Thursday, December 21, 2017
Over Two Thousand Years The Devil Has Tried To Make The Name Of Jesus The Issue;The Dividing Point.You Can Talk About God, You Can Talk About Religion,You Can Do Anything,Just Don't Mention That Name.
Acts 4:15-17, “They sent them out of the room so they could work out a plan. They talked it over: “What can we do with these men? By now it’s known all over town that a miracle has occurred, and that they are behind it. There is no way we can refute that. But so that it doesn’t go any further, let’s silence them with threats so they won’t dare to use Jesus’ name ever again with anyone.” (MSG)
We're reading about a confrontation between the early apostles and the Sanhedrin, the religious ruling group of that day. Here's what they said to the apostles, “They sent them out of the room so they could work out a plan. They talked it over: “What can we do with these men? By now it’s known all over town that a miracle has occurred, and that they are behind it. There is no way we can refute that. But so that it doesn’t go any further, let’s silence them with threats so they won’t dare to use Jesus’ name ever again with anyone.” (Acts 4:15-17 MSG)
Well, believe it or not: The devil has a word he doesn't want to hear used, and it’s "JESUS", Because The Power of That Name Will Destroy All his Plans! So, for over two thousand years, the devil has tried to make the name of Jesus the issue; the dividing point. It was over two thousand years ago when the Sanhedrin said, "You can talk about God, you can talk about religion, you can do anything, just don't mention that Name!”
And sadly enough, that’s still the issue today, isn't it? Truth is, people don't mind if you talk about religion, or even God, or the Bible, or morality, or family values, or your church, but don't mention the Name Jesus.
All too often we fall right into the devil's trap to censor the name of Jesus in our conversation. We don't want to be offensive; we don't want to turn anyone off. And there's this little voice that says, "Well, just talk about God. You know, most everybody would accept that." So we talk about God in our lives, but we avoid the name of Jesus.
Christian musicians will write songs that talk vaguely about Him with a capitol H, but too often they avoid the Name Jesus, so their music can cross over to the secular world. We no longer sing Gospel music about salvation, the blood, the cross, the resurrection, and the Name of Jesus. No, today the church has become quite “inspirational.” If you listen to the music, the prayers or even the lessons and sermons, it’s hard to know exactly who the church is talking, teaching, preaching about, or praying to!
Even Christian leaders try to avoid conflict by watering down the Name: “In His name we pray.”
But Acts 4:11-12 says, "This JESUS is the stone which was despised and rejected by you, the builders, but which became the chief cornerstone. And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among people by which we must be saved [for God has provided the world no alternative for salvation].” (AMP). The power is in the Name of JESUS! The devil knows the power in that Name that’s why he works so hard to muzzle your mouth! Don’t let him do it!
The Scripture tells us, “…FOR GOD HAS PROVIDED THE WORLD NO ALTERNATIVE FOR SALVATION…”
That word “alternative” is defined as “of one or more things available as another possibility; expressing a choice; offering of options; something that can be chosen instead of something else.” But, when it concerns salvation, there is nothing else available, no other possibility, no other choice or option, and absolutely nothing and no one else you can use instead of, ONLY THE NAME OF JESUS!
So, how can we possibly be silent about the Only Name that brings Salvation, the Name OF JESUS!
Romans 1:16, “I am not ashamed of the Gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation [from His wrath and punishment] to everyone who believes [in CHRIST AS SAVIOR], to the Jew first and also to the Greek.” (AMP)
People of God this is where your boldness kicks into high gear! You have nothing to be ashamed of when talking about the Name of JESUS CHRIST! It is your (and everyone else’s) only means of Salvation from eternal death, damnation and hell! So, don’t murmur it, don’t whisper it, and don’t utilize politically correct names for it. His Name is JESUS!
I’ve even been with people while witnessing during outreach and listening to them talk about Jesus, without mentioning His Name! How is that even possible? You have to say the Name, because there is no other Name whereby they can be saved, except the Name JESUS!
How can you as a believer possibility be ashamed to say the Name JESUS?!
After all, it is by the Name JESUS where you received salvation, healing, wholeness, peace, joy, unconditional love, restoration, renewal, revival, forgiveness…HOW CAN YOU NOT SAY THE NAME JESUS?!
It is the Name JESUS that kept your marriage together; that brought your children back to their senses; that saved your household; that healed your mother; that delivered your father; that got you that job; that carried you through school…HOW CAN YOU NOT SAY THE NAME JESUS?!
But you see that's the 2,000-year-old editor from hell saying, "Edit out Jesus. How dare you mention that Name." But how did Peter and John feel about that? Let’s see:
Acts 4:18-20, “They called them back and warned them that they were on no account ever again to speak or teach in the name of Jesus. But Peter and John spoke right back, “Whether it’s right in God’s eyes to listen to you rather than to God, you decide. AS FOR US, THERE’S NO QUESTION—WE CAN’T KEEP QUIET ABOUT WHAT WE’VE SEEN AND HEARD.” (MSG)
And truthfully, neither can you! I mean as you look back over the course of your life, and see what JESUS has brought you through can you honestly be quiet about the Name of Jesus?! Think about it: The addictions; the habits; the bad friendships, relationships, marriages; choices; consequences; health challenges; family troubles; financial disasters; loss of employment; repetitive failures…can you look at all of that and be quiet about the Name of Jesus?
After all you’ve seen what JESUS did for you and your loved ones, after all the praise reports you’ve heard about what He’s done for others, can you really remain quiet about the Name of JESUS?!
Now Peter and John were facing some seriously life or death decisions in mentioning or not mentioning the Name of JESUS. After all, listen to the Bible:
“…The religious leaders renewed their threats…” So, their attackers weren’t about to let up on this. They came back at them and renewed their threats. They were going to do whatever it took to silence these boys, however, let’s read some more…“…but then they released them. They couldn’t come up with a charge that would stick, that would keep them in jail. The people wouldn’t have stood for it—they were all praising God over what had happened. The man who had been miraculously healed was over forty years old.”
Listen, what you do and what you don’t do, affects more than just you. The people were standing around, they also saw and heard what Peter and John had seen, heard and done. And likewise, people are watching you, listening to you and imitating you. Do you really want to set the example of being a coward for Christ?
Husband and wives are watching and listening; your sons and daughters are watching and listening; your ministries and churches are watching and listening; your schools, jobs, businesses and communities are watching and listening. And if that’s not enough, the unsaved and even the devil is watching and listening! Don’t Destroy Your Witness By Playing Games With the Name of JESUS!
Don’t play games with the Name of Jesus, even the devil knows that Name and knows His Followers! The real ones at that! Don’t let the devil embarrass you!
Make sure your name comes up on his radar when the Name of Jesus is mentioned! Let the devil know, you know the Name and aren’t afraid to use it either! Don’t let him muzzle your mouth by mumbling some “in His name”, prayer. No, open your mouth and declare “IN JESUS NAME!”
John 14:13-14, “And I will do whatever you ask IN MY NAME [as My representative], this I will do, so that the Father may be glorified and celebrated in the Son. If you ask Me anything IN MY NAME [as My representative], I will do it.” (AMP)
With a promise like that, how can you possibly be silent about the Name of JESUS?!
Now, in closing, you would think after dealing with all of that, Peter and John might rethink this whole mentioning the Name of Jesus thing, but nope that wasn’t the case at all! Listen to the remainder of the chapter:
“As soon as Peter and John were let go, they went to their friends and told them what the high priests and religious leaders had said. Hearing the report, they lifted their voices in a wonderful harmony in prayer: “Strong God, you made heaven and earth and sea and everything in them. By the Holy Spirit you spoke through the mouth of your servant and our father, David: Why the big noise nations? Why the mean plots and peoples? Earth’s leaders push for position, Potentates meet for summit talks, The God-deniers, the Messiah defiers! “For in fact they did meet—Herod and Pontius Pilate with nations and peoples, even Israel itself!—met in this very city to plot against Your holy Son JESUS, the One You made Messiah, to carry out the plans You long ago set in motion. “And now they’re at it again! Take care of their threats and give Your servants fearless confidence in preaching Your Message, as You stretch out Your hand to us in healing and miracles and wonders done in the name of Your holy servant JESUS.” While they were praying, the place where they were meeting trembled and shook. They were all filled with the Holy Spirit and continued to speak God’s Word with fearless confidence. The whole congregation of believers was united as one—one heart, one mind! They didn’t even claim ownership of their own possessions. No one said, “That’s mine; you can’t have it.” They shared everything. The apostles gave powerful witness to the resurrection of the Master JESUS, and grace was on all of them. And so it turned out that not a person among them was needy. Those who owned fields or houses sold them and brought the price of the sale to the apostles and made an offering of it. The apostles then distributed it according to each person’s need. Joseph, called by the apostles “Barnabas” (which means “Son of Comfort”), a Levite born in Cyprus, sold a field that he owned, brought the money, and made an offering of it to the apostles.” (vss. 23-37 MSG)
Isn’t it amazing what God does through His servants that aren’t afraid to publicly serve Him?!
Not only did Peter and John continue to preach in the Name of Jesus, but they were all endowed with power from the Holy Ghost, the other believers joined them in prayer, praise and worship and the furtherance of the Message of Jesus Christ! Even the church grew and there wasn’t a selfish bone in the Body of Christ, for they all met the needs of the entire church!
Two men decided to stand by the Name of Jesus, and to mention it out loud!
The results was they were blessed, and all the people, and all the church.
Peter and John are passed away. However, you are still here! Will you dare to continue their discipleship work and say and share the Name of JESUS? Or, will you let the devil have the final say as he muzzles your mouth?
In the end, the choice is yours!