"Neither is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved." (Acts 4:12)
I grew up in a club where kids memorized Bible verses. That club is called Awana. One of the first Bible verse I ever memorized was this one. I was eight. This verse has stuck with me ever since.
In our summer series, we are listening to God here in this Book of the Bible called Acts. I'm calling this series Our Turn because the work of God was begun in Bible days, and it's our turn to keep in going.
Here's my title today. From our verse today, I invite you to think with me on this topic:
The words of our verse were spoken by the Apostle Peter. He had just healed a man in the name of Jesus Christ. Word spread like wildfire. The whole town was soon in an uproar. This included the authorities; they were in an uproar too, and... they were not only political authorities; they were religious authorities too. They demanded to know by what authority Peter and John healed this man.
Peter looks at them in stunned disbelief. Who are you idiots? Who are you?
Instead of rejoicing with this man who has struggled with disability since he was born, instead of being happy for him, they're angry.
These enemies of Jesus could not deny the miracle. The whole town saw it. They could not deny the miracle.
But they could not accept the miracle either. They could not allow themselves to trace out its implications. They would not let themselves follow out that if this man was healed in the name of Jesus, then there might be other things possible in the name of Jesus, like, say, forgiveness of sins and eternal salvation. And if that were the case, everything that stood for would crumble. So no, they could not accept the miracle either.
This is the pickle they're in, and so is today's culture too. They could not deny the truth. They could not accept the truth.
Anyone who will not be guided by plain facts will always be perplexed and confused as to what to do. They create their own confusion. They do it on purpose.
And the only way out is to invent a lie. Actually, an absurd lie. They command the apostles not to speak in the name of Jesus.
"So they called them and commanded them not to speak at all nor teach in the name of Jesus." (Acts 4:18)
If you can't deny the truth. And if you can't accept the truth. Then all that's left is to silence the truth.
Welcome to America, the decayed and deceived part of America, where truth is canceled so that absurdity can reign.
Almost a hundred years ago, a Scottish preacher named Alexander MacLaren commented on this Scripture. He wrote...
"Logic after all is stronger than authority; and if the representatives of authority commit themselves to absurdity, they give the game into the hands of the rebels [the Christians]."