While Peter and John were speaking to the people, they were confronted by the priests, the captain of the Temple guard, and some of the Sadducees. These leaders were very disturbed that Peter and John were teaching the people that through Jesus there is a resurrection of the dead. (Acts 4:1-2)
We live in a world where power + money = influence, and people are confronting the church. In these ways, our world is not much different than the world under Roman influence. Peter and John had no money and no power of their own, yet they and the early church gain influence.
If the Christian church wants to survive today, we should pay attention to history. What did Peter and John do to influence the growth of the early church? First, they preached that through Jesus there is a resurrection of the dead. Included in that message is God’s love and forgiveness, hope that we will spend eternity with God and our loved ones. So, why were the leaders disturbed with their message? Government then and now wants our hope to be in them so we will keep their leaders in power. Today, our government wants us to have hope they will provide money and equality for the poor and rights and respect for all.
But Government can’t provide the love and caring that each individual desperately needs. God’s love through His body of Christ can. Then, why does society have the opinion that Christians are judgmental, wanting to send others to hell? That we don’t respect and love those who have different sexual preferences than we do? It’s because some Christians aren’t focused on preaching God’s love and mercy through Jesus’ resurrection and spreading God’s love. They’re too busy judging and trying to change people instead of trusting God to do His work.
Father God, I praise you for your mercy. Point out someone whose values I don’t agree with. Give me the power of the Holy Spirit to enable me to love and respect them and trust You to change them if You feel they need changing. Lord, change me and help me to love all. In Jesus’ name, I pray, amen.