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FROM THE SERVANT GENERAL
 

FROM THE SERVANT GENERAL

ON EVANGELIZATION AND MISSION
(Part 105)

COMMISSIONED TO PREACH THE GOSPEL – 9


May 2, 2019
Today’s reading: Acts 5:27-33


Once again, in the incident of the apostles being brought before the Sanhedrin, we see the preaching of the gospel in concise form. Our CLS gives the same basic message, providing the same basic elements, and its being given even in just one day is sufficient. Though a longer time is better, we take whatever opportunity is afforded as, just as in the case of the apostles with the Sanhedrin.

  • Sessions #1: Jesus the Messiah. “The God of our ancestors raised Jesus, though you had him killed by hanging him on a tree. God exalted him at his right hand as leader and savior” (v.30-31a).
  • Session #2: Called to Witness. “We are witnesses of these things” (v.32a).
  • Session #3: Repentance and Faith. “…. to grant Israel repentance and forgiveness of sins.” (v.31b).
  • Session #4: The Gift of the Holy Spirit. “…. as is the holy Spirit that God has given to those who obey him.” (v.32b).

Now in this particular incident, it is important to realize two basic things.

One, we proclaim the gospel in obedience to the commission given by Jesus himself. The Sanhedrin, composed of the religious leaders at the time, had told them, “We gave you strict orders to stop teaching in that name.” (v.28a). Peter and the apostles replied, “We must obey God rather than men.” (v.29). If our Church is losing her missionary fervor, we must be the ones to go on proclaiming the gospel. If those who lead us in the Church say we must focus on immigration or climate change or social justice issues rather than confronting sexual immorality, we must look to Jesus’ and the Church’s age-old teachings rather than the modernist views of many today, including clerics. We are servants of the Lord Jesus, and soldiers in the army of the Spirit. We obey God rather than men.

Two, there will always be opposition when we proclaim the gospel. With opposition comes oppression and persecution. “When they heard this, they became infuriated and wanted to put them to death.” (v.33). The powers-that-be today are persecuting Christians all over the world, even in so-called Christian nations. What Christians face is martyrdom in such places as the Middle East, India and Africa, and suppression in such places as the Western world. But this was the lot of Jesus, his apostles and disciples, and the Church throughout the centuries. It is part and parcel of the life and witness of an authentic Christian.

The world will oppose and persecute us, as we hear from them, “Yet you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching” (v.28b). Let us proclaim the gospel of salvation in Jesus not just in Jerusalem, not just in Judea and Samaria, but to the ends of the earth.

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