E-Group: Living an Evangelistic Life

Acts 5: 17-42

The Apostles Persecuted

 17 Then the high priest and all his associates, who were members of the party of the Sadducees, were filled with jealousy. 18 They arrested the apostles and put them in the public jail. 19 But during the night an angel of the Lord opened the doors of the jail and brought them out. 20 “Go, stand in the temple courts,” he said, “and tell the people all about this new life.”

 21 At daybreak they entered the temple courts, as they had been told, and began to teach the people.

   When the high priest and his associates arrived, they called together the Sanhedrin—the full assembly of the elders of Israel—and sent to the jail for the apostles. 22 But on arriving at the jail, the officers did not find them there. So they went back and reported, 23 “We found the jail securely locked, with the guards standing at the doors; but when we opened them, we found no one inside.” 24 On hearing this report, the captain of the temple guard and the chief priests were at a loss, wondering what this might lead to.

 25 Then someone came and said, “Look! The men you put in jail are standing in the temple courts teaching the people.” 26 At that, the captain went with his officers and brought the apostles. They did not use force, because they feared that the people would stone them.

 27 The apostles were brought in and made to appear before the Sanhedrin to be questioned by the high priest. 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.”

 29 Peter and the other apostles replied: “We must obey God rather than human beings! 30 The God of our ancestors raised Jesus from the dead—whom you killed by hanging him on a cross. 31 God exalted him to his own right hand as Prince and Savior that he might bring Israel to repentance and forgive their sins. 32 We are witnesses of these things, and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey him.”

 33 When they heard this, they were furious and wanted to put them to death. 34 But a Pharisee named Gamaliel, a teacher of the law, who was honored by all the people, stood up in the Sanhedrin and ordered that the men be put outside for a little while. 35 Then he addressed the Sanhedrin: “Men of Israel, consider carefully what you intend to do to these men. 36 Some time ago Theudas appeared, claiming to be somebody, and about four hundred men rallied to him. He was killed, all his followers were dispersed, and it all came to nothing. 37 After him, Judas the Galilean appeared in the days of the census and led a band of people in revolt. He too was killed, and all his followers were scattered. 38 Therefore, in the present case I advise you: Leave these men alone! Let them go! For if their purpose or activity is of human origin, it will fail. 39 But if it is from God, you will not be able to stop these men; you will only find yourselves fighting against God.”

 40 His speech persuaded them. They called the apostles in and had them flogged. Then they ordered them not to speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go.

 41 The apostles left the Sanhedrin, rejoicing because they had been counted worthy of suffering disgrace for the Name. 42 Day after day, in the temple courts and from house to house, they never stopped teaching and proclaiming the good news that Jesus is the Messiah.

 

 “Day after day, in the temple courts and from house to house, they never stopped teaching and proclaiming the good news that Jesus is the Christ.” (v. 42)

A careful reading and study of the passage above will reveal the kind and quality of life the early Church was pursuing. You will agree with me if I say that they truly had an evangelistic lifestyle. Let me share to you several of my significant observations about evangelism in the early Church from our passage.

One is that evangelism to them is the CONSTANT PROGRAM of the Church.

It never goes out of fashion. It is always the major program of the Church, day in and day out, 24/7, year in year out. Evangelism is always the “in” thing.

Second is that evangelism is the CONTINUOUS PROCLAMATION of the Church of the Gospel about the Lord Jesus Christ.

The Church, in both large context (temple courts) and small context (believers’ homes), continuously proclaims that Jesus is the Messiah, the promised Savior by Moses and the prophets. They never stop preaching and teaching that Jesus is our Savior and Lord.

 And thirdly, from this passage, I see and feel the CORPORATE PASSION of the Church to share the Good News about the Lord Jesus Christ to others.

“… They never stopped teaching and proclaiming…”

Though we are not there at that time, we can almost feel the passion and enthusiasm of these people in sharing Jesus to others. The proof of this truth is undeniable as we read through the rest of the Book of Acts. Indeed, they never stopped proclaiming Jesus as Savior and Lord and God blessed their ministry and they grew powerful and the Word spread far and wide.

 

E-CONQUEST: Become and Empowered

• For Christians, evangelism is not an option but a lifestyle.

 

This devotional was prepared by Pastor Val Natcher for the ECMI E-Conquest Campaign.  Please feel free to type in your comments, feedback in the space provided below.  We also encourage you to share your related testimonies so that as we publish it here, others may be encouraged as well.  God bless !
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