“And they called them, and commanded them not to speak at all nor teach in the name of Jesus. Then one came and told them, saying, behold, the men whom you put in prison are standing in the temple, and teaching the people. Then went the captain with the officers, and brought them without violence: for they feared the people, lest they should have been stoned. And when they had brought them, they set them before the council: and the high priest asked them, saying, Did not we straitly command you that you should not teach in this name? And behold, you have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine, and intend to bring this man’s blood upon us. Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men” (Acts 4:18; 5:25-29).
What a situation the early apostles were in. The orders were direct. Never again were they to teach or preach about the Lord Jesus. In fact, they were not even to mention His name in public. Risking their wellbeing and even their lives, they took a powerful stand. They would choose to obey God over man-made rules and regulations forbidding them to preach and teach. The Apostle Paul declared that under normal circumstances, rulers and laws must be honored and obeyed (Romans 13). They must even be prayed for (1 Timothy 2:1-2) as we live quiet and peaceable lives. But if the time should ever come when the ruler commands the believer to do something that is a direct violation of Scripture, “We must obey God rather than man” is still the standard. Let me be very frank and honest with you. If the time should ever come in our country when I am “forbidden” to preach or teach God’s Word, by the grace of God, I will still preach it in its entirety from Genesis to Revelation. Why? Because we must obey God rather than man.
For today: This is not being negative. However, I want to encourage my readers, if things continue as they have been, we must be willing and ready to take the stand of obeying God.