Getting Arrested

“And they put them into custody until the next day, for it was already evening. But many of those who heard the word believed and the number of the men came to about five thousand.”  Acts 4:3-4

This morning, I found myself thinking deeply about “Getting arrested.”  Now, do not make assumptions here.  I am not involved in anything where I need to be arrested nor am I wanting to be.  But consider this fact, “This very day many of our brothers and sisters in Christ are living with the reality that they could be arrested for their faith.”

Here in America we are still able to worship in freedom.  But in much of the world, those who  know Christ daily place their lives on the line.  As I thought about this, something amazing stood out, “The church persecuted grows and the church peaceful slows.”   Many churches in America are slowing in their gospel growth.  However the church around the world is growing as they sow the gospel.

Consider the early church.  Acts 4 relates the story of how the leaders in the church were arrested for the Gospel.  However the gospel was going forth in great strength.  What was the difference?  The difference was in what the people were doing that caused them to be arrested.

Here is a simple outline of our verses for today, “Acts 4:1-27.”  They were teaching the word, Vs: 1-5.  Only the word of God has the power to confront people with their sin and their state of condemnation under the wrath of God.  Only the word of God has the power to cleanse sinners and only the word has the power to create a new heart within a sinner.

They were testifying to the power of the word, Vs: 5-12.  Brethren we must be giving witness to what God is doing in our midst.  Without our testimony the light of the gospel grows dark in our world.

They were being threatened for their stand, Vs: 13-22.  The threats did not stop the church.  This helped the church to know they were fighting the good fight of faith.

They were praying for God’s sovereign will to be accomplished, Vs: 23-27.  Here were a group of people who were more concerned for God’s will than they were their own will.  They knew God was in charge of all things and they knew God was for all they were attempting to do.

These simple things positioned the church to grow.  Yes, it did get them arrested, but it arrested the people with the truth and they turned from their sins to a Holy God.

Based on these characteristics, “Would there be enough evidence to get you and I arrested for the gospel?”  Be assured our goal is not to get arrested.  Our goal is to get the gospel to the world.  Oh how I pray you and I will be faithful even if means that we will be arrested.

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