Christianity is under attack.
Apparently, at least currently, it’s OK to believe in God and even to talk about Him but Jesus is taboo. Many of us have read news reports detailing school administrators stepping in to prohibit graduates from giving thanks to Jesus during ceremonies.
Many of us have read about children being forbidden from singing songs about Jesus in school talent shows or Christmas (holiday) specials. Many of us have read about military chaplains being threatened with court-martial by higher-ups for using the name of Jesus in counseling soldiers.
The only way this works is if we ignore the Bible. We are told in Ephesians Chapter 1 that God the Father raised Jesus from the dead, seated Him at His right hand, “far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age, but also in the one to come. And He put all things in subjection under His feet, and gave Him as head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fulness of Him who fills all in all”.
A Christian is a follower of Jesus, who believes Jesus is the Christ (Messiah) whom God sent to pay for the sins of all who would put their faith and trust in Him. We believe that Jesus is God because only a perfect human without blemish or spot could stand as a sacrifice for us to take the punishment that we deserved. If you take Jesus away then we are condemned in our sins and will be separated from God for eternity.
Two thousand years ago the same thing was going on. We are told in the book of Acts that the religious leaders of that day put Peter and the apostles in jail to try to silence them. How foolish to try to silence the word of God! An angel of the Lord came during the night, released them from jail, and told them to go to the temple and teach the message of life.
When they were confronted in the temple by the religious leaders and the Senators and told to stop preaching in the name of Jesus, Peter gave a powerful response. He said, “We must obey God 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 whom God exalted to His right hand as a Prince and a Savior, to grant repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins. And we are witnesses to these things; and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey Him”.
To those who would like to silence us like the religious leaders 2,000 years ago, we give the same answer. We must obey God rather than men!
He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.” Mark 16:15.
Noel Reese is the pastor at Calvary Chapel Rio Vista. He can be reached at www.calvarychapelriovista.com