There are those in America who really don’t like the spreading of the gospel of Jesus Christ. And there are other places around the world where people are violently opposed to it even to the point of killing those who choose to obey the scriptures. But regardless of the pressures we face, we are encouraged to obey what God wants us to do over what men want us to do. In Acts 5:28-29 we learn that the apostles had to deal with these same pressures when confronted by the Pharisees, but they decided to stand strong, even in the face of death. It says:
“We gave you strict orders not to teach in this name,” he said. “Yet you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching and are determined to make us guilty of this man’s blood.” Peter and the other apostles replied: “We must obey God rather than men!”
You see, God’s commands through the scriptures are the highest form of authority. For believers, it is higher than any man-made law. It supersedes any command - even from parents, teachers, police or even the president of the United States. And as we see in Acts, obeying God is more important than our own lives. The apostles knew that and were willing to follow God regardless of what it cost them. And as hard as it may be to stand for Christ when the consequences are great, we should too.
When challenged by the Pharisees to stop spreading the good news about Jesus, the apostles replied, “We must obey God rather than men!” I hope that believers in America haven’t grown fearful to the point of compromising our beliefs when pressure or persecution threatens us. We must always obey God over men, no matter what is at stake. I thank God that it rarely comes to extremes in America, but we should always be ready, just in case. Because there are stories of people even in America losing their jobs, being physically assaulted or even being killed because they’ve chosen to follow Christ.