Read Acts 5:17-42
They Did Not Cease
You cannot silence God. The government may oppose the truth and they may try to oppress those who speak it, but man cannot defeat God. The high priest and the Sadducees tried and failed time and time again. The apostles were arrested, then miraculously freed; instead of halting their proclamation of the good news, they did what the angel of the Lord told them to do: “Go, stand in the temple and speak to the people all the words of this life” (Acts 5:20).
The captain brought the apostles back to the council again. The high priest asked, “Did we not strictly command you not to teach in this name?” (Acts 5:28). The rulers were growing weary of the blame being placed on them for Jesus’ crucifixion. “And look, you have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine, and intend to bring this Man’s blood on us!” (Acts 5:29). But, is this not exactly what they had asked for? Had they not cried, “His blood be on us and on our children” (Matthew 27:25).
The apostles refused to be silenced though. “We ought to obey God rather than man” (Acts 5:29). No matter what the Jewish officials said, the apostles were not about to back down. Gamaliel the Pharisee advised the council, “And now I say to you, keep away from these men and let them alone; for if this plan or this work is of men, it will come to nothing; but if it is of God, you cannot overthrow it—lest you even be found to fight against God” (Acts 5:38-39). And he was right. They had no hope of defeating the will of God.
The apostles were beaten, threatened again, and commanded to stop their teaching. What did the apostles do? “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).
May we all have the resolve of the apostles, refusing to back down in the face of intimidation and persecution.