PRAISE AND POWER                                    THE CONCLUSION                                  September 29, 2016

Toward the end of Joshua’s life, all the people of Israel were gathered for some last words offered by Joshua from God. This is some of what was said: “… choose you [the children of Israel] this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served … or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me [Joshua] and my house, we will serve the LORD. And the people answered and said, God forbid that we should forsake the LORD, to serve other gods; … “(Joshua 24:15, 16) The correct conclusion, then, was to serve the Lord God. This was still true in the early church and it is true today.

There is an account in Acts where the rulers, elders and scribes at Jerusalem called Peter and John to answer for their actions in ministering healing to a lame man. They were asked by what power or by what name have you done this? Their answer was: “Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole. Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved [made whole].” (Acts 4:10, 12) The conclusion is clear, there is no other name given among men whereby you must be made whole. It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth people are saved and made whole. By declaring this they were serving God.

Later in that same record from Acts 4:18 the following took place: “And they [the rulers, elders and scribes] called them [Peter and John], and commanded them not to speak at all nor teach in the name of Jesus.” These men were put to the test. They could have chosen to follow the command given to them by these men. Let’s see what they chose. “But Peter and John answered and said unto them, Whether it be right in the sight of God to hearken unto you more than unto God, judge ye. For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard.” (Acts 4:19, 20) They were not intimidated but chose to continue speaking and teaching in the name of Jesus. They served the Lord God in the name of Jesus Christ.

“Now while Paul waited for them at Athens, his spirit was stirred in him, when he saw the city wholly given to idolatry. Therefore disputed he in the synagogue with the Jews, and with the devout persons, and in the market daily with them that met with him.” (Acts 17:16, 17) When Paul saw that Athens was completely dedicated to idolatry, he disputed in the synagogue with the Jews and with non-Jewish devout people. In addition, he spoke in the market place daily with whoever would meet with him. Paul did not let the circumstances around him dictate his actions. He chose to serve God by speaking His Word.

“… but now [God] commandeth all men every where to repent: Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance [what is to be believed] unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead.” (Acts 17:30b, 31) This reads like Romans 10:9: “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.” For all mankind, to this day, the correct conclusion is: repent by confessing Jesus as Lord, and believe God raised Jesus Christ from the dead.

Ecclesiastes 12:13 says it so well: “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear [reverence] God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.” Joshua served God which included keeping God’s commandments. God still commands all men everywhere to repent. Like Peter, John and Paul we need to speak and teach so that people may hear, repent, believe and be saved. We too can serve God.

***********************************************************************************************************************************************“PRAISE AND POWER” is an independent ministry, continued in honor of Milford and Betty Bowen by Earl and Nancy Burton.  Our prayer is as theirs was that you will be edified as you apply the principles of God’s Word in a practical way in your life.  You may contact us: PO Box 473, Earlysville, VA 22936 or by email: praisenpower@gmail.com  092716 ENB

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