Here’s this month’s Gone Fishin’ Newsletter.
Every month a team from our fellowship at Calvary Wellington heads out to our regular fishing hole, the Naenae Market and Hillary Court shops. There we share the Gospel to those in our immediate community.
Once a month I publish a simple newsletter that is distributed to the fellowship (or for anyone else who stumbles across this website), as a way of encouragement, and as a tool to equip us to be better evangelists.
Gone Fishin’ Monthly Newsletter – November 2021
”So they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for His name. And daily in the temple, and in every house, they did not cease teaching and preaching Jesus as the Christ.” (Acts 5:41-42)
Well, I hope you have all recovered from church camp, refreshed and equipped to carry on the Lord’s work! It is great that we can take some time out to fellowship with, and encourage each other. The time went so quick, and before we knew it, it was all over.
I wonder, did it fill you with excitement or trepidation to face the world again?
In today’s text, we read of how the Apostles approached their work.
The Apostles had been round up and thrown in prison by the Sadducees for preaching about Christ. But God sent an angel to free them, and tell them to go to the temple and share “all the words of this life” (v17-21a).
When the high priest sent for them in prison, the guard said they weren’t there anymore. Someone told them that they were teaching in the temple (v21b-25). So they had them round up before the council again, and asked why they were still disobeying them, filling Jerusalem with their doctrine, and accusing them of Jesus’ death (v26-28).
Peter told them that they obey God, not them, and said the religious ones were the ones that crucified Jesus, but He is now raised from the dead and seated next to God in heaven (v29-31).
Then Peter said they were witnesses to all this (v32).
This infuriated them, and they wanted to kill Peter. But Gamaliel convinced them that they shouldn’t. If they were lying, then their followers would soon be scattered and forgotten (using Theudas and Judas as examples). If what Peter was saying was true, then they would be fighting against God. So they had them beaten, and sent on their way with a warning to stop preaching in Jesus’ name (v33-40).
Next, we will study their reaction to all this – how they were privileged, persistent, and purposeful with regards to carrying out the Lord’s work.
“So they departed…rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for His name.” (v 41)
If you’re not suffering shame for Christ, then it probably means that you’re not trying hard enough. No one likes to rock the boat, and make life any harder than it already is; we are already having a tough time with restrictions imposed on us left, right, and centre. But Jesus promised us persecution for His name (Matt 24:9). There is no escape from this. If we want to be followers of Christ, we also have to take up our cross (Mark 8:34). This means being shamed, berated, and in some cases even being beaten for believing in Him.
As preposterous as it may sound; if and when this happens, we should not be despondent, we should be rejoicing! Just as it is worthy to believe and know Jesus, it should also be worthy to suffer the way he did.
Shame for Christ is never wasted, for it means that people are reacting to you, and your witness. Peter convicted the Sadducees of murdering Christ. They reacted by giving them a beating. Bringing sin to light can have that sort of reaction.
Rejoice that you are worthy of being persecuted for Christ. And rejoice that people are being convicted by it. By God’s grace, it may bring about repentance.
“And daily in the temple, and in every house, they did not cease…” (v42)
If you’re not taking opportunities to worship God through studying His Word, and fellowship, then it probably means you’re not growing in sanctification. This life is hard enough to live, so why pass up on the opportunity to equip ourselves, and grow? In this mad world, it’s easy to get distracted. Yes, we are promised eternal life. Yes, we will all be changed when we see Jesus face to face. But that doesn’t mean we can put our feet up and coast our way through the rest of our lives. There is only a certain amount of time left on this planet. Let’s use it wisely! Take the most of every opportunity to tell others about God. Turn every idle moment into an opportunity to glorify Him!
Everything in life is either an opportunity to grow and learn, or an excuse not to.
Are you housebound? Text someone you know the Good News! Are you on social media? Broadcast His glorious Gospel to everyone!
“…teaching and preaching Jesus as the Christ.” (v42)
If you’re floating around in your Christian life with no idea what you’re supposed to be doing, then it probably means you don’t know your Christian purpose. I know these days the word ‘purpose’ has been hijacked to just mean lots of work. But the text tells us what this work is – teaching and preaching Jesus as the Christ. If this was our main focus in the life, I’m sure that most other things will fall into place. There is no greater joy in Christian life other than telling others how to avoid the destruction of hell, and finding eternal life through faith in Christ.
Our lives can be busy doing this, that, and the other thing. But busyness doesn’t always mean effectiveness, especially when it comes to our witness to others. Paul focused on one thing, and one thing only, the Gospel of Christ. That’s not to say that everything else is garbage, but more to the point it pales compared to preaching Christ!
So, let’s follow the Apostles example, and be privileged, persistent, and purposeful in our evangelism!
I’ll see you at my place on Saturday at 10am for prayer, before heading down to the shops!
Witnessing Tip: Two Times To Evangelise
There are only two times when we should be preaching and evangelizing:
In season, and out of season (2 Tim 4:2).
When they want to hear it, or hide from it;
When they want to hug you, or hit you;
When they want to kiss you, or kill you;
When they love you, or loathe you.
Any other time, you don’t have to.