We gave you strict orders not to teach in this name. —Acts 5:28
Then they ordered them not to speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go. —Acts 5:40
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. —Acts 5:41
We were told not to talk about Jesus to the men anymore by our Chief Petty Officer. How could we stop? We continued to do so. It was not long after that incident that some of us who had trusted Jesus were shipped off to a new assignment hundreds of miles away.
What can we do when authorities tell us not to speak about Jesus when He has told us to go into all the world to be witnesses and to make disciples? (Matthew 28:19-20: Acts 1:8). Did Jesus tell us to go into the world to be witnesses and make disciples unless someone objected and then we do not have to obey Him? No, He told us to go and to do so. He also warned us that we would be hated for His very Name’s sake (Matthew 24:9). There are many who will hate us because they hate the VERY NAME OF JESUS and all He stands for! If we are to be hated by people it should only be because of our love for Jesus and nothing else.
Have you ever been in a situation where you have been told not to speak about Jesus? I was riding in a van pool when I used to work at a shipyard. One day I got into a discussion with the driver and owner of the van. He got so upset (he brought up the subject) and with hatred in his eyes told me not to speak about Jesus in his van. Of course, then there are those who do not want to talk about Jesus because they are “all set.” It is sad when a person says that. It reminds me of concrete that is “all set” and hard as a rock.
Then there is the public educational system where we are told not to speak about Jesus and there have been many students who have been suspended or kick out of school for talking about Jesus. When I was doing substitute teaching I would tell the students stories— Bible stories and Bible related stories— they wanted to hear stories.
When an individual does not what to hear about Jesus, that is their choice and we do not just keep on talking to them. Although when I was a crane operator there was an instructor was in the crane one day and the conversation turn to spiritual things. He told me not to speak to him about Jesus again. OK, I said, “If that is your desire.” A few weeks later he was in the crane again and the conversation once again turn to spiritual things because of his conversation. He had just been to a funeral. I gave my input about Jesus and he got so mad that he said he was going to get me fired. I told him, “Well, do what you think you need to do.” I was not fired.
We are to bear witness about Jesus. A government, an educational system, a work-place— all these places may tell us not to speak about Jesus, but we are commanded by Jesus to do so. Now, we have to be wise when we are sharing about Jesus that we do so at the proper time, but we are never to stop bearing witness to Jesus. We need to be living what we are saying. People should see we love Jesus.
In the U.S. we do not get much opposition… or is it that we are not sharing the gospel much and that is why we do not get much opposition? Hmmmm…
Dear Father, please help us to be faithful witnesses, sharing the gospel regularly.