God’s people proclaim the gospel even when opposed.
Scripture: Acts 4:8-23,29-31
Peter and John preached a strong and offensive message: only Jesus can save. After healing a lame man, they were confronted by religious leaders, the Sadducees. This group of men strongly opposed the gospel because it interfered with their agendas and financial gain. They wanted to stop Peter and John from spreading the message of Christ, but the apostles continued to speak truth even under opposition.
Why do you think the apostles’ message was offensive? Is the gospel still offensive? Why or why not?
Keep in Mind
Students so often feel ill-equipped or disqualified from sharing the gospel. Maybe they didn’t grow up in church and feel late to the game concerning biblical knowledge. Maybe they talked to someone who knew a lot more about the Bible or someone they felt was way smarter. We’ve all experienced moments when we felt out of our league, and this can cause us to shut down.
But we can encourage students with this truth: The disciples weren’t the “top of the class.” In fact, most of them never attended formal rabbinical schooling. But they spent quality time with Christ. They knew Him, and they allowed His teaching to take root in their hearts. This is all our students need to talk with others about Jesus.
When have you allowed opposition from others to keep you silent?
FOR THE STUDENT: Opposition from friends, family members, coaches, and so on can silence our students. They may be fearful of being rejected or made fun of, so they stay silent. When someone challenges their beliefs, they find a way out of the conversation. But if students lovingly and respectfully speak truth, they honor God and impact those who hear them. Their boldness may encourage someone else to speak up.
FOR THE LEADER: Some of us will do whatever it takes to avoid conflict and keep the peace. We shouldn’t go around looking for an argument, but we also shouldn’t shrink back from speaking truth concerning Jesus. Believers all over the world are persecuted and even put to death for speaking about Jesus. While we may not face opposition to this degree, we must be willing to lay down our comfort and our reputations to share the gospel with a lost world.