Freedom’s future rests on the shoulders of bold people who will not be silent.

Bold Witnesses

Freedom’s future rests on the shoulders of bold people who will not be silent about truth and the absolute principles upon which it stands. As a Christian I believe it actually depends upon true believers waking up and standing up like New Testament Christians. In their day they were ready and willing to die for what they had experienced and believed. Today it is difficult to get those who profess to know Christ to even be serious about living for Him, much less dying for what they claim to believe. Why can’t 70-100 million people who claim to believe in God, the Bible, and Jesus Christ as the Savior have as much influence as the very small identifiable groups of bold activists impacting our national direction and culture?

Life, liberty, and the ability to pursue happiness as we have been blessed to do will continue to rapidly diminish if Christians do not become bold witnesses. Paul said, “Now is the time to awaken out of sleep…and put on the armor of light.” May I call your attention to the kind of witnesses necessary if we are to see America and the world impacted by God’s transforming power? It is clearly revealed and demonstrated through the lives of New Testament believers in Acts chapters 3 and 4.

In chapter 3, Peter and John were instrumental in releasing a miracle demonstration of God’s power to heal. Even the unbelieving public called it a “notable miracle.” When they were questioned and challenged by some observers, these bold witnesses proclaimed, “It is the power in the name of Jesus.” Peter then called all to repentance saying, “Jesus is the One God sent to forgive, restore and bless those who would believe and turn from their sins.” Can you believe what happened next? Smug, lifeless, religious people, priests, and leaders rose up to silence them. Then with critical animosity they asked, “By what power or name did you do this?” (Release this obvious miracle power) “Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit,” (the only way any Christians will ever have the love, courage and power to be a bold witness) proclaimed, ‘It is by the Name of Jesus whom you crucified and rejected that this miracle occurred.’” He declared that this very Christ must be the cornerstone upon which you build a secure future. All personal and national freedom must be established and built on this solid Rock, God’s unshakable foundation of truth.

Without hesitancy or reservation, Peter boldly continued, “There is salvation in no one else for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved.” The crowd saw the confidence obvious in Peter and John and marveled because they recognized that they “had been with Jesus,” but then just as in our day, the powers that be – political, religious, prevailing ideologies and the Council – commanded them not to speak or teach in the name of Jesus. In other words, to put it bluntly, “Shut up. Get back under cover or whatever rock you came out from under. Get out of sight.” Then in verses 19-20, “Peter and John answered and said to them, ‘Whether it is right in the sight of God to give heed to you rather than to God, you be the judge; for we cannot stop speaking about what we have seen and heard.’”

It seems many who go to church are at best content to soak up what they hear or observe and consider truth, but never release that river of life throughout their own communities and unto the ends of the earth. Could it be that they have heard too little and have seen too little of spiritual and supernatural significance to be willing to share it at all, much less with excitement and boldly in power?

The answer to our problems and how to address the challenges we face is given in the following verses, “When the unbelievers raged and the people devised futile things… The rulers gathered together against the Lord and against His Christ…  Now Lord, take note of their threats, and grant that Your bond-servants may speak Your word with all confidence,  while You extend Your hand to heal, and signs and wonders take place through the name of Your holy servant Jesus.” Now, the key verse, the absolutely essential power necessary to become bold witnesses is found in Acts 4:31, “And when they had prayed, the place where they had gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak the word of God with boldness.” If we are going to see a positive impact made on our personal, local, and national lives because of the effect of bold witnesses, it will be because we have experienced this same power.

God, let it happen in my life, in the church, in our nation, and to the ends of the earth!

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7 comments

  1. Hi, I am emailing from Auckland, New Zealand and what you have said has been a major issue in my life since becoming a Christian. I was lead to the Lord by American missionaries (which is why I have a serious soft spot for America) and went to their church. There was Sunday School 10am, 11am church service, choir 5pm, and 6pm Sunday night service. There were prayer meetings twice a day every day. There was Wednesday night service, Thursday night discipleship classes, and activities on a Friday night. This was a standard week at church. The church was small – but oh so powerful. The entire region was door-knocked. Unfortunately, due to the Pastor’s wife’s health, they left and a young couple sent to replace them. A few years on there is one Sunday morning service, and 1 home group meeting a week. Everything else has died. The church has hundreds now – but it feels like God left a long time ago. It is known for great hospitality and being welcoming – but there is no fire from God. It’s so sad, considering its legacy. This nation is on its knees – and God has been replaced by more ‘acceptable’ versions of Him in church. I pray for my country, for revival… I pray God would forgive us and come back.

  2. This was very uplifting for the way I am feeling at this time. I have experienced amazing grace through my grief walk with Jesus after losing my pet Hero, Golden Retriever. My loss was sudden and unexpected so I felt like I was thrown instantly into a pit. I was only able to get out quickly by calling on Jesus repeatedly. I have felt His presence in such profound ways and conversations with Him have taken me deeper to understandings I never thought capable of myself. I have boldy posted all my experiences along with photos on Facebook for I want people to know just how real God is if you take the step to treat Him like He is right by your side daily. Unfortunately the reactions, or lack of reactions I should say plus the strange looks my unbelieving husband casts me at times are leaving me very unsatisfied with this world. Even my church family has no excited comment as I thought they should? I heard it said once that if nothing in this life gives you joy then perhaps you were not made for this world but are only being prepared for the next. This is truly how I am feeling these days because even amongst believers I had hoped to share the excitement of how God works but now I am feeling very alone, very unhappy with my Christian life which in fact should be the best life ever? So bold I will continue to be because I know what i know but it sure doesn’t make for a happy life. I’m obviously still missing something. Appreciate your boldness James and Betty! I need more people like YOU around me!

  3. I just found this site and am thrilled to hear a man of God speak up with such confidence about our way of life. Too many people are calling themselves Christian but have not the slightest idea what that means. They want a “feel good” I’m good” lifestyle. A Christian like James is in love with and honors our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ and has committed all his life into pleasing our God. Jesus came to set the captives free. He did not take the torture, death and separation from our Father God just to play games. Keep up the good job, James and Betty, we love you and are in agreement with you. Judy from Tulsa

  4. Amen! Acts 1:8…..

  5. Here is the problem I see, we as the body of Christ are not called to save a nation, any nation. God has set one nation aside and it is land and people descended from King David, the nation of Israel. That is the only nation that God has ever promised would be eternal or is the eternal protector. While all the other nations come and go as a mist, Israel remains.

    We simply are not called out to save this nation, it is a nation under judgment, we need to be a clarion call to the people to repent and come to faith in Christ for the remission of sins. We can make a difference by leading people to the Messiah that came to set the captives free.

    I am not saying Christians do not have a part in policy in this country, I served to protect its the freedoms it offers, but those freedoms are coming to an end and Jesus is coming for the Church sooner than any of us think and we had better be about preaching the Gospel, not the Constitution, the Constitution is all but gone, Christians are having rights trampled every day. God is telling us to preach Jesus Crucified.

  6. Hi James,
    An interesting thing, as it seems to me anyhow, is that ‘christianity’ has had over TWO Thousand years to make that nostalgic-romantic concept of that ‘positive impact’, spoken of here, do it’s thing. If I was 2 thousand years old myself it might be easier to give a better comment than I’m giving here.
    However, it always seems to make me reconsider what Jesus meant when He said:

    (Matthew) “Do not think that I came to bring peace on the earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. “For I came to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; and a man’s enemies will be the members of his household.”

    (Luke) – “Do you suppose that I came to grant peace on earth? I tell you, no, but rather division; for from now on five members in one household will be divided, three against two, and two against three…”

    If what Messiah spoke is ‘true’; and considering that family structure is the basic foundation of society (not just in the USA, but in all nations of the world; it seems hope for that ‘positive impact’ is probably directed to a different paradigm than what typical nostalgic christianity is looking for it to take place in.

    I myself, am just a commoner, I am divorced from Institutional, Organized, Christianity . . . but that does not mean that I am not In love with Yashsua, Our Father in heaven, and the Holy Ghost.

    Have a great day,
    Randy

  7. Yes, dear God, let it happen in my personal life, in the church, in our nation, and to the ends of the earth. Amen. God bless you James, Betty, and family.
    Robin