Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Why It's Important To Please God Rather Than People?
Acts 5:27-29

You simply cannot always please people and please God at the same time...  If we are going to be effective Christians, it is important to focus on pleasing God rather than people.

Kim Davis was the Kentucky clerk, who was held in contempt of court for refusing to issue same-sex marriage licenses to gay couples.  For doing this, Kim was sent to jail.  Kim said,  she is being "forced to disobey her God" by allowing her office to issue licenses to gay couples.  Kim Davis, who is a democrat, felt so strongly that God would not be pleased if she issued marriage licenses to gay couples, that she was willing to go to jail for her belief.   

What about you?  Are you willing to endure the criticism of people and persecution of people in order to please God?  Put another way, are you a God pleaser, or are you a people pleaser.

If you are going to be an effective Christian for Jesus Christ, you must be willing at some point, to take a stand for God.

In our text, Acts 5:27 The apostles were brought in and made to appear before the Sanhedrin to be questioned by the high priest. Acts 5:28 “We gave you strict orders not to teach in this name,” he said. “Yet you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching and are determined to make us guilty of this man’s blood.” Acts 5:29 Peter and the other apostles replied: “We must obey God rather than human beings! Acts 5:33 When they heard this, they were furious and wanted to put them to death.

1. Pleasing God sometimes means disobeying people.

Acts 5:28 “We gave you strict orders not to teach in this name,” he said. “Yet you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching.

Most times, you cannot please people, and please God.   This is because unregenerate man is cannot understand God.  They think Christians are foolish for obeying Him.   Please look at: 1 Cor. 2:14 "The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit." 

Over my years of building a ministry, I have learned that it is far better to disobey people and honor God.  For example, todays society teaches that each religion is equally true.  Therefore, we should never attempt to convert others to faith in Jesus Christ, because all roads lead to God anyway. (false)

I was told several times not to hand out Bible tracts to people and talk to them about Jesus because it is wrong to offend others.  Jesus, however, stated that I am the only way to salvation. (see John 14:6).  To obey people, would mean allowing the lost to go to Hell without ever hearing about Jesus.

People would have been pleased, but God would not be pleased.  

2. Pleasing God sometimes means that we are called to be a witness for  God.

Acts 5:28 “We gave you strict orders not to teach in this name,” he said. “Yet you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching.

We live in a time where the name of Jesus is not welcome.   He is not welcome in the military. He is not welcome in the public schools.   He is not welcome in the Universities.

I remember, being a freshman in college, and the professor was teaching that we did not come from God, we evolved from apes.  After class, I spoke to him about what he said.  We had a long conversation about God and what I believed.  Although he defended his position, I still had an obligation to speak up for Jesus Christ.

Would you speak up for Jesus?  Today, we live in a culture where intellectual intimidation is practiced. People who do not believe what the larger context of society believes are either silenced or ridiculed.  To question the assumptions of evolution, the ethics of abortion, or the morality of gay marriage, is to submit yourself to ridicule and persecution. 

However, scripture teaches us that Christ holds a special place in heaven for those who would speak up for him.

Matthew 5:19 (ASV) Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

3. Pleasing God will cause the Angels and the resources of heaven to be at your disposal.

Acts 5:18They laid hands on the apostles and put them in a public jail. 19But during the night an angel of the Lord opened the gates of the prison, and taking them out he said, 20"Go, stand and speak to the people in the temple the whole message of this Life."…

God will stand up for you when your enemies try to do you harm.

David said, yeah though I travel through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil because the Lord is with me.  When God is with you, the devil might think he has you locked up, but when the Lord is with you, he will set you free every time.

The apostles were locked in prison, but God sent an Angel to set them free.

Have you ever been in a bind?  Are you in a bind now?  Remember, you have the entire host of heaven on your side.  But, you must be willing to stand for him!

A few years ago, my wife Sandra and I were in a bind.  We were named in a lawsuit involving property that we did not own.  

The man had named us in the suit because we were a church, and he figured that he could get money from us.   We were obligated to pay the man over $20,000.  However, God's angels were released on our behalf.  After much prayer, God sent an angel to reversed the decision.  The man ended up losing his property in a mortgage foreclosure.  We were released from the debt.   

If you chose to please God, God will release His heavenly resources to you.  He did the same thing for me, Peter, the early church time and time again, and he will do it for you.