's just stay calm. This not kill them, because if we kill them, we'll make the martyrs. It will make it worse. This is if they took his advice and after calling the apostles, then they flogged them and they ordered them not to speak in the name of Jesus and then released. They flogged them. They didn't. They didn't just take a ruler and snap their little fingers and say, Naughty boys. They beat them stripes on their back. Now, they could have used the cat of nine tails and ripped the flesh off. They just simply flogged them, simply for you. And I would say I thought God was going to come and deliver. I mean, he he kept three Hebrew young men safe. Yeah. Daniel Say, yeah, they were going to kill them and they don't. But they flogged them. They beat them. There was great pain inflicted and then told not to teach and preach Jesus again.

And then they let them go. And so they went on their way from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they had been considered worthy to suffer this shame or his name. Awesome. What a response to being persecuted that they instead of going, Woe is me, God failed me. It's terrible. No, maybe next time I won't say anything. They rejoice at the opportunity to have been considered worthy because perhaps they took Jesus's teaching seriously. And Jesus said the student, The disciple is not above his master and if they persecute me, they will persecute you.

You also very early in his ministry, had a sermon that we call the Sermon on the Mount. And as a part of that sermon, he said, Blessed are those who are persecuted or my namesake or great as they're rewarded. So maybe, perhaps they were thinking that they were considered so valuable and worthy to suffer that in exchange that they were going to receive riches in heaven.

Added and instead of saying what was the. And like I said, we didn't see in the Hebrew men, we didn't see in Daniel this rejoice in or I believe it was understood because they never rebuked anybody. They never complained to God. Matter of fact, they said all can live forever. They had no resentment for those who persecuted them because they were worthy to suffer for his things.

What is or will be our attitude when it is no longer popular to be a believer now in our country? For a number of years it has been okay to be a matter of fact, there is a section in our country, all the Bible Belt, and a lot of people went to church, not necessarily because they were believers, but because it was socially acceptable to go to church. And if you didn't go to church, maybe people wouldn't give you business. There's going to come a time that is not going to be popular to attend church or to worship. There are certainly places throughout the world today that that is the case, whether it be those of other religions that do not tolerate Christians or other secularists or atheists or whoever who do not tolerate our faith, do we worship him because he's our Lord or do we worship him because men say it's okay to do and notice?

And every day in the temple and from house to house, they kept right on teaching and preaching Jesus as the Christ. It didn't matter how they were instructed, it didn't matter how they were punished. It didn't matter whether they were placed in prison or not. God had told them to be his witnesses in Jerusalem, and that's where they were and that's what they were going to do. Now, we're not in Jerusalem. We're in the uttermost part of the world. And he has told us to be his witnesses. Now, I admit you can't tell people that you saw Jesus rise from the dead. But if he has revealed himself to you and you have declared him as savior and Lord and he's welling in you, then you can tell people that he is and buried, that he is alive and well, and not only walk in the world, he's walking and living inside of me. You can be a witness of what you know and what you've experienced. You don't give a testimonial about what somebody else did. You give a testimony, what it has done for you. We love to hear testimonies about people who have been drug addicted or whatever, and they've gone off drugs and now they're living a holy life. We wonder, that's a wonderful death when I tell you another wonderful testament person who grew up in church loved the Lord, knew that God existed, and gave their selves to Him at an early age and never wandered from his presence and was faithful to him as he was faithful to them.

What a wonderful test of my testimony is not your testimony, nor testimonies that might. But we should be willing to test and we should be willing to do so. Whether or not it is popular and whether or not we are persecuted from it. And we should always remember these two who said I have been counted were to suffer for it may maybe the reason we have been suffering for him the way we are, because he knows that we don't have much of a and at the first opportunity we would chicken out. Maybe there are those of us who say, Bring it on. You can tell me what you want to tell, but I'm going to obey God and I'm going to worship and I'm going to serve him only. And if you persecute me, I'm not above my mouth and I am going to rejoice and sing his praise since I've been counted word and I am going to be richer and richer in heaven.

Now let's and I bring this up and I'm the brand of one this other time. We want the nicest house that we can afford. We want the nicest car we can afford. Matter of fact, we want a nicer house and a nicer car than we can afford. So we go overly well to get those things. And there are people who will give you counsel like saying what you need to do is live in the nicest, richest community that you can afford, even if you could only afford a room there, because we think that it's great to associate with rich people and powerful people and we need to be in those places.

And we like luxury and we like nice things. And we we we like what we like. We like those things who are only temporary now, always loving. We're going to have our forever house forever. Ours is going to last for maybe 30 years and then you're going to be gone. Then it's going to be somebody else's house. But Jesus is preparing a place for us in heaven that will be our forever.

How? And if we're not satisfied living in Orange County and we complain that we can't be in Malibu, on beach and whatever, what makes you think you're being satisfied with just the basics and have Why not be rich? Why not be you? You name their billionaire there? Plenty of them. And I don't want to give them any more credit.

What if you were that person and have and then you would say, you know why I'm this person? Heaven is a Jesus. I'm only here because you I'm living in his house in a neighborhood known as heaven, because our God. Well, I can't think of a better place than that. And oh, woe is me or awesome.

All God's people said.

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