God Can’t Be (And Won’t Be) Stopped

Yesterday, I preached through Acts 5 and a very clear picture was painted for me regarding God’s decretive will (that will of God by which God sovereignly brings to pass whatever He desires). As Peter and John are being threatened with death because of their continuous preaching at the temple and their lack of obedience to the religious leaders who have commanded them to stop, a spokesman named Gamaliel speaks up on their behalf, who says something very profound. He says in v36, “Men of Israel, take care what you are about to do with these men“. Gamaliel then proceeds to give an illustration of two men (Theudas and Judas), who acted in opposition to God, “claiming to be somebody“, who ultimately perished and whose followers scattered and whose ungodly movements never amounted to anything. Gamaliel then says in v38-39 “So in the present case I tell you, keep away from these men and let them alone, for if this plan or undertaking is of man, it will fail; but if it is of God, you will not be able to overthrow them.

IF IT IS OF GOD, YOU WILL NOT BE ABLE TO OVERTHROW THEM. You can be stopped (your undertakings can lead to failure). But you can’t stop God (His will is never deterred)! We can’t always understand the hidden, secret ways/workings/dealings/will of God. But one thing we can be certain of is that God cannot and will not be stopped. For many of us, this might be a hard pill to swallow. Why? Because we don’t necessarily like the way God works in our own lives a lot of times.  We find it hard to come to grips that a good God would not only allow suffering to happen to us, but that He would actually decretively will it to happen to us. What we see directly after Gamaliel’s words in 5:38-39 is that the religious leaders release the apostles, but not before giving them a good beating and more threats to stop speaking the name of Jesus (v40). God’s sovereign will determined that the apostles would be beat that day. Why? Their response to the beating gives us the reason. In v41, the apostles “left the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer dishonor for the name (Jesus).” They didn’t find joy through their suffering. They found joy because of (or on account of) it. This is huge!

The account finishes in v42 with “And every day, in the temple and from house to house, they did not cease teaching and preaching Jesus as the Christ.” How’s that for resoluteness? Seems kind of crazy doesn’t it? But a belief that centers on the unstoppability of God leads to more joy and more steadfastness, no matter what is going on in your life. Take heart that if you are in Christ, then you are in THE only place that is exclusively, one hundred percent, certain and determined. I didn’t say it was safe. But it is most assuredly secure.

Leave a Reply

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>