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Lectionary New Zealand

26 July 19

The authorities want a polite church. Maybe the reason Peter was called by Christ is that he knew that the church would need to be rude. His first sermon, in Jerusalem, was to those who had crucified Christ, and said to Pilate that the blood of our Saviour would be on them and their children. The first church was made of such.

From Unsplash.

22 “Men of Israel, listen to these words: Jesus the Nazarene, a man attested to you by God with miracles and wonders and signs which God performed through Him in your midst, just as you yourselves know— 23 this Man, delivered over by the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God, you nailed to a cross by the hands of godless men and put Him to death. 24 But God raised Him up again, putting an end to the agony of death, since it was impossible for Him to be held in its power. 25 For David says of Him,
‘I saw the Lord always in my presence;
For He is at my right hand, so that I will not be shaken.
26 ‘Therefore my heart was glad and my tongue exulted;
Moreover my flesh also will live in hope;
27 Because You will not abandon my soul to Hades,
Nor allow Your Holy One to undergo decay.
28 ‘You have made known to me the ways of life;
You will make me full of gladness with Your presence.’
29 “Brethren, I may confidently say to you regarding the patriarch David that he both died and was buried, and his tomb is with us to this day. 30 And so, because he was a prophet and knew that God had sworn to him with an oath to seat one of his descendants on his throne, 31 he looked ahead and spoke of the resurrection of the Christ, that He was neither abandoned to Hades, nor did His flesh suffer decay. 32 This Jesus God raised up again, to which we are all witnesses. 33 Therefore having been exalted to the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He has poured forth this which you both see and hear. 34 For it was not David who ascended into heaven, but he himself says:
‘The Lord said to my Lord,
“Sit at My right hand,
35 Until I make Your enemies a footstool for Your feet.”’
36 Therefore let all the house of Israel know for certain that God has made Him both Lord and Christ—this Jesus whom you crucified.”

Acts 2:22-36,NASB

There is thus no people who we should not preach to, and no time not to preach. When the police and authorities say we are offensive, we should note that we are over the target, and ignore their flak. I would rather have fire and brimstone preachers — rude men, preaching truth — than see my generation and my children in hell.

And if the Police violate the NZ Bill of Rights — which may be their new habit as they try to root out “hate speech”– they will lose the consent of the people. May we instead see revival, and the authorities in repentance..

For we will be a long time rejoicing or suffering from the decisions of this time. Without Christ we will be damned — it was not merely the Jews who sent him to the cross, it was the pagans who crucified him, and it was not for the sins of the Jews alone.

We need to all repent, choose Christ, and be his disciples. For the sake of eternity, choose Christ and not the fashions of this moment.