SI CETTE ŒUVRE VIENT DE DIEU VOUS NE POURREZ LA DÉTRUIRE / IF THIS WORK IS OF GOD YOU CANNOT DESTROY IT (Acts 5:39)

SI CETTE OEUVRE VIENT DE DIEU VOUS NE POURREZ LA DETRUIRE (AUDIO SERMON)

CHRIST THE ROCK CONGREGATION

DIMANCHE 26 DECEMBRE 2021

Sermon par Pasteur Marc E Siméon

SI CETTE ŒUVRE VIENT DE DIEU VOUS NE POURREZ LA DÉTRUIRE

IF THIS WORK IS OF GOD YOU CANNOT DESTROY IT (Acts 5:39)

THE INVINCIBILITY OF THE CHRISTIAN DOCTRINE THROUGHOUT THE AGES

L’INVINCIBILITÉ DE LA DOCTRINE CHRÉTIENNE À TRAVERS LES AGES

ACTES 5 :34-39

Ac 5:34 Mais un pharisien, nommé Gamaliel, docteur de la loi, estimé de tout le peuple, se leva dans le sanhédrin, et ordonna de faire sortir un instant les apôtres.

 35 Puis il leur dit: Hommes Israélites, prenez garde à ce que vous allez faire à l’égard de ces gens.

 36 Car, il n’y a pas longtemps que parut Theudas, qui se donnait pour quelque chose, et auquel se rallièrent environ quatre cents hommes: il fut tué, et tous ceux qui l’avaient suivi furent mis en déroute et réduits à rien.

 37 Après lui, parut Judas le Galiléen, à l’époque du recensement, et il attira du monde à son parti: il périt aussi, et tous ceux qui l’avaient suivi furent dispersés.

 38 Et maintenant, je vous le dis ne vous occupez plus de ces hommes, et laissez-les aller. Si cette entreprise ou cette œuvre vient des hommes, elle se détruira;

 39 mais si elle vient de Dieu, vous ne pourrez la détruire. Ne courez pas le risque d’avoir combattu contre Dieu.

Ac 5:34 Then one in the council stood up, a Pharisee named Gamaliel, a teacher of the law held in respect by all the people, and commanded them to put the apostles outside for a little while. The invincibility

 35 And he said to them: “Men of Israel, take heed to yourselves what you intend to do regarding these men.

 36 “For some time ago Theudas rose up, claiming to be somebody. A number of men, about four hundred, joined him. He was slain, and all who obeyed him were scattered and came to nothing.

 37 “After this man, Judas of Galilee rose up in the days of the census, and drew away many people after him. He also perished, and all who obeyed him were dispersed.

 38 “And now I say to you, keep away from these men and let them alone; for if this plan or this work is of men, it will come to nothing;

 39 “but if it is of God, you cannot overthrow it–lest you even be found to fight against God.”

INTRODUCTION

  • Recently, I read the news that Canada has passed the law to ban parents from taking their teenage homosexual children outside of the country for conversion experience.
  • Some believe that homosexuality is by nature while others believe that it is by nurture.
  • Some believe that it is a demonic possession and some believe it is a psychological abnormally.
  • The word conversion is used to aim at Christians who are more likely to be at odd with the gay lifestyle.
  • In the United States, several States already have similar laws in effect.
  • We are seeing more and more that all the governments in the world are preparing to have open season on the church as in the past.
  • A lot of the actions and behaviors that God clearly forbids are fully protected by most human governments.
  • What will become of Christianity in the next 20, 50, 100 years some are asking.
  • Will the Christian movement fade away under the mounting persecution ahead of it?

THE SURVIVAL OF THE PRIMITIVE CHURCH     

  • In the beginning of the Book of Acts, the Jewish religious leaders faced a momentous problem.
  • They were faced with a new doctrine that was taking the country by storm.
  • They saw it coming with the mounting popularity of Jesus.
  • After the crucifixion of Jesus, instead of seeing a halt in the Jesus movement, it was the contrary they witnessed.
  • The followers of Jesus, empowered by the Holy Spirit exhibited no signs of exhaustion; they were instead emboldened to convert the whole world into this new and peculiar doctrine as commanded by their Master.
  • It nagged the religious leaders because they could not prevent these devoted followers of Jesus to spread their doctrines.
  • The whole population was jumping on Jesus bandwagon when they saw the wonders these disciples were doing.
  • The movement first got out of control on the day of Pentecost.
  • In a short time, the church was counting over 5000 followers.
  • The explosion of the Gospel had happened in the worst time possible from the perspectives of the rulers.
  • On the Day of Pentecost, Jerusalem was flooded with Diaspora Jews from all four corners of the world that came to worship God in the Holy Convocations.
  • These pilgrims got infused in the wonder of the Pentecost as they witnessed the Gospel being preached in their distinct native languages.
  • God divinely arranged the timing for the birth of the church to foster an instant global effect.
  • The religious leaders were much alerted and very concerned, but their hands were tied up.
  • The phase out of their religious movements and ecclesiastical positions were imminent.
  • They used all the little powers they had left to torture the disciples, but to no avail.
  • All the preliminary restraints and constraints to keep the church from emancipating were thus far proven abortive.
  • Jailing, beating, threatening, intimidating, bullying, and menacing the followers of Christ just boosted the spin of the movement all the more.  
  • In Acts chapter 5, we are given a glimpse of the impact of the Jesus movement.

Ac 5:14 Le nombre de ceux qui croyaient au Seigneur, hommes et femmes, s’augmentait de plus en plus;

 15 en sorte qu’on apportait les malades dans les rues et qu’on les plaçait sur des lits et des couchettes, afin que, lorsque Pierre passerait, son ombre au moins couvrît quelqu’un d’eux.

 16 La multitude accourait aussi des villes voisines à Jérusalem, amenant des malades et des gens tourmentés par des esprits impurs; et tous étaient guéris.

Ac 5:14 And believers were increasingly added to the Lord, multitudes of both men and women,

 15 so that they brought the sick out into the streets and laid them on beds and couches, that at least the shadow of Peter passing by might fall on some of them.

 16 Also a multitude gathered from the surrounding cities to Jerusalem, bringing sick people and those who were tormented by unclean spirits, and they were all healed.

A CHANGE OF TACTIC AGAINST THE EARLY CHURCH BY THE DEVIL

  • The religious leaders realized that they were facing an insurmountable obstacle in their effort to halt the spread of the church.
  • In one of those emergency meetings, a wise man named Gamaliel stood up and made a prophetic statement.
  • For the first time, they were willing to accept defeat and to wave the white flag to the Jesus movement.
  • They were going to have to stand by and wait for the church to lose steam if indeed it was not of God.
  • The first church was so energized by the Holy Spirit that there were no methods available to make them cease and die.
  • The wisest of them realized that they could be dealing with the bigger problem of combating God if they persist in their harsh treatments of the disciples.

38 Et maintenant, je vous le dis ne vous occupez plus de ces hommes, et laissez-les aller. Si cette entreprise ou cette œuvre vient des hommes, elle se détruira;

 39 mais si elle vient de Dieu, vous ne pourrez la détruire. Ne courez pas le risque d’avoir combattu contre Dieu.

38 “And now I say to you, keep away from these men and let them alone; for if this plan or this work is of men, it will come to nothing;

 39 “but if it is of God, you cannot overthrow it–lest you even be found to fight against God.”

  • In spite of the wise counsel of Gamaliel, they went on and gave a good whooping to the Apostles with added threats to stop talking about Jesus.
  • The early persecution of the church just added fuel to the fire.
  • The disciples were pleased with the outcome of the meeting; even the beating was received with joy.
  • No one was ever going to intimidate Peter again.
  • The past was the past; the new Peter would never deny Jesus ever again.

Ac 5:41 Les apôtres se retirèrent de devant le sanhédrin, joyeux d’avoir été jugés dignes de subir des outrages pour le nom de Jésus.

 42 Et chaque jour, dans le temple et dans les maisons, ils ne cessaient d’enseigner, et d’annoncer la bonne nouvelle de Jésus-Christ.

Ac 5:41 So they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for His name.

 42 And daily in the temple, and in every house, they did not cease teaching and preaching Jesus as the Christ.

SI CETTE ŒUVRE VIENT DE DIEU VOUS NE POURREZ LA DÉTRUIRE

IF THIS WORK IS OF GOD YOU CANNOT DESTROY IT

  • When you read the Book of Acts, you can see that the persecution of the disciples did not end with the religious leaders.
  • The political leaders were soon to join the course to force the church out of existence.
  • Some of the most eager opponents of the Jesus movement became followers of Christ.
  • Saul of Tarsus took it upon himself to do what all the religious leaders put together could not accomplish.
  • Saul set out to extinguish the church singlehandedly.
  • After a show and tell with Jesus on the Road of Damascus, Saul turned into the most prominent defender of the church with surpassing zeal to that of the earlier Disciples of Christ.
  • Back in Jerusalem, the religious and the political establishment had open season on the church.
  • The persecution was so great to cause the dispersion of the primitive Pentecostal church.
  • As the church scattered, the problem became aggravated for the religious rulers; the converts kept on spreading the Gospel in all the parts of the world where they were taking refuge.
  • The disciples who went to Antioch began to do what God intended all alone. They began to share the Gospel not just to Jews but to gentiles as well.
  • A great revival sprung out in Antioch to the point that they began to call the disciples Christians.
  • From the church on fire of Antioch, God set apart Barnabas and Paul to further the Gospel to the unreached territories.
  • Europe was soon to be added in the vast and fast invasion of the gospel.
  • What Jesus prophesied before His ascension to heaven was being fulfilled,

Ac 1:8 “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”

Ac 1:8 Mais vous recevrez une puissance, le Saint-Esprit survenant sur vous, et vous serez mes témoins à Jérusalem, dans toute la Judée, dans la Samarie, et jusqu’aux extrémités de la terre.

  • Gamaliel was right. This movement could not be stopped by human or demons efforts.
  • Anyone who had tried to stop the church had direct affairs with God.
  • The braveness and the zeal of the early Christians were unparalleled.
  • The Apostles were given another nickname. They were called world flippers.
  • Without modern technologies the Gospel was being spread like wildfire and the Holy Spirit was the One fueling and spreading the fire.

Mt 16:18 Et moi, je te dis que tu es Pierre, et que sur cette pierre je bâtirai mon Église, et que les portes du séjour des morts ne prévaudront point contre elle. (LSV)

 18 “And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it. (NKJV)

FOURTH CENTURY: A NEW ERA OF PERSECUTIONS OF THE CHURCH

  • In the course of the two thousand years of existence, the church has never known any time when it was not dealing with some sorts of persecutions.
  • In the fourth Centuries, the enemy, having used all his artillery to bring down the church to no avail, decided to change his strategies.
  • When the Roman Empire espoused Christianity to become the official religion of the kingdom, instead of taking a lift, the church was heading yet for the darkest moment of its existence.
  • With no persecution in the menu, many fake disciples emerged to blend the Holy Church of Christ with paganism.
  • The church became a political weapon for the Roman Empire.
  • The church had now to deal with the fight from within.
  • Streams of blood were shed when pious Christians set out to purify the Church.
  • Movements, protests and various reforms have occurred in aim to keep the true church alive.
  • In the middle age with the beginning of the era of scientific explosions, Satan seized again the opportunity to ridicule the church out of existence.
  • Countless scientists and philosophers took their best shots at the church to bring it down.
  • The echoes of the wise words of Gamaliel could still be heard then. “If this movement is of God, you can never stop it.”

THE PERSECUTIONS OF OUR TIME

  • We are fast returning to the time of global persecution of the church.
  • Satan is trying once more to do what he has not been able to do in two millenniums.
  • The world is now synchronized just as before the Tour of Babel.
  • The whole world has a united mandate to bring down the Living Church of Jesus Christ.
  • Abortion, homosexuality, pornography, gambling, alcoholism, and a host of other ills of society are legal in almost all the parts of this world.
  • Conversion to Christianity is increasingly becoming illegal in most parts of the world.
  • Governments now want to have the final say in all matters of life, including over one’s faith and credo.
  • In all aspects, it feels that the church will not be able to survive this next wave of attacks from the enemy.
  • I am here to tell you that the prophecy of Gamaliel still holds. The Church of Jesus Christ will prevail.
  • If this movement is of God, no one will be able to destroy it.
  • It is time for real Christians to prepare to do a massive exodus out of the world systems.
  • I am not suggesting that Christians should create their own States, although that would be interesting.
  • It’s time for all real Christians to come out of the closet and make a definite and bold affirmation for Jesus.
  • We are all responsible for the generation we live in to bring them to the knowledge of Christ our Savior and Lord.
  • It is alarming to observe that there is no longer a line of demarcation between the lifestyles of professed Christians to those of the unbelievers.
  • In the name of love, many Christian circles have waved the white flag and join the masses at the mercy of the Holy Scriptures.
  • This is the time for Christians to prepare to go solo in their pursuit of holiness.
  • The church that will sustain to the end is not a congregation or a denomination, but individual Christians who are solely attached to Jesus.
  • True Christians will have to embrace the same philosophy as Joshua.
  • It is getting to the point where each Christian will have to say “my family and I will serve the Lord.
  • In some instances, a true Christian might even have to leave his or her family behind and make a solo claim for Christ.

THE NEW ROLE OF GOVERNMENT IN THE PERSECUTION OF THE CHURCH

  • Slowly and slowly instead of rallying around a patron god as in the past, the states have become the gods of the people who reside within their borders.
  • By asserting the role of God over the people puts all governments at odds with the creator God.
  • Mankind was created by God.
  • Mankind has divine elements in its construction.
  • Mankind has an eternal soul.
  • Mankind is sustained on earth by God’s favor and provision.
  • Mankind is just in transit on earth.
  • Mankind has to give account to God for his sojourn on earth.
  • Mankind will be redirected by God as to where each person will spend his/ her eternity.
  • Human governments have no point of reference for its authority except from God.
  • Human governments should never override the rules of God.
  • Human governments were supposed to maintain civility and safety among those under their jurisdictions.
  • Human government should limit their scope of operation in the south borders of God’s operation.
  • God is the only entity who can claim ownership of the whole world.
  • Now as Christians, we find ourselves in the dilemma of not just trying to escape the hellfire judgment of God.
  • We as Christians are mandated to uphold the principles of God that are being trampled under the feet in our present age.
  • We find ourselves directly at odds with all entities when and if they decide to overstep their boundaries into God’s territories.
  • While democracy seems to portray itself as the highest form of human interaction, yet when the hearts of the majority are wrong, so are the decisions they make in consensus.
  • Christians are heavenly citizens; they can never fit comfortably in this world.

CONCLUSION

  • The best we can do as Christian is to season this world enough with the salt of holiness, and brighten it with light of the Gospel in hopes to keep it habitable for a little while longer until Christ snatches us out of it.  
  • Christians: brace yourselves for yet another round with the devil as he tries to eradicate true Christianity from the face of the earth.
  • The church was built to sustain and overcome all the wiles of the devil.
  • The Christian movement is not going away because it is of God.
  • The fake Christians will keep peeling away from the true doctrine of Christ.
  • The faithful Christians will carry on the banner in all generations to come until the return of Christ.
  • The victory is already ours.

Actes 5:38b-35

38b Si cette entreprise ou cette œuvre vient des hommes, elle se détruira; 39 mais si elle vient de Dieu, vous ne pourrez la détruire. Ne courez pas le risque d’avoir combattu contre Dieu.

38b For if this plan or this work is of men, it will come to nothing; 39 “but if it is of God, you cannot overthrow it—lest you even be found to fight against God.”

AMEN!

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